Candace Apple has seen a lot change since she opened her metaphysical bookstore Phoenix and Dragon 25 years ago. Sandy Springs’ incorporation was still a dream in 1987. Since then, the economy has suffered, thrived and suffered again.
Mysticism and what’s now called "New Age Thought" was considered taboo in many circles. “It’s become so much more mainstream,” Apple said. “People thought I was crazy coming up here 25 years ago. They thought there was no one up here who would be interested.”
That may have been true early on, but today Apple says folks often come by Phoenix and Dragon when they experience a major change in life such as a death, a divorce, illness or they just feel empty inside.
“So a lot of times it’s about a spiritual search. Other times it’s a life crisis. Sometimes it’s about having a spiritual awakening and being afraid they are crazy,” Apple said.
See below: “Psychic” is a daunting word
The inviting bookstore celebrated its 25th anniversary last Saturday with a full day of events that included free psychic readings, chair massages, and gift giveaways.
A serene scent of candles and incense draws patrons into Phoenix and Dragon where books, jewelry, chimes, thousands of crystals of every size and hue, and many other items has kept them coming back.
Apple first opened Phoenix and Dragon on Hammond Drive with friend Apolonia Fortino, who now owns the Center for Inner Knowing on Barfield Road. In 1995, as the bookstore expanded, Apple moved the business to 5531 Roswell Road.
The Sandy Springs mainstay is more than a bookstore. The store was created as a healing space…We sell books to support that space,” Apple said.
Four years ago, business shifted with the downturn in the economy and the surge in social media and technology. Apple said Amazon.com has had an impact on Phoenix and Dragon business but not as much as shops that soley rely on books.
“The only reason we’re still here is years ago we diversified and we’re not just a bookstore. Every bookstore I know, their book sales have dropped 50 percent,” said an emotional Apple. “Every day I’m grateful the doors are open.”
Phoenix and Dragon offers an array of classes, services and special events. Psychics, sometimes called intuitives, are available for spiritual counseling, channeling, Reiki, astrology, past life regression, Tarot readings, pet readings and more. Also, weekly meditations and regular full moon ceremonies are held.
“Psychic” is a daunting word
Apple describes being psychic as an awareness that all people are connected. Scientific research shows that when separated DNA can react to body emotions, she said. “And it’s that part of the mystery where people have an experience where their relative dies, and they feel it and know it. And if you’re connected to your own DNA…We’re all interconnected.”
Channeling is just tapping into that universal connection, Apple said. “It’s why we listen to a song and cry. It’s why we listen to something and laugh.”