The monthly Thorn and Moon Magickal Markets are bar-none my favorite spooky events in Houston. As I age into a sober elder goth who doesn’t have the hips to dance all the way through “This Corrosion” anymore, I appreciate the focus on community creativity and cottagecore atmosphere. Founder Jessica Anderson and her husband Stephen have finally bottled that heady brew and turned it into a storefront in the Heights which opened this past weekend.
On Friday the 13th, naturally. They have their darksome reputation to maintain, after all.
The shop is a fine condensation of the markets tucked away in what looks like an old garage apartment on 24th Street. Though small, it’s elegantly packed with a variety of wares for the discerning occultist or weirdo. About a quarter of Thorn and Moon: The Store is stocked with Jessica’s own creations and collections. These include a wide range of herbs to use in various magical practices such as teas or candle makings, as well as wands, oils, altar cloths, and other practice necessities. She also designs and prints her own T-shirts.
You know immediately you're in a magick shop.
Photo by Jef Rouner
If you’re like me and you come from a more Lavey Satanist background than a Wiccan one, Thorn and Moon has you covered there as well. There are baphomets, bells, and daggers for all your Enochian rituals, though these are outsourced materials rather than locally produced. Thorn and Moon also carries a nice starter library of instructional texts and tarot decks, though you’re probably better off asking Jessica for guidance herself as she’s well-regarded in the magical community in this region. In fact, she’ll make you your own personalized candles with herbs and a little glitter for added sparkle, which means that the shop is one step closer to my dream of a drive-thru hexcraft location.
The regular local vendors at the markets also have their wares on the shelves, and this is great for someone who just wants to buy an animal skull for their office and has nowhere to go since Wilde Collection burned down
(Aside: Wilde Collection co-owner Lawyer Douglas stopped by at the opening and left a lovely congratulations bouquet of flowers and black ribbon that was still on display when I visited). Lex Simone’s
art prints, Daniel Cesspooch’s
taxidermy insects, and locally produced aromatic soaps are some of the things for sale. It’s no excuse to miss the regular gatherings, but it is great when you want to goth up a Tuesday afternoon shopping trip.
Plenty or weird art for sale.
Photo by Jef Rouner
The thing that I like the best about Thorn and Moon is the immediate sense of community that the space brings. Being born straight from the gatherings helps, but there’s also just something intrinsically chummy about being there. The shop maintains a community altar, example, where patrons can come in and perform practices and rituals. Jessica told me that this was important to her for the younger clientele, some of whom are not able to be openly pagan at home. An unfinished garden area will eventually be repurposed for readings and workshops when the weather cools.
I was there for about an hour, and I made at least three new friends on a busy Sunday. Part of that was probably due to the enthusiastic conversation Stephen and I were having over the curated playlist of the store, most of which was Pixies and Nick Cave deep cuts. For all the black and bones, the whole shop is bathed in fragrant scents and natural light, and it seemed to make people want to open up and chat with complete strangers.
Thorn and Moon as a brand has always about bringing people together in shared celebration of the uncanny and magical. The storefront captures that perfectly, and it just feels like home. At least, to a certain kind of disreputable oddball.
Thorn and Moon is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. at 113 E. 24th Street. Call 713-393-7956 or visit ThornAndMoon.com for more information.