On Christmas night just before 9pm, a fire engulfed a four-story Victorian home on Baker Street in San Francisco. The house was owned by partners of 29 years, Patrick Ferry and Randy David Jeffers (né, Sapp), who had been working on a total restoration of the property. But the fire destroyed more than just a beautiful example of San Francisco architecture – the fire stole from us a cornerstone of the Bay Area Pagan community. Just before midnight on December 26th, Randy David Jeffers passed over.
Twenty-eight years ago, Randy and Patrick opened up the Sword and the Rose in San Francisco’s Cole Valley neighborhood. Specializing in incense and oils, the shop soon became known as a metaphysical gem in the city. Many visiting Pagans would make a pilgrimage to the shop over the years, hearing of it through word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends. Even today, the store receives visitors from all over the world – a huge feat considering the store does not maintain an online presence. But Randy and Patrick’s reputation for kindness and true inner magick brought people to the small, hidden shop, leaving a big impression on all who ventured in.
“I remember my first time discovering the store, I felt like I was in an enchanted place far away from the City. I remember all the times I was in deep emotional pain & lost and somehow found my way to the store where Randy helped me make sense of things, taught me things, and helped me grow. I even brought my mom there to meet him. I always, always remember the conversation about Sobek & butterflies. What is remembered, lives.” – Bella Crow, Writer
“Randy Jeffers was as kind to me the day I showed up at the Sword and the Rose – age 18, fresh to San Francisco – as he was twenty years later, when my first book came out, and as he was years after that, whenever I stopped by.
I didn’t see him as often in the later years as those early ones, but when I did, there was always something of interest to talk about as he carefully packaged blessed oils and fragrant incense. This one to the Faerie Queen. That one to Ganesh. This one to the Djuat. That, to Tetragrammaton.” – T. Thorn Coyle, Priestess, Author, and Activist
“Randy was an embodiment of a very special power. He truly walked between the worlds. In an era where magick is rationalized and explained away by psychology, Randy was unabashedly the real deal. I welcome him any time to the banquet of my Ancestors, and honor the many hours of counsel he gave me over the years.” – Yeshe Rabbit Matthews, CAYA Coven High Priestess
At this time the shop is closed, with a note on the door thanking the 115 firefighters who fought to contain the fire Christmas night. It is believed that a faulty extension cord is to blame, but the SFFD continues to investigate the matter. In a phone interview conducted from his hospital bed with NBC Bay Area on January 1, Patrick relayed that after hearing a disturbance and a crash, “I raced upstairs, and flames were coming out of the room. I tried to go in but it was way too hot. And then he lurched out and I was able to take him down the stairs.” Patrick suffered severe burns to his hands and his injuries will take some time to heal. But he won’t let his sorrow for the loss of Randy impede his recovery, “The last thing he would want for me is to be curled up in a ball refusing to go on because of my grief.”
Randy David Jeffers was 59-years old and leaves behind his partner of 29 years, Patrick Ferry. A ceremony for Randy is expected in the near future and the Sword and the Rose is likely to remain closed for about a month.
A PayPal account is set up for donations to help Patrick pay for rent, etc. while the store is closed and he recovers. Please send donations via PayPal to theswordandrosealways (at) gmail.com.
We at PNC Bay Area send our love and healing energy to Patrick, and to the entire Sword and the Rose family. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the firefighters and hospital staff at St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
Jelen VanderYacht reporting, Pagan Newswire Collective Bay Area