The saga of Wandering Oracle’s birth continues from Part 1
I was surrounded by colourful and in retrospect very powerful healing magic at the time, but despite this, I’d abandoned my own practice, left it behind in a box full of Promethea comic books and an Oracle Belline bought on a trip after boarding school in the south of France. All barely packed next to a hard drive with a short documentary I filmed at London’s original Treadwells bookshop about the magic of the city, where night blooming Jasmine still broke through concrete and urban fox spirits left their night walks to roam by my boxes.
My last magic ritual seemed like forever ago the previous September. On the last day of my film’s production, I called the cast and crew to the back garden of our location and fired a giant Jack O’ paper lantern up into the skies. I still see it sometimes, flying by the moon, a bright twinkling orange star.
Eight months later as I sat on my brother’s bed in his tiny New York apartment I tried to make sense of my film’s storyline in a software editor as if my own made any sense, and that’s when it sparked.
My magic hadn’t been boxed up and left behind. The room grew bigger as I realized this was my magic. I flashed back to an intro of my very own soap opera called “All My Hometowns”, followed by my first ever solo journey in Japan at eighteen, friends scattered around the world, Scotland sigh, dark pints of Guinness, river walks, Virgin Records! And my laptop screen, this too! No not the edit (sadly) but the story, my magic stared me right back in the face. Stories and paper, that was all that every boxed up book, Tarot card and country lived in had in common. I had to write!
Three years after that, multiple screenplay drafts and non stop wandering between places, Mexico, New York, Los Angeles, Texas, Guanajuato even the city I know call home San Miguel de Allende- odd jobs in films and film festivals and so many adventures I typed up the first few words of that old blog’s first post.
Although I try to return every year for a visit, my life in London at the time was already just a precious memory in the back of my mind, sorted and catalogued, it was also in my bones and breath. So was New York City, my brother had since moved back. We were both now where it had all began, in the city of Mexico, the one I ran away from full throttle at sixteen and never dreamt of returning to.
This time around in the backstage of a theatre, mid-rehearsals for our soon to premiere play. My brother had translated it, and he would also play one of the three roles, a dog, alongside a girl and her father, I was to direct and design the costumes.
One night after rehearsals as I rested in my temporary Mexico City home- my old room in my mother’s house- and revised notes for the play, my mother walked in ‘I have a gift for you.’ whilst tidying she’d found amongst discarded books and trinkets, an old Tarot deck of hers and its companion book. She thought I would like to keep it. It was the first edition of the Alchemical Tarot by Robert Place. The High Priestess looked back at me from the water. ‘You said you would write.’
‘What about the two screenplays?’ I thought but could read the ‘whatever’ on her face. My mother had always read coffee grounds and Spanish playing cards and dabbled in Tarot, this was an heirloom. It reminded me of my first ever deck of Tarot cards from way back. ‘I’ll be damned if I left it in that London storage.’
My precious boxes had since moved only a little closer to me and settled in Texas (if I ever write a memoir I might just title it Self Storage). I looked for the deck in my room, nothing. Instead, I found a little blue box with the inscription Mlle. Lenormand. I’d purchased this strange deck of cards in a Venice beach bookshop a few months back but hadn’t even opened it.
Cards out, I shuffled, asked about the play and pulled three cards. A man, a girl, and a dog. Shit. I was immediately reconnected. Years of practice put on hold and for what? What was I to do with it all, I didn’t even have a home. I dreamt of opening a magic shop elsewhere, a small town maybe, where I could read for clients and make talismans. Where’s my laptop I need to write this down! Then browse the internet and dream some more.
And that’s how Wandering Oracle came to be. Today it is reborn.
The Jack-O-Lantern flies again.
I look forward to many more stories and as my character Gem, from that film I once made in London would say to close…
Sealed with a wink.