Where I jump back and forth in time to figure out how Wandering Oracle came to be.
Welcome to Wandering Oracle! Three years ago I started a small divination blog, it was mostly for myself, I thought of it as a notebook where I could keep track of my magical life.
My intention: to document the rediscovery of the divination practice I started at twelve, restarted at sixteen -when the occult served as escapism as I attended a Scottish boarding school- and had paused in my twenties (I’d love to say recently but Saturn has returned) for at least two years as I went through a difficult transition. I never thought Wandering Oracle would become the most important crossroads of my magical life.
Before the birth of my little virtual notebook, I’d moved countries three times, houses at least eight and faced various creative and identity struggles. Despite the circumstances, a developed keen eye for rising and settling dust reminded me that storms had come before. Let me tell you, I never expected to see Auntie Em fly by my window either.
During the pre-dust period, I’d finished my film degree in London, made my first feature film there and planned to remain in my favorite city forever. It had all been (well) pretty clear to me. Shuffle shuffle the wheel turned, lightning struck my Tower and a perfectly filled out, unfairly rejected visa application became the denial of my dream. I swiped my Oyster card, boarded a double-decker bus and watched as the wind rose full of tiny specks of dust all around me.
Keep watching the skies, I reminded myself as I chose not to take the matter to court, despite informed advise from a Camden Town lawyer who guaranteed I would win- after five years and thousands of pounds, naturally. On the last walk down my high street, I saw kebab vendors, halal chicken shops, the Caribbean corner store, the Polshki schlep, Turkish and Mexican restaurants, how could I not belong here? ‘So much for the melting pot!’ I raged at my old friend London before I turned away and trudged head-on into the dust storm.
The previous October I’d taken a short Halloween holiday to visit my brother in New York. I wore a full silver costume with silvered visor sunglasses, held a plastic wolf-headed staff in one hand with fake red diamonds for eyes, a Jack’O Lantern bucket around my arm and a bleeding plastic heart picked up from the street parade leftovers. As I walked into the night people stopped to ask “who are you supposed to be?” I thought it was pretty obvious ‘I am The Future’. Little did I know.
An official letter declared I had less than 28 days to leave the Old World. Cheapest flight from London across the Atlantic? you guessed it. I immediately took shelter with my brother in New York City, which now seemed small to me and everything was different there.
I brought along an unedited film housed inside a broken laptop and left my entire dream life behind in a London self-storage, locked away deep in a maze of boxes, a library of treasured unfinished books together with a faint memory of an incomplete magical life I began the moment I left Mexico City to follow my dreams.
Enter the dust storm! It was glorious, New York served as a perfect antidote to the London heartbreak. Cheaper (back then), easier to navigate, plenty second-hand bookstores (although close to zero Occult bookstores) I even began an accidental career in film costume design.
I found comfort in late night strolls, strange musical offerings across the river, Yoo-hoo chocolate drink cans found at my all-night corner shop (which I refused to call a bodega) and soon I restored part of my lost library on my Kindle device, discovered new literature and poetry in my local bookshops, found a suitable mid-week karaoke bar where I sung about having no home, drank incredible coffee and navigated a whole new world of theatre offerings.
The Dust continued to circle my every move, it reminded me in clear violent strokes I couldn’t stay there for long- not legally anyway- it was all just temporary relief. ‘Duty likes phones’ it said, and soon it would ring.
Continues in Part 2