Posted by: Bradley Wills
When the lunar eclipse energy made me realize there was no going back, it was sort of a relief, but also the scariest feeling ever. I was standing alone on the side of a mountain ravine when I saw in my mind’s eye, a giant black gate close behind me in my old hometown. Never being surer about anything, I felt slightly panicked and…safe? I had been united with people like me, free spirits, lovers of life. With the next thought to surely flow into my brain “you’ll never be alone again” I broke down crying. I felt my non-physical energies, angels, whatever you’d like to call them, surround me with joy, like the hardest part was finally over. Where would I go? What would I do? How would I survive? My logical mind started to run rampant with fearful thoughts surrounding money, transportation, food, and details. I had come to this place with just a few bucks, a bag of things, and no vehicle.
Banjo music echoed in the woods across the ravine. Someone had begun performing “moonlight becomes you,” in preparation for that evenings lunar eclipse celebration.
“You’re all dressed up to go dreaming, now don’t tell me I’m wrong.”
I surrendered to my uncertainties and began dancing on the steep woodsy incline.
Two years previous, I had actively begun making my passions into a livelihood while staging my exodus from my hometown in Michigan. My unconventional interests of astrology, tarot, crystals and feng shui had always been topics of intense study for the previous ten years. But I had gotten brave enough to make my interests a full time reality. I officially said goodbye to the comfort of a regular corporate paycheck, deciding to follow my heart unwaveringly. Could I survive doing what I love?
The market for my interests was in more demand than I had imagined. I had successfully managed to set up a small client base for astrology, a series of amazing events, and a regular tarot gig at a local bar. Everything I had studied about energy and transformation supported the fact that when you do what you love, the money comes. It was true. Each gig was like fireworks, leading to multiple other opportunities, almost like magic. Complete trust in my heart felt like it was working, but I was still continuing to just scrape by.
I had lived in Michigan my whole life, dealing with 29 winters of subzero temperatures and snow. As my lifestyle and interests evolved, I seemed to feel more alone… and more divergent from the environment. I was happy. I had great friends. But why did I feel so empty? Where were other people I can share these interests with? I decided to make a leap to a new area.
Realizing it would not be easy to leave with all the physical items I had put on my back over the years, I had to lighten the load before I could go anywhere easily. I would also have to transition my astrology and tarot reading business to the internet if I was to continue making an income on the road. The commitment to my heart’s decision to leave led to a series of purges with varied levels of difficulty. I found myself going through my possessions over and over, each time thinning out more. I wasn’t all the way prepared for everything I had to let go of before making my transition. I had fallen in love with some of the very chains holding me down, comfort of the status quo being the biggest chain of all. Over the course of a year I purged almost everything…I left my apartment, sold my car, donated my bookshelf and dresser. I even sold my bed. As uncomfortable as it was, I was making space…lots of it.
The magic of the universe intervened at one of my tarot events when I was introduced to the first of many helpful creatures, Pam, who took on the role of business coach/new friend. Pam restored energy in my difficult process. That summer I worked with Pam on some projects while doing some artist residencies around Michigan and transitioning my tarot and astrology business to the internet. Even though we came from completely different backgrounds and peer groups, she supported my vision. She couldn’t stop talking about her good friend, “the Kentucky version of me,” Whit, who would ultimately blow me out of my box for good.
When Whit and I met, we had chemistry right away, calling each other “crystal twins.” We talked about astrology charts and tarot cards for literally hours each day he visited. Hanging out with him, every cell in my body was doing jumping jacks. I told Whit what I was doing and how I was in the process of finding a new location. “So, what are you doing in Michigan?” he asked.
He told me of a place in the south, on a mountain where I would find like-minded creatures – where my interests, talents, and passions would be shared and embraced. According to him, I could go there to an annual gathering and have a good chance of something manifesting…new friends, new town, or at the very least a temporary stay on the land. Up to this point, I hadn’t had many solo trips in adult life, let alone journeys on the ever popular Megabus. So the prospect of hopping on a bus to somewhere unfamiliar with hundreds of unfamiliar faces was completely – petrifying. What did I have to lose? Not much anymore. I knew this opportunity was my exit door.
The few weeks before my opportunity to go south were the emptiest and most frustrating. Basically transient, I stayed someplace different each night. I continued to do my tarot events, floating in this very uncomfortable limbo land, still only doing what resonated with my heart regardless of anything – even if it meant I was eating my lunch outside with other transient creatures or not knowing exactly where I was sleeping that night. I knew I was on my way to somewhere. I just wasn’t sure where yet.
There were so many unknown variables that it came down to less than a week before my opportunity to depart. Then all the remaining details of my journey fell into place during a chance coffee meeting with a new friend – who had been to the same land about 10 years previous! I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. I made a few phone calls and bought my bus tickets that same day. After making the final commitment to the adventure, I did the rounds to hang with my best friends and spent the weekend with my mom.
I anxiously packed my bag with necessities, having no specific timeframe in mind other than “indefinite.” Then I boarded the bus. The only stop on the Megabus was in Chicago, where Whit had begun going to school. Since he was unable to attend the gathering this year, I asked him for some words of wisdom before jumping into the unknown.
“Draw me a map of the land. Give me a briefing!” I said.
While drawing many trails he said “The path will keep splitting. Just draw a tarot card each time and it will tell you what way to go.” As crazy as the tarot card idea sounded, he knew to me this was actually a legit process. At least felt like I had an ounce of prior knowledge about the place. After the briefing he took me to the bus station where I very anxiously boarded the midnight bus.
Nine hours later, I stepped out into the sunshine and southern heat. “Welcome home,” everyone said excitedly as I wheeled my things up the mountain trail. Much to my amazement, I overheard parts of astrological conversations like, “What’s your rising sign?” or “He was such a Libra.” There was even a group of guys who were to photograph a live tarot card calendar over the course of the week! I was almost speechless. Is this real?? Hundreds of people are really as into this stuff?
After days of observing, I had my breakdown to the banjo music in the ravine. I knew for absolute certainty there was no going back “home.” But I still had no idea where I was actually going or how I was going to get there. Fortunately I had begun establishing valuable connections over the course of the week. Many others were already self-employed in the healing arts or travelers themselves. Shared experiences and wisdom were everywhere. It turns out the process I was undergoing was something many of them had already done in their own way.
Interestingly, many of my favorite new friends were also from the same town… Asheville, NC, apparently sort of a hippie town where I would “fit right in.” One gentleman, who I had extensive conversations about auras with, hinted at the fact that he had brought someone to town from this gathering in the past. This felt like an obvious suggestion from the universe. I gave it a couple days to process then nervously asked him for a ride.
So after eleven days living in my tent on a mountainside, I took another leap of faith. I hopped a ride to the town of Asheville with basically no money, no vehicle, three shirts, one pair of pants, and the happiest vibrations of my whole life! The instant I arrived, I felt how “right” everything was. I knew magic was happening. Thankfully I had made enough tarot and astrology sales online while I was camping to last me a few days once I arrived. But the other Asheville people I met were so supportive that within the first week I had a place to stay and a regular tarot gig at a local bar!
Still in the first few months of being here in Asheville, the universe has continued to show me great things – unique people who share interests, magical synchronicities everywhere, and even a very special someone to call my partner! Currently I still live lightly, continuing to build my online astrology and tarot readings, while reaching out locally to establish my new client base. As I make new friendships, I still miss my old ones. But it’s getting easier and easier. Each day feels intensely new and like I was finally brought “home” at the same time.
Photograph Courtesy of: http://www.astrocentar.com.hr/tarot/