Feeling A Home in New Orleans
Since 2017, I’ve heard a call to New Orleans.
This call has occurred in a series of spiritual visions and feelings. Sitting on the front porch of a home in the comforting hug of summer heat. Walking to the river and listening to the still of the water. A kitchen filled with the smells of cured meat and spices. Long afternoons of writing and tending to altars with the sun pouring in the windows.
It was my last vision that developed the dream of living in New Orleans – a place to write, a place to house the Orisha for worship, a place to do the healing work that I am now discovering is not only my gift but my purpose. As I have stepped into myself fully as a tarot reader and spiritual healer, the call to NOLA has become stronger. I’ve started to envision a life where time slows from the quick, fast pace of New York to a soft, southern stillness where I can calm enough to continue to heal through my art and my spiritual connections to the universe.
The funny thing about dreaming of New Orleans is that up until three weeks ago, I had never been there before. I had merely heard stories about NOLA magic – the music, the food, the art and the culture. But as I began to speak New Orleans into existence in my life, the call grew. I began to meet practitioners and artists from NOLA and during my readings, I came to discover that a few of my clients had recently moved to New York from NOLA.
That is how I found my new home. I was in a reading with a client when she informed me that she had just moved to Brooklyn from NOLA. It was no surprise that when she pulled out her journal to take notes on her reading, it was designed by the same New Orleans artist that created what has become my “NOLA Dream Journal.” My client told me that the home that she left behind was inhabited by two practitioners of color who were looking for someone to take over the lease in the summer.
On my two day trip to NOLA, I visited the home. The moment I entered, I knew it would soon be my own. It wasn’t just because the rent was actually affordable in comparison to my Brooklyn bedroom or that I would for the first time have my own backyard or that every room has a place for an altar. It was a sudden feeling of contentment, peace, solace and solution that rushed over me. It was the feeling of home.
I’ve been repeating a quote over and over in my head since I have started my new journey in finding home:
The moment I entered the house, I felt that feeling. I have been longing for the feeling of safety and calm ever since I left my marriage and I saw the opportunity for my vision to come to light as I walked through each room in the house.
After exploring the city – walking down Decatur Street from occult shop to crystal store, resting my feet on the green in Jackson Square, sitting by the Mississippi River watching the steamboats row by, eating beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde and some of the best collared greens I’ve ever tasted at Praline Connection, listening to a brass band at the corner of Frenchman Street – I knew that New Orleans is exactly where I need to be.
My vision is more clearer to me now then ever and I am now ready to turn that dream into a reality.
My plan is to move into my home in July. I want to continue to build Black Unicorn Tarot – reading for Queer and Trans People of Color, offer my services at events that directly benefit the community and create spiritual tools for my clients such as candles, crystal kits and journals. I have dreams of expanding my business to house other practitioners of color, create publications, events and eventually annual conferences.
I also intend to finish my book “The Liberation of the Black Unicorn” – a novel I have had to put on hold as a result of the hustle and bustle of New York City survival. I believe that this narrative a Black Queer woman’s journey through addiction, mental illness, breakdown and recovery needs to be told for all those who have been silenced and who still live in fear of speaking.
I believe that NOLA will be the mother’s hands that holds and lifts those destinies into light.
Getting There & How You Can Help
Starting a business and freelancing full time makes moving to NOLA challenging financially. One of the primary reasons I am moving is to cut down on my cost of living so I can continue to expand Black Unicorn Tarot and write for LGBTQ publications. With less expenses, I will also be able to move more freely throughout the country to teach my Sex Magic workshops as well as other workshops I intend to develop in the near future.
In order to afford my move, I started a GoFundMe Campaign – Help A Black Unicorn Get to NOLA asking the community to contribute funds. These contributions will help me with the following:
- Shipping my personal belongings from Brooklyn, NY to New Orleans, LA
- A one way flight to New Orleans, LA (including the cost of my cat, Sarge)
- Any other additional expenses incurred during my final two weeks in NYC
I’m asking the community to contribute what they can so that I continue to offer my healing tools to the folks who need it most.
Please consider donating to my campaign and feel free to share this blog post along with my GoFundMe link to your communities of support.
In addition to GoFundMe, here are two other ways you can help:
1) Donate directly to my vemmo at @Ashley-Young-64 or through PayPal at email@example.com
2) Book a tarot reading with me at firstname.lastname@example.org – $30 for 15min, $60 for a half hour, $80 for an hour in person, by phone or video chat
I am so grateful for the donations that I have already received from the community. Your belief in not only my dream home but the future of my healing work means more to me that I can often time express. Thank you all for reading this post, spreading it widely, donating and offering both emotional and spiritual support on my journey.
Thank for helping this Black Unicorn acquire the feeling of home.
Click here to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/help-get-a-black-unicorn-to-nola