adventure kit

Oak-corns & Apple-thorns

October, 2012

Yes, It’s an Adventure Kit











About two weeks ago I entered into a “who am I” phase, a kind of a mini existential crisis, from which sprang some rather profound realizations.  And what got me moving in the right direction was my “adventure kit.”

Yes, my adventure kit.  I know how ridiculous that sounds and I know what you’re thinking.  No, I don’t sit around and fantasize about being Bilbo Baggins, Indiana Jones, or Aleister Crowley.  I’m not even a paid worker like my friend Brother Ash.  If anybody needs an adventure kit it sure isn’t me.  All I can tell you is that, at some point while I was cleaning out my childhood home for rental back in March of this year, I put my hand on the old suitcase I used to take on vacation when I was a kid.  Mom was moving into an assisted living facility and everything had to go.  I didn’t want to throw the suitcase away, but it was in rough shape and I didn’t need the clutter at my place.  “What could I do with this thing?” I wondered.  The next thing I knew I was cleaning, refurbishing and customizing it into what you see in the picture below.What started as an art project I began to take seriously.  As I pared down the contents to include only the bare essentials needed to face whatever life throws at me, the project became an act of self-expression.  My adventure kit is more self-portrait than anything else.  Which is why, when I had my “who am I?” moment a couple of weeks ago, just opening the case and perusing its contents put me on the right track.

If you look at the photo you’ll see reflected there my love for the occult, witchcraft, and the martial arts (truth be told, my affair with the craft of fighting is as old as my interest in the craft of the wise).  Clockwise from upper left:  my Black Book, the Tarot deck I bought with my allowance in the mid-seventies (the only deck I’ve ever used), my insurance policies (my brass knuckles and the butterfly Dad left me when he passed), a Shinto protection charm I picked up at a temple in Japan, a compass, a New Testament my mother gave me, my bag of scrying “bones,” a moleskin for note-taking, a tobacco tin stuffed with of several types of incense, and a cigar box full of miscellaneous items (candles and a candle holder, red thread, needle, cord, salt, matches, a phial High Oil, a pen, etc.).  Not pictured is my working knife, which stays on the altar when not on my hip.

When I  showcase my writing at Richmond Zinefest on October 6th this case will be proudly displayed.  You see, that’s what came out of my “who am I?” moment.  After years of keeping my spiritual writing endeavors separate from my secular ones I’ve decided to stop lying to myself and everyone else.  Everything will be on my table — my martial arts manual, my ‘zines, my fiction, my witchcraft kit, all of it.  Looking at the case and its contents two weeks ago, I saw that it was pretty cool.  And, by extension, so am I.  I decided that my light could not shine if hidden under a bushel.

Making a kit like this is a great exercise.  Start with a suitcase from your attic or a thrift store and then avail yourself of the numerous how-to articles on the web to guide you through the nuts-and-bolts aspects of the physical process.  Most importantly however, take the endeavor seriously.  Don’t include wooden stakes, silver bullets, or ghost containment units.  If you’re sincere and genuine, when you’re done you’ll have a unique piece of art, a touchstone and a talisman, to aid you in the real adventures of life that await you.