Author: Julia Walker

My longest lasting and most fulfilling relationships aren’t romantic but they are partnerships.

Co-collaborators hold many positions in each others lives, everything from dream analyzing to spell sharing to healing to basic encouragement to bartering our belongings around the world to each other.

Among them is Diya Soma, another RG contributor, and my sister. We don’t share a relative as far as I am aware but I knew her already when we met a couple years ago and if I were to call someone a rock, it would be her. A sweet note inside a book on my wishlist about conjure craft showed up most recently. Great gift in itself, but we work full time for free because I asked her to help me start the nonprofit World on My Shoulders, so the fact that she is doing anything else for me, much less sending me gifts is a reflection of her beauty more than anything else.

As a very single mother, we wouldn’t be thriving as a family without my parents and friends.

All of them asked to be paid back in the form of my success and each day, I try to do something that makes the people I depend on proud. The above mentioned, my ancestors and Erzulie Dantor accept my happiness as gift.

My activism was for others before, making it shallow regardless of the number of tasks accomplished by teams I was a member of; I wanted equity for others because they deserve it and their pain was unnecessary. At this point, it is for ALL of us, myself included finally, because it can be processed as fact that I am important. No more or less than anyone else, but as a human, I am capable of being or destroying someone’s whole world making my matter matter to others, even if not to myself.

The unpacking that led me to realizing that I AM a gift started with total rejection of the idea before buckets full of tears, a phase of notecards telling myself that I do in fact matter and now has settled at a place where I value the inherent worth of humans in a way that I never could before.

Being human hurts, and disassociation is a tactic that many, including myself, use to deal with that. Working on finding what triggers my states of depersonalization and derealization opened me up to accepting what I had been suppressing (empath skills and dream sight primarily) in order to survive day to day. Another issue that I didn’t know was an issue is my face. Accused since elementary of looking ‘mean’, most times no one bothers to look into my eyes enough to see if they glisten or not. The assumptions that I am made of stone have led to me living as an act of spite.

At times, I had absolutely no one. That emptiness is something that cannot be explained.

Wandering the streets knowing that no one will know if you are dead wasn’t freeing for me. I wasn’t excited to be unhoused for any reasons other than the people that I’ve met along the way; all my dead friends know that I kept a smile on my face to put one on theirs and that to me, is the purest joy. It hurts to have so many dead friends, but morbid positivity allows me to feel good knowing that inside I hold exclusive moments and those moments were pure love.

Last time I discussed my altar but left out the details of one of the walls. That wall is for the crusties that didn’t make it. The ones who prioritized kindness over showers, love over appearances and lived for me like I lived for them until they couldn’t keep going any longer. We were heathens – godless, stinky and inebriated – and when you are that, you see who cares about humanity. Because to many, we weren’t people, just public burdens, taking up sidewalk space, and laughing too loudly to be in such depressing lives.

Intersections like mine are rare enough that facilitating contact amongst groups that do not know they have the same goals has become a responsibility of mine. Doing that puts me in some sticky conversations so daily I wear amethyst and have started offering a spritz of my protection spray to anyone who compliments me.


J’s protection spray:

2 parts Violet
2 parts Hibiscus flowers

1 part Chamomile

1 part Spearmint

.5 part Cinnamon

.25 part Bay leaf

1 part Florida water, 1 part musky essential oil (sandalwood is my favorite) and 3 parts rose water, soak together for a couple day, strain the herbs out and there’s the spray!

I also let the strained part dry back out all the way then grind it finer and use it on the altar as potpourri

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