I was five-years-old when we moved to Australia from way across the grand Pacific ocean.
A funny looking kid - gappy toothed and curly haired - of Basque, Spanish, Native American, Italian, and Anglo-Celtic descent - I didn't speak a word of English when I started primary school just a few weeks after my arrival. Nor was there an English language program to assist me, and as far as I knew, I was the only migrant kid in my class. What I did have was a strong ability for visual learning. I was artistic and loved painting and drawing. Back in Chile I had even represented my region in Art competitions as a 4-year-old. So I relied a lot - as I still do as fluent as I am all these years later - on visual cues. Most powerful were the symbols I would see everywhere, everyday - in the backyard, inside shopping centres, on TV, and in my Catholic school church, my lunch time haven as an overwhelmed, confused, and lonely kid, unable to communicate with the people around me.
In this Church I would find comfort in the icons - images of Jesus, Mary and the saints, surrounded by lilies, stars, serpents, and bleeding hearts - images I was familiar with at my grandma's Perth home. One particular framed picture she had, was of Saint Gemma, the saint she would light a candle for and prayed to for help with miracles - whether to do with health, money, or family turmoil. And indeed it was said that my mother's eye tumour as an infant had been "cured" by one such miracle, much to the amazement of doctors and surgeons. She also believed in the power of colour to heal, in medicinal plants, the language of flowers, planting by the moon, fortune tellers, wearing a red ribbon pinned to her underwear for protection, cleansing ceremonies, the unwelcome call of the owl, and other old world/new world 'superstitions'. My grandmother's mother, Julia, was known to see and foretell the future, and had been called a witch. Meanwhile, my grandfather's family were predominantly Spiritualists and believed in communicating with the spirits. Like many other kids I was taught to make wishes when blowing dandelion balls, when I saw a shooting star, or a ladybird. I wore ladybird hair clips and pendants and loved the idea of one day receiving minature roses, which my grandmother called 'Besitos', or 'kisses'.
This belief in the mystic and magical, wish making and miracles were all closely tied to a belief in the power of positive imagery - as both symbols and colour. They were seen as visual aids that communicated ideas of good fortune and evoked emotions of love and happiness.
A few years later when I was 8 years old I discovered fortune telling cards, filled with stars, hearts, lilies, suns, and birds - symbols I already knew the meanings to. I would find comfort in seeing the heart and dog cards, knowing they were signs of love and friendship and reminders of the beauty that existed in the world, and despite my loneliness and the shit at home, the potential for better days ahead.
Today, I am old enough to know miracles are real, that manifestation does happen, and that surrounding yourself with visual aids, and symbols of what you want, facilitates this magical process. This is where my wooden charms and lucky stationery come into the picture. I want to help you create the right environment and mind set for you to create, and draw in, the good things you want and deserve.