Witchboy Christopher Stratton and fortune cards.
This story appeared in the Black Lagoon Volume 1.
Hello Christopher, thanks for giving me your time! How are you, what’s your current vibe?
I’m fine thanks. My current and permanent vibe is ‘the only male student at a boarding school for witches in the English countryside circa 1984, who is going to solve a mystery.’
Tell me all about you - where have you come from, and what have you been up to lately?
Where have I come from? I’m from Mosgiel originally if that’s what you mean, my phone autocorrected ‘originally’ to ‘ironically’ and I think that sort of sums it up anyway, so let’s say I’ve come from Mosgiel, ironically. I’ve been an Aucklander since 2008. Where am I coming from right now? I’m currently sitting on the floor of a studio where we are recording a sketch for Jono and Ben, where I’m working for a few weeks and have costumed tonight’s sketch in as much faux Versace as possible. What I’ve been up to lately is working in television, I do art direction and occasional styling as well as TV production work to keep the rent paid.
You’ve recently started a new business venture.
Wanna tell me about it?
I reckon I can give it a nudge. I’ve made my own deck of ‘fortune’ cards. These are images that I’ve drawn and created word associations with for people to sit down and do a lil reading for themselves.
How did this idea come about?
I’m into the tarot and was recently introduced to The Lenormand Cards by my friend Hello Tanya (shout out Tanya). I think cards and fortune readings are very interesting ways to create a conversation with yourself about your goals, or how you feel about past events and maybe reconciling your perspective on life with what is happening and finding a way forward or working out what you actually want or something. I often sit down with my tarot deck when I feel I need to take a breather and consider what I’m doing, who I am and where I am. It’s so much easier to do this with prompts from cards, and can bring you some sweet surprises. So this idea is about creating a deck that feels vibey but without traditional associations with magic et cetera, so that people who might be a lil spooked by that can access it.
Do you ever feel like you’re messing with the original tarot?
Nah bro these are chill, I decided I’d rather do my own cards from the ground up than draw my own tarot, I thought it would mess less like that.
I know you’re a witch cos we’re in the same coven (lol). When did you start delving into witchcraft?
When did I first watch Hocus-Pocus? Nah I’ve had a lifelong affinity with witchiness but it’s in the last few years considering things like tarot or how the objects and space you inhabit can affect your ability to function and your spirit/soul or whatever, that I’ve become conscious of creating a kind of magical environment around myself - which really just constitutes unapologetically and unashamedly surrounding myself with things and people that make me feel good and nice and comforted.
When I say I am a witch, people lol hard out and ask what spells we do / do we have broomsticks and black cats etc etc. You know, basic stuff. Want to divulge a little on what we do?
It’s just goal setting and talking about how you are feeling but with ritual and mates to help remember that we are alive and that’s such an abstract concept to acknowledge that maybe we can be a bit sort of celestial with each other and consider ourselves as more than just these meaty, boney things lumping around the place - there is a soul or spirit articulating those old bones and we just kinda talk about how that thing is doing and feeling? What do you reckon?
Tell me a bit about the people that have helped pave the way to your style today.
I don’t dress like them at all but Alexander McQueen Daphne Guinness and Isabella Blow are my church because they are/where these contemporary and visionary artists with clean-cut to the point but still baroque, romantic, tragic melodramatic, sensibilities that I identify with. And 1992 Versace and Versace in general. Witches. David Shrigley and Keith Haring are cool at drawing and art. Princess Diana is v obvs an influence. Stevie Nicks in terms of wearing your heart outside your body and being open and vulnerable. I like appropriating aspects of fuccboi culture into my clothing style and my general approach to daily life.
Tell me about something or a piece of work you’re really proud of.
The show I did with you lil geezer: ‘Little Child of Miracle.’ It was my first time on stage in ten years and it was scary but I made a show with my friends who bought into the vague weird world I had in my head and jammed it up with me.
Obviously there’s always going to be money struggles (#artist), but what other obstacles have you faced on the journey of making these fortune cards?
Culling ideas - the deck almost went in a different way with more abstract concepts as images like ‘the unfinished’ or ‘the dream’ and it got to a point where it was either one way or the other, the abstract bullshit cuter ones, drawing pictures and figuring out where they came from or marrying images with concepts that might help people think?
Have you got future plans for this witchcraft/tarot biz?
Heaps oi. I’m hoping to expand in a bunch of different ways with my new business ‘altar’ which is just about surrounding yourself with vibey things and not cookie cutter crummy stuff.
Tell me where we can buy these - will they be at a shop or online?
Online and hopefully in stores tbc, fml.
And finally, do you have any advice for young witches?
Drink light and scream at the moon. Listen to Stevie Nicks. Read Yoko Ono. Invest in a good veil. Interrogate yourself constantly - if you like or dislike something figure out why. Ideas don’t cost money, but they can be lost - write them down. Someday you’ll find a way to realise them.
© 2017 by Ruby Reihana-Wilson
This story appeared in the Black Lagoon Volume 1.