GYPSIES & ORACLES IN VENICE
by Laura Shepard Townsend
One morning, I awoke, my mind swirling, still enmeshed within an extensive dream. As I do not remember many of my dreams, I immediately began writing it down so as not to lose any of it to reality and its weight. And as I wrote, my story about gypsies and an oracle in Venice, California emerged. I knew my psyche had delivered something essential to me, and even more so, perhaps to the world.
Up to this time, screenplays had been my chosen writing form, with their drama and conflicts. However, my intuition told me that this story was a book, or rather a series of books. For more than a decade, the phrase, Destiny’s Consent had reverberated in my subconscious; I now had the story to illuminate the phrase! I knew I did not know the first thing about how to write a book, and enrolled immediately in UCLA. Here is where the miracles to support my adventure began, both financial and inspirational — they were plentiful and dramatic enough to capture my attention and fire my imagination.
People often say that when we are doing what it is that we are meant to do, that the universe supports us with abundance, that we are guided this way and that. From my multitude of experiences with the writing of Destiny’s Consent, this is absolutely true.
Here is just one: my dream involved gypsies, or the Rom. When I began my research on gypsies, all of the texts discussed their uncleanliness, their thievery, their chauvinism. Well, I can dismiss the other characteristics, but not chauvinism since women have fought so valiantly for their progress in this country; I seriously considered abandoning what I had dreamed. But since I wished to be true to my psyche, I continued to search for answers, holding the question out to the universe. It was difficult to find information on the Rom, for they are a group with secrets, regarding everyone other than themselves to the gadje, the ‘others’.
One day, I traveled to the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, to find a Tarot deck for my research. As I gazed at the colorful card decks, a small voice inside of me wondered if there might be a book on the Rom that would unlock their secrets. I asked at the desk, and was led to the perfect to understand the Rom. It was written by an ‘outsider’, a man who had come to know the Rom, and who loved them. He was privy to their secrets only because he had run away with the ‘gypsies’ but as a young boy, and was allowed access to a klan.
With this new information, I was launched onto my new path to write Destiny’s Consent by ‘destiny’s consent’.