Adventure, Adventure Prep, Bicycling, Fellowship of the Wheel, Mexico

Update on the Fellowship of the Wheel

Funding update for Andre's trip across Mexico

Adventuring means traveling freely. But it does not mean traveling for free.

That’s why I created the Fellowship of the Wheel crowdfunding campaign, which is currently live on Indiegogo. This campaign is designed to support the Fellowship’s ride across Mexico, my first major group ride. I announced the campaign a week ago and it’s time for an update on progress.

First let me say how impressed I am with the group of adventurers planning on crossing Mexico with me. We have about 14 people interested in going, which is more than I ever could have hoped for. Some want to go for the whole thing, others only for a leg. But it’s not the sheer number of people that amazes me, it’s the mix that we have.

Our group includes both men and women, skewed a bit toward the male side of the spectrum. There are people of all ages, from 20’s to 60’s. And their experience level varies widely, from people trying a long bicycle ride for the first time to experienced touring cyclists/bicycle mechanics. Basically, it’s everything I could have asked for.

One man, in his early 60’s, emailed me just today to ask if he could come along. “I haven’t toured long/overnight on bicycle,” he wrote. “I am a beginner. I ride everyday in Vermont and I find the hills difficult.” Even so, he wants to cross 2,000 miles of uncertain terrain.

This is exactly why I launched the Fellowship in the first place. To me, an adventure is an undertaking so big that at first you don’t have the skills you need to complete it. You have to improve yourself along the way. I have no doubt that all of us who attempt this ride will rise to the occasion.

Right now, we have raised only 25% of the funds we need. This money will help us afford safety equipment and resources. I’m asking all of you reading this to please click this link and consider donating. And whether you donate or not, please share the link as widely as you can.

All support is appreciated. You are making dreams come true.

Adventure Prep, Fellowship of the Wheel

What Do You Think of These Rewards?

Yesterday I asked for help choosing rewards for a Fellowship of the Wheel crowdfunding campaign. The funds we raise will help defray group expenses, like a support vehicle that will help us stay safe in the riskiest leg of the adventure.

After a lot of thought and many good suggestions, I have a draft list of rewards. What do you think?

$1 – Moving Thank You

Your name is inscribed in a booklet and carried across Mexico, traveling with me on my bike! I will say “thank you” over it every day. (Okay, I might forget some days, but it will definitely be a lot of thank yous.) It’s almost like you make the whole journey with us, but with less sweat.

$15 – Behind the Scenes

You get the Moving Thank You PLUS you receive exclusive access to a weekly video log, posted at every rest stop (10 videos total). You will see firsthand our triumphs and challenges every step of the way.

$25 – Story Collection

The Moving Thank You and Behind the Scenes PLUS you receive advanced supporters-only digital copies of four short stories written during the journey, inspired by the places we visit and the people we meet. These stories will bear my signature “magical realism” style and tell the tales of the secret places of Mexico.

$35 – Post Card

What is better than a handwritten postcard from a wanderer in a faraway land? You get the Moving Thank You AND I will send you one post card from Mexico, in my own sloppy but adorable handwriting.

$50 – Take Me With You!

You get EVERYTHING ABOVE! One post card, all the stories, all the video logs, and we carry your name across a nation. Stop stalking us!!

$50 – Blessings to the Wind

Moving Thank You PLUS name the person or cause you want blessed. I will perform two offerings for you: one to the sky gods at the famous pyramid of Chichén Itzá, and one to the chthonic gods at the underground river (cenote) beneath Valladolid. I reserve veto power so don’t ask me to pray for Hitler!

$75 – Moar Adventure

You just can’t get enough, can you? You get EVERYTHING above, the post card, the stories, the videos, your name carried 2000 miles, AND I make offerings for the cause of your choice at two of the spiritual wonders of the world. Are you satisfied yet??

$100 – Pen Pal

You get MOAR ADVENTURE and I will send you a full handwritten letter in addition to the postcard. I don’t write chit-chat, it will be good. It will be at least one page long and likely several, as I write until my poor millennial hand cramps up.

$150 – Autographed, Inscribed Adventuring Shirt

This is THE t-shirt I wore every day while I cycled all 1,800 miles of the Mississippi River, from the source to the Gulf. It’s an irreplaceable World Domination Summit shirt from the first ever WDS. At that conference I told the camera I was going to live my dream by bicycling the Mississippi River, then I put on that shirt and did it. This shirt is faded, stained, worn down and was with me every minute.

I have hand inscribed the shirt with an adventure quote in gold ink, and will autograph it for you. It will arrive framed and ready to hang (or wear). Plus, you get everything in Moar Adventure.

Me setting off in the t-shirt in question. Photo by my mom!

Me setting off in the t-shirt in question. Photo by my mom!

$150 – Autographed, Inscribed Adventuring Shirt (Texas Edition)

After I did the Mississippi, I turned west toward Texas and the Mexico border. This time my cycling shirt was a custom-made Rogue Priest baseball tee, with long sleeves to protect from the sun. You will be the proud owner of THAT SHIRT! The night that I crossed a train bridge and had to race a speeding train, I wrote this shirt. You can still smell the fear maybe.

This will arrived hand inscribed with a different adventure quote in gold ink, autographed for you, and framed for display (or ready to wear). Plus everything in Moar Adventure!

$200 – Digital BFF

You get everything in Moar Adventure PLUS I will video call you from the road. This is not a quick hello call, this is a one hour video call (or two half hours, your preference) from the road on the ride across Mexico (I mean, I will be sitting down, not actually ON the bike… you get the idea). We can talk about anything you want or I can just tell you the latest crazy misadventures. What is it like talking to someone in the field on a real adventure? This is your chance to find out!

$250 – Vodou

Did you know we practice Vodou in New Orleans? You get everything in Moar Adventure PLUS I will send you a hand painted, ritually blessed piece of Vodou (voodoo) artwork. I paint veve’s, which are ritual symbols used to invoke the spirits of Vodou. You will receive one 10 x 13″ veve on handmade paper loaded with good juju. You can pick the spirit or I can let the spirits choose. I will prep this veve for “activation” to bring the spirit into your life, or just leave it as a nice piece of art. Your call!

$500 – Masterpiece Vodou

Everything in Moar Adventure PLUS one full size Vodou veve painting on canvas. This will be a layered, splattered, energetic piece of artwork in bright Creole colors. You can choose the spirit or I will ask them for you, and I can ritually prep it for “activation” if you want to bring the spirit into your life. Would fit perfectly over a home shrine or just use it as a one of a kind piece of artwork, painted by a real New Orleans Vodou initiate (that’s me).

$1000 – Personal Adventure

Wanna have an adventure, but don’t want to bicycle across Latin America? Come to the most Latin city in the US and let me be your guide. You get everything in Moar Adventure, plus I will be your personal tour guide for a full day and evening of exploring New Orleans. We can bike it, walk it, streetcar it or drive it… and I will tailor the adventure to your tastes. I can show you a hidden boardwalk through a silent bayou where I guarantee you’ll see alligators. Or we can explore beautiful bars, great restaurants and unforgettable music. We can even coordinate it so you can attend a real Vodou ceremony at a local temple.

You pay your own travel costs, and I will make sure you see a side of New Orleans most visitors never see.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think of these rewards. In particular I wonder two things: which of these rewards do you like the most? And do the dollar amounts seem right for them?

Your comments will help me make the strongest list of rewards possible, so I hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts. What do you think?

Magic to the People

Creating Magic

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Time is running out. Tomorrow—Friday, at the end of the night—the funding campaign for Magic to the People closes. Whatever we’ve raised by that time is all we have to launch it and start helping people.

And we’re precipitously close to our $2,000 stretch goal. Can you help us meet it?

Magic to the People has now been featured on Huffington Post and a dozen other websites. It has people excited, even people who have never had a spell cast. And it has sparked discussions about ethics both inside and outside of the magical community.

In short, it’s already doing the work we want it to do: change the way we think about magic, and use magic as a tool to change lives, with no barrier to entry.

This is your chance to help make it a lasting phenomenon. Please head over to the Magic to the People campaign and throw in your contribution. Please share our campaign with the world so more people see it. Let’s start changing lives.

Magic to the People, New Orleans

What if Everyone Had a Magician?

New Orleans - November 027 Cropped for Indiegogo

What if everyone had a magician in their neighborhood?

What if they could walk down the street, slip through the gate and chat in his courtyard?

Maybe he has some coffee ready and he listens to your problem as he pulls out the ingredients for your ceremony. A minute ago you were full of anxiety. But by the time you leave you have a clear sense of what you need to do. You can feel the energy coming from your charm. You feel at peace again.

Most importantly—what if you could stop by no matter who you are, no matter what your problem might be, and even if you can’t pay?

That’s Magic to the People.

I’m working to make this a reality in New Orleans, Louisiana and I need your help. If Magic to the People succeeds, it could be the first of many spaces like this.

We’re raising funds for the project on Indiegogo. Please take a look and show your support with a contribution or by getting the word out.

Magic to the People

Please tell everyone you know.

Magic to the People

Magic to the People

A hand painted veve.

A hand painted veve.

Soon we begin the funding drive for Magic to the People.

(Formerly I called this the Salon of Magic. I believe the new name better reflects exactly what the project is all about: making spells accessible.)

Magic is about changing what’s possible. Magic ceremony is an art form with powerful effects on human lives. It allows us to change what we dream, and to make those dreams reality.

Our shrine is dedicated to offering that experience to all people, regardless of their circumstance or finances. It is Magic to the People.

(If you have questions, check out the Magic to the People Q+A).

We want to properly reward everyone who helps get Magic to the People off the ground. In a crowdfunding campaign it’s customary to offer perks for different levels of contributions, and that’s something I’m excited to do. The only trouble: deciding the perks.

Here are ideas for the kinds of gifts we can offer people who back us. I’d love your feedback on all of them—do they excite you? Which ones don’t? What are the right dollar amounts? And do you have other ideas?

A Handful of Fate: the $10 Level

Next to the shrine is a candy dish full of pennies and nickels. They answer questions.

Geomancy is my weapon of choice. When you donate $10 you get to ask a question. Once the funding campaign succeeds, I will do a reading for each question. I make offerings and drop four handfuls of coins on the ground, forming one of the 16 traditional geomancy figures and answering questions with a high degree of precision.

I have to make sure the $10 level is tantalizing, because it’s the most accessible. I’d love your thoughts on it.

Level 2: Blessing Jar

When we open the doors at Magic to the People, offerings will be placed in a consecrated jar. Your name will be written on a card and lovingly placed into the jar. Optionally, a specific purpose or wish can be written on the card.

The jar will then be sealed and installed on the shrine. Every time offerings are made there for any reason, the jar will receive some of the blessings. It will continuously bathe in the good energy of the work done there.

People who give at this level also get the Handful of Fate. What’s the right dollar amount for this reward? $25? Lower?

A spell card.

Level 3: Your Own Spell Card

I hand paint sigils using a mixture of magic potions and paint. Sometimes I draw the sigils with oil pastels and powders instead. Then I enchant the card. The result is a small, pocket or purse sized spell card made just for you.

If you give at this level you can choose one of three spells (success, love or peace) and I will enchant your card. You can carry it on you or give it to someone you love.

These cards normally sell for $38, so I wonder what the right dollar level is for giving one as a reward?

Higher Levels

I’m having the most trouble choosing what to offer high level supporters. It would be nice to have rewards in the $50 and $100 range and maybe something really special for big spenders ($500+?). Here are some of the ideas.

  • Veves. Vodou has become a major part of my practice, and a hand-painted veve (shown at the top of the post) would make a great thank-you gift. Activated with offerings, of course.
  • Invitation to opening ceremony. This would only appeal to locals, but it would be nice to have an opening ceremony to consecrate the shrine. We could all make offerings together and then sit around for wine and snacks by the light of the altar. 
  • Private Session. It would make sense to offer some kind of private one-on-one session, but how would that work? What would be a valuable focus for the session?
  • Calling a Familiar. For very high level donors, I was thinking of offering a multi-session package to find a familiar spirit for them and help them bond to it.

All of this is still flexible. Every idea I listed is something I’m comfortable with (and I’m still open to others)—the trick is to choose ones that people will really like, and price them accordingly. That’s why I’m asking all of you to help me out.

Please, take a moment to hit “Leave a Reply” below. Tell me your thoughts and suggestions. It will help make Magic to the People successful.

It’s almost time to kick off our one-month fundraiser on Indiegogo!