3 min read

On Wish-Granting Shops and a Winter Course

On Wish-Granting Shops and a Winter Course
Photo by Atle Mo / Unsplash

“You can take as much time as you like to create your own world.” —Xxxholic manga, by CLAMP

During my first year of my PhD in 2013, I went through a period of major depression. I did what felt like the bare minimum of work to stay in the program, and spent the rest of my time falling into a whirpool of manga and anime. Some of my choices were probably better than others—I watched a surprising number of very fun shows revolving around high school sports teams—but one that I still remember with special fondness is a manga called Xxxholic.

Authored and illustrated by the all-female CLAMP collective, Xxxholic (simply called “Holic” by English-speaking fans) concerns a bigger-on-the-inside neighborhood wish-granting shop that can only be seen and entered by those who have wishes. Wish-granting is no trivial matter, however. Yuuko, the shop’s owner, takes payment in exact measures, whatever is required for the size and weight of the wish. If the payment doesn’t match the wish exactly, the laws of the universe extract the payment in some other (often uncomfortable, sometimes grisly) way. Due to all the varieties of payments Yuuko receives, this means that the shop is also filled with wondrous things, each with their own secret history and meaning.

I remember coming up with the tagline on my website—writing, mysticism, and other speculative witcheries—and thinking of this same wish-granting shop. I’m no Yuuko, and my prices aren’t life-or-death, but I do support people in the lifelong work that is meeting their longing. And maybe I do like to think of myself as running a little shop of curiosities, specializing in the enchanting and unexpected!

If you’re looking for something small yet meaningful that will support you on your own longing journey this winter, registration for Alchemize Longing is open through 9pm EST tomorrow (Friday). The course is self-paced and opens to learners on Sunday the fifth, which is the first of the month of Tevet.

What this course is:

  • A small and gentle container within which you are encouraged to dream big. The course consists of three 15 minute audio recordings on grounding in the season, tarot correspondences, and the magic of wintry depths and speculative possibility, along with a little book of prompts.

What this course is not:

  • A month-long writing intensive or workshop. Maybe I’ll teach one of those one day, but today is not that day!
  • A container in which you will be supported to come up with a master plan to become your best creative self. While this course has some suggestions along those lines, it’s also much smaller-scale than that.

Attending to your longing is a lifelong process, but as Holic taught me, so is building a world. You can take as much time as you need. If it'd be supportive for you to take a step forward with my course, I'd love to have you.

An image from Xxxholic of a young man—Watanuki—sitting and smoking a pipe, his back turned towards the viewer