The life of a gypsy

Woman tak­ing her medi­umship and heal­ing prac­tice on the road in the Gypsy Car­a­van

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SECTION - BY MILLICENT MCKAY millicent.mckay@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com

When Sue Wood­worth was 13, she ran away to the cir­cus.

The lights, sounds, laugh­ter and smells were ex­actly what she was look­ing for.

How­ever, the day spent in the dunk tank was enough for her to re­al­ize that kind of `life­style wasn’t for her.

Now, decades later, she still says she has the gypsy soul that she felt that day.

“In my past life I must have been a gypsy. It would ex­plain so much about the way I am,” said Wood­worth, a healer and light worker of 25 years.

Ten years ago, she left her job as a com­mer­cial de­signer to fo­cus more on spiritualism and what she calls her “gifts”.

“Even at a young age I was able to con­nect with spir­its. I am a medium. In more re­cent years those feel­ings have be­come stronger and stronger. It seems to be the thing I en­joy most be­cause it makes peo­ple so hope­ful.”

Wood­worth works as a Reiki master. Reiki en­ergy heal­ing is a tech­nique for stress re­duc­tion and re­lax­ation. She also reads tea leaves and palms.

But even with these skills and past job ex­pe­ri­ence, Wood­worth wanted more.

“Six months ago I thought about trav­el­ling with my work by` mak­ing a gypsy vardo out of a vin­tage camper.”

A tra­di­tional vardo, or liv­ing wagon, was a horse-drawn car­a­van used by gyp­sies as their home. They had a chim­ney and a wood stove. They were highly dec­o­rated, in­tri­cately de­signed and painted with bright colours. Some were even gilded. Var­dos were com­monly used by the Ro­mani gyp­sies, who were mainly no­madic.

“There are two main kinds of gyp­sies, Ro­mani and Roma,” said Wood­worth.

“The Ro­mani were the trav­ellers. They kind of have a bad rep­u­ta­tion some­times, seen as the cheats and trick­sters, where the Roma set­tled in ar­eas and be­came mer­chants and trades­man.”

So Wood­worth put an ad on Ki­jiji for a vin­tage camper. Fi­nally she found one on the Is­land.

It wasn’t the ex­act vi­sion, but it worked well, she said.

“There’s quite a bit still to do. It’s a 13-foot camper, so it won’t take up a lot of space, which is re­ally great since I want to be able to pull it along with my Jeep.”

So far the out­side of the camper has been painted red and the in­side re­paired. Sparkly scarves fill a cur­tain rod. Some walls are painted in a soft green while oth­ers in a bright turquoise. Trin­kets, moons and other sym­bols hand from hooks and are set up on the counter.

It’s a cozy feel, and the lacy doilies and place mats add to the am­biance.

“What will re­ally make the trailer will be the dé­cor work my friend, Car­rie-Anne, will do. It will be her first not liv­ing can­vas, which is cool.

“I’ve also got sets of in­cred­i­ble pil­lows com­ing. I was able to find vin­tage gypsy vel­vet, which is what they will be made out of. It’s all very ex­cit­ing.”

Wood­worth is plan­ning to take her vardo to com­mu­nity events and to groups where peo­ple can sign up for a card read­ing or medi­umship ses­sion. There will also be photo op­por­tu­ni­ties where kids and other can dress up in tra­di­tional gypsy garb.

“It will be a great op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple and chil­dren to get a look at what I do, but also get an idea of gypsy im­agery.”

MILLICENT MCKAY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Sue Wood­worth sits in her gypsy vardo. Wood­worth, a medium and en­ergy healer, got the idea to build a gen­uine gypsy car­a­van in a way to travel with her work to com­mu­nity events.

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