Midnight Medicine Journey is a radio show hosted by Jaguar Mary X, a Kingston-based artist, which brings together curated music, science fiction, topics of transformative justice and spirituality during the tri-weekly radio show on Radio Kingston.
“I think other people are also finding its spirituality to have some value and everyone’s going to rework the information, and the connections I’m making musically,” said Mary X, who would like to be referred to as JMX.
Growing up, JMX was raised as a Methodist and then became a Buddhist at 11 years old.
“My two very best friends in the neighborhood couldn’t interact with me anymore. Their mothers had told them because me and my family were Buddhists, that they weren’t allowed to be in the same space with me,” JMX said. “So then I learned some of the effects of religiosity really young… I was sheltering in place and going into deeper meditative modes because I was by myself.”
“Religiosity can be adherence to an organized religion or blind faith, fundamentalism or unquestioning belief,” JMX said.
As an adult, JMX learned the ways of spirituality from a teacher in Sedona, Arizona for eight years. She also learned from hiking on hundreds of trails and listening to her teacher tell spiritual stories.
“Spirituality means practice [and] engagement. It doesn’t necessarily mean declaration. One doesn’t declare themselves the way a Christian person might declare ‘I’m a Christian’… Though it is a path. And I think it’s not an organized path,” JMX said. “So spirituality isn’t necessarily organized … It’s a commitment to continual learning. I also think of spirituality as engagement with those things that are not necessarily language based. So, for example, I am connecting very deeply with the plants that live in front of my house.”
Although Midnight Medicine Journey has components of a talk show, it is also a musically-driven radio show. JMX’s music is multi-genre.
“The playlist is put together based on a few different elements, which have to do with tonality and beat and rhythm. And sometimes the actual ideas being espoused in the song itself. I like the juxtaposition of old and new [songs],” JMX said.
Midnight Medicine Journey was JMX’s second radio show. While she was a student at Pratt studying performance and performance studies, she interviewed NYC performers and artists for her first radio show.
“Radio in and of itself doesn’t have a visual component. However, it does have a vibrational field. Andall forms of art have finite vibrational fields. Film has a vibrational field. You feel something when you see the images and hear the sound and you get the story,” JMX said.
“I’m working without the images but I’m still creating a kind of vibratory field, so that when someone’s listening to the show, something will be transmitted. Literally, it’s being transmitted, because it’s radio, but it’s also sort of an energy transmission.”
When Midnight Medicine Journey began in mid-January it had a one week time slot from midnight to 2 a.m. After the pandemic began, Midnight Medicine Journey became a tri-weekly show.
“Radio has a history of being the place where underground activist voices can be heard,” JMX said. “It’s one of those places that still has a powerful presence outside of mainstream offerings of radio, there’s a stark difference between mainstream radio and community based radio. Community based radio is still a powerful force in communities like Kingston in other parts of the country.”
JMX’s current project uses the plant mugwort, which has been used to encourage lucid dreaming.
“My whole life feels like a project sometimes. I’m trying to come in with ideas that I feel like are going to support the community. I’ve been talking a lot about transformative justice,” JMX said. “I’ve been talking a lot about being a human being and feeling into your own humanity. I’m trying to reconcile what it means when people are actually not so invested in a particular outcome and so fearful of an outcome that they lose their humanity. I’m reconciling the fact that maybe some people act less humanely than others and will not change. […] The reconciliation comes around accepting that that is a truth that some people actually don’t want to change.”
Midnight Medicine Journey also talks about science fiction, which may seem out of place from spirituality and social and racial justice.
“I really love stories that try to sort of pick apart how we perceive the world and insert some really sort of odd potentials… I read stories on air that have this kind of futuristic perspective,” JMX said.
“I often talk about “invisible energies”, ancestral, atmospheric and otherwise during my show. Working with science fiction, bringing it into the radio setting and talking about it is part of an investigation of the unseen forces that surround us.”
Midnight Medicine Journey plays on Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays from midnight to 2 a.m. every week. Visit RadioKingston.com to tune in.