Blog

New Orleans the Historical and Spiritual Side

IMG_3005

I was so excited to finally visit New Orleans (NOLA). It had been on my bucket list for quite some time. I tend to be drawn, not surprisingly, to locations that have a lot of spiritual energy. New Orleans is definitely rich in diversity, history, and has no shortage of spirits. NOLA to me also represents the city of Voodoo, so I was eager to see and learn first-hand what the spiritual realm had to offer. We decided to take a cruise from New Orleans and allow additional time on both ends to do some exploring.

I stayed at Hotel Dauphine which proved to be in centrally located in the French Quarter without being too close to nightly noise. Of course, this also depended on what room you chose and what side of the building you were facing.

IMG_2999

The energy in New Orleans I can best describe as thick. There have been so many deaths there and most were untimely and unexpected. Not all earthbound spirits are stuck in this realm, as some belief. Even in death, we have free will. The feeling I got was that many of the spirits in town wanted to be there. They enjoyed the lives they had there and wanted to continue to be a part of the daily city bustle.

I did a Voodoo walking tour that was, unfortunately, a waste of time and money. Our monotone guide was very boring and didn’t seem to the spirit realm to be as fascinating as I do. I ended up leaving the tour before it had finished. The weather was incredibly hot and humid. Avoid the month of August, as I was told it is the worst time of the year to visit the city.

IMG_3043.jpg

I did go shopping at Voodoo Authentica and at Hex. Voodoo Authentica as the name implies, focused on the Orishas (African Spirits). They sold gris-gris bags for a variety of purposes and had altars set-up to honor the spirits. I bought a custom gris-gris bag made by a Charlie, a practicing Voodoo Priest. Super cool! The minute he handed the gris-gris bag to me I felt a strong current of energy transfer from him to me. That’s how I know he’s legit!

IMG_3004

Hex was more focused on Wicka and Hoodoo practices with more options on candles, herbs, and spell magic. It was a very small store, so if you don’t like small spaces, you might want to visit at times where they are not full of shoppers. I did find some books there that I hadn’t seen in other places. I’ve learned to buy things when I see them because I never know if I will see it again later in the trip.

IMG_3450.JPGI had a tea leaf and card reading at the Bottom of the Cup with Otis. Really nice guy. A very seasoned reader and psychic. The price included a CD recording of the reading and a deck of their anniversary tarot cards. Apparently, the Bottom of the Cup has been in business for 90+ years. Kudos to them!

The food in New Orleans was amazing, but you probably already guessed that. We had beignets from Cafe DuMont, ate many different takes on Gumbo, and of course, the fresh seafood is unmatched. I did take a Cooking Class at the New Orleans Cooking School, which also didn’t meet my expectations.

IMG_3025.jpg

The chef talked way too much about his grandma, which admittedly sounded like quite the character, but he didn’t do enough cooking. In the end, he was in a hurry and over time so we were rushed through eating the last two dishes. Eating for me is an event, no a race.

IMG_3028

If you are thinking of visiting New Orleans (NOLA) and have an interested in the spiritual realm, here are some suggestions:

  1. Read the book Spirits of New Orleans by Kala Ann before you arrive.
  2. Book a pedal taxi. To stop one you just scream at one as he passes by. Have him take you to the various places mentioned in the book. Not all pedal taxis are equally knowledgeable about the “haunted” history of NOLA, so you will want to be prepared.  Fares vary by the person and time of the day.
  3. For your spiritual shopping needs, visit Hex first. They will give you a promotional cardboard flyer with all the spiritual shops in town listed on the back. All the shops are on a map and numbered. Can’t go wrong with that!
  4. Visit with an open mind! Assume you know nothing about Voodoo and allow the locals to show you their history, not the televised versions you think you know.
  5. Relax and have fun. No need to walk around with a clove of garlic around your neck. Create spiritual boundaries for yourself and you will be fine.
Advertisements

Grief and Loss

Grief occurs when you lose someone or something significant in your life. It’s not limited to losing a friend or family member, as a person can also grieve the loss of a house, job, or a beloved pet. Grief takes a long time to overcome and that’s okay. Sometimes you feel you are okay and then you go somewhere and it triggers a memory, a scent, an expression and boom you’re back to feeling like the world is in black and white.

For me thinking about how I was going to get through the next month, or the next year was overwhelming. Something my father-in-law said to me was “take one day at a time”. It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to allow yourself to be happy. Being happy doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten or moved on. It’s what our loved ones in Heaven would want us to do. It’s finding and accepting that happiness that’s hard.

As with anything challenging in life, it’s important to admit that we are in a difficult emotional place and taking small baby steps forward. Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman provides small daily reflections. There’s no judgment in these meditations, just some words of wisdom to get you through the day.

The Taboo of Talking About Death & Spirit

Bring up the topic of death in any social gathering and you are bound to get a wide array of looks and responses. Many people are afraid and uncomfortable about talking about death, dying, and the spirit realm. While we no longer live in an era where those that see spirits can communicate with the dead can be hung by a noose in a town hall, we still as a society have a long way to go from being open to accepting what reason cannot explain.

in memory

Grief and loss are one of those weird exceptions and yet not fully.  I remember sharing a table for breakfast one day with another couple. We somehow got on the topic of caring for a loved one and then sadly losing them. Pam had lost a parent too and understand my pain. We talked about the struggles and rewards of being there during those last moments. She shyly mentioned that her mom could see her family members at her bedside and that comforted her because she knew she was going to be escorted up to heaven. She asked me if I believed that when people are dying they can see spirits. I agreed and added that seeing spirits was not something my mom did when she was dying, but something she could do her entire life. It was normal for me to see my mom talking to a dead friend or relative. The conversation with Pam immediately ended. She was so uncomfortable with my response, didn’t know what to say, that she finally made an excuse to get up and leave. I sat there for a few minutes contemplating what had just happened. Would I had said anything different if I could re-do that encounter? No. I’m not afraid to speak my truth. If Pam was not emotionally ready to accept that spirit are always around us guiding and sending us their love, then that’s on her. Death is a normal process in the cycle of life.

flowers

I Can Hear You

One of the hardest things about having spiritual gifts is figuring out how they work. They don’t come with an instruction manual and everyone’s experience is different. Even my mom’s abilities were greatly different than mine. Two people with the same clair (clear) ability can receive the information better if they do one thing versus another. I’ve accepted that figuring things out is part of the growth process. I’m so used to traditional methods of learning, but spiritual growth doesn’t follow those norms.

Any bilingual Mediums out there?

What happens when I receive information from spirit is that they use all my knowledge and experiences and use that to help me understand the message that I need to convey. When a person passes away, the language they spoke in life no longer becomes a barrier for communication because the person can use my knowledge to give the message. So even though I don’t speak Mandarin, I can understand what’s being said and see that this person spoke a different language in life.

What I didn’t know was that some spirits choose to communicate with me solely in English or in Spanish. The first time I heard a message in English, it blew my mind. I’ve since discovered that sometimes choosing to communicate with me in English versus Spanish serves a purpose. It helps me to better identify who I’m talking to. My monolingual medium friends only receive information in the one language they speak, so many times they are not even aware that spirit can communicate in more than one language if the person receiving the information is bilingual.

Night with Spirits and James Van Praagh

After taking the Mediumship Certification Level 1 class with James online, I wanted to see him live. I jumped on the idea of going to his event in October 2018 at Del Coronado, known simply as The Del.

I opted for the VIP tickets since it came with additional perks: preferred seating during the main event, a tour of haunted areas of the hotel, a seance, and some appetizers.

 

James brought forth several spirits. It was amusing to see him doing what looked like playing telephone with the spirit world. The deceased had messages for their loved ones, which they told him and then he would relay to the person and the audience. While I wasn’t one of the chosen few, I felt that the people picked had some really important messages that they needed to hear that night in order to move forward in their lives. Things happen for a reason.

The weather contributed to a creepy night. It rarely rains in San Diego. It didn’t just rain, it poured! I had never visited the Del before and it was a treat to just walk around and get a feel of the atmosphere. You can just imagine how it was during the Victorian times to be a guest there. You can feel the history in that place. The spirit energy is palpable. I found the antique elevator in the lobby particularly creepy. Of course, the Del is also known for its rich history and it has its share of guests that never checked out.

Meeting James was my personal favorite for me. After listening to his voice speak to me online in my online classes, meeting him in person was awesome. Such a nice person. Not all celebrities are as down to earth.