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.
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.
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!
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.
I 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.
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.
If you are thinking of visiting New Orleans (NOLA) and have an interested in the spiritual realm, here are some suggestions:
- Read the book Spirits of New Orleans by Kala Ann before you arrive.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.