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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in city spirits

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Laissez les bons temps rouler

One of the things that I find particularly enchanting about this city is the music. It's everywhere, from jug bands playing on the sidewalk, to raucous zydeco coming from the bars on Bourbon street, to the lone musician or singer busking on the corner. From the moment we leave the hotel, there's music. It counterpoints the natural rhythms of the city itself, and all the spirits that dance and wander here. It connects me to the city, to all its many layers like nothing else. 

 

New Orleans has such a rich musical heritage. We know it as the birthplace of jazz and that's true. With its rich blend of African and Spanish influences it's a musical hot spot, a rich melting pot of rhythms and sounds and somehow, generation by generation magic happens. It's everywhere here.  (I believe the first opera house in the U.S. was even built here in New Orleans). On a good day, hardly a street corner in the French Quarter seems bereft of a busker of some kind and not just musicians. Since we've been here, we've been spending a good five to seven hours a day just walking around the quarter : seeing what we could see and hearing what we could hear. We've seen fiddlers, jug bands, lone hippie musicians (with unfortunate lack of pitch), jazz bands, horn players, but also living statues, performance artists, and visual artists selling their wares. Most interestingly for us as diviners, there are "psychic readers" everywhere. We've seen dozens in the parks, Jackson square, on street corners, in shops selling their services. Magic is in the air here and there are plenty of people ready to capitalize on it. 

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  • jen z
    jen z says #
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  • Chas  S. Clifton
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    You write, "Magic is in the air here and there are plenty of people ready to capitalize on it." Maybe that very fact encourages p

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
City of the Ghede

As much as New Orleans may be the city of Bacchus, first and foremost it belongs to the Ghede, the family of  lwa that govern the powers of death and the dead. Their presence, their energy is everywhere. It surrounds, seeping out from every crack, bristling and snaking up from every paving stone. The houses are awash in it, and it lurks in the twilight air along every street. I knew this coming down to visit, but once here, i was swept away by the siren song of the city itself. I allowed myself to become distracted.

 

I really should have known better. Usually when I arrive at a new city, I will settle in at the hotel and then first thing, before anything else, walk the city, allowing my intuition and the city spirit itself to guide me. I"ll make offerings to the city spirit and to any governing spirits or Deities that I sense in whatever place I happen to be sojourning. It's the protocol I was taught and I almost never, ever deviate from it. This time, I did. I grew complaisant. I didn't forget to make offerings, but for some reason it seemed like a good idea to wait, to find the perfect time and perfect place. Maybe that would have been all right, but we proceeded to shop and dine and enjoy the delights New Orleans has to offer and the time of our offerings got pushed farther and farther forward. We both knew better and it was only a matter of time before we got "schooled." It's good to be shaken out of one's complaisance once in awhile and I'm grateful for the finesse and grace with which the Ghede did so today. 

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  • Marybeth
    Marybeth says #
    Lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
City of Bacchus

 

So my partner and I are currently vacationing in New Orleans. Neither one of us had been to this city before but oh I am glad that we came. This is a city belonging to Bacchus if ever there was one! We've been here only about twenty four hours, and most of that time has been spent meandering through the French Quarter with no destination in mind. We have plenty of time to do cultural things and to shop. For now, we've been trying to get a sense of the city spirit, and a taste of the energy of the city itself. 

First of all, there is music everywhere. We're staying in the French Quarter in an old, land-mark hotel and from the moment we walk outside, there are street performers, sometimes several along the length of a block, plying their trade (some with more finesse and talent than others, needless to say). There are living statues, and today a man doing gymnastics on stilts. Wow, that boy could jump! Made my knees ache just watching him. Bacchus is everywhere. Every shop that we've gone by, somewhere there has been His image. It's become a game for my partner -- a Dionysian--and I: who can find the image of Bacchus in this shop? So far, he's winning.  There are diviners everywhere. I don't mean psychic shops (though there are those as well doing what they can to capitalize on the notoriety of Voudou mambo Marie Laveau) but rather diviners setting up shop with table and chair all around Jackson Square. I think I counted fifteen in a row and all the while they were reading clients, a jazz band was serenading us in front of the Cabildo.

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  • Chas  S. Clifton
    Chas S. Clifton says #
    I like to comparison to Venice. In fact, I think I will steal it.

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