In the dream he had on a large brimmed black hat and sat across from me, surrounded by candles. He gestured as if showing me things though I couldn’t understand what he was saying or who he was. A week later I was on New Orleans store website and saw him--the man from my dream, a Voodoo priest. After calling to set up a session with him, I realized he didn’t speak English, hence why I couldn’t understand him in the dream. And next thing I knew I was on a plane during a storm watching lightning out of my window seat seconding guessing my decision. I wanted the trip to be a vision quest of sorts (I even timed it with a Sun-Saturn conjunction in the sky), see the city, feel its unique magic, and eat a ton of beignets but it was so much more than I could have realized at the time.
The synchronicities just kept occurring from the first morning I woke up to discover my hotel room looked out on a statue of one of my favorite Greek muses. Then after meandering to a coffee shop I read about, only to sip my chai and realize it was my favorite chai from Colorado that I've been drinking for more than a decade. Mostly I was surprised by how much New Orleans felt like home from the friendly people to the street cars that reminded me of San Francisco.
I spent the next few days wandering through cemeteries, listening to "What a Wonderful World" in Louis Armstrong Park, and gawking at all the statues of women throughout the city. The Jean of Arc--or Joanie on a Pony--as locals call her--took my breath away. I compared French with a man who spoke Creole and gazed at the Tree of Life in Audubon Park--one of the oldest Oaks this side of the Mississippi. Chatted with strangers while drinking a cafe au lait in the French Quarter. My witchy self found soothing in the depth of the Voodoo tradition and I learned about the stories of priestess Marie Laveau and the underground railroad and the Congo Park slave gatherings under the ancestor tree.
On the last day of my trip I woke up at dawn for my Voodoo healer session, the reason for my visit. In perfect synchronicity my hotel was two blocks from the store and I didn't even know it when I planned. Just like my dream the Houngan sat in a large, black brimmed hat surrounded by candles. He began by asking me how I make decisions and my brain immediately scrambled for the "right answer" fearful I was going to mess up this momentous occasion. As the hour unfolded the themes continued to come up around my lack of discipline (how very Saturn) was creating my lack of self-respect. The ways I allow my feelings rather than my sense of purpose to dictate my choices.
I get knocked off my center all the time by so many things and people that I had forgotten how to even notice it anymore.
He went on to tell me about building security and a base with a partner (Saturn again) around a shared sense of complementarity and loyalty in love. That my approach to changing my mind with my emotions has been based on an aspect of illusion that doesn't allow for actual love to take place. I left the session stunned as I expected more of a focus on my business and what was next. Instead I got a good dose of Saturn medicine that hit me to the bones.
"Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”― Brene Brown
New Orleans sits between a Neptune and a Sun line for me in astrocartography and I felt a more solar part of me return as well as confusion, a part with more purpose and the desire to shine a bit more. To find more authenticity rather than being swept up in my attachment and emotional realm. I want to be someone people can trust because I am myself even when my relational field gets stirred up.
When I landed back in San Francisco it was the first time it didn't feel like my only home. New Orleans gave me a taste of something I didn't know I was missing--and it wasn't just the sweetness of the beignets but the sweetness of my own magic.