Voodoo, New Orleans
Even if shopping is not one of your highest priorities, you will want to visit Reverend Zombie's House of Voodoo Shop...if you dare! I got chills up and down my spine when I entered the door! A strange combination and collection of artifacts, some apparently related to voodoo and others not. Candles, incense, wooden Santos carving and images of saints made into candles. Odd things and/or animals hanging from the ceiling. I had such a strange feeling that I left without examining everything!!
The "Haunted History of New Orleans" tour also queus right outside of this store. These tours are very popular and lines form quickly as we saw while we were waiting in our own long line at the "Preservation Hall" just across the street.
If you've seen the movie "The Skeleton Key" (2005), you may want to search around to see if this store carries such things as brick dust or records by Papa Justify.
I was introduced to Priestess Miriam and her temple through a cemetary/voodoo tour that I took on the recomendation of my Bed and Breakfast hosts. They said that she was the real deal, and was she ever. I had a wonderful experience with her and even if it is a buch of crap, I don't care, because for the time I spent there I was buying into it and having a good time.
The voodoo spiritual temple contains a shop in the front, and an area in the back where Priestess Miriam will perform many types of rituals which are detailed on her website if you are interested.
I was lucky enough to relax in her courtyard and hear her tells stories (she does ramble randomly, so pay attention) and make merry with her visitors. She then invited us back into her special room where she conducts rituals. We met her snake, and then she did a general 'reading' for our group, speaking to everyone on different matters.
Crazy as this sounds, I felt as if the things that she was saying were just for me. Maybe I was just caught up in the moment, who knows. What I do know is that it was quite the experience, and I quite enjoyed her company and the glimpse into her life of practicing Voodoo.
You need not be on a tour to visit her or have her conduct rituals for you. Just stop by or call.
Voodoo was brought from Africa by slaves who mixed some of their African religious customs (e.g. animism) with those of their Catholic slave holders and the result is what we now call Voodoo. There are a few Voodoo-related sights in the French Quarter including a Voodoo Museum.
There are many VooDoo shops in French Quarter from cheesy souvenir shops to serious magic shops.
What you see there probably has no practical use when you go back home, but it is fun to check things out, and it is, I believe, required in order to enjoy New Orleans the right way.
New Orleans is one of the few places where Vodoo is still practiced. Shown is the grave of Marie Levau, the Vodoo Queen. On the side of the tomb you can see offerings and marking made by her followers.
One meaning assigned to voodoo, 'being in a trance,' is in part derived from the lack of proper burial for slaves, which was believed to result in restless souls or the walking dead, also called zombies or plat-eyes. In New Orleans, the spirits of deceased ancestors are carefully protected through common rituals such as jazz funerals, featuring brassy bands and a 'second line' of paraders in top hats and umbrellas.
At the Voodoo Spiritual Temple on N Rampart St in the French Quarter, Priestess Miriam Chamani primarily practices spiritual healing rituals based on Afrocentric American Voodooism. Her temple promotes neither white nor black magic, but instead focuses on 'true spiritual power for friendly people.' She continues a tradition established by her New Orleans ancestors, Dr John (the voodoo practitioner from the 1820s, not the contemporary musician), Marie Laveau and Leafy Anderson. Drop by the small storefront temple to chat, pick up books on the occult or check out the small collection of art and artifacts from around the world.
Also in the French Quarter, look for the Historic Voodoo Museum on Dumaine St. Half market, half museum, it's a one-stop shop for all you need to get your mojo risin' and keep it there. Whether it's gris-gris you're needing for grandma's arthritis or a *** doll to stop your man from running around on you, this is your place. The museum is only worth visiting when it's uncrowded and a guide is available to talk about the potions, rituals and people, since the exhibits are not self explanatory.
voodoo spiritual temple near Congo Square is at the back of a voodoo/spiritual paraphernalia shop
talk to priestess miriam or priest oswan
leave something for the spirits
nice people, amazing place
have a chat to the snake too - loveee snakes...