New Orleans was always calling to me. I know I'm not alone in this, because there are always the footsteps of others, living and dead, who have been here looking for the traces of Marie Laveau. Of course, tourism being what it is, there are plenty of people who have taken the opportunity to make a little money off of her name. For some of these, I don't think she herself would have minded, because a lot of her life was characterized by the kind of showmanship that's been popular for some time, and some of her actions can rival even P.T. Barnum in their ability to convince people that what she has to offer is exactly what they need at that particular moment. But there are also some extraordinary works that suggest she knew some things.
In the kinds of spiritual work where people's futures, love lifes, and finances are on the table, there is a lot that a business-minded person can do. And in this part of the world, where old traditions come together with a history of poverty and struggle, there are some haunting things that come through at times. When I come here, I like to find a hotel online from this site, get settled in, then head out to explore some of my favorite places, and keep my eyes and ears peeled for the unusual. Opportunities always present themselves.
I've spent many hours puzzling over the crosses people carve at her tomb, wondering more about the hands of the carver than the body that might be interred within. We are all susceptible to reading signs that are not there, based on our own desires to see, and to understand. It was certainly operative in the people she worked with, in all the different kinds of council, whether it was the real deal, or parlor tricks. It was also operative when people began to mistake her daughter for another version of her. In the world of metaphor, of course, the daughter is a version of the mother, and Voodou is a system where metaphors can work as well as the original object, so maybe it doesn't matter, ultimately. But I know I'll never find any certainty, as her footsteps continue to get more complex with each moment that passes, complicated by the desires of people exactly like me.