Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oddly in New Mexico!!!

I took an actual vacation all by myself! No kids, no husband, no dog, cat or gerbil; just me and a couple of my friends who have a working HooDoo shop in Albuquerque. I felt like a little kid staring at my boots in the back of the car. Maya pointed out some of the more interesting features as we went through the landscape, including the skid row castle owned and occupied by Gertrude Zachary. It is a strange site. not necessarily the castle, but the overall effect of a castle being in the middle of a rundown part of the city. The funny part is that she wants everyone to know that she has very good security, for in this castle she has this amazing collection of antiques from al over the world. I don't know quite what to make of her.

I learned that when dining with Taurus people you can expect to linger over the meal for about three hours and enjoy at least three courses, a bottle of wine and very interesting conversation. I loved not eating at child pace, which often times looks like the Indy 500 but with plates and silverware.

Ancient Road's Pagan Pride Day Booth

Maya and Cedar at Pagan Pride day
I also learned that you can over hear the people at the booth behind you with their astonished and partially scandalized tones speaking about your religion and it's best to remain silent and not reveal yourself. We were all sitting there speaking amongst ourselves waiting for breakfast to find our table. It was the morning of pagan pride there and we already had a bit of a rough morning. We had a flat tire. poor Ed, first thing in the morning had to get out and change it. (Man, I'm telling you those lug nuts are ON there. Had Ed not been there with us, there is no way Maya and I would have been able to get those frakkers off, individually or collectively.) So, here we are waiting for food and caffeine and the older couple behind us are talking in a scandalized tone how the park was going to be filled with pagans that day. Part of me wanted to point out to the woman that right now, as she speaks, the restaurant is filled with pagans. Poor thing probably would have had a heart attack, but I was good and sat there quietly noting who was doing the speaking.

The day before, Maya and Ed drove me to Santa Fe for a bit of site seeing. We visited the Basilica of St. Francis did a bit of shopping, saw some art galleries. All of that was great. What I appreciated the most was Maya and her touring voice pointing out all the cool histories of the place. There was one building in the city that had been there since the age of dirt. It was first an estate, then an officer's club, and now it is a shopping center with neat little mom and pop shops.

A statue in front of one of the galleries
While I loved the art galleries and the exhibits within, there was an undertone of hostility on the part of the employees of the galleries. It sort of reminded me of the troll that lived under the bridge. At one point Maya had to use the restroom. She's about 7 months pregnant and when you gotta go, you gotta go NOW! Not two galleries down, who also wouldn't let her use the restroom either. I was pretty disgusted with their apathy. So while enjoyed the privilege of seeing Michael Parks art on canvas in person, the beauty of the art was marred by the ugliness of its keepers.

The Door to the Catholic Shop
One of the highlights of my trip to New Mexico was meeting an elder woman running a Catholic shop. Maya frequents there to pick up some supplies. She was a short, sweet woman with a welcoming smile and voice. She had almost anything you could imagine you would want in stock piled from ceiling to floor of her shop yet it didn't feel cluttered. She was the type of person you just wanted to scoop up and hug. Maya and Ed picked up a few things and on the way out they couldn't get the security door opened as I was asking the woman if it would be alright to take a photo of her brightly decorated door. Really it was a piece of art. She stopped and looked at me sideways, then invited me into the back of her shop to see her personal shrine. She told me about it's history and about her Mother who taught people how to say the rosary in both English and Spanish. It was truly an honor to be invited back. She doesn't seem the type to invite just anyone back there. Before we left she made sure that each of us was wearing a St. Benedict medallion blessed by Pope John Paul II ( pretty much the only Pope I have any respect for.) As it turns out, the St. Benedict medallion is the only medallion that has an exorcism stamped on it. I'm still wearing it with it's little safety pin on my bra just as she said I should. Her kindness stood in direct contrast to the "upper crust" of society at the art galleries and their views on humanity should be treated. It spoke in thunderous volumes. I'll take the woman in the Catholic shop over the people in the galleries any day of the week and twice on Sundays thank you very much.

My most favorite moments of my visit came at the end of the day while Maya put up her feet, Ed cracked open the wine and cooked us dinner. He is a fabulous cook! There wasn't a meal served that wasn't a treat. The conversation was fabulously witchy! He even put a few books in my hands that I have always wanted to take a peek at and he just let me fall into them! I do have to say I learned quite a bit just listening. I felt like I was at a master magician's house and kept looking for the bag that held everything! When I finally crashed at the end of the night, I was surrounded by constantly devoted shrines and altars to the Elder Gods flickering with candles. That all by itself was an experience and a half and something that I would have not experienced anywhere else. My altars over here have to be carefully managed; you know little fingers wanting to hold and touch and play with everything, not to mention a curious feline who is so fluffy she would set herself afire just looking at fire.

All of this witchy goodness came with a price though. Apparently, I am allergic to Albuquerque. I spent a good portion of my trip with a box of kleenex velcroed to my side. Maya kept apologizing for Albuquerque trying to kill me. I did discover that if you live in a cloud of frankincense smoke, suddenly your respiratory system loves you again. Sweet! 

Ancient Road Shop in Nob Hill
If ever you are in New Mexico ( or if you live there now,) go visit Maya and Ed at their shop Ancient Road in Nob Hill on Silver Street! Go sit in their Navajo chair, have a cup of tea, browse through their in store library and shop! If you have any Questions, both Maya and Ed are very knowledgeable and willing to talk your ears off! If you ever need a HooDoo working or reading, they do that for you as well!

Yes, yes, Mrs. Oddly had a fabulous vacation with fabulous people! I think ten years is waaaay too long to go with out an personal adventure.

1 comment:

  1. ooooo this sounded like so much fun! I'm almost jealous! lol I would absolutely love to take a vacation like that, alone with friends. I'm glad you had an amazingly witchy time. :)