New Orleans has always stood as a point of interest, with its roots stemming from the first native tribes, the French and Spanish occupations, to the many immigrant cultures and slaves who came over, people have always flocked to the city in search of culture, food, and entertainment. New Orleans has something for everyone–both the living and the dead. Author, intuitive, and wisdom teacher Kala Ambrose welcome you to explore this rich city with an open mind and brand new eyes for all things occult and mystical.
The Crescent City stands as the official nickname of New Orleans, due to the natural crescent shape the land makes underneath Lake Pontchartrain, creating a chalice shape which represents feminine energies. Water is classified as being an element ruled under this energy, and one of the properties of the feminine is psychic powers. Since the city is surrounded by many sources of water, according to Ambrose, serves as a natural vortex where magic and mysterious happenings can take place, and be harnessed for a variety of purposes.
Ambrose is a native of Louisiana, and her love of the land is evident in her endearing writing style. She gives the reader an insight into her life growing up and the development of her amazing abilities. Spirits of New Orleans also contains tale after tale of Ambrose’s encounters with the supernatural (some friendly, some terrifying) in different locales around the city, which included famous restaurants (Arnaud’s, Court of Two Sisters), hotels (Andrew Jackson Hotel, Bourbon Orleans) and cemeteries (Odd Fellow’s Rest, Metairie Cemetery).
Alongside stories gathered from her own experiences, and those of locals and other travelers Ambrose gives detailed history about each point of interest. With history comes an assortment of entities inhabiting each site, and I admit, as a local found the book to be educating. Significant figures such as pirate Jean Lafitte, general Andrew Jackson, and voodoo queen Marie Laveau are tied into extraordinary events, going beyond the typical history class. Very exciting.
According to Ambrose’s novel, Spirits have the potential to motivate readers to explore the supernatural for themselves, and each chapter is full of tips on the best areas to experience various types of encounters, and times of day one can expect to see the entities. If tapping into the powers of the land is more desirable, Ambrose has kindly included several power points throughout the city; some of which were very unexpected–like City Park. But be advised to obey the local laws and safety cautions clearly outlined within the book.
I found it to be nearly impossible to pull myself away from reading Spirits of New Orleans, as it introduced me to an unknown local history and folklore. The tips within the book were detailed and are curious enough for me to consider visiting the places mentioned in the book when I have time to spare. Spirits, undoubtedly, was put together in order to serve as a comprehensive guide to New Orleans’ transcendental nature. Skeptics may find Ambrose’s abilities questionable, but nevertheless, her personal accounts of assisting spirits and accessing past life material are highly engaging.
A highly recommended addition to any book collection.
Spirits of New Orleans: Voodoo Curses, Vampire Legends, and Cities of the Dead was received as a courtesy for review and is currently available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, Books A Million, and Red Room, September 2012.