San Pedro

San Pedro—Where? 

   In the previous version of my site I had a page for Brownsville, Texas.  Let’s narrow that down just a little as to exactly what I’ve written about—the community of San Pedro. 

Keep in mind as I write this article I am working off of something very old and written in both English and Spanish which I have to translate and make sense out of.  As I re-read things and think through them I will update them as needed.  If I get a ruler over my head while sleeping I shall awaken and make corrections as well….

   San Pedro is a small farm community right at the edge of, and is sometimes considered part of the town of Brownsville, Texas. 

   I understand that this community was once called ‘Santander.’  During the early times of settlers, there was a wealthy rancher by the name of Cavazos who developed this community.  It was once a very small group of people—about 130 or so, but has expanded to about 600 today. 

   Numerous immigrants from Mexico and a few from Spain developed this community over time.  First, there was a church and a school in this area, and later some small stores.  During the Civil War this area was a gateway for smuggling of goods such as cotton.  As time passed, this area as well as the entire span of the border has been a place where illegal immigrants pass over the border. 

  Back in the 30’s, it is my understanding, according to the writings, quote, “They would shoot us like dogs for any reason,” meaning the border patrol would shoot Mexicans, or even those born on the U.S. side, for any reason at all.  There was a lot of oppression back then. 

  An extreme poverty over-shadowed the area due to lack of industry, and even for those who were very educated, it was still a challenge to make a living. 

  So much for historical facts at the moment; let’s get down to the brass tacks of what keeps my e-mail box full:  Help…I’m from San Pedro and I’m cursed. 

  Unfortunately, there is a bad mix of energy concentrated in this area.  First of all, numerous Indians brought potent forms of shamanism and paganism which has existed in that area long even before Cavazos formed a community.  A lot of power and energy passed over that area hundreds of years ago.  Adding to the mix, a lot of people who set up that community were very envious of one another.  One didn’t want to see the other improve; if someone started to improve, the others want to knock them back down.  A lot of bad energies were stirred up through this, including malochia, or, the evil eye.

  As time went on and various forms of smuggling took place, people got killed, murdered, died tragic deaths, or suffered immensely.  This caused many restless spirits to become trapped in the area and haunt relentlessly until such death activity created a sort of huge vacuum.  When a person dies, this creates a portal or exit in the atmosphere; a psychic impression or ring of energy is left behind.  Sometimes, this can happen to a human being, too.  If a person, especially a young one, is in the presence of a dying loved one, or perhaps that friend or relative dies in their hands, they can lose what the Voudou folks in New Orleans call the ti bon anj: The Little Good Angel.  In other words, the dying person can take a part of that child’s soul with them, creating a vacuum, in which just like a portal, everything walks through them.

  On a bigger scale, being in the midst of a place which has such a huge space for the spirits to walk through has advantages if a spiritist is going to work with those energies—hopefully in a constructive way.  Such a place can sometimes just wreak havoc on sensitive people, and even creative people—such as artists or those connected with the realms of creativity.  Feelings of oppression, uneasiness, fear are all feelings that can accompany these encounters.  Depending on what is experienced, on the opposite side of the scale, feelings of love, security, happiness can be experienced, too.  Spirits or ghosts are merely people who once existed.  How we experience them is much the same as we would experience living people; either we all learn to get along—or not. 

  Feeling jinxed?  That’s not all….Numerous incidents of devil-conjuring have taken place in that area.  For every one cuandero there exists five diableros, or someone who acquired their abilities through very dark magick.  Within the texts that I have had the prvilidge of receiving, there are detailed pacts with such a spirit.  These originated in Spain, and I think are very old—they are Basque, a peoples which were believed to be the original Europeans. 

  Just like a vacuum, that energy pulls a person back in like quick-sand; the intranqillo spirits don’t want their people to leave.  Once they latch on to them, it’s very difficult to have them let go.  This is why so many people have a difficult time leaving the area and experience ‘weird’ feelings.  It’s only gotten more intense over the years. 

  I spent a lot of time in that area, and I witnessed lots of strange things I couldn’t believe.  I will say this:  The original people who colonized that area are very powerful spirits and they protect the land with all of their might.  They are extremely averted to change and they like to keep it just as it was; they love preservation of everything and become very upset when historical marks are disturbed.  Yes, that entire area is as sacred and is as charged as an Indian burial ground.  Tread with respect for what is there and leave when it tells you to go. 

Below is a Google Map of the area copied from Google 2013.



 Here is a photo I took of the area many years ago.  I can only guess what the crop is in the foreground.  They grew a lot soybean, ochre, sorghum and cotton in this area.

Somehow, this place, this area, will always have a part of my soul.  Strange feelings I have, being that I never grew up there, or even lived in this spot for any extended

period of time.  I did, however, grow up in the country on a farm in Ohio that had the same type of crops and looked very much the same minus the mequite and  palm trees.  

I have such a tightly woven attachment to this place.  

                           Revisiting San Pedro and the Mission

  Back in the mid to late 80's I had quite a rough haul from all sides.  Not long after I moved to Brownsville I had the displeasure of meeting up with people who were just bad stock, and there's no other way to put it. My life was in much peril back then, to say the very least.  I was very young, and I'd been cast out completely.  I wasn't allowed to work, drive, do anything, but I fought that monster.  I ended up forced out and staying with all kinds of different people, sleeping on a couch or a floor.  It was a horrible life and I suffered so much back then.  I was sick often from the time I was nineteen to the time I was about twenty two. During that time I had been poisoned with a substance which was like tetradotoxin, thereafter, hospitalized six times and placed on oxygen.  The poisoning ruined a small portion of my liver and I have always had to eat wisely and take extra care of my health.  It took a very long time for me to heal from it.  

Some memories of those times are vague, some as clear as if they were yesterday.  I spent some time at The House of Bread with the nuns out there.  They were kind to me I benefited from this time although it ‘s one memory which is shrouded in the haze of horrors I’d suffered.

During my aimless wonderings I was invited to the San Pedro Mission a few times.  I found a lot of peace and solace in this place. I went with a lady I'd worked with to the church and helped stuff tacos for some kind of function or gathering which was going on in the summer. I recall this as one of the happier times in my life.  I'd always felt at home out in the ranchlands and the people seemed to be very friendly and accepting.  The smell of steaming kettles full of meat, warm, corn tortillas and the general pleasantness in the air enveloped me in a happy serenity I don't think I will ever forget.  For a fleeting time I was a part of something without anyone terrorizing me, or casting me aside.  I was allowed to exist and simply be.

After I left and went back to Ohio for a time, I often dreamed about the day of my return and wondered how I might be able to help the community.  Having minimal means and being far away, I could only contemplate some fine charity dream.  

Someone had asked me to go there and say the Rosary for them.  It took a long time to come to the task, and when I was finally up to, I found it still broke me in the end.

My dreams of a gift to the community could at last be realized; something I’m immensely proud to be an outgoing part of with all of my heart.  I gave two gifts in the past year to two different institutions.  I had lots help and advice on it, from let's just say, through my dreams as I sleep and meet all who live in that world.  I didn't know what would come of it or how it work out, but sometimes our alter egos are much more clever and wiser than ourselves. I'm greatly pleased to be a part of it and stand in for someone...who can no longer speak for themselves, or as my Rosary book states, 'those who can no longer pray for themselves.'  

My visit to Brownsville last week was a happy affair. Driving out to the church was a voyage back to everything pure and innocent that I'd ever recalled.  Knowing I have changed so much since those days, I had a terrible struggle with what to wear, what to say, and how to behave.  I didn't want to go putting on airs in silks and fineries when I know how poor everyone is out there.  I opted for a T-shirt and old jeans, sneakers.  I later regretted it, wondering if it may have been disrespectful to my task.  

I prayed the entire Rosary, as requested, at last, in the place where he'd been often, a place where it was last said for him.  One of the most touchingly intense moments of my life, as all my moments involving him had always been.  He'd saved my life on more than one occasion starting with the episode in the cemetery.  It was very hard for me, even after all of these years, to feel the memories and flood of emotions from my time there--my memories as well as his. My roommate was with me, and his babbling and yacking nearly sent me over the edge. I banished him to the parking lot.  Alone with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the ghostly presence, I was able to complete what I'd come for.  The Father had come in, and I intended to see him.  By the time I made it back into the hall I broke out in tears.  I'd carried this task with me all of these years, perhaps 30 years or so, and the memories, everything, were most overwhelming.  I tried to explain myself, but I just couldn't.  I'd written a lengthy letter to the Father/Reverend explaining some things before my visit.  All I had done was frighten the people--a scary white lady was standing in an implausible place like Llorona-- weeping woman with a thatch of blond hair swirling amuck and tears staining her falling cheeks, hand clapped over mouth. I was nothing to anyone there any longer.  But somehow, I think for whom I said the Rosary, he just might have been recalled. 

   The first row is where I prayed.

The days of exile and soul cutting were long gone, and I was empowered with every magick, every charm I’d been taught and mastered.  I was clean and bathed, but dressed shabby, wearing the silver wedding band for my betrothal to the world of spirits, for which solemn vows had been made only two months prior.  

I turned and walked, closing the modest office door behind me in disappointment I couldn’t say more.  The prayer was completed--what I'd set out to accomplish.  The visit was bitter-sweet like every other thing in my life I'd ever known.  I had returned, though, and carried a soul with me in my heart.  

He was pleased; I could feel it --the satisfaction was like an echoing light resonating within my essence, a gentle brush over my shoulder, his quiet voice entangled in the strand of hair tucked behind my ear.  

Sunflowers smiled and nodded their heads at me in the slight breeze as I heard my tires grinding through the caliche along the country road.  

Being too tearful to light the candles there, we made our way downtown to the makeshift church across the street from the Immaculate Conception.  

I lit one for his memory, and one for my life.  I thanked God I was able to stay away from drugs and prostitution back then.  I may have been poor, but I still had my honesty and integrity.  No one could take that from me.  No one.  I didn’t allow myself to be passed around in a common manner—I’m thankful I was of strong enough character to rise above it.  

The cathedral was being renovated, so I couldn't visit.  The outside was as charming as ever though--gothic arches with a Spanish flair of stucco.  I hope she never changes.  

One more heart-wrenching visit came about toward the end of my journey that day: The building downtown in my dreams.  At first I was confused and couldn't see it for a moment, and then I found it right beside me, as always of course, for these things are continuously close at hand if we only look carefully.

Fingertips gliding over the yellow bricks, I could feel some dissonant despair, but a familiar, fleeting memory of happier times, the sun shining and cars changing to the shape of those from a much earlier day.  My dreams had brought us here many times, and my feet carried me here often in the 80's.  I never found what I was looking for back in those days. I waited, but he never arrived.

I am certain of one thing: When we die, all we have left are the memories of that which once was.  Sometimes we find people we can share those memories with.  

My heartful journey back in time to San Pedro will never lose its glamour; no serenity could have been sweeter.