Lucy McCall has been a magical presence in Taos for nearly half a century, but you'd never imagine it to look at her -- among other discoveries, she seems to have found the secret to eternal youth.
Over the years, she's quietly become the go-to person for many of us with questions from "What herbs should I be taking?" to "What's going on in the stars?" Heading into our fifth month of lockdown with ever-changing rules, where the only constant is uncertainty, we tracked her down to ask those questions and a few more.
How long have you been here?
I was in a boarding school in Rhode Island and I had dreams of New Mexico. Seems like the images have come true. A lot of working in gardens. Summer of 1970, I went to an event in Boulder, Colorado, called the Holy Man Jam. I was up there because of Swami Satchidananda - there were all these gurus and all kinds of spiritual people. I took a ride on a school bus with some hippies from Peñasco and came through Taos. First I stayed in Llano San Juan. Went away, came back in 1972, and then went away and came back in 1979 and pretty much been here since. All three sons were born in Taos.
How did you first begin studying herbs? Astrology? Healing arts?
I've always been drawn to the plants and I've always made things out of them: beverages, beautifully scented things and painted pictures. An occasional elder, a grandma might share remedies. I always loved astronomy and mythology. Teachers started showing up, as well as some wise people I grew up around, like my Aunt Susan (astrology teacher).
I became an astrologer as well and I practiced macrobiotics. I started to learn some organic farming, that is, old ways/pre-chemicals. I was learning to grow food and herbs. Then astrology made me see that I needed remedies for the problems, and herbal medicine has many. Other healing arts -- I have been a massage therapist and crystal healer, but I needed to narrow it down and it came back down to the stars and plants.
These crazy times -- what specifically is going on astrologically? What do you see in the future?
OK, crazy times, but specifically what's going on astrologically this year is a Saturn-Pluto-Jupiter-South Node eclipse point -- and they all conjunct with each other at various times, creating massive change. Most astrologers knew that there was something coming. A lot of us thought it to be financial. We didn't know how all-encompassing this alignment would be. I think it's going to be intense until we become aware of what to do.
Mars is right now squaring the Capricorn lineup. It's a really good time to get strong and healthy. We must stand up for ourselves. The hard part is the violence many are feeling. With Mars energy, we have to just get into the job and do good work to pull this whole thing back together, all of us. I think by winter solstice, when Saturn conjuncts Jupiter, we're going to have an inkling of what it is we need to do as a group
What do you recommend people do right now? What herbs, what nutrition, exercise, etc?
What I think people need to do right now is, bottom line, get some exercise every day. Breathe deeply, throwing your arms back. You're doing it at least 30 minutes a day, twice a day, the more the better. The more you do it, the better you'll feel and everything will start working better. If one of your body parts is not working very well, give it extra.
Do happy things that include just yourself, because we all have hidden gems that we have to find out right now. And people who are working hard in public, I hope they're all taking good care of themselves: eating well, vitamins and herbs and washing their masks.
The vitamins everybody seems to be agreeing on are vitamin C and vitamin D and zinc. Another one is quercetin, which actually is in our favorite foods here, chile, oregano and onion. We need to eat good food grown here as much as we can and surely give up that junk food. Take immune mushrooms and elder, osha or lovage. Drink good water. Filter your own.
Are you available for consultations and teachings?
I do consultations over the phone right now. I can do it on social media as well. I teach at home here and there and have a weekly astrology forecast for 17 minutes on KNCE, 93.5 FM. You can stream it at 4 p.m. every Friday. Sometimes I do little films on social media. I also talk a little bit about herbs or a health issue on my astrology show. And all the same products I've always made, mostly from my land or locally sourced, I sell them only at my house.