Tag Archive: loa


Goddess Erzulie

"Erzulie Mansur-Loa of Love" by NMEZero

“Erzulie’s themes are prosperity, abundance, and love.  Her symbol is the color blue. This Haitian love Goddess extends Her beneficent spring like energy whenever we need it, especially when our pockets or hearts are empty. When life gets out of kilter, petitioning Erzulie sets everything back on track, slowly but surely. Blue is Erzulie’s sacred color, and She is sometimes called ‘the loving one’.

Use peppercorns somehow, of course! The Peppercorn Ceremony began in 1816 when the mayor of Bermuda was given use of the state house for the annual rent of one peppercorn. This rent must be delivered annually, and with all due pageantry, to preserve the island’s prosperity beneath Erzulie’s watchful graze. For us this might translate into eating a peppercorn dressing on a green salad (lettuce represents money) to internalize financial abundance, or keeping a peppercorn in your wallet to safeguard your money and its flow.

Definitely wear blue today to catch Erzulie’s attention, and add  blue foods to your diet – blueberries, blue juice drink, or even blue colored water.

You can also encourage Erzulie’s blessing through selfless actions. Give a friend a hug, pamper your pets, take the kids out for some quality time, and remember to kiss your partner goodbye in the morning. You’ll feel better and find your heart naturally filling with Erzulie’s love.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

"Erzulie" by Stephen Hamilton

Erzulie, or Ezili, is the Vodou Lwa (spirit or Goddess) of love and women. She has many forms, from coquette to fierce warrior mother to red-eyed weeping crone, and can be counted among either the Rada or Petwo lwa (spirits or gods). The Petwo rites arose in the New World during slavery, and Petwo lwa are characteristically dark and powerful, and called bitter (anme). Erzulie is a love Goddess who developed during a time when slave owners broke up families and separated husbands and wives at will, and considered raping female slaves a pleasant way to produce more slaves.

Erzulie manifests deep, deep passion, and Her moods can range from the height of joy to the depths of misery–when She mounts (spiritually possesses) a follower she or he goes from coquettish and seductive to crying her or himself to sleep, weeping for the limitations of love. There are numerous sister forms of Erzulie, and She is sometimes considered a triple Goddess. As such She has three husbands–Damballah (the sky god), Agwe (the sea god), and Ogoun (a god of fire and iron), and She wears three wedding bands. Offerings to Erzulie are all the sweet things She loves–perfume, sweet food, and desserts such as bananas fried in sugar.” [1]

According to the Mystic Voodoo website, “In the Voodoo Pantheon, there is an important group of female loa (Goddesses) whose first name is Erzulie. While all of them share in their role as Goddess of love, art, and sex, each has additional areas of life which is theirs to defend and assist. Erzulie is three in aspect:  She can be Erzulie Freda, a virgin Goddess likened to the Virgin Mary; Erzulie Dantor,  loa of jealousy and passion; or La Siren, a personification of the sea and Goddess of motherhood.  Her color is pink, Her animal a white dove. She is associated with the Lukumi Orisha Oshun, and sometimes Chango (as Erzulie Dantor).

Erzulie Dantor

"Erzulie Dantor" by Christy Freeman

Erzulie Dantor is the Voodoo Goddess of love, romance, art, jealousy, passion, & sex. Erzulie Dantor is the patron loa of lesbian women, fierce protector of women experiencing domestic violence and patron loa of New Orleans. Beauty, love, and sensuality are Her Creations. Emotions are what link Her to the endless reservoir of universal creativity. Erzulie Dantor offers to you protection and possibilities beyond the imagination.  Erzulie Dantor is a mulatto woman who is often portrayed as the Black Madonna, or the Roman Catholic “Saint Barbara Africana”. She has tribal scars on Her cheek, and is considered heterosexual because She has children, but She is also the patron loa of lesbian women. Thus, She loves women fiercely, and will defend them to the death. She loves knives and is considered the protector of newly consecrated Voodoo priests and priestesses, as well as of women and children who are victims of domestic violence, and women who have been betrayed by a lover.

She is highly respected and much feared due to Her Woman Power. Most Haitian women serve Dantor, and She is also the patron loa of New Orleans and so She is served by many there as well. She also supports independent business women and is the patron of women’s finances. Many women invoked Erzulie Dantor against their partners (male or female) should they become violent. And enlightened men also serve Dantor, especially men who honor, love and respect women.” [2]

“A common syncretic depiction of Erzulie Dantor is St. Jeanne D’Arc, who is displayed carrying or supporting a sword. Another is as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, as She is represented as being dark-skinned. Her colors are red, gold and navy blue. Her symbols are a pierced heart and knives or swords. Her favorite sacrifices include black pigs, griot (seasoned fried pork), and rum.” [3]

Erzulie Fréda

"Erzulie Freda" by Shelley Hakonson

“Erzulie Fréda Dahomey, the Rada aspect of Erzulie, is the spirit of love, beauty, jewelry, dancing, luxury, and flowers. She wears three wedding rings, one for each husband – Damballa, Agwe and Ogoun. Her symbol is a heart, Her colors are pink, blue, white and gold, and Her favorite sacrifices include jewelry, perfume, sweet cakes and liqueurs. Coquettish and very fond of beauty and finery, Erzulie Freda is femininity and compassion embodied, yet She also has a darker side; She is seen as jealous and spoiled and within some vodoun circles is considered to be lazy. When She mounts a serviteur She flirts with all the men, and treats all the women as rivals.

In Christian iconography She is often identified with the Mater Dolorosa. She is conceived of as never able to attain Her heart’s most fervent desire. For this reason She always leaves a service in tears. Her syncretic iconographical depiction is usually based on that of the Virgin and Child, because She is the mother of Ti. Common syncretizations include Our Lady of Lourdes because She is usually depicted as light-skinned.” [4]

Erzulie Freda Altar Poster

According to the Sosyete du Marche, Inc. (an American Vodou House in Pennsylvania), “Erzulie Freda is the sister of Ezili Dantor, and Her opposite in every way.  Where Dantor is a hard working single mother, Freda is a glamor girl.  The mistress of three powerful spirits – Ogoun, Agwe and Danbala – She  is said to be the most powerful sorceress in the pantheon. So pure and  so good is Freda, that nothing malefic may happen in Her presence. She  is purity – Her horses must be clean, dressed immaculately and scented  with Her favorite Pompie lotion, before She will manifest in service.

Syncretized with Our Lady of Calvary, Freda is seen to  have the wealth of the world at Her finger tips and yet, She weeps  uncontrollably in service. There is never enough champagne (pink) or  cakes (white with white frosting) or candies or clothing or jewelry to  satisfy Her. Her desires must be met or She turns in upon herself and  becomes Je Rouge (Red Eyed), the most fearsome of the Ezili group. Sister to Dantor, LaSiren and Clermizine, Freda is the  most audacious, both in dress and behavior. She will typically greet the women with just Her pinkies, but will lavish hugs and kisses to the men present. She loves the colors pink and pale blue, Pompiea lotion, pink champagne and roses, frosted cakes, jewelry, makeup and gifts. Keep Her  things clean or she will not arrive in the temple.” [5]

 

 

Sources:

The Mystic Voodoo, “Erzulie, Voodoo Goddess of Love“.

Sosyete du Marche, Inc., “Erzulie Freda“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Erzulie“.

Wikipedia, “Erzulie“.

Mambo Ayizan

“Ayizan” by Heza Barjon

“Ayizan’s themes are pleasure, playfulness and divination.  Her symbols are palm leaves.  Ayizan is the first priestess of voodoo tradition, governing the public places where people gather to celebrate the Goddess. As such, she oversees the Mardi Gras exuberant revelry, offering psychic insight and protective energy to keep us out of trouble. According to tradition, Ayizan is the moral governess of humankind, helping us to balance our desire for pleasure with culpability.

Combine Ayizan’s psychic side with a traditional Mardi Gras activity: fortune-telling! And since it’s unlikely that you have a palm leaf handy, use your own palm for divination instead. Get a palmistry guidebook (these are often handy at the supermarket checkout) and see what future your hand predicts.

Mardi Gras is traditionally a time of unbridled fun before the serious Lenten season begins – so much so that the festivities are overseen by a lady and lord of misrule, who make sure folks really let loose. One activity in particular inspires Ayizan’s energies – that of dancing and tossing grain so that pleasure rains down on all participants. This also banishes evil. Try this yourself, tossing rice or any grain-based cereal around the outside of your home. Then the birds can carry your wishes directly to Ayizan in their beaks!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

In Vodou, and especially in Haiti, Ayizan (also Grande Ai-Zan, Aizan, or Ayizan Velekete) is the loa of the marketplace and commerce.

She is a racine, or root Loa, associated with Vodoun rites of initiation (called kanzo). Just as Her husband Loko Atisou is the archetypal Houngan (priest), Ayizan is regarded as the first, or archetypal Mambo (priestess), and as such is also associated with priestly knowledge and mysteries, particularly those of initiation, and the natural world.

As the spiritual parents of the priesthood She and Her husband are two of the Loa involved in the kanzo rites in which the Priest/ess-to-be is given the asson (sacred rattle and tool of the priesthood), and are both powerful guardians of “reglemen,” or the correct and appropriate form of Vodoun service.

She is syncretised with the Catholic Saint Clare, Her symbol is the palm frond, She drinks no alcohol. Her colors are most commonly gold, yellow and white. [1]

Veve of Ayizan

“Her veve is comprise of her initials, the A€ and the V intersecting across each other. The veve is sometimes further decorated with stars and whirls to imitate the royal palm frond, shredded and worn by every initiate of Vodou.

Chromolithographs of Christ, usually Christ being baptized by St. John are used in association with  Ayizan. Her symbol is the royal palm branch, frayed and covering Her  face. Offer Her palm fronds, yams, dirt from a market cross road and water.” [2]

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