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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lucferi dancing at the St John Eve Head washing ceremony...

11641897_902546696450914_1370437636_oI've just returned from the most important Voodoo holiday of the year in New Orleans with St. John’s Eve celebrations and rituals honoring the great Hoodoo Queen Marie Laveau. It is a longstanding tradition, Voodoo baptisms have been performed on the banks of Bayou St. John each year on St. John's Eve since Marie Laveau was the reigning Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. According to Alyne Pustanio, "Madame Laveau held a yearly rite on the night of St. John’s Feast, gathering at the shores of the bayou in New Orleans that bears his name. There, she and her devotees would worship the powerful Lwa (spirits) of their belief system with offerings and gifts to ensure a propitious year. The rites have more to do with pagan Midsummer celebrations than with the Church-sanctioned feast of St. John, but because these gatherings were held on his feast day, St. John the Baptist is forever associated with Voodoo—and Marie Laveau—in New Orleans" (Pustanio, 2012, p. 56)It was fantastically moving,I could feel the serpent dance up and down my spine as I moved to the beat of the drums.The houngan and mambo did an grand job of keeping the Loa happy,and the crowd controlled. Every loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each loa reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside,and I could feel many in attendance.The cadence rose as each one of us made our way to leave an offering at the altar of Marie Laveau,born  in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, Thursday September 10th, 1801. She was the natural daughter of two free persons of color, both biracial, one of whom was Creole. The beautiful Marie Laveau,was the most famous and powerful Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She was respected and feared by all.You could feel the reverence and respect wash over you in waves.As I stood there swaying to the chants and music,the calling of Papa Legba,I felt a welling sense of pride in being from this great city, and the honor invested in me to take part in a ritual that has gone on here since 1874.I made an offering of a home made doll and a pouch of tobacco ,as I felt it fitting to leave a part of my work at her feet(She was the first commercial Voodoo Queen and she specialized in romance and finance. She was a very astute business woman)I made my Appeals 3 times with full concentration,and then offered The Hat to her feet and let it drink in her presence.When the water came around for the head washing,it had gotten quite hot by that time,but the moment the liquid touched my brow,I could feel a cooling sensation travel through my entire body.I want to thank Island of Salvation Botanica and La Source Ancienne Ounfo for putting on a wonderful ritual,and letting this old son of New Orleans and Luciferian take part.             11261196_902546146450969_1770247434_o"On the eve of St. John
I must wander alone,
In thy bower, I may not be!"-
Marie Glassion, nee Lavaux

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