“Here is the day, we must welcome with a song.”
- Marie Laveau, played by Angela Bassett
American Horror Story
Madame Marie Laveau was a force to be recked with as she was the Voodoo Queen that placed New Orleans, LA on the map. During her lifetime, she was a loved, revered, and feared by the people of New Orleans. She was a Creole African American woman with immense power in a time in which women were still considered property and had virtually no voice. A devote Catholic, she brought people into the church, and held voodoo rituals afterwards in the courtyard. She was known for her social justice work, kindness, herbalism, midwifery, and healing. Although she might not admit it (because it was illegal in those days), she practiced Voodoo. On St. John’s Eve, she would go down to Bayou St. John’s to do rituals with her snake Zombi.
No one knows for sure if the famous painting of Marie Laveau is the actual Voodoo Queen. She never posed for any paintings, drawings, or photographs. There were eye witness reports, but no known images of her. The painting image was determined by standards of beauty of the time it was painted in 1837.
Laveau changed Voodoo by assembling Catholic traditions with Voodoo beliefs and practices. She also was a female entrepreneur as she was able to sell her spell work and services to many in the community including several in high society. She became famous for healing the sick, visiting the prisoners, and helping the poor.
On June 15, 1881, Marie Laveau died at the age of 70, and buried in the Laveau family mausoleum in Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1. Her legend continued to grow. Many people would come from all over the world to visit her tomb. Since March 1, 2015, the public is not allowed to visit the tomb without a tourist guide due to the vandalization of the tomb on December 17, 2013. However, visitors can visit International Shrine of Marie Laveau at the New Orleans Healing Center.
In some Voodoo practices like Laveau Voodoo, she became a loa. Her ghost still roams New Orleans, and many practitioners continue to honor her on both her birthday, her death date, and St. John’s Eve.
There are several books on Marie Laveau that are great to read:
As a devotee of Marie Laveau myself, I have created several products in her honor, and to help others celebrate and honor her. Mama Marie Laveau herself showed me how to design the Marie Laveau Prayer Candle label. This amazing beautiful candle comes fixed with herbs and oils, and blessed. On the back, you can write her veve in chalk. This is a great candle to start and/or deepen your relationship with the Voodoo Queen. When the candle burns down, the candle case makes a great vase to place flowers in to honor her.
The Marie Laveau Oil smells excellent, and can be added to any candle or spellwork. Each of our oils is handcrafted by Miss Nikki with the proper herbs, oils, roots, and stones that are associated with the oil’s purpose. The oils are blessed with intention. We place oils on candles to help us shift consciousness so we can associate with our Higher Selves, and manifest magick. These oils can also be placed on the body, or placed in an oil diffuser. However, you use the oil, Madame Marie Laveau will love the smell of the Marie Laveau Oil.
The last product is the Marie Altar On The Go. This was designed for Laveau Devotees who travel, military personnel, small spaces, or can only have a temporary altar. It can also be a permanent altar if one chooses. It comes in a small container as one can easily place it in their bag, purse, or suitcase. It comes with everything one needs to honor the Voodoo Queen. Author and Owner of Wicked Witch Studios, Dorothy Morrison, said, “I’m in LOVE!!! The Marie Laveau Altar On The Go is absolutely amazing – and jampacked with everything one could possibly need, no matter what sort of magic they’re planning. Kudos on a great product!!!”
No matter how you decide to honor the Voodoo Queen, just know that it all begins with the lighting of a simple candle in her honor, and starting a conversation with her. Remember Marie Laveau is a mighty fine lady! Hail to the Traveler!