The spirit of the Creole Voodoo Priestess, Marie Laveau, is alive and well in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Visitors can tour her burial site in the Glapion family crypt in St. Louis Cemetery #1 or visit to the House of Voodoo at 739 Bourbon Street. Born a free woman in 1794, Marie practiced Voodoo AND was a devout Catholic. She was baptized, married and had her children baptized in St. Louis Cathedral. After she abdicated her “throne” as Voodoo Queen later in life, she dedicated herself to such philanthropic endeavors as feeding and comforting condemned prisoners who were headed for the gallows.
Maria Laveau was said to have had a snake named Zombi after an African god. Stories suggested that part of her magic mixed her Catholic beliefs with African spirits and religious concepts. Some scholars believe that her feared magical powers of divination were actually based on her network of informants which she developed while working as a hairdresser in households of the prominent. As she visited her clients (mostly white) she listened closely to their gossip. By knowing their “secrets”, she was able to hold power and influence over others.
So if you’re looking to find true love or perhaps enormous wealth – while you’re in New Orleans, pick up a gris-gris bag or a Voodoo doll from Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo on Bourbon Street…you never know!
The lyrics to the famous song Marie Laveau, written by Shel Silverstein (author of The Giving Tree) tell a great deal about this famous lady…
Down in Lou´siana where the black trees grow Lives a voodoo lady named Marie Laveaux. She got a black cat tooth and a mojo bone, And anyone wouldn´t leave her alone. She go GREEEEEEEEEEEE... Another man done gone. She live in a swamp in a hollow log With a one-eyed snake and a three-legged dog. She got a bent bony body and stringy hair, And if she ever seen you messin´ round there, She go GREEEEEEEEEEEE... Another man done gone. And then one night when the moon was black, Into the swamp came Handsome Jack. A no-good man like you all know, And he was lookin´ around for Marie Laveaux . He said, "Marie Laveau, you lovely witch, Why don´t you gimme a little charm that´ll make me rich. Gimme million dollars, and I´ll tell you what I´ll do... This very night I´m gonna marry you." It´ll be UMMMMMMMM... Another man done gone. So Marie did some magic and she shook a little sand, Made a million dollars, and she put it in his hand. Then she looked and she said , "Hey hey, I´m gettin´ ready for my wedding day." But ol´ Handsome Jack said "Good-bye Marie. You too damn ugly for a man like me." So Marie started shakin´, her fangs started gnashin´, Her body started shakin´, and her eyes started flashin´. She went GREEEEEEEEEEEE... Another man done gone. So if you ever get down where the black tree grow And meet a voodoo lady named Marie Laveaux, And if she ever asks you to make her your wife, Man, you better stay with her for the rest of your life Or it´ll be GREEEEEEEEEEEE... Another man done gone.
Here’s wishing all of your spells and wishes come true!