Marie Laveau: 10 Ways to Work With the Voodoo Queen
She’s known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Widow Paris. A founder of a powerful New Orleans’ style magical tradition. Marie Laveau is arguably one of the most popular magical figures in American history. If you’re a practitioner of the magical arts, Voodoo, and/or witchcraft, maybe you’re drawn to working with her spirit. Here we teach a little about Marie’s life and legacy and discuss 10 ways to work with the Voodoo Queen in your practice.
Who Is Marie Laveau?
Marie Laveau was a well-known Voodoo Priestess and pillar of the community in New Orleans in the 1800’s. Marie was of mixed descent: white, Native American and African. She grew up in the city of New Orleans and was brought up in the Voodoo tradition by a local Voodoo priest. She was considered a “free woman of color” in a time when they were few and far between.
Marie came to be a well-known woman in New Orleans for a few reasons. One – she was a Voodoo Priestess who threw large rituals and parties for her fellow Voodoo-isants. Two – she was a hairdresser to the rich. And three – she worked to help the poor in the city. Folks would come to her and ask her for spells and help with their issues: love, business, legal matters, etc. She held large rituals in Congo Square, which were disguised as “parties” to the police yet they couldn’t ever break up the parties. Marie was said to have power over anyone who came to suppress her.
Today, some people believe Marie Laveau is one of the Lwa (Loa) in Voodoo tradition. She is honored on many altars and shrines through New Orleans. You can work with her in your practice with study and reverence. Her spirit lives on and seems to become more and more famous by year. To read a more detailed biography click here.
10 Ways to Work With Marie Laveau
Your relationship with spirit will be different from the next person’s. The connection you make with Marie Laveau will be unique to you and your path. However, here are some ways to begin working with her energy (if you’re not sure where to start):
1. Study New Orleans Voodoo
Marie Laveau practiced a magical tradition we now call New Orleans Voodoo. Not to be confused with Haitian Vodou or Vodoun. While they share similarities, they are different in many ways. New Orleans Voodoo is a mix of Hoodoo, Native American, and European folk magic. It also employs the aid of Catholic Saints, whom many believe are the Loa or African deities in disguise. If you want to connect with the Voodoo Queen, begin by studying New Orleans Voodoo.
2. Read about the Voodoo Queen
The best way to get to know a legendary spirit is to read about them first. Study their origins, history, myths and lore. There’s plenty of stories about Marie Laveau, many that contradict one another. This is the most intriguing thing about her!
3. Altar Space for Marie Laveau
Dedicate sacred space to Marie Laveau by setting up an altar with some or all of the following: a photo or statue of her, candles, incense, bowls and cups for offerings, snake figurines, oils, New Orleans souvenirs, etc. Her favorite colors are blue, white and pink.
4. Snakes and Dogs
Snakes and dogs are sacred to Marie Laveau. Care for these animals in her honor. Whether you have a pet at home or can volunteer time to aid dog shelters. As for snakes, they can be pets but consider this – don’t kill snakes you find on your property. Or donate to wildlife rescues and charities. You can also decorate Marie Laveau’s altar with snakes and dogs. The Voodoo Queen was said to have a large snake called Zombi.
5. Visit Marie Laveau’s Home
Marie Laveau once lived in an old adobe cottage addressed as 152 Rue St. Ann. Today, the address to is 1020-1022 St. Ann Street in New Orleans. Next time you’re in New Orleans, pay the Voodoo Queen’s old property a visit. Some say you can feel her energy strong here.
6. Lakes and Rivers
Honor Marie Laveau’s spirit by visiting your local body of water. Marie was known for throwing large Saint John’s Eve parties (actually rituals) on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain. When she died, legend has it she “returned to the river”. If you can bathe in the river or lake nearby, do so! If not, visiting and calling on Marie while there is a great way to connect.
7. Her Grave
Marie Laveau’s grave is located in St. Louis Cemetery Number One in New Orleans, LA. Or, at least, what we believe is her grave. It’s an above-ground mausoleum covered in triple XXX. These are written on her grave by followers and people asking for her to grant their wishes. As of 2020, it may be difficult to visit her grave unless you’re with a tour guide. If you can visit her grave in the future, do so!
8. Offerings for the Widow Glapion
Traditionally, 7 dimes, 7 pieces of silver, cigars, white rum and candy are traditional offerings for Marie Laveau. In addition, flowers, candles, incense, water, hair accessories, snake figurines, traditional creole food, and fruit is appropriate.
The Voodoo Queen helped the poor and fought for human rights. Spend some time, especially during the holidays, volunteering at a soup kitchen or doing something to help the poor. If you can’t volunteer, donate gifts. Donate food, money, anything. In addition, fighting and standing up for human rights honors her.
10. Music and Movies
A really fun way of connecting with Marie Laveau is simply watching movies and shows featuring the Voodoo Queen character. She’s also been the subject of songs and books over the years. A few examples: watch American Horror Story – Season 3 Coven and Gothic Harvest. Listen to The Witch Queen of New Orleans song by Redbone.
More on African Spirituality:
- The Seven African Powers
- HOODOO Spell: The Black Jar Spell for Cleansing
- Voodoo Loa: How to Work With Them As a Witch