Gran erzulie

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Who Is Erzulie-Freda in the Vodou Tradition?

Who is Erzulie-Freda? The Voodoo Goddess of Love! Welcome and Meet Erzulie Freda! The great Vodou Goddess of Passion, Pleasure and Prosperity!  A fun little primer on the namesake of our store at Erzulie’s Voodoo in New Orleans! For more in-depth information, and Vodou liturgy on our beloved Erzulie-Freda, along with many other Vodou Lwa (Spirits) browse our extensive Voodoo articles section or download our Vodou app on iTunes and Google Play: Erzulie’s Voodoo.

Voodoo Goddess Erzulie-Freda and who she is in the Vodou traditions by Erzulie's Voodoo in New OrleansVoodoo Goddess painting of Erzulie-Freda by Anna, owner of Erzulie’s Voodoo, c. 2003. Who is Erzulie-Freda and the role she plays in the Vodou tradition by Erzulie’s Voodoo in New Orleans.

Mistress Erzulie is one of the most beloved Lwa (Loa) in the Vodou Religion and to whom our company is dedicated. As the female Lwa of love, sexuality, passion, pleasure, and prosperity, Erzulie is quite powerful in fulfilling these desires.

  • Described as one of the most beautiful Lwas, she is notoriously vain, a touch lazy, has multiple lovers and prefers to receive lavish gifts of perfumes, sweet cakes, jewelry, and flowers for her help with your requests. We are told she likes to relax and paint her nails all day – how divine!
    Voodoo Goddess painting of Erzulie-Freda for our main Voodoo Altar at Erzulie's Voodoo in New Orleans. Who is Erzulie-Freda and the role she plays in the Vodou tradition by Erzulie's Voodoo
  • She is the Lwa that can make most things possible with Love and Success; without her help, little can be accomplished, especially where relationships are concerned. All of our love spells are designed to obtain her assistance and in turn, thanking her with the appropriate offerings.
  • Like with many Lwa, Erzulie has a darker side. She can be a bit of a drama Queen and enjoys encouraging fantasies, even if some are not realistic. In these cases, she can become incredibly sad, emotional, and bitterly disappointed; you can feel that way as well when working with her.
  • Other aspects of Erzulie can include jealousy and anger, especially if ignored by someone when she is demanding their attention. Therefore, we must always please her and stay in her good graces should we seek her assistance in any Voodoo spells, love spells or Vodou love rituals.

There are many aspects to the Erzulie’s collectively in our tradition which include Gran Erzulie, the Great Mother and Erzulie Danto, the fierce protective Warrior Lwa.

A few interesting facts about the Great Mistress Erzulie:

The first being, her Catholic counterpart is The Virgin Mary.  Due to the history of Voodoo in America, the original practitioners were slaves and had to disguise their Spirits as members of the Catholic Church in order to worship them.

Consequently, she was most similar to The Virgin Mary, not because of the virginal or immaculate conception concepts of course, but because of her great love, empathy, compassion, and willingness to help especially with love and relationships.

Vodou Veve for Lwa Erzulie-Freda found on all of our handcrafted Voodoo Spells, Rituals and Voodoo Wares at Erzulie's Voodoo in New Orleans. Who is Erzulie-Freda and the role she plays in the Vodou tradition by Erzulie's Voodoo, a fun little primer on our Voodoo Goddess of Love!

Her sacred days are Tuesday and Thursday: You will note in our love spells, Voodoo spells, love potions, love ritual baths and Voodoo lover return spell kits we handcraft at Erzulie’s, instructions always suggest beginning on one of these days.

Her Favorite Colors are Pink, Blue, Lavender and Orange: Try to use them anytime you need her assistance. These colors can manifest with clothing, altar items, candles, gifts, bottle and even food.

Suggested Offerings to Erzulie: Offerings would include sweet cakes, pink Champagne, perfumes, flowers or beauty products. She LOVES anything beautiful and decadent.  It is always a magical touch to surround your Authentic Voodoo Dolls, Voodoo Veve Dolls and Sacred Altar Voodoo Dolls with any of these beautiful items for Mistress Erzulie-Freda!

Erzulie’s Veve: Erzulie’s Symbol is a heart shaped Veve; please feel free to use ours or draw a similar one should you need to invoke her assistance.

We sincerely hope you have enjoyed this fun primer on the namesake of Erzulie’s Voodoo in New Orleans and invite you to learn more about the Voodoo Religion, Voodoo Spells, Love Rituals and more about the Lwa by researching our vast collection of Voodoo Archives, with articles written by highly experienced, initiated, expert Vodou practitioners at Erzulie’s Voodoo in New Orleans.




Erzulie (sometimes spelled Erzili or Èzili) is a family of loa, or spirits, in Vodou.


The Erzulie is a family of loa that are often associated with water (fluidity), femininity, and feminine bodies. They are one of the only group of spirits directly tied to these characteristics and those who become possessed (through spirit possession) often are women or Masisi (Feminine and or Queer men).[1]

Maîtresse Mambo Erzulie Fréda Dahomey[edit]

Erzulie Freda

Venerated inHaitian Vodou, Louisiana Voodoo, Folk Catholicism
AttributesPale bejeweled woman, pink dresses, three wedding rings, heart-shaped medals, heart pierced by sword
PatronageLove, health, beauty, passion, prosperity, perfumes, jewelry, flowers

Erzulie FrédaDahomey, the Rada aspect of Erzulie, is the Haitian African 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. During ritual possession, she may enter the body of either a man or a woman. She enjoys the game of flirtation and seduces people without distinguishing between sexes. In Christian iconography she is often identified with the Mater Dolorosa, as well as another loa named Metres Ezili. 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. Common syncretizations include Iyalorde Oxum, that is the goddess Oshun as she relates to the Yoruba goddess of erotic love, gold and femininity.

Èrzulie Dantòr[edit]

Main article: Ezili Dantor

Erzulie Dantòr is the Queen of the Petro nation and the mother of "Ti Jean Petro", she is often depicted as a fearsome black woman, protectively holding "Ti Jean Petro" in her arms. She is a particularly fierce protector of women, children and the neglects of society. She is the lwa pwen, in contrast with Èrzuli Freda who will bless you with material riches, Èrzulie Dantòr will give you the Spiritual Knowledge needed to navigate through this material reality. Èrzulie Dantòr's wealth lasts and can be passed on from one generation to another, whereas Èrzuli Freda, in any of her jealous fits, can deprive overnight of the gains she helped you to achieve.

She is often portrayed to resemble the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, as she is represented as being dark-skinned with two scars on her face. Her colors are red, black and blue. Her favourite sacrifices include black pigs, griot (seasoned fried pork), blood (seven stabs of the sword), and rum.

Ti Jean Petro is her son and Jean Petro is her lover or husband.

Erzulie Family[edit]


  • Erzulie Freda (Lady Erzulie) - The vain and flirty goddess of love. Her "horses" tend to cry tears of longing and regret. She is syncretized with Our Lady of Sorrows (the Virgin Mary as suffering mother).
  • Erzulie Mansur (Erzulie the Blessed) - Represents maternal love and protects children from harm.
  • Granne Erzulie (Grandma Erzulie) - Represents the wisdom granted by experience and maturity and grandmotherly kindness and love. She is syncretized with St. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary.


  • Erzulie D'en Tort or Erzulie Dantor (Erzulie of the Wrongs) Protects women and children and deals revenge against those who wrong them.
  • Erzulie Balianne (Erzulie the Gagged) - "Silences" (heals or calms) hearts. Keeps secrets or ensures that secrets will not be revealed. Helps people to forget past loves and overcome passionate emotions. Her "horses" tend to speak as if they have a gag in their mouth. She is syncretized with The Immaculate Heart.
  • Erzulie Mapiangue (Erzulie the Suckler) Deals with the pain of childbirth and the protection of unborn and newborn babies. Her "horses" tend to get in a fetal position or birthing position and cry tears of pain. Common syncretization is as the Virgin and Infant of Prague, which wear matching red velvet robes and gold crowns.
  • Erzulie Yeux Rouge or Erzulie Ge-Rouge (Red-Eyed Erzulie) Takes revenge on unfaithful lovers. Her "horses" cry tears of bitter sadness.
  • Erzulie Toho Aids the jealous or slighted in love. Her "horses" cry tears of anger.


  • Erzulie La Flambeau (Erzulie of the Torch)
  • Erzulie Wangol (Erzulie of the Sacred Banner)
  • Erzulie Shango Pye Nago loa that is a feminine aspect of Shango.

Similar spirits in the pantheon[edit]

  • La Sirène (Lasirenn) or Mami Wata is associated with Erzulie and sometimes is displayed in Erzulie's roles as mother, lover, and protector. She is often depicted as half-fish, half-human and has a strong connection to water.[2] Her husband is Agwe, the King of the Sea and patron of sailors and fishermen.
  • Marinette Bras-Chêche or Marinette Bwa Chech ("Marinette of the Dry Arms/ Marinette skinny arms "), a Kongo Loa, is similar to Erzulie Dantor. She represents revolt and misfortune and is prayed to either to placate her wrath or to direct her fury at another. She is in the form of a skeleton or rotting corpse and is syncretically represented by the Anima Sola ("Forsaken Soul").
  • Mai-Louise is an Ibo goddess.
  • Ti-Quitta / Ti Kitha, a Loa of sexuality and fertility, is one of the Quitta Loas. One of her aspects is Ti Quitta Demembre (Dismembered Quitta).
  • Maman Brigitte ("Mother Brigitte"), is a Guede goddess who is the wife of Baron Samedi and protector of gravestones or funerary markers. She is syncretically represented by St Brigit.
  • Tsillah Wedo is associated with Erzulie. She is depicted as a beautiful virgin of great wealth.

Erzulie in popular culture[edit]

  • Erzulie nennen O, a song in honor of Erzulie Freda that was composed in the 1890s by Kandjo, continues to be played in Haiti as part of its folkloric repertoire.
  • A 1991 song on the album Rising Above Bedlam by Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart. Released by Oval Records in 1991. The album was a shortlisted nominee for the 1992 Mercury Prize.
  • A 1988 solo album by free-jazz pianist Cecil Taylor is called Erzulie Maketh Scent.
  • "Mistress of Erzulie" was the first track on Alannah Myles' 1995 album A-lan-nah.
  • Erzulie (Freda) is also a character in the Broadway musical Once On This Island as the beautiful goddess of love.
  • In the Steely Dan song "Two Against Nature" (the third track from the album of the same name), the narrator describes Madame Erzulie as a succubus who "bangs you silly but leaves a nasty bite."
  • In the Natacha Atlas song "Le Printemps" from the album Something Dangerous, Erzulie sets the beginning of spring.
  • "Erzili" is a song on the album by Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Transmissions: The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland.
  • Ezilis Mirrors: Imagining Black Queer Genders is a book by Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley that covers the contemporary works of queer and non-traditional artists and how they embody Erzulie in their work.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series, "Ezili" is the surname of the villain Calypso, a voodoo practitioner who had no last name in the original comics.
  • In the third episode of season seven of Death in Paradise, Written in Murder there is a festival for Erzulie, celebrating the Voodoo Goddess of love.
  • In the Broadway show Once On This Island, Erzulie is one of the 4 main gods that guide and influence the main character. Once On This Island came to Broadway from 1990-1991 and had a revival from November 2017 till January 2019.[citation needed]


  1. Bitbucket repository permissions
  2. 1972 motorcycle
  3. Workforce 600 ink

Basement Vodou: Haitian Spirituality in Brooklyn

An Irish Catholic upbringing contributed to photographer Shannon Taggart’s lifelong interest in the rituals and art of religion. After photographing Spiritualists—people who believe they can communicate with the dead—in upstate New York, Taggart has since been documenting the Haitian religion of Vodou since moving to Brooklyn in 2005.

Taggart’s project began when she met a Mambo, or female Vodou priest, named Rose Marie Pierre, who runs a temple in the basement of a nondescript storefront in the working class neighborhood of Flatbush. It was here that Taggart made these images of priests and laymen undergoing possession by the Loa—powerful spirits that act as intermediaries between humankind and Vodou’s distant god, Bondye. Most Loa are benign, some are malevolent, but every spirit has a distinct personality, role in the world and set of demands and services. In their different ways, practitioners believe, these spirits determine our fate and must be consulted and appeased.

Beckoning the Loa requires elaborate preparations unique to the particular spirit desired. Practitioners indicate the Loa they want to call upon by drawing its vever, or symbol, in cornmeal sprinkled on the floor. They place offerings on an altar and perform particular songs and dances. When the Loa possesses the worshiper Taggart says the scene becomes “wild, very physical and intense.” Though she works with black-and-white still images, Taggart is able to convey the noise and energy of these rituals. “There is screaming and thrashing…sometimes [congregants] run around the room as if confused. It can happen suddenly, so it’s often jarring. People immediately gather around the one possessed and assist them with what they need and catch them if they collapse.” Practitioners say the experience induces short-term amnesia; “Mambo Rose Marie is always surprised (sometimes shocked) to see my documentation of what has taken place while she was possessed,” recalls Taggart.

Popular culture often depicts Vodou as dark and menacing, but fails to understand its more unusual elements. One example, animal sacrifice, exists to rejuvenate the Loa after exhausting ceremonies. Taggart says that the chickens, pigs, goats and cows are killed humanely and eaten immediately. In Haiti, where there was no safe way to store meat, the practice provided people with a regular source of safe nourishment, Taggart explained.

Another often misunderstood practice is the presence of weapons in Vodou ceremonies. A man in slide #2 is shown possessed by a warrior spirit named Ogou. He holds a large machete symbolic of that Loa. But as Taggart explains, weapons like these are not used to harm others. Instead, they are relics of Haitian slavery that Vodou practitioners have appropriated as symbols of their faith—much as the cross is a relic of Christian persecution that Christians have turned into a symbol of their faith. These exercises, born of practical and psychological necessity, are far from the spooky behavior that appears so often in film and folklore.

This December, several of these Brooklyn practitioners will undergo a two-week long initiation rite in Haiti. Accompanying them will be Mambo Rose Marie and Taggart, who will photograph the ceremonies. “I don’t know what I will find there, but I am assuming it will be a special experience,” she says.

Shannon Taggart is a Brooklyn-based photographer. See more of her work here.

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