The Calling of Ezulie
A Chaotic Voodoo Rite of Restriction and Retaliation
There is an important group of female loa in Voodoo, whose first name is Erzulie. Erzulie Freda is a wealthy white woman, a promiscuous love goddess who moves in an atmosphere of perfume and luxury. Erzulie Dantor is a mulatto woman who is represented pictorially with lithographs of the Roman Catholic "Saint Barbara Africana". Her tribal scars are evident on her cheek. She is heterosexual in the sense that she has a child, but she is also the patron loa of lesbian women. In addition she is considered to be the wife of two loa, Ti-Jean Petro and the very important magical loa Simbi Makaya. When she appears at a ceremony through the mechanism of possession, she speaks a stammering monosyllable, "ke-ke-ke-ke-ke!" She likes knives, is much feared, and is considered the protector of both newly consecrated Houngans and Mambos, and of women who are victims of domestic violence or betrayal by a lover.
This ritual as presented here is a summoning of Erzulie Dantor, for the purpose of requesting a boon or task to be accomplished by her power. Since Erzulie Dantor is a dark avenging spirit, she is usually summoned by women who have been hurt or betrayed by a lover or rival.
|Wax for doll||Golden pin, with attached chain|
|Erzulie veve||Large piece of paper|
|Black ink marker||Candles|
Doll of wax is prepared, with a hollow midsection. It is placed in a large bowl.
Altar is set up om'phour style (on the floor with two levels or tiers) with appropriate items revered by Erzulie:
- Anything colored red, especially candles, cups, flowers and
- Hot spices: peppers, chilies, curries
- Cinnamon candies
- Non-filtered cigarettes
- Knives and daggers
Om'phour altars are generally very crowded, covered with bric-a-brac and many candles and incense burners.
The rite is accompanied by drumming. Use a recording if live drummers are not available.
As written here, the rite is performed by a hougan or mambo and a supplicant. For solitary workings, with small modifications one person may perform both roles.
1. Sigils are prepared from the statement of intent given below. A mantra to be chanted over it is simultaneously derived.
2. Statement of Intent: It is our will to ________________________.
3. The sigil is burned. Ashes from burning other sympathetic symbols may be added, and the ashes placed in the hollow of the doll, and sealed.
4. Candles and incense are lit. Drum music begins.
5. The veve of Erzulie is drawn on the paper lying on the floor in front of the altar, and circled with flour by the hougan or mambo. He blows the remainder into the air, recites this invocation:
"By the power of Legba Atibon, guardian of the crossroads,
Legba, guardian of the bush, Legba, guardian of the gouse,
Ago, Ago, si, Ago la."
"By the power of mistress Erzulie, mamou lade,
Erzulie Frieda Dantor, mamou vodoun,
Ago, Ago si, Ago la."
"By the powers of Grand Maitre:
ATEG-BINI-MONSE ODAN-BHALAH WEDO DANGBE TAU-CAN ZO AGLA YE-WE!
By the powers of AIDA WEDO!
By the powers of TSILLAH WEDO!
By the powers of LOA-CAN LIH-CAN, LEGBA ATIBON, to who I say:
KE' ECU-MALE' GBA KE' DOUNOU AL PHA! VOUDOUN YEKE HEN-ME ACE!
Then, he sips some of the rum and pours a bit onto the doll.
Claps hands three times, and the drums begin the rhythm of Erzulie:
Zepaule, brisk speed
|1 2 3 1 2 3|1 2 3 1 2 3| | O O O O| O O O O| highs r l r l |P O O |P O O | meds l r r |X M |X | lows (stick in r hand) r r r
and the participants sing Erzulie's chant: (in a 'sing-song' voice, rising pitch on the last "go")
Mambo-o, Frieda Dahomee... Ago...
(Chorus follow priestess:)
Mamou lade vie en cane Creole, Mamou lade vie (Repeat 2x) f f a a c c g a g d d c a g Mamou lade vie en cane Creole f f g g a g e g gf Zulie Frieda Oh... Zulie Frieda Oh... (Repeat 2x) c c c f fc f f f a af Mambo Zulie Frieda Dahomee Cotay O ye O (Repeat 2x) f f a a c c a#a g d d c d c Mambo Zulie Frieda Cotay O... f f g g a g e g g f
(during the chanting, the supplicant is anointed with florida water)
"This woman comes before you! She craves a boon!
Hear her, Ezili Dan-tor! Hear her!"
(supplicant describes, in plain words, the revenge or restriction she wishes to place on the target, and why it is being done.)
Request is concluded with: KU DYO, ATEG-BINI-MONSE, LEGBA, AGOO DI PHA HWE!
Supplicant sips the spiced rum and spits some on the doll, seven times. After each spitting, she recites the following incantation:
SET KOUT KOUTO, SET KOUT PWENYAD!
PRETE MA DEDIN AH, POU MA VOMI SAN MWEN!
SAN MWEN APE KOULE!
(English - "Seven stabs of the knife, seven stabs of the dagger! Lend me the basin, so I can vomit my blood! My blood is pouring down!" Meaning, although Erzulie Dantor has received seven stabs of the knife and is vomiting blood, she is strong, she can not be so easily destroyed.)
The supplicant then impales the doll with the golden pin, and wraps the chain around it.
The loas are dispatched with the following words:
YE-KE! MAR-CH-ALLAH! KUM-BHA-LAH-DYA!
The doll is wrapped in white cloth, and buried before the next sunset.
The Loa are not to be approached as slavish servitors, as with Goetic demons. They are discerning spirits, and cannot be commanded, but rather must be "convinced" that he or she who asks favors of them is sincere, there is good cause for them to grant the boon. Also, they cannot be expected to perform acts outside their particular nature -- don't ask Baron Samahdi, the guede of the cemetery, to heal the sick! However, they respect boldness and passion, and should be approached in that spirit.
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