Famous Witches In History for March 26th: Marie Laveau

Famous Witches from History

Marie Laveau

(1801 – 1881)

Marie Laveau was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voudou (or Voodoo) in New Orleans. Shrouded in mystery, she has become over time the archetypal image of the “Voodoo Queen”, and managed to combine the roles of Voodoo priestess and devoted Catholic. Her character has since appeared in many works of fiction and popular music. Her daughter Marie Laveau II (c.1827 – c.1895) also practiced Voudou, and accounts often confuse the two women.

She was born free in Louisiana on 10 September 1801 (or, according to other sources, some time in the 1790s), the daughter of a white planter and a free Creole woman of colour. She moved to the French Quarter of New Orleans in her youth and was raised a devout Catholic. In 1819, she married Jacques (or Santiago, in other records) Paris, an emigrant from Haiti. After Paris’ death, Marie Laveau became a hairdresser, catering to wealthy white families, and took a lover, Christophe Glapion, with whom she lived in a common-law relationship until Glapion’s death in 1835. She reportedly bore fifteen children, including Marie Laveau II, who was born around 1827 and who apparently bore a striking resemblance to her mother.

Other than these biographical details, little is known with any certainty about the life of Marie Laveau, but it appears that she and her daughter between them established and nurtured a “Voodoo Queen” reputation. She is said to have had a large snake (named Zombi, after an African god) which many believed possessed great powers itself, and she would dance with the snake wrapped around her. The occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs (including saints) with African spirits and religious concepts. She frequently visited the sick in New Orleans’ prisons, and at one point she was called upon by the city’s elite to help combat the Yellow Fever epidemic of the 1850’s.

Some believe that the mother was more powerful, while the daughter arranged more elaborate public events, but it seems clear that they received varying amounts of financial support. There are contemporary reports of as many as twelve thousand spectators, both black and white, swarming to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain to catch a glimpse of Marie Laveau II performing her legendary rites on St. John’s Eve (June 23 – 24).

One of Laveau’s best documented exploits involved the murder trial of a young Creole gentleman, which seemed almost certain to end in a guilty verdict for the young man. His father approached Marie and promised her anything if she could rescue his son, and Marie agreed, asking for the man’s New Orleans house in return. Marie secretly placed several charms throughout the courtroom and, when the young man was declared not guilty, the father gave her his house as promised, and Laveau gained the instant attention of the city’s elite.

Some believe that her feared magical powers were actually based on her network of informants in the households of the prominent citizens of New Orleans, which she developed while working as a hairdresser. Others assert that she owned her own brothel and developed informants that way. Either way, she appears to have excelled at obtaining inside information on her wealthy patrons by instilling fear in their servants, whom she “cured” of mysterious ailments.

The New Orleans newspapers announced the death of Marie Laveau on June 16, 1881, and official New Orleans records indicate that a “Marie Glapion Laveau” died on June 15, 1881 (although giving her age as 98). Many people also claimed to see her in town after this date, although she did have several daughters who may have been mistaken for her. She was reportedly buried in Saint Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans, and the Glapion family tomb continues to attract visitors, some of whom draw three x’s (XXX) on its side in the hopes that Laveau’s spirit will grant them a wish.

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The Real Story of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

Known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, according to many eyewitness accounts, this was a title Marie Laveau not only earned, but to this day has not relinquished. In fact, the crypt where she’s buried St. Louis Cemetery #1 is believed ot be the most haunted cemetery in America. Visitors claim to have seen the ghost of the Voodoo Queen herself, inside the cemetery, walking around tombs, in her trademark turban, while whispering a Santeria Voodoo curse to disrespectful gawkers. If you visit her grave, you’ll notice that people still leave offerings, candles, flowers, Voodoo dolls, all in the hopes that Laveau will bestow her supernatural blessings. When people make a wish at her tomb, they return if their wish comes true and leave three X marks as a sign of their gratitude.

So, who was the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans? How did a freeborn Creole woman rise to become one of the most powerful, influential and feared women in 19th century Louisiana? Here’s the truth behind the legend…

Slave ships from West Africa first brought Voodoo to Louisiana. Practicioners knew which plants and herbs could heal and which could bring about hallucinations, sickness, and death.

Upon arrival, the slaves were christened Catholic and were orally taught the faith. In Catholicism the slaves found parallels in their own belief systems and in conjunction with their own religious practices involving naturalism, spiritualism and herbalism, voodoo practitioners would create amulets that had the power to heal or cause harm and perform rituals involving drums, prayer and dances designed to bring about a desired effect. Marie Laveau was one such voodoo practitioner. – Strange History

As a free woman of color, Marie Catherine Laveau was born in New Orleans on September 10, 1801. She was the illegitimate daughter of a free man of color and a Creole mother. Historians believe that Marie’s mother and grandmother were voodoo practitioners. In 1819, at the ripe young age of 18, Laveau married Jacques Paris, with whom she had two children, both of which are believed to have died young. Her husband also passed away under mysterious circumstances. By the time she was in her 20s she was known around town as the Widow Paris. This name would also be etched onto her tomb, which has become quite the popular tourist attraction.

After the death of Jacque, Marie became a hairdresser, most of her clients were wealthy white socialites, which allowed her to be privy to the myriad of rumors and gossip that floated around the French Quarter. Because Laveau had access to a wealth of information from both the elite women she serviced, to their servants and slaves, she was able to convince people that she was a Voodoo priestess with mystical powers. She was basically a 19th century Miss Cleo. Laveau then entered into a common-law marriage with Louis Christophe Dominick Duminy de Glapion (say that five times fast!) and they had seven children together. Unfortunately, only two of her children survived past childhood. In all, it’s believed Marie gave birth to 15 children, of which one lived to adulthood.

Of Laveau’s magical career, there is little that can be substantiated, including whether she had a snake she named Zombi after an African god, whether the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic saints with African spirits, or whether her divinations were supported by a network of informants she developed while working as a hairdresser in prominent white households and in a brothel she ran. She appeared to excel at obtaining inside information on her wealthy patrons by instilling fear in their servants whom she either paid or cured of mysterious ailments.

People from each strata of society sought out Marie’s assistance with spells and potions.

It has been said that the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans had the power to put a person into or out of City Hall. She nurtured the sick through multiple epidemics, stood on the gallows ministering to the condemned and was accused of causing the deaths, through voodoo, of both a lieutenant governor and a governor. Many condemned her as a witch while others praised her as a saint. – Strange History

By the 1860s, Marie ceased practicing voodoo in public, however according to folklore she continued to practice foro well into old age. Her daughter Marie Laveau II actually picked up the mantle her mother left behind and was known for her “wild rituals in the swamps around New Orleans.” It’s believed that she drowned in Lake Pontchartrain.

Marie Laveau died on June 15, 1881. The New Orleans Daily Picayune printed the following obituary:

“Those who have passed by the quaint old house on St. Ann, between Rampart and Burgundy streets with the high frail looking fence in front over which a tree or two is visible, have been within the last few years, noticed through the open gateway a decrepid old lady with snow white hair, and a smile of peace and contentment lighting up her golden features. For a few years past she has been missed from her accustomed place. The feeble old lady lay upon her bed with her daughter and grand children around her ministering to her wants.”

The paper went on to write that she died with a smile on her face, and was buried in the family tomb at 5PM, in St. Louis Cemetery #1. Her funeral was attended by throngs of people.

Marie’s beauty and wisdom were also recounted in her obituary, however, her voodoo practices were referred to as being “skilled in the practice of medicine” and being “acquainted with the valuable healing qualities of the indigenous herbs.” The paper touched upon stories of her healing abilities as a “very successful nurse.”

“In yellow fever and cholera epidemics she was always called upon to nurse the sick, and always responded promptly. Her skills and knowledge earned her the friendship and approbation, of those sufficiently cultivated, but the ignorant attributed her success to unnatural means and held her in constant dread. Notably in 1853 a committee of gentlemen, appointed at a mass meeting held at Globe Hall, waited on Marie and requested her on behalf of the people to minister to the fever stricken. She went out and fought the pestilence where it was thickest and many alive today owe their salvation to her devotion. Not alone to the sick man was Marie Laveau a blessing. To help a fellow citizen in distress she considered a priceless privilege.”

The paper was very explicit in providing every minute detail of Laveau’s life. Noting that she lived in an “unassuming cottage”, built by French settlers, and was in a state of decay, but Marie welcomed people into her home, day or night, and provided them food and a warm place to spend the night.

Marie also made herself available to condemned men, providing them counsel before they were they were executed. In fact, Marie became a folk hero of sorts, fighting on behalf of the condemn. It was reported that she’d beg for mercy for prisoners, and she was reportedly very anti-capital punishment. In her obituary, the local paper noted her pious nature, and her devotion to Jesus and the church:

“All in all Marie Laveau was a most wonderful woman. Doing good for the sake of doing good alone, she obtained no reward, oft times meeting with prejudice and loathing, she was nevertheless content and did not lag in her work. She always had the cause of the people at heart and was with them in all things. During the late rebellion she proved her loyalty to the South at every opportunity and fully dispensed help to those who suffered in defense of the “lost cause.” Her last days were spent surrounded by sacred pictures and other evidences of religion, and she died with a firm trust in heaven. While God’s sunshine plays around the little tomb where her remains are buried, by the side of her second husband, and her sons and daughters, Marie Laveau’s name will not be forgotten in New Orleans.”

 

Reference

Tatiana Danger
Roadtrippers

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Remember These Things

Posted by Mistress of the Myst

Remember These Things

 

⦁ A Witch knows the nature and ways of her time.

⦁ A Witch knows what she knows, and should make no other claims.

⦁ A Witch seeks to harm none, but faced with the necessary choice between two ills, she will seek the lesser.

⦁ A Witch places wisdom first in life rather than love, for love without wisdom is hurtfull, but always temper wisdom with love.

⦁ A Witch knows to seek not more than she needs and she shall ever have enough and even abound.

⦁ A Witch seeks to know two things, and these are: what she is, and what deity is, and if she comes to know the anser to either of these, she will know the other.

⦁ A Witch turns no one away seeking the ancient knowledge.

⦁ A Witch knows that she is one with all things and all things are one with her.

⦁ A Witch strives to overcome fear, of man, death, and other entities/things.

⦁ A Witch knows that all things work best when they are positive to all concerned. She also realizes the duality, for the negarive is also part of the oneness. So seek balance – not stasis. You cannot build upon that which you refuse to recognize.

⦁ A Witch knows that there is an element of laughter in all things, no matter how negative they seem. Seek this out, for it is your protection against deviation of mind and will. It can neutralize and make clear the answer you need.

The Ten Commandments (of the Goddess)

Posted by Mistress of the Myst

green wiccan

The Ten Commandments (of the Goddess)

 

1. You shall adore (worship) my Spirit.

2. Your Adoration should be once a month and best when the Moon is full.

3. You shall gather in a secret place.

4. You shall worship naked before me.

5. You shall sing in the joy my freedom brings to thee.

6. You shall feast sharing the bounty of the earth I pour out unto thee.

7. You shall dance my dance of divine ecstacy.

8. Play music in Honor of She who is Queen of the Wise.

9. Make Love that thy Bonds with one another become sacred.

10. Place no sacrifice of any living creature upon my Altar for I am the Mother of All Things Living.

 

—H.P. Jacobus, Author
Published on Lady Bridget’s Wiccan Ways

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Let’s Talk Witch – Characteristics of a True Witch

Land OF the Druids

Let’s Talk Witch – Characteristics of a True Witch

In general, “witch” is a term that refers to a female sorcerer or wizard.  However, a sorcerer or a wizard is usually a male who is inclined to be manipulative in his craft.  A witch, on the other hand, is a deeply religious individual who is usually pure in heart and practices witchcraft through combining meditation and spiritual elements.  In addition, a witch is a gifted individual who may seem to have supernatural abilities.  A witch displays compassion and practices witchcraft without any hidden motives.  More often than not, a witch works for others who are suffering and in pain, bringing them relief and comfort.

Generally, a witch is often misunderstood as an evil individual and maligned for bringing unfortunate circumstances to another person.  However, in today’s society, witches along with their beliefs and practices have regained their lost ground and earned the respect of the society.  The term witch is now being brought back to its old name, Wicca.

There are several characteristics of a true witch.  By true, it means a witch whose beliefs and practices correspond with theWiccan Rede, “As it harm none, do as thou wilt.”  For instance, a witch employs witchcraft for healing, especially of unexplained health problems.

Normally, a witch uses her personal abilities or powers combined with energies from candles, herbs, stones, and other natural materials.  A witch employs witchcraft to ameliorate mankind as well as the world.  A witch does not hurt people and more importantly, she does not worship the devil.

A witch derives her strength primarily from nature including earth, water, air, and fire.  She believes that water is able to purify; fire is able to cleanse and transport an individual into the spiritual world; and air enshrouds an individual and lifts them to the freedom of the skies and divine immenseness.  A witch believes that the air unites with her spirit, allowing it to float in the sky freely.  A witch reaches an uplifted state through perseverance and meditation.  In some cases, a witch is born with special talents that allow her to achieve an uplifted state more easily than other individuals.

In reality, a witch is not a wicked being or an ugly hag as depicted in most books, movies, and other forms of media.  She is just an ordinary looking person who can be your next-door neighbor.  She can be a hardworking housewife who attends to the needs of her family and does daily chores.

A witch also has emotions although she can function at a larger level rather than personal.  For instance, if she is sad, it can be caused by the world’s suffering and not just because of a personal matter.

A female witch is different from an ordinary woman in the sense that the former can connect with her goddess.  This connection is intended for her soul to achieve a state of oneness.

A witch carries out her craft by utilizing a number of rituals alone or with a coven.  More often than not, rituals are done in an altar room filled with the smell of incense while candles are lit, and chants or incantations are spoken.  Witchcraft rituals usually involve meditating while staring into the candle flames.  Once a witch enters into a trance, she dances with the power of the fire coming from the candles.  Consequently, she sees images in her head that become a permanent part of her psyche.

A true witch does not do anything to utilize witchcraft to damage a living or non-living thing. Given that a witch believes that retaliation can be a lot worse than her act.  A true witch believes that whatever you do, regardless if it is good or bad, will come back to you threefold.

Although it can be difficult to determine if someone you know or someone who lives just next door is a witch, some witches wear a Pentacle or pentagram, which looks like a five-pointed star.  A pentagram is a symbol that represents the five elements of nature.  It does not represent the worship of anything but nature.

Witchcraft: A Beginner’s Guide To Wiccan Ways: Symbols, Witch Craft, Love Potions Magick, Spell, Rituals, Power, Wicca, Witchcraft, Simple, Belief, Secrets,The … For Beginners To Learn Witchcraft Book 2)
Sebastian Collins

WOTC Extra – Karmic Consequences (What is Karma/Leftover Karma from Past Lives)

Irish Celtic Fighting DragonsKarmic Consequences

(What is Karma/Leftover Karma from Past Lives)

Karma is a Hindu concept that has been adopted by many Westerners, especially those in the New Age and Pagan communities. While many people talk about karma, not everyone fully understands it. Its effects over several lifetimes are also often misunderstood.

What Is Karma? Karma is the Hindu law of cause and effect. For every action you take, there is a reaction, although it’s not equal and opposite. When you take beneficial action, you receive a beneficial effect. When you take baneful action, that will come back to you, too.

Your karma is a part of your soul, and it determines, in part, how your life will play out. If you live a just life, you will receive more just benefits. If something negative befalls you, look to your history and see what might have caused it.

Leftover Karma from Past Lives

The karmic backlash or reward for your actions is not always immediate. Sometimes it takes years to feel the full karmic effects of any action. The span of time between an action and its karmic effect can actually stretch over more than one lifetime. The actions you took in your past lives affect your current life to some degree. They might decide your role in this life, or how your life is lived. You can rest assured that really evil people will receive appropriate punishments in their future lives. Hopefully, you weren’t a terrible person in your past life, but if you can’t see any reason why so many things in your life seem to be going wrong, you might be dealing with retribution for mistakes you made in a previous life.

The Hindu concept of time is not strictly linear, so there can also be a karmic influence for an action you’ve not yet taken. Living the best life you can in order to balance out the negative weight on your karma is the best solution for dealing with karmic effects you had no role in creating in this life. A Hindu’s goal in life is to carry out his dharma (duty). If you attempt to serve your life purpose, it will benefit your karma and counterbalance the mistakes of the past or future.


The Everything Paganism Book: Discover the Rituals, Traditions, and Festivals of This Ancient Religion

Selene Silverwind

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