Go to New Orleans and you’re in for an intensive Voodoo history lesson. Between two po’boys, fortune tellers and shops everywhere will try to sell you trinkets and read your future through your wallet. But besides the obvious hustlers, there’s a vivid culture to uncover, so trust me – invest in a book before you pick up a bag of graveyard sand or the first occult-looking amulet on the street!
Voodooism revolves around its Queens, famous for their wild occult dances fueled by booze and blood. At least that’s what the legend is in the Bayou. I’ll make a long story short. The most famous Voodooiennes of all, Marie Laveau and her daughter, lived in New Orleans circa 1830-1900. Born roman catholic, Laveau 1 started as a maid and catered to rich Creole families, a position which caused her to witness many secrets that later would help her start selling her curses and spells to the powerful and the wealthy.
After her husband mysteriously vanished, she became extremely popular and wealthy as a healer and a cult leader, and even got involved with policics(cians). She lived with disciples, kids, servants and snakes in a large house in the French Quarter, which became a bordel under her daughter’s reign. She really was the first to successfully market the superstitious “gris-gris” that’s all over Louisiana now (see Bloody Mary’s Tours).
“While the concept of the gris-gris is indigenous to Voodoo in the Benin region of Africa, the word is not. Originally spelled as “gre-gre” it derives from the Mande language groups a little to the north of Benin in what is today Senegal and Mali. With the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, it has become integrated into the Voodoo lexicon, especially in Louisiana.
The gris-gris are both the physical objects that used (such as gris-gris bags, Voodoo dolls, love potions, etc.) and the verbal invocations that are made to effect the magical properties of Voodoo. There are an infinite variety of gris-gris and no “how to” text can every accurately or completely encompass all the formulas and petitions. Most are inspired by the spirits through whom the Voodoo Queen or Doctor is working, and are very individual. In working, the inanimate object often becomes, or is inhabited by the spirit. The gris-gris are usually used for matters of love, finance, luck, legal matters or to uncross a hex.”
Gris-gris is personal. As a concept, it even includes lingerie, jewelry and all the fetish stuff. What makes a woman’s room really fascinating are the little precious things that tell the story of her life.
As a teenager I was completely obsessed with white magic in the matters of love. I had books, incenses, cards, ink, feather, stones and the altar stuff. I used to cast curses on my high school crushes, but they never really did anything else than almost burn my house!
I’ve just turned 28. 18 + 10. Age ain’t nothing but a number, but 28 is a hugely important digit for a woman. I’m finally pretty much centered as a human being, although my hormones are about to jump through the roof and it’s time I seriously start entertaining the thought of founding a family. I’ve worked so hard over the last ten years that my career is really starting to take off and my purpose in life, to make sense.
Luckily for me a year and a half ago I found love and satisfaction in the arms of a blue eyed man who actually grew up in New Orleans… so I guess we’ve come full circle!
Although I’ve always been ultra talented at making guys crazy for me, I gotta say this is my best work of Voodoo yet. I seduced and lured my prey with the elegance of a young Queen (ha!). So far there has not been one lie left untold, and everyday the bond seems to grow stronger. My relationship is delightful – I’m so fucking lucky. I wouldn’t say he’s under a spell… is he?
I guess my point is you don’t have to bury a chicken heart in your lover’s backyard or eat cobra blood. Put a colorful crystal on his desk, spray his clean sheets with expensive perfume, buy a plush animal – whatever floats your boat.
But in case you haven’t found your own inner art of seduction and feel like it’s time for you to cast a good ol’ spell, here’s a fool proof Hit or Miss straight from the Crescent City, with a little help from author Robert Tallant:
HIT: You’re after some woman’s ass? Buy a pink candle. Burn it nine days, an hour each time. You’ll do her on the ninth night. Easy breezy.
MISS: Fill the glove of a man you love with a mixture of steel dust, sugar and honey – “the sugar and honey was to sweeten the man, the steel dust was for power.” Sleep with the glove under your mattress… Hello, cockroaches!
HIT: Measure his sexual organ with a piece of string and tie nine knots in this string. Keep it with you at all times – this way he’s tied to you. You can easily justify this by saying he has biggest dick you’ve ever been with.
MISS: To seduce a married man, write the name of the man and his wife on a piece of paper, place the paper in a bladder (obtained from the slaughterhouse), and hang it in the sun to dry. Smelly. The man would leave his wife shortly afterwards.
HIT: To make someone go away you melt a black candle and knead the wax like dough. Write the person’s name on a piece of paper four times frontward and five times backward. Roll your wax into a ball, stick nine pins in it, and throw it in a river. That sounds kind of exciting.
MISS: Take some of the blood from your period and mix it in your man’s food. “Once the man ate this he was hers forever and she had him completely under her domination.” People in New Orleans swear this is still being done today – it’s the classic Marie Laveau trick. But I say it’s gross!