Headwashing Ceremony (form of Vodou baptism) dedicated to Marie Laveau
Wear all white and bring a white scarf or rag for your head (It will get dirty.)
Bring an offering for Marie Laveau. She likes flowers, blue and white candles, Creole foods, hair ribbons and hair dressing supplies (She was a hairdresser.), Vodou-esque items (Voodoo dolls, potions, gris-gris bags, etc.), or images of Marie Laveau.
For more info, call Island of Salvation Botanica: (504) 948-9961.
If you are visiting New Orleans in the hazy month of June, do not miss this opportunity to experience this authentic voodoo ritual hosted by one of the most powerful practitioners of the religion in the South!
Marie Laveau Headwashing Ceremony Commemorating the time of year most preferred by Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau for her workings, this ceremony takes place on June 23rd, traditionally St. John’s Eve and an important date in many cultures. During her lifetime Mambo Marie Laveau hosted her voodoo “bamboulas” to coincide with this date; these always took place along the waterway known as Bayou St. John in New Orleans. To honor both the tradition and the great Voodoo Queen herself, Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman and La Source Ancienne Ounfo host a midsummer headwashing ritual each year on the same waterway favored by Marie Laveau.
Manbo Sallie Ann Glassman Begins the Marie Laveau Ritual on Bayou Saint John.
This ritual, performed for the benefit of devotees and members of the public alike, is a celebration of the season of fullness and plenty. As with other rituals, Marie Laveau, honored as a powerful ancestral Lwa in her own right, is invoked by the Mambo to join in the festivities. A ritual headwashing takes place and all are invited to share in the powerful “ashe” or energy that is invoked from the presence of Marie Laveau and that is passed, through the Mambo, to each devotee. Hypnotic ritual drumming accompanies the ritual and after headwashing is complete devotees dance long into the sapphire night. Offerings for Marie Laveau are appropriate and these include white candles, white scented flowers, hair dressing items such as combs, brushes, ribbons and clips (Marie Laveau was a hairdresser by trade), foods such as fried pork and coconut cake, cigars, Florida Water, and, of course, rum. Mambo Sallie Ann repeats her waterside ritual in the lobby of the International House Hotel in New Orleans each June 24th, St. John’s Day.