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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!
THE POWERFUL MARIE LAVEAU
Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman and
La Source Ancienne Ounfo held
the annual St. John’s Day
headwashing ceremony to honor
famed Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau
and to ask her aid in protecting
her most beloved city as hurricane
season 2006 dawns.
from L toR, Staff Managing Editor
for Haunted America Tours Alyne
Pustanio, Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman,
and Well Known New Orleans Mardi
Gras Artist For The Krewe Of Mid
City Parade, Ricardo Pustanio.
Held as always on the shores of
Bayou St. John, this year’s
ritual was perhaps more poignant
than ever before; in the wake
of the devastation and destruction
of Hurricane Katrina many are
seeking hope and answers in places
they never sought to look before.
Dobrydney is a 24-year-old native
of Milford, Conn. Dobrydney has
been employed as a technician
in the identification bureau (Crime
Scene/Forensic Unit) of a municipal
police department in Connecticut
since 2002. She holds two undergraduate
degrees — a B.S. in psychology
and a B.A. in Spanish studies
— from Fordham University
in Bronx, N.Y. Here She Gets her
Voodoo Headwashing ( Voodoo Baptism)
by Sallie ann Glassman.
She finds her degree
in psychology to be especially
useful in her line of work, as
investigating interpersonal crime
often requires a detailed personality
analysis. Dobrydney recently graduated
from the University of New Haven's
Masters of Science program in
national security and public safety
with a 4.0 GPA.
A large crowd attended this year’s
ritual, including many members
of the national media. Representatives
of NBC, the Sci Fi Channes Sci
Fi Investigates, and National
Geographic Magazine mingled with
devout vodusi and the curious
as Mambo Sallie Ann once again
entreated the help and assistance
of the Loas, most especially that
of Marie Laveau, in facing the
first hurricane season since Katrina.
TO MARIE LAVEAU
The Marie Laveau
Artwork above was an offering
to Marie Laveau, the actual Piece
By artist Ricardo Pustanio was
under 20 feet of water in a devastated
hurricane Katrina Lakeview neighborhood.
Reese Smith who the piece belonged
to was featured in last years
ritual article A MIDSUMMER CELEBRATION
IN HONOR OF MADAME MARIE LAVEAU
Mid City Resident
Marie Celeste bringing her Special
Monkey and Cock offering to the
altar of Marie Laveau.
In the Mid-City, Esplanade Ridge
and Lakeview neighborhoods surrounding
Bayou St. John the extent of Katrina’s
destruction is still painfully
evident. Many businesses that
have been around for generations,
cornerstones of the New Orleans
way of life, will never reopen,
their fronts standing boarded
up and dark. Many homes will never
be rebuilt; still others are in
Monkey and Cock
offering and stones and mud from
the hurricane Katrina Levee breech.
All mixes with many offerings
to Marie Laveau
But on this June night there was
a buzz of energy in the air, and
as the sun set over the languid
bayou waters, glowing red beyond
the tree line of beloved City
Park, there was reason to hope
for renewal and rebirth.
Mambo Sallie Ann said as much
as the ceremony commenced, stating
that the Ounfo would take offerings
brought to Marie Laveau at this
year’s ceremony to the places
where the levees and floodwalls
had failed so miserably to protect
the city. There the offerings
would be left to appease the angry
spirit that was Katrina and to
invoke the aid of one of New Orleans’
most powerful protectors, the
Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. This
night, Mambo announced, all were
invited to leave offerings and
also to take as mementoes stones
that had been gathered from the
broken levees. These pieces, washed
in the deluge of Hurricane Katrina,
were now in turn powerful talismans
against harm from future devastation.
Harriet Cross A resident of Metarie
Louisiana Gets Her Head Washed
By Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman.
The headwashing ritual of this
ceremony was particularly important,
washing away the fear and the
pain and the loss brought on by
last year’s horrific storm.
Offerings of food and the remainder
of the head wash were thrown into
the Bayou at the end of the ritual
in an effort to recharge nature
with the power brought on by the
intervention of Madame Marie.
Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman became
Possessed by the Spirit of Marie
Laveau. the possession was filmed
by the Sci Fi Investigates team,
featuring Deborah (Debbie) Dobrydney,
Rob Mariano is known to millions
as "Boston Rob, Dr. Bill
Doleman and Richard Dolan. >Please
visit their web site here<
women who had arrived
earlier that evening appearing
prim and proper were now
caught up in the drumming
and the dancing: it was
clear to even the most
casual observer that there
was truly a spirit present
among these devotees.
Ritual drumming enticed
everyone to dance with
happy abandon in the twilight
of the New Orleans summer
evening and suddenly all
stopped as Mambo Sallie
Ann was overcome with
the power of the Loas.
Falling momentarily under
their spell, Mambo awoke
with messages from the
world of spirit about
owning our power and taking
responsibility for our
actions to avert another
In the strangeness of the night,
at least one ghost sighting was
reported: a local pointed out
across the Bayou in the direction
of the Pitot House and those with
her could plainly see a misty
apparition standing near the shore.
Witnessed by at least three people,
this was reportedly the ghost
of Jose Planas, the powerful King
of the French Market who is said
to haunt the shores of Bayou St.
John. Significantly, some of his
descendants were present at the
ritual, although none of them
were fortunate enough to see the
phantom. Still, it was taken as
a sign that plainly New Orleans
is on the right path and has the
power and support of its ancestors
City in the Sea
Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the
worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
No rays from the holy heaven come
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently
Gleams up the pinnacles far and
Up domes – up spires –
up kingly halls –
Up fanes – up Babylon-like
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers
Up many and many a marvelous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the
Death looks gigantically down.
There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol’s diamond eye
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass –
No swellings tell that winds may
Upon some far-off happier sea –
No heavings hint that winds have
On seas less hideously serene.
But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave – there is a movement
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow
The hours are breathing faint and
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.
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