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Spiritual Hall of Fame: Marie Laveau

Spiritual Hall of Fame: Marie Laveau

If spirituality happens to be an interest of yours, you’ve likely heard of the famed Marie Laveau.

Documentary episodes were done about her life, and her story even played a crucial part in the popular horror series, American Horror Story.

In the show, the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau is brought to life by the gorgeous Angela Bassett.

Descendant of enslaved Africans and French colonists in New Orleans, Laveau led an extraordinary life, filled with espiritualidade, eclecticism and mystery

Who Was Marie Laveau, Really?

Marie came from the French Quarter of New Orleans. She was born to Marguerite Darcantel (Henry) from her brief affair with a successful mulatto businessman Charles Laveaux, on September 10, 1801.

Sources trace her maternal family line to her great-grandmother, also called Marguerite. Though, she had no last name, because she was enslaved.

Supposedly, she was brought from Senegal to Louisiana by the French slave traders in 1743.

Generational Strife for Freedom

Marie’s great-grandma had a daughter, Catherine. They were owned by Henry Roshe Belaire.

Catherine had to put up with several owners and she had several mulatto children, before finally, in 1795, she managed to buy her freedom and took the surname Henry.

Catherine’s daughter, Marguerite Henry was proclaimed free by the very Henry Roshe Belaire. 

Under these circumstances, Marie Laveau became the very first in her maternal line to be born free.

Marie Became ‘The Ancient Queen’ in Her Lifetime


The amount of creative nicknames the public of her time had created for Marie Laveau speaks volumes about her popularity.

Widow Paris

In 1819. Marie married a carpenter Jacques Paris from today’s Haiti. Together, they had two daughters, both of whom died very early in childhood. 

When, five years after they’d gotten married, Jacques disappeared, she became known as the Widow Paris.

It’s unclear whether her first husband indeed died, however.

Her Majesty, The Ancient Queen of the Voodous

Laveau attracted a multiracial spiritual community around herself. She was a clairvoyant, a healer and quite simply put, a voodoo witch.

Followers came to her for aconselhamento e sentidos. She held weekly ceremonies and combined voodoo, Christianity and European pagan traditions in her practice.

She led the yearly commemoration of St. John’s Eve, which at its core, represents the celebration of the summer solstice

These celebrations entailed bonfires, ritualistic dances, bathing in the Pontchartrain Lake and great feasts.

All of this led her followers to grace her with the title of the Queen of Voodoo among others.

A Witch And a Woman of God

Despite her mystical work, and her connection to paganism and voodoo practice, Marie Laveau was a devout Catholic her whole life.

She orderly went to mass, was married in church and had all of her children baptized. She was even a godmother at two baptisms.

Marie supported Catholic education and often gifted means to charity.

Later in life, she stopped working with voodoo and devoted herself to charity and helping people.

She was very well known for her spiritual aid to prisoners. 

Specifically, the prisoners condemned to death were often helped by her. She would pray with them, create altars in their cells and help them find peace before being sent to the gallows.

Voodoo Queen’s Love Life

Though she was married only once, to the aforementioned Jacque Paris, sources speak of two men in her life: the disappeared carpenter who left her with the nickname of Widow Paris, and a French noble.

In 1826. Marie became involved with Louis Christophe Dominic Duminy de Glapion, who was a descendant of French nobles.

Their relationship was characterized as a domestic partnership

The two had several children together, of which only two were able to survive to adulthood. They were Marie Heloïse Euchariste Glapion and Marie Philomène Glapion.

Louis Christophe died in 1855, and Marie was widowed for the second time.

Haters Gonna Hate

Despite Laveau’s work being benevolent to the community, her strangeness, mysticism and undoubtedly her race caused some unfavorable opinions.

She was referred to as a fraud, a procuress and her ceremonies were compared to evil orgies and devil worship.

Marie Laveau was not even wealthy later in life, hence she likely did not devote herself to voodoo and healing for the purpose of conning anyone out of their money.

She had issues with her estate, and at one point, her daughters and she almost wound up homeless.

They only kept their family home thanks to Marie’s friend’s help.

The Mystery Heiress of Marie Laveau

A legend speaks of the Voodoo Queen’s successor, called Marie II.

This is quite confusing since both her daughters were named Marie, but at the same time, it seems unlikely that either of them could have continued her work.

The elder daughter, Marie Heloïse Euchariste Glapion died before she could have become Laveau’s heiress.

The younger, Marie Philomène Glapion, meanwhile, was said to be a rigidly devout Catholic and would have wanted nothing to do with Voodoo.

In the end, it remains a question whether Marie II even existed.

150 Years Later 

Marie Laveau died on June 15, 1881. at the age of 79.

Her funeral was held at St. Louis Cathedral. She was buried in the Widow Paris tomb, located in St. Louis Cemetary Number 1.

Several New Orleans newspapers as well as the New York Times commemorated her death with obituaries.

To this day, her legacy lives on. Tourists, visitors and spirituality enthusiasts still visit her tomb to leave offerings and pay respects.

Marie Laveau’s Magical Potion Recipe

A little part of her legacy that is known to this day is the Marie Laveau Water.

This potion is said to bring boa sorte overall. It attracts various blessings, protects our energy and banishes negativity.

It’s made on the night of the Full Moon.

Marie Laveu’s Water combines different types of blessed and healing waters:

Holy Water

Spring Water

Rain Water

Rose Water

Lavender Water

Mix together a cup of each, and use it in rituals, cleanses, cleaning or skin care.

It’s said to attract magic our way.