Queen of New Orleans

Have you heard of the Queen of New Orleans? I’m sure you have at some point, especially if you have watched American Horror Story: Coven. I’m talking about the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau.

Marie Laveau was born September 1801, and was born a free woman of color in New Orleans (today’s French Quarter). It is unknown what her childhood was like, but she married once and was in a domestic partnership after her husband passed away.

Marie was a dedicated practitioner of Voodoo, as well as a healer and herbalist. She traveled the streets like she owned them and even held public events including St. John’s Eve rituals on Bayou St. John. She also assisted with prisoners, serving them meals, healing them of afflictions, or if she didn’t like them, serving them poison.

In her decades as queen, she had been helping people with family disputes, health, finances, and more. She performed her services at her home on St. Ann Street, Go Square, and Lake Pontchartrain. There were other Voodoo leaders during the reign of Marie Laveau, but they were not as influential as she.

Working in New Orleans as a hair dresser for wealthy families, Marie was obtaining information on her wealthy patrons from their servants she either paid or cured of ailments.

Marie’s magical career can not be fully substantiated. Her name and history have been surrounded by legacy and lore. Marie died peacefully in her home in 1881 at 79 years old. Her funeral was lavish and attended by a diverse audience including members of the white elite.

After her death, Marie Laveau still has been known to grant wishes. She is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, in New Orleans, plot 347. Tourists continue to visit and some may draw an X on the tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb, yell out their wish; and if it is granted, they come back, circle the X and leave Marie an offering.

If you would like to visit her tomb, you will need to have a tour guide assist you, as the Archdiocese of New Orleans has restricted public access due to vandalism. What do you believe? Is Marie Laveau still granting wishes, and helping her clients from beyond the grave? Or was she the Queen of New Orleans until her death, when her daughter may have taken over as the Queen? Let me know your thoughts and feelings of Marie.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

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