The Magic of Marie Laveau: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

Denise Alvarado. Weiser, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-57863-673-0
Anthropologist and Louisiana folk magic “rootworker” Alvarado (The Voodoo Doll Spellbook) rejects the sensational accounts of voodoo queen Marie Laveau (1801–1881) to present a comprehensive, intensely researched, and imminently readable narrative of her life and spirituality. Alvarado examined legal documents, historical interviews, oral tradition, testimony of voodoo practitioners, and Laveau’s genealogy to create her account, which also features a compendium of prayers, rituals, and spells associated with voodoo. Laveau was born a free woman of color in New Orleans and was a devout Catholic, slave owner, philanthropist, nurse, and volunteer who performed many charitable works, and was likely a hair dresser to upper class white women. Beginning her career as a voodoo queen in the 1820s, Laveau was a driving force in the formation of New Orleans voodoo and the Creole voodoo religion, combining African traditions, Dahomean cosmology, the loa spirit Papa Legba, and Hoodoo magical practice. Nearly half of the book contains spellwork, including candle magic, Catholic conjure, fetishism, gris gris, and water rituals—for purposes including keeping a lover, finding a lost person, healing, and attacking enemies. This insightful resourceful is a thorough examination of Laveau’s legendary status and will be an invaluable reference for devotees of the Laveau voodoo tradition. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/17/2019
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Religion
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