While there are many spirits that can be worshipped, or prayed to, there are some that stand out above the rest. Erzulie Dantor, for example, is the grand matriarch of the spirits, the one who looks out for women and who stands in her roles of blue and yellow. The Black Madonna, the lwa of motherhood and single mothers too, she is the one that ensures safety and support.
Who is Erzulie Dantor?
With tribal scars on her cheek and mother, Erzulie Dantor is the lwa of women and is also the patron loa of lesbians. Willing to defend women with her own life, Erzulie Dantor is the spirit to call on when women have been betrayed, abused, or hurt in any way. She is the loa who can also be called on when a partner becomes violent or threatens to hurt someone else. While Erzulie Dantor is often thought of as a lwa who is only revered by women, she is also well honored by men who support women’s power and rights.
According to some, Erzulie Dantor does not like her sister because they both loved the same person. Some even say that the scars on Erzulie Dantor’s face are from her sister when she fought for the man in question.
Why Erzulie Dantor fights for women
While her strength is easy to see, the story of Erzulie Dantor is a tragic one. Though she was a warrior who fought for the people during the Haitian revolution, killing and defending the community, her own people cut out her tongue so she would not share any of the secrets if she was captured. As a result, she cannot speak in more than single syllables and needs to use her daughter as a translator.
What is special to Erzulie Dantor
Erzulie Dantor likes to have a heart with two knives as part of her altar or near offerings to her. The heart signifies her deep commitment to women and to love, but the knives are a reminder that she will do WHATEVER it takes to protect women. She is a spirit that should not be aggravated or upset. In fact, there is a song in which she states she can be stabbed seven times, vomit up blood, and keep fighting. She is no victim.
Offerings to Erzulie Dantor might include things like rum, Florida water, crème de cacao, and griot, a fried pork dish. Other symbols for her include silver chain necklaces, a bowl of blood, and black dolls.
Working with Erzulie Dantor
When you want to work with Erzulie Dantor, it can help to be clear about what you need and what is being attacked in your life. Though you might want revenge on someone, Erzulie Dantor is a better deity to call on when you need protection from a harmful situation. And you want to be clear that the person is harmful and that your life is in danger. This is not a spirit to call on for something small that can be worked out in a conversation.
That said, Erzulie Dantor is the lwa to call on when you need to be protected from the greater dangers of being a woman in this world. She is the one that can follow you when you’re walking home late at night and she is the one that can help you when you have been betrayed by a lover.
Like any loa in the Voodoo tradition, it helps to get to know Erzulie Dantor well before you work with her or before you ask her a favor. Put out an altar, sit with her, and then ask for her guidance.
Ayibobo to all,
Mambo Marie-Brigitte La Croix and Mambo La Marassa Lola Donette