Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Top 10 Most Powerful Voodoo Priestesses of New Orleans

No. 1: Queen Bianca

Bianca has been the reigning Queen of New Orleans voodoo since 1983 when she received the title from Liga Foley, her aunt by marriage and a granddaughter of Marie Laveaux I. Bianca has presided over the secret Sosyete that Laveau founded carrying on the legacy of true New Orleans voodoo these many years. Bianca learned the ways of New Orleans Voodoo and Santeria from a very young age. Having studied numerous ancient paths and traditions, she has also become very well known as specializing in rare New Orleans original voodoo occult items and the handmaking of magical fetishes, small voodoo statues and good luck charms.

No one is left unmoved by an encounter with the powerful Bianca and she is widely loved and sought after. There are some, however, who live by this motto in their dealings with the reigning Voodoo Queen:

“Ira Regina Mors Est”

It is wise to take this caveat to heart.

No. 2: Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman

Mambo Sallie Ann has been practicing Voodoo in New Orleans since 1977. She traveled to Haiti in 1995 to undergo the week-long “couche” initiation rituals; during these rituals, she was ordained as Ounsi, Kanzo and Mambo Asogwe, or a High Priestess of Vodou. Mambo Sallie Ann is one of the few white Americans to have been ordained through the traditional Haitian initiation. As an American woman of Jewish-Ukrainian heritage with a thorough knowledge of the Kabala and ritual magick, she brings a unique perspective to the traditional practices of vodou.
Counted as one of the twenty most active Voodoo practitioners in the United States, Priestess Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman is known for promoting positive thoughts through her Voodoo faith. She is also an historian on Voodoo tradition and its roots in Hatian Vodun.
Mambo Sallie Ann is the founder of La Source Ancienne Ounfo and the founder of the Island of Salvation Botanica, a resource for Vodoun religious supplies and a showcase for Mambo Sallie Ann’s Vodou-inspired art. Renowned for her powerful workings and community-based rituals, Mambo Sallie Ann is one of the most personable and accessible of the powerful New Orleans Voodoo Priestesses.

No. 3: Ava Kay Jones

Voodoo and Yoruba Priestess Ava Kay Jones was an attorney by trade before she chose the path of her true spiritual calling. One of only twenty practicing Voodoo Mambos in the US, Ava Kay Jones has enthralled locals and visitors alike with her dynamic presentation of authentic voodoo rituals as practiced in the days of Marie Laveau. Priestess Ava is also the founder and featured performer of the Voodoo Macumba Dance Ensemble, a performance group of drummers, dancers, fire-eaters, and sword and snake dancers. Priestess Ava and Voodoo Macumba have performed in movies, at festivals, and, most notably, in the Superdome conducting blessing ceremonies for the New Orleans Saints.

No. 4: Chief Sharon Caulder

Called to her spiritual path in her mid-40’s, Dr. Sharon Caulder undertook a journey of exploration and transcendence to her ancestral homeland, the West African country of Benin, called the birthplace of the Vodoun religion. There Dr. Caulder encountered the Supreme Chief of Voodoo on the African continent, Chief Daagbo Hounan Houna, who agreed to tutor her in the spiritual traditions of Vodoun. Initiated as a Vodoun Chief, Caulder returned to America to spread the message of Vodoun as the one true religion of Africa and a faith for all people. Chief Sharon Caulder settled in New Orleans where she owns and operates Chez Vodoun, a spiritual oasis in the heart of a City in need of healing.

No. 5: Priestess Miriam Chamani

Priestess Miriam was born and raised in Mississippi where she experienced the power of mysterious spiritual forces beginning in early childhood. Around 1975 the power of the spirit called strongly to Priestess Miriam leading her to many spiritual orders and ultimately to a seat at the Angel All Nations Spiritual Church. There she increased her knowledge of spirit and explored metaphysical concepts and teachings. In October 1982 she was consecrated as Bishop of the Church and served there until 1989. In 1990, Priestess Miriam and her late husband Oswan Chamani settled in New Orleans where they founded the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, the only temple of its kind in the City at that time.
Priestess Miriam is praised as an unbiased and unprejudiced spiritual guide who sees people not by race or color but by what is in their hearts. At the Voodoo Spiritual Temple Priestess Miriam offers many kinds of traditional Vodoun spiritual services with Voodoo Weddings being the most popular.

Samantha (Kaye) Corfield was born in New Orleans amid a family tradition of voodoo, hoodoo and mountain magic. Although baptized a practicing Catholic, Samantha was surrounded by root work, herbal potions, and folk magic spells throughout her childhood and youth. Samantha is an “oracle” among her family, having inherited the mystical tradition from the spiritual leader of her family; she is also an ordained Reverend of the Universal Life Church and an initiated Haitian Voodoo Mambo. Samantha claims to have been initiated into the unique witchcraft tradition of New Orleans by the late Oneida Toups; she also practices Santeria and is a High Ceremonial Magician in the O.T.O.
Samantha draws on all these traditions to enlighten her devotees and serve her clients. Her positive commitment to spiritual truth and her popularity among locals has made her one of the most enduring figures in New Orleans voodoo.

No. 7: Scully Elly Maistros

Scully Elly Maistros is a world famous Vodou practitioner and a Haitian Hounzi Kanzo initiate. She has enjoyed exceptional exposure through her “voodoo joint” – really a botanica and spiritual oasis located in the popular Louie’s Juke Joint – where she has guided everyone from the experienced practitioner to the curious novice. Elly is a dedicated and respected Vodoun who has made important contributions to the practice and understanding of New Orleans Voodoo; she is an expert in the use of herbs and roots with an extensive knowledge of obscure naturopathic applications. In this regard she is New Orleans’ leading Grune Hexe, or “hedge witch.”

“Born and raised as a ‘Delta Babe’ and grown to become known as the ‘Cultural Diva’ … and more specifically the ‘Poet Priestess of the Spirit of New Orleans’,” Mary Millan, known as “Bloody Mary” to all, claims to be a true spokeswoman for her hometown. She was born on the bayou and raised in the Crescent City, inheriting a strong spiritual tradition of clairvoyance and healing from her family. Mary has been visited by spirits all her life and as an adult she has channeled these spiritual powers into her work in vodoun and magick. A popular local historian and tour guide, Bloody Mary has been instrumental in educating the wider public about the unique “gumbo” that is the city of New Orleans.

No. 9: Rev. Mother Severina KarunaMayi Singh

Mother Severina inherited her psychic ability and intuition through her family’s Gypsy background and has performed spiritual counseling and Tarot divination since her youth. She learned about folk remedies and healing herbs from her mother. She is very much involved in dream and trance work; primarily clairaudient, she is sometimes clairvoyant as well. Mother Severina practices Vodoun and Yoruba traditions, as well as Sufism and metaphysical practices. She is also the founder of the New Orleans Voodoo Crossroads Dance and Drum Ensemble, a popular troupe performing at festivals, voodoo weddings and other events.

Momma Alice is a Voodoo Priestess of great inner strength and power, famed for her root magick and specialized rituals encompassing all aspects of traditional New Orleans Voodoo, Hoodoo and Santeria. Momma Alice has performed many public and private rituals throughout the New Orleans region over the years but now prefers to stay out of the limelight. Guided by her spirits and ancestors to work humbly and guilelessly, Momma Alice remains reticent about not becoming “another tourist attraction.” Beloved by all who know and follow her, Momma Alice is one of the best traditionalist workers of the craft in the entire New Orleans area.

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