Maryaj lwa

Sept. 9, 2006 Sosyete Fo Fe Yo We

Djehutydjesi and Maitres Mambo Erzulie Freda Daome

AYIBOBO! Two years after the botched (grrrr) first attempt at this maryaj lwa I was finally able to have it done right. It was worth the wait. A more beautiful wedding I couldn't have imagined. She was so very happy and loving that I'm still feeling that vibe :>. Plus contrary to expectations she was actually very cordial to the women present and actually did a lot of hard work for them (of course they did buy her nice gifts ;>).

Ok, so the ceremony started off with the Priye Ginen. I always love this part its so pretty. Then the singing and dancing for the lwa began! My knees aren't as young as they used to be. Also you'd all be amazed at the sheer knowledge of songs that H.'s Tim and Hector have. They sang constantly for about 4 hours, stopping only for the actual maryaj section of the sevis. So we sang (the whole three songs I know) and danced and saluted the lwa (us newbies always spinning the wrong way. It's harder than it looks! ROFL). When we sang for Danballa I was given his flour and egg bowl and with H. Tim I saluted the four directions with it, tapping it to the floor three times at each stop.The first lwa to visit was Papa Agwe, one of Erzulie
Freda's three husbands. He sat in a chair, pretended to row a boat, poured several bottles of water all over himself, then he got up and saluted us each in turn (military type salute that is "Aye aye Cap'n!" not a vodou type salute). Then he left and we sang and danced some more until just before Erzulie was to be called and we took a break. I went to change into my suit. Then we started again and Maitres came!

She was beautiful. I love her so much :-). My recollection of precise chronology tends to fall apart here, it was kinda dream like (sort of like when we see the Names in saq for my KO siblings). She came, and then I was presented to her, saluted her (getting it wrong ;>) I was handed a plate of dry (uncooked) rice dyed pink with pink chalk dust and with the wedding ring on it tied with a pink ribbon. I asked her if she would marry me today and she looked me in the eyes and nodded yes.
Ayibobo! I felt a wave of love from her. Then she was led out to change into her dress and bath and put on make-up. Before she did that she instructed H. Tim about what to put into her bath (including the rose water which was hidden under some towels in a kivet on the floor). Then they went to another room and we waited. I think we were all amused at H. Tim's frustration as he'd come back in every few minutes saying "She doesn't like this lipstick, anyone have anything else" etc etc :-) She put him through a bit of trouble, but that's Erzulie :-). Finally she was ready, she came in I was presented to her once more and she hugged me tightly three times. I nearly cried. Then she put perfume on my hands and told me to wash my hands with it and then to put it in my pocket for wealth. Then she looked around and saw Abekh (my human husband for those who don't know us well). She called him up and hugged him as she did me and did the perfume thing with him as well. I just about cried (see it's a theme here folks ;>). It was so sweet and loving.

Once the greetings with me and Abekh were done she demanded a chair covered with a sheet and started calling up people and doing work for them. She prescribed baths, teas, tasted Nakht's (Ryan's) abfab meade. She decided she liked it and in exchange for some work for him commissioned three (or four?) bottles of it from him. She was very kind to everyone present, very willing to help and worked hard. She was just so happy with everything that was being done for her. After a bit she said she was ready to get married now.

We stood up before the altar on a sheet sprinkled with rose petals. She told me to pick a godfather and godmother as witnesses to stand beside us as we were married. I chose Kai Imakhu Antybast and Serut (Kelley) both of whom very very kindly consented and I'm very happy they did. They were each given a small pink candle to hold during the ceremony. Then I took the ring and repeated the vows after Mama said them. Ok, at this point I actually did cry... call me soppy. She looked
at me and put her head on my shoulder a bit. Then she said her vows and said I had to give her one Thursday and one Sunday of every month to her. We kissed, hugged and we were married!

Then came the party! I helped cut the cake and got her a piece. We were seated on two chairs side by side. I fed her the first bite but then she fed me the rest of the cake. I was expecting it to go the other way. She turned around and demanded the Alize (a sweet congac--- very very good I never had it before). I pour some in the champagne flutes for us and she said that people could eat whatever they liked on the table but not the Alize. That was ours. A few minutes later she relented and said that the Mambo and Houngan could have some if they wanted. She called Abekh up to sit with us (so sweet!) and let him have some too. At one point I had refilled her glass and was just holding the bottle with no good place to really set it down and she points at some one to come get it saying "My husband shouldn't have to be holding anything!" You go girl ;>. At some point she turned sideways in the seat putting her legs over mine (Hector's heavier than you'd think!).

When people were done eating they lined up and presented her with her wedding gifts. She loved them all, cooing about how beautiful the jewelry was and how nice the makeup and perfume, she was given a scarf she really really liked. Mama gave her a necklace and she suddenly put it in her mouth and started swallowing it!! She swallowed it and then brought it back up and handed it to me. Not sure what that was about. Before she brought it back Mambo T looked around and said "Great she just ate a 50$ necklace" :-). Its back though. She loved all the gifts, I can't stress that enough, she was pleased with all of you. Some people she asked if they wanted or needed anything.

Then it was time for her to go and she leaned into me and started sobbing and then left. Suddenly I had H. Hector in my lap trying to wipe make up off his face ;>. So a brief break and we're off singing for the lwa again! The next lwa to come was Ogou Feray (another of Erzulie's three lwa husbands). He took his machete and bent it at alarming angles against his stomach and and marched around the room. At one point he had Eugenia (such a nice person! Glad I got to meet her!) push the machete against him. Then he bit both ends off a candle (unlit) and lit it and took my arm and put the candle out on it. He did this three times as a gad (protective amulet type thing) and said if I mistreated his wife it would kill me. Death threats yay!! Pretty typical of an ogou though. Then he asked if other folks need him for anything and people went up and he did his thing for them. I asked for a promotion at work and he made everyone turn around and not look while he did something for me (shhh!!!!) . Not sure why he did that though, it wasn't anything particularly odd or secret but I'm a newbie so who knows what his reasons were.

Then he left and Simbi Dlo came. He moves like he's dancing with people forehead to forehead  and he doesn't talk so he pantomimes things. He made a bath for Hector to give his clients with love problems and made a bath (?) for Senset and Serut. He was the last of the lwa to come and dance with us.

With that the sevis ended. Ayibobo! It was Mama's first public ceremony in her Sosyete and it was a huge success and very very lovely. Mambo T then asked everyone who was going to be her students, her Ti Fey to come forward and take the vows, which seven of us did. Then we all went out for the reception to Bellagio's. Coming back a room was prepared for me
to spend alone with Erzulie. I didn't have any dreams I remember though, but I was dead exhausted.

Ok, I think that's about it :-) I'm extremely grateful to the lwa, to Mambo Tamara, Houngans Hector and Tim for making this happen for me. I'm very very thankful to everyone who came as guests and worked as Hounsi bossal. Thank you all for making this one of the most special, lovely days of my life :-). I love you all!

Read Mambo Chita Tann's account with pictures here!



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