In the vodoun pantheon, Erzulie is the Loa of art, romance, love and of sex. Gay men are considered to come under her patronage.
Erzulie Freda is the flirty goddess of love – the embodiment of femininity, yet with a dark side tending to vanity and teasing. She is married to Damballah-Wedo.
Erzulie Dantor, the loa of jealousy and passion, is also identified with lesbian women, and is a determined guardian of women and children. She is often depicted as a black woman protectively cradling a small child in her arms.
La Sirene, is the loa of motherhood and personification of the oceans. Her husband is Agwe, king of the sea, patron of sailors and fishermen.
Erzulie is complex in her many aspects, embodying the different facets and ages of love in all its splendid incarnations from wild, sensual passion through to vengeful possessiveness. Erzulie has an aspect for every stage of love’s journey through life.
A Rada Loa, Erzulie Freda (Lady Erzulie, or Erzulie Freda Dahoumin) is the embodying aspect of passionate love, in all its sensual, seductive attributes. She is flirtatious but available, difficult but pleasurable, rewarding but demanding, all in their turn. She loves offerings of luxurious items – such as perfume, champagne and gold. As the archetypal seductress, Erzulie Freda is always the mistress, and never the spouse.
The aspect Erzulie Balianne (Erzulie the Gagged) is another Rada aspect, keeping secrets, and helping to keep the past buried, healing and calming the emotional heart. She takes care of past love, and forgotten romances. When possessed by Erzulie Balianne, people speak as if gagged or muffled.
The Rada Loa Erzulie Mansur (Erzulie the Blessed) embodies maternal love; the protective, nurturing power of a mother’s love for her children. She watches over children and infants, and keeps them safe.
Finally, Granne Erzulie – Grandma Erzulie – is a gentle, warm Rada Loa, who represents the wisdom of experience and maturity, the kindness and broad grandmotherly love for the family.
The fiery Petro aspects bring us Erzulie Dantor (Erzulie D’En Tor Erzulie of the Wrongs), who protects women and children, and deals fiery revenge against those who have harmed them, or would seek to do so. Erzulie Dantor is vengeful, fiercely protective, and has an eternal memory.
Another Petro Loa is Erzulue Mapiangue – Erzulie the Suckler – deals with the bitter-sweet experience of childbirth – the pain and the joy – and is the protector of both unborn babies and newborn babies, overseeing their transition into the world. Her horses assume the fetal position, or birthing position and cry tears of pain.
Erzulie Yeux Rouge, or Erzulie Ge-Rouge (Red Eyed Erzulie) is a wild, fiesty Petro aspect who aids the jealous or slighted in love, both male and female. She will deliver fitting vengeance against those who betray a lover. Like Erzulie Dantor, Erzulie Ge-Rouge is impulsive and quick to act, but also patient and deliberate. Revenge will be appropriate, and suitable, but never fickle or fleeting.
Offerings to Erzulie
Erzulie is symbolised by