Ezili Freda Dahomey – Maitresse Mambo – Art by Felix LaFortune
Ezili Freda is envisioned as a stunning, colonial era mixed race woman. Ezili Freda is a wealthy courtesan with a taste for only the finest in life. She is the Queen of Love, beauty, romance, and riches: life as it should be. She is the most beautiful of the lwa. Ezili Freda dances with Papa Gedé: he adores her. She stimulates and epitomizes love that transcends death.
Ezili Freda is described as a wanton virgin. She does what she chooses; she sleeps with whomever she desires and yet retains her virginity. Ezili Freda lives life as in a dream: she only wishes to see the good and beautiful. The world she envisions has nothing but kindness and graciousness. Everyone has good manners. Nothing is ugly, sordid, or crass. There is no racism, sexism, poverty, or perversity. Harsh reality inevitably intrudes, and Ezili Freda begins to weep. Her weeping floods the entire world.
Her theme song could be “Cry Me a River.”
Ezili Freda Dahomey is the spirit of heartbreak, hope, and disappointment. Life never fulfills her expectations. She may weep but she is never cynical. She wears three wedding rings symbolizing her marriages to three spirits: Agwé, Damballah, and Ogoun. Yet each treats her like a concubine or mistress. She is more vulnerable than a wife.
• Damballah’s primary partner and soul mate is Ayida Wedo.
• Ogoun’s partner and ally is Ezili Dantor, who is Ezili Freda’s primary rival (and possibly her sister or alter ego).
Ezili Freda is tragic and beautiful, yet she is also difficult. She can be very capricious. She puts on airs and graces. She much prefers men to women, especially handsome young men (and if they’re rich, young, and handsome, all the better!).
Women who seek to work with her must be willing to sublimate themselves—to humble themselves and serve her the way a handmaid serves a great queen. She will, however, share the essence of her beauty and charisma with female devotees and bless them with good fortune. Ezili Freda Dahomey sends prophetic dreams and may be invoked to interpret dreams. Petite Freda Lwa may be an aspect of Ezili Freda Dahomey, her little sister or a spirit in her entourage. She sometimes serves as Ezili Freda’s messenger.
It is crucial to recall that Ezili Freda is a great goddess. She is not a courtesan; she only plays one. Pay her the respect due or expect to see Demonstrations of her power. Ezili Freda can be exceptionally generous. Ask her to help you achieve the financial status needed to keep her in the offerings she enjoys. In order to have a happy relationship, she must be your primary goddess. She’s not too willing to share her spotlight, especially with any other beautiful female spirit. You must adore her; she must be special to you, or she won’t be happy.
Ezili Freda engages in sacred marriages. Invoke her assistance with financial and romantic matters. It is in Ezili Freda’s nature to be acquisitive and never satisfied. It is crucial to set clear boundaries with her, or she will potentially ruin you financially. No offering is ever quite lavish enough. Do not forget if you owe her an offering: she won’t.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Erzulie Freda Dahomey
A gorgeous fair-skinned woman who is always stylishly and impeccably dressed
Ezili Freda is represented by images of the Mater Dolorosa, the beautiful woman whose heart is pierced by swords. However, Ezili Freda is beloved by Haitian artists, and many modern visions of her exist, too.
Heart, or a heart pierced with a dagger or sword
A boat, mirror
Basil, fig tree, bay laurel
Pink, light blue, white
Anaïs Anaïs (Cacharel)
Although many do venerate Ezili Freda much more simply, her altars are renowned for being sumptuous, lavish, and large. Some dedicate entire rooms to Ezili Freda, gradually furnishing them with offerings including bedroom furniture and filling her closet with luxurious garments. Alternatively, erect her altar atop a stylish dressing table.
French pastries; café au lait; French champagne (none of the cheap stuff); Madeira wine; Virginia Slims cigarettes; rice cooked in cinnamon milk; fried bananas sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar; white cake; luxurious fruits; jewelry; clothing; silk scarves; luxuries
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes – Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.