Lalla Mira

Lalla Mira


Lalla Mira al-Mtiriyya; Lalla Mira bent Hartya



Lalla Mira is among the most powerful and famous Djinn, beloved and feared. Her origins are unknown but she is believed to be a native Moroccan, possibly first emerging amongst Berber tribes. Lalla Mira is an oracular spirit invoked for healing, fertility, protection, abundance but her major concern is love.

A very independent spirit, Lalla Mira comes and goes where she likes. She’s assertive, not shy and may aggressively select her own devotees. Lalla Mira is not married but is flirtatious with a reputation for seducing (and sometimes preying upon) married men. Lalla Mira is a jealous, demanding spirit. Female devotees are expected to consistently wear her colors.

It is easy to sensationalize Lalla Mira but it must be emphasized that she has been loved and venerated for centuries. People credit her with their good health, happiness and the very existence of their families. Yet she is a volatile spirit who engages in very different kinds of relationships with different devotees.

Lalla Mira is a complex spirit: providing some devotees with romantic and sexual happiness but denying these gifts to others. Lalla Mira has three types of devotees: women; men and those specific men with whom Lalla Mira engages in ritual marriage. (See Glossary entry for Marriage.) She expects these men to be honored by her attention and possibly to find complete fulfillment with her. Unfortunately many of the men she prefers are already married. Lalla Mira is a coquettish spirit: the fact that they are married may increase their appeal.

In general, Lalla Mira finds lovers andspouses for her devotees (sometimes aggressively so!). She prevents illness and heals infertility. She can cause men to be irresistible to women. If Lalla Mira seeks a relationship with a man herself, she signals her interest via erotic dreams. These dreams are not mere fantasies but actual visitations. Lalla Mira may appear in her own form and identify herself but she often appears to a man in the form of a woman he already knows and loves.

If she loses interest, the dreams will cease but if she genuinely seeks a relationship, they will continue, possibly increasing in frequency. Initially pleasurable, they can become debilitating unless a relationship is negotiated and established and the man becomes her active devotee in waking hours as well as when asleep. If this is problematic, the renowned Moroccan saint Sidi Ahmed may be invoked to help negotiate the relationship.

Lalla Mira may object to male devotees having relationships with other women, even their wives. Objections are made manifest via illness or by the increasingly obsessive behavior of the dreamer who may become so all-consumed he is no longer able to function.

Lalla Mira is invoked to foretell the future through a spirit medium via ritual possession. She is summoned via taridja drums and the fragrance of her favourite perfume mixture burned in an incense burner: coriander: black and white benzoin resin; oud (agarwood); salabane resin (also known as Boswellia or frankincense), turpentine and lots of sugar so that her words will be sweet.

Men who are married when Lalla Mira makes overtures must establish that they wish to continue relationships with their wives (presuming that they do); some sort of schedule is worked out. Unmarried devotees are expected to request Lalla Mira’s permission and blessings before marrying. Should she allow a man to marry, then wife, children and possibly future descendents are expected to serve Lalla Mira, too. (The woman may already be her devotee: Lalla Mira likes match-making and is more inclined to permit devotees to marry.)

If Lalla Mira is angry, vengeful or in a bad mood, she will lash out. Her attack usually manifests as sudden paralysis. Those who are hysterical, whether laughing or crying, are particular vulnerable to her attack.

To counteract an attack or placate Lalla Mira:

• The victim should dress in Lalla Mira’s colors

• Place henna in the victim’s hands and nose (this can be a ball of henna or a bit of henna paste; it doesn’t necessarily have to be painted)

• Sponsor a henna party in Lalla Mira’s honor: hire belly or tribal dancers as well as henna artists: for women only!

• Dancing the hadra for Lalla Mira may help but only if it’s done well. Lalla Mira attacks those who dance the hadra incorrectly. (Hadra is an ecstatic trance dance.)


Orange, bright yellow

Plant: Henna (Lawsonia inermis)




Lalla Mira is most likely to be encountered in the late afternoon, when she likes to take a stroll.

Sacred site:

Lalla Mira lives within the houses of devotees but is also associated with healingwells, springs and bath houses. Hammam Lalla Mira is the oldest hammam (bath house) in Essaouira, Morocco. Originally named for a sultan’s daughter, it was used mostly by the Gnawa community who renamed it for Lalla Mira. Offerings were brought to her here and her blessings invoked. It is now incorporated into the first eco-hotel in Morocco, the Hotel Lalla Mira Essaouira.


Lalla Mira expects devotees (especially women) to wear her colors; candles, eggs (raw; unbroken); sponsor dances in her honor from the Gnawa and Jilali brotherhoods.


Aisha Qandisha; Djinn; Genie; Kalu Kumara; Lalla Malika; Lalla Rekya Bint El Khamar


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.