Article by Matthew
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)
Maman Brijit is a Voodoo Loa who watches over the dead. She comes to us in the form of a corpse in a wedding dress; she tells bad dirty jokes and swears like a sailor. The reason for this is that being dead she doesn’t have to follow any of society’s rules, so it is very common to hear her and her family talk constantly about penis’ and other sexual organs.
But where does she come from?
Most of us know of Brigit, the Celtic goddess of smiths, healing and poetry however when the Scottish and Irish indentured servants were sent to Haiti they brought their legends and love of Brigit as well. As time went by, she eventually became absorbed into Voodoo as the wife of the Baron and the mother of the Ghede (the dead), and by all accounts she is very happy to be there!
We can call on her for just about any purpose; however, her specialty is reuniting the dead with the living, fertility and healing. She is known to save people from the brink of death at the very last moment, and removing curses just as the begin to go into effect, however, as with any loa, she will not do this just for fun – she requires payment!
How do you call upon Maman Brijit?
Go to your local cemetery and look for the first female grave. This may require some research, but it is well worth the effort. Bring a purple, black and a white candle with you (these are her favorite colors) along with some piman (raw rum with 21 hot peppers) if you can get it, otherwise plain rum or strong black coffee will work. She also likes roasted peanuts (unsalted), roasted corn, peppered bread and if you aren’t too squeamish her offerings tend to be a pair of doves. Sacrifice is not required though, she is happy with the legume offerings too. Maman Brijit also loves strong unfiltered cigarettes.
Erect a cross over the grave (sticks are fine) and make the veve you see at the head of this article in flour over the grave itself.
If you are not able to do this work in a graveyard, you can set a space in your house for her, but make sure it’s clean and free of clutter; set the cross against a wall and make the veve in front of it with the candles.
When the space is ready, light the candles and say a prayer to the most high god/dess. Traditionally this would be the Our Father, Hail Mary and Apostles Creed, but so long as you are addressing the Creator of the Universe you will do fine. Next you might want to ask your ancestors and dead loved ones to attend the ritual as well.
The Baron, Brijit and Ghede are interesting loa in that you do not need to call upon Papa Legba to open the gateway for you, you can just begin calling on them after your opening prayers. I would recommend not calling her into a circle though because she tends to be slightly claustrophobic – and its no fun playing host to a freaked out corpse!!
Here is a beautiful song that the Haitians sing to Maman Brijit:
Mesye la kwa avanse pou l we yo!
Maman Brigitte malad, li kouche sou do,
Pawol anpil pa leve le mo (les morts, Fr.)
Mare tet ou, mare vant ou, mare ren ou,
Yo prale we ki jan yap met a jenou.
Gentlemen of the cross (deceased ancestors) advance for her to see them!
Maman Brigitte is sick, she lies down on her back,
A lot of talk won’t raise the dead,
Tie up your head, tie up your belly, tie up your kidneys,
They will see how they will get down on their knees.
Keep singing this song, maybe shaking a cha-cha, in a sing-song sort of way. When you begin to feel her presence say something like: “Maman Brijit, it is I who am calling you, do you see me? Look at this food and drink that I brought for you. Please eat them. This food and drink and smoke is for you Maman, please give me … “
Now continue to rattle the cha-cha and sing her songs, light a cigarette for her, puff but don’t smoke it; the cigarette belongs to her, and she might get upset if you eat, drink or smoke her offerings without asking permission.
When you are done, and you feel that the ceremony went well, you could do a tarot reading to see if she has any messages for you. Then simply thank her and say goodbye.
The magic of the loa tends to be subtle; you will go along with your life and not notice the results right away – which is why it would be a good idea to journal your experiences with Maman Brijit.
Matthew has traveled the world in search of magical knowledge..