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[ Marriage to Danto and Freda: excerpts from an interview]

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: [Fwd: Marriage to Danto and Freda: excerpts from an interview]
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 17:09:22 GMT

Regarding communication with spirits -- in Haitian Voodoo, it is fairly
common for initiates to marry lwa (sprits). Here is some material of the
subject of a man who is married to both Ezilie Freda (a pleasant
love-goddess) and to Ezilie Danto (a wrathful love goddess) at the same
time. Please archive it, siva :-) . 

cat yronwode

To: alt.religion.orisha,alt.lucky.w
From: Kevin Filan 
Subject: Marriage to Danto and Freda: excerpts from an interview
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 09:39:47 GMT

Here are some excerpts from an interview with Georges Rene, a Haitian
Vodouisant who was married both to Freda and to Danto.  The interview,
by Marilyn Houlberg, is found in Chapter 11 of the excellent *Sacred
Arts of Haitian Vodou,* Donald J. Consentino, Editor. 

I do not know if most people in Haiti would agree that Danto is a
lesbian, although I have heard that many lesbians are believed to have
Danto on their heads.  The questions Houlberg raises vis a vis "lesbian"
and "bisexual" may not have made much sense to her Haitian querent. 
I've gathered that in Haiti almost all lesbians and homsexuals are
married and have children, so there might not be a lot of difference
between a "lesbian" and a "bisexual" to Mr. Rene.  

Even if Danto is considered a lesbian by some, I'm not sure if lesbian
women ever marry Danto.  Rene's response to Houlberg's query is
ambiguous on that: is he saying a woman won't marry Danto unless she is
a lesbian, or that women never marry Danto?  

Kevin Filan

* * * * *

MH: So here we are at the Club Caribeno -- it's a club by the sea.  Lots
of "working women" here.

GR: This is why I decided to make my interview here about my double
marriage to Ezili Freda and Ezili Danto.  I know Ezili Freda is a spirit
of the light girls, for this kind of business.  She is very "hot
     [ . . . . . ]

... She took me to a mambo called Mama Luce and then when I get to Mama
Luce she started talking to me.  She opened the cards.

MH: Playing cards?

GR:  Yes, playing cards.  She tells everything.  When she plays the
cards, I see two girls coming and two men.  She says, "my friend, there
is your trouble, right there.  You have two spirit girls who love you. 
Each of them has a husband.  There is Freda with her husband Sen Jak and
Danto with Ogou Feray."

     [ . . . . . ]

GR:  When I became 18, I went to the Mambo Luce, and said "Now you are
going to call Danto for me in your head... I say I want to know who is
the spirit who bothers me, who loves me so much... "

She comes like this, "hmmrrrrmmm, hmrmmmm," eating her teeth (grinds her
teeth).  Someone in the room says "Put your spirit down, say grace."

Then Danto took water and put it on my head.  This is Danto now.  She is
blessing me with grace now, because I come, because I greet her.  And
she greets me like this [gesture] because she doesn't talk.  She has to
translate through a different spirit, who will give me the message.  She
talks in some African dialect.  "Ganga de ganga... kede ezeke... " Very
African.  Then when she takes my face with her hands and someone who is
there, an ounsi, says "She loves you to marry."  And I said, "How come I
am going to marry a spirit -- I'm just human!"

   [ . . . . . ]

So when I talked with Danto, I told her, "It seems like I'm engaged with
you."  She listened but she didn't talk.  I said to her, "I'm engaged to
you, you want me as your husband to marry?" Danto said, "My son, do
that."  She said, "I will give you money."  [GR rubs thumbs and
fingers]  Then, after that, I know I am really engaged now, but...

MH: Not married yet.

GR: Not married yet, but at least I have an idea who I belong to. 
Should I be scared to live it or not? Danto, she says to me: "You have a
choice: be with me, mon amour, or like we say, mwen amou, engage with
me, then she shrugs her shoulders, [GR imitates her] or I'm not
responsible for what will happen to you."  I could die, you know,
anything could happen.  Well I stopped telling my friends I'm going to
be married with the spirit because they say "What the hell? What, you
crazy, what is this, married with the lwa?" In Duvalier's time, under
Papa Doc, Vodou was a big thing.  But for my age, it does something for
your reputation... 

(GR goes on to explain how he did an illumination for Freda, at Danto's
request, then discovered he had to marry both of them)

GR:  And then when I had the money, I went to my aunt, I don't know if
she expected me, but you know, it's the money.  I explain, I went there
to make the deal about what it's going to cost me for the two spirits. 
Well, she says, give me so and so.  And the marriage is where my sister
lives, on Rue St. Honore.  It was [in] somebody's room.  And I give [the
proprietor] money for the two weddings.  The first marriage is with
Danto, I prepared the fried kofa, fried bananas, black beans and rice,
peanuts and a special big cake for Danto.

MH: What color is the cake for Danto?

GR: The cake is very brown.  It's about this color [GR points to his
arm].  It's a special cake.  It's a peasant cake, very rough.  But with
good savour, good flavor, a special cake.  I remember what she said was
black beans and rice, and fried bananas, and very hot sauce.  Because
she's hot, very *pickles*, very hot sauce.  Then I made some
sandwiches.  Oh, she was so happy.  She was very glad she came.  Green
scarf, green, and I have two gold chains.  And I don't know at the
start, but I decide to put two.  My sister was there.  So was my
godfather, my godmother and my paper certificate, my wedding
certificate... very serious... With the witness testimonial, people all
sign, the assistants sign.  The priest says, "Are you ready to be
received, to be married to the Madam Ezili Danto from l'Afrique Ginen?"

"Yes, I accept her to be my wife."

"Are you ready to respect her day?"

"Yes, I am ready."

"So you know, Madam Ezili Danto, are you ready to get your engagement
with Mr. Georges Rene as your husband? So what day please you give with

"The priest says "I don't know."  [GR laughs] He says that it's
dangerous if you don't respect the day, mister, Umph.  [GR makes gesture
of knife cutting off his head]  And that was on Tuesday, my first
marriage.  That was the day she chose, because they tell me the day. 
She says, "Tuesday is for me.  All the rest is for you."  {GR puts on a
high otherworldly sort of voice]  When I talk like this, she didn't talk
like that.  That's been when she goes, another spirit comes to tell me
the message.

MH:  Who is the messenger?

GR: The messenger was Charles Ogou.  Ogou comes in the head of my aunt
after the wedding to tell me that [Danto] is very happy.  She kiss me
all over.  She said, tomorrow morning, to take all the food [on the
table for the service] back because she leaves her soul in all this. 
She has blessed all the food.  Take it in a big kivet, a big porcelain
pan, each thing from the wedding.  And she says to everybody, "the
husband first."  She puts the food in my mouth, I put it in her mouth. 
That was beautiful (emphatically).  This is amour.  This is love.

(GR explains that Charles Ogou is an Ogou from O Kay, "This is called
St. Charles ... A very good Ogou.  He loves children.  He helps people
very good.") 

GR: After this was Freda, the same month.  I make offerings for Freda
too.  Because I bring them both money I make Danto on Tuesday and on
Thursday I make Freda.

MH: In the same month?

GR: Yes, in the same month.  It's very fast.  It took one week.  So, for
example, I do one on Tuesday and a week later on Wednesday I bring
everything for Freda.  And the morning after the wedding I take it back
with all the fruit.  Because Danto's blessing the water, she puts some
champagne in the water, some beer, because there was a lot to drink. 
Only rum she didn't put.  She cut all the fruit she put and she spit on
it, she bless it, and as I'm saying she says, the next morning, early,
when it's cool and I say my prayer to the candle and she says "I'm with
you."  So this is my Danto thing...

[ . . . . . ]

When I went to Freda in the next week, it was not as beautiful.  And
Freda was more jealous -- Freda very fresh, you know, like nobody cross
her.  I ask her, well, how come you married me, [since] I'm black, you
white? [Since] you so prejudiced?

She said "No, I'm not prejudiced, I don't like people who smells bad. 
You smell good.  This is Freda.  And she kiss all the men.

MH:  Oh, really?

GR:  Oh, yes, when she comes she kiss all the men.  And all the women
say, they are sisters, they say, "You are bousen, hot pepper,
prostitute, bousen, hot girl" this is Freda.  

[ . . . . . ]

GR: They are very opposite.  Danto is so tough... And there's one thing
you should know.  Danto, she's a lesbian.

MH:  Danto's a lesbian? Well then how come you have an affection for
her? She loves men too, doesn't she?

GR: She loves men, yeah, but she's lesbian... she's marrying me but she
sleeps with women.

MH: Both? She sleeps with men and she sleeps with women? Well then she's
bisexual.  But then... a woman won't marry Danto unless she's a

GR: No.  She might like you, she'll protect you, but she's not going to
marry you.  

There's two systems.  One is power, the other is love.  Power is Danto,
Freda is love.

Now in the graveyard of my secrets there's a hope buried beneath
All this talk of peace and righteousness as left me weary beyond belief
And there's this unwanted mistress in my bed late at night
She says "I know you're a criminal 
     -- you been on death row all your life."

                                   - Bill Mallonee


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