Tonight, I took a stroll down the street, headed to the bayou, guided by the sounds of voodoo priestesses beating their drums.
(Yeah, the New Orleanian cliches are flying fast and furious here, I know, but it's all true. I swear.)
On the footbridge was a group of people, all in white, watching the ceremony. A couple, also in white, were paddling up the bayou to join them. Along with the participants, were a few outsiders (like myself), families, fishermen, dog walkers, gathered to watch the ceremony.
I had seen this reminder online (at sturtle.com) the other day:
St. Johns Eve 2007
June 23rd, 7:00pm
Sallie Ann Glassman and La Source Ancienne Ounfo celebrate St. John's Eve with their annual ceremony on the footbridge over Bayou St. John.
Vodou Ceremony: Wear all white and bring a white scarf or rag for your head (It will get dirty.)
Offerings: Bring an offering for Marie Laveau. She likes flowers, blue and white candles, hair ribbons and hair dressing supplies (She was a hairdresser.), Vodou-esque items (Voodoo dolls, potions, gris-gris bags, etc.), or images of Marie Laveau.
I had read about the ceremony and this group a few years ago, but had never been.
Just recently I found out (by reading a Louisiana History text book from 1980 that I had found lodged and forgotten in my classroom) that Marie Laveau herself
had performed rituals right near here in the 19th century. I suppose this is why they chose the site again.
(By the way, I wish I could have taken photos myself, but I don't still don't have a camera since you-know-what.)