The mariaj lwa, or the marriage to a lwa, is a ceremony that is conducted
by Houngans and Mambos, making a participant the spouse of a specific lwa. The lwa to be married is usually divined
before this decision is made. Lwa may also ask to be married to a certain human spouse. Dantor often asks to become
the wife of women and Freda often asks to become the spouse of men, sometimes people marry both! In some Vodou houses,
there are really specific rules as to who can marry who, in whose head the lwa may turn up, and when marriages can take place.
Why would someone want to marry a lwa?
-The lwa that is the spouse offers protection, health, luck, patronage,
blessings and support.
-To make a deeper connection, a better relationship with the lwa, or
because the lwa demands it. (a lwa sometimes demands marriage with a specific person through dreams, possession,
or a reading by a Houngan or Mambo)
-The person does not want to initiate (kanzo)
-The person does not want to be obligated to any specific person.
-The person made a promise to the lwa.
-The lwa made a contract with the individual for specific work.
-The person wants to work with that lwa very closely.
-Cheaper than the kanzo ceremony.
-Communication with the lwa through dreams.
Why people do not want to marry a lwa?
-Restriction on sex (This is actually the reason I hear most often)
This is because the human spouse of a lwa is expected to observe up to two days a week, on which they must sleep alone and
not have sex. The lwa then comes and visits his or her spouse on that night in dreams. This is a lifetime commitment.
-There is no divorce! Once one is married to a lwa, there is
After the ceremony, which is conducted the same way it is in the Roman
Catholic church, there is a huge wedding reception with all the lwa's favorite foods and items. The person is also given
time to speak with the lwa with another Houngan or Mambo guiding the conversation.