Ezili Freda – No Small Lwa

Bonswa tout moun (Hello everyone!). It’s been a long time, mm? I am remedying that now with a post about a very special and powerful lwa, Manbo Metwes Ezili Freda Dahomey!

Freda is a popular lwa (well, every lwa is popular to someone). She has a high profile as befitting a fine lady. Who is she?

The lwa all belong in categories and many of them have a family name. The Ezili family is a large group of female spirits. There are many Ezilis, but they belong to different nations/families of lwa and all have different functions and personalities.

Ezili Freda is a member of the Rada nation. Rada is one of the first spirits saluted at a party because they are “cool” spirits. At any Vodou party (or “fet” in Kreyol), we start off saluting God, then move through spirits in order from coolness to heat. The Rada spirits are categorized as cooler in temperament and are associated with water (such as Met Agwe and La Sirene, the king and queen of the ocean), or air (Ezili Freda). I’ve written in this blog about Papa Damballah, the great world serpent. He is an example of a Rada spirit (and is one of Ezili Freda’s many husbands).

Freda is an air spirit, cool and fresh. When she arrives in possession at a fet, she brings a cool energy and you can’t help but smile! All negativity and evil flee at her presence, poisons are spoiled, and evil magic falls apart.

Where does she come from? Ezili’s title is Metwes (Mistress), reflecting her origins as a light-skinned mixed race woman from colonial times; many of these women were mistresses of the white plantation owners.

She is pictured as Mater Dolorosa:

You may recall the story in the Gospel of Mary presenting the Infant Jesus in the temple, eight days after his birth, and what the prophet Simeon said to her:

“And Simeon blessed them and said unto Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against

(yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

-Luke 2:34-35

This picture reflects that Gospel, and it speaks to her nature as a lwa: beautiful, bedecked in jewels and finery, and sorrowful for the sins of the world.

Twirling and dancing around the temple, she holds out her pinky fingers and people grasp them with their pinky fingers in a graceful greeting. When she sees men, she rubs their heads with Lotion Pompeia, her favorite perfume. She loves men and frequently proposes marriage with them, pointing to the ring finger of the left hand, She has many human husbands and they wear her gold ring on their fingers.

With women, it’s a little different. Ezili Freda tends to be jealous of other women; she kind of sees them as competition. If you’re a woman who has Freda in your spiritual court, a little flattery (well, a lot of flattery) goes a long way. When I work with Freda for myself or a client, I make sure to make offerings and service as pretty and proper as possible.

She is the spirit of luxury, romance, and the blush of new love. Her colors are baby pink and white. She loves roses, perfume (such as Lotion Pompeia), chocolate, sweet puddings, champagne, anisette liquor, and white wine.

Here’s an offering I did for Freda:

Note that she has a dagger in front of her statue; like her sister Ezili Dantor, she carries a dagger, but unlike Dantor, she carries her behind her back. When you’re the mistress of a powerful man, your position can be under threat, and you never know when you need to defend yourself.

She is also highly intelligent and a scholar. Think of it this way: in order to keep the interest of a wealthy man, you have to be intellectually interesting. Freda can have a conversation about anything ranging from opera to literature. People emphasize her wheelhouse of luxury and romance, but she’s so much more than that. She is no small lwa!

If Freda is in your spiritual court, you have to approach her in a certain way to get her to work with you. You must abstain from sexual activity for at least 24 hours prior to speaking/working with her. Take a shower before hand, dress in clean clothes, and put on perfume or cologne. Make sure the area around her is clean. If you are menstruating, wait until you are finished before you approach Freda.

You can book a reading with me to see if Freda walks with you.

Ayibobo Metwes Manbo Ezili Freda Dahomey!

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