SDM header

An American Vodou House

Sosyete du Marche, Inc’s Library

La Siren / La Balenn: Mother of the Deep

Siren_veveIn Kreyol, we sing the following song to LaSiren, the mermaid of Haitian mythology:

LaSiren, La Balenn, chapeau tombe a la mer!

It translates as: "La Siren, La Balen, my hat falls into the sea!" Falling hats into the sea is code for going under possession. Your head "falls" into the sea of consciousness, where all the knowledge and  power of the world preside. Here is where we meet LaSirenn, wife of Agwe Tawayo, the supreme lwa of the ocean. LaSiren is feminine, enchanting,  sensual. She moves with unerring grace through the water domains of her  husband. She carries  her trumpet, which she uses to call the faithful  to service, seducing us with her siren song, taking our heads as it  were, under the sea, to gain "konesans" - consciousness of the intuitive world

La Siren is considered to be the "Mother of the Fish".  She shares this title with Yemaya of Santeria, whose names also mean  "Mother whose Children are the Fish. In both cases, the inner meaning  is that since she is the mother of the world, her children are too  numerous to count - not unlike the fish who inhabit her domain of the  sea. Modern science has shown that life actually began in the oceans of  the world.  And, as a fetus, we swim for nine months in our mother's  belly. So, the stretch to calling the Ocean our Mother is not all that  big - a large body of salt water, rolling and moving with the tides. Not unlike being rocked in the womb of our mother. And, just as early life  evolved out of the oceans, we too must change from little fish-like  fetuses into human beings at birth.  We come from the waters and  manifest ourselves into the reality of our world. This can be seen as an allegory of LaSiren, who brings her initiates knowledge from beneath  her watery domain, helping them manifest their desires. lib_lwa_sir_02

LaSiren is beautiful, but she also very powerful! It is  said that if you fall under her spell, she will steal you away to her  underwater kingdom. Here, she will keep you for a time (some stories say 7 days, other say 7 years). When you return, you are given the ability  to perform feats of magic and divination. It's said those who have spent time in her watery domain return lighter in color, because they have  gone beneath the waters.

LaSiren represents the ability to nurture and nourish  yourself. To replenish your energies and to take time out for yourself.  Her ceaseless motion of waves and tides lends you endless energy. This  can be a boon, but a burden, for others may see you as one who can  perform miracles! If you are hearing the siren call of LaSiren, stop  and ask yourself this -  who or what is it that is taking all your time  and energy? Whose problems are you trying to fix at the expense of your  own vital energy? And why are you trying to fix them? LaSiren is calling to you, to remind you that you are in charge of your own destiny, not  the destiny of others. She is inviting you to take the plunge into her  cool dark depths, to find the answers within yourself. But that can only be accomplished if you are willing to let go of the mundane world  around you and plumb your own inner seas of consciousness and talents.  LaSiren invites us to dance with her, in an endless round of ebb and flow, the give and take of life.

LaSiren has a counter part, called LaBalenn. This is the dark, intuitive sister who swims below LaSiren's cool blue domain. LaBalenn is dark only in  that she is the deep, deep depths of the world's oceans - she is our  Shadow side, our inner intuition that we so seldom listen to. Here a German poet gives us her interpretation of LaBalenn

Water Voodoo

Two-colored fish, sailing Irish
white sea virgin from Haiti
on the mirror of the water their hair
that flows like the jets of the sun
And under the mirror the black,
shining whale Labalenn, a shady dream in the waves.

On the roll of the ocean she plays
an uncanny music
She plays it with mirrors and combs
She plays it with shells, trumpets
She sings without breath and notes
their voice under the mirror
their two-colored music.

She sings from the liberty of the slaves:
drowned alive in chains,
The soft water of the mothers
the cruelly gesalzene sea
On the roll of the ocean, is her
the homeland under the mirror
two-colored country of the ancestors

The raft, with which servitors load
Champagne and white pigeons,
the meals in cloths, the cakes
the sugar, the wine, the goat
They follow the way by the waves
They follow the liquid grooves in the water: the trace of the music

She plays it with mirrors and combs
She plays it with shells, trumpets in the soft water of the mothers
in the cruelly gesalzenen sea
Sugar is in the song of the sailing Irish
She points the way back to you,
from the mirrors of the black whale LaBalenn

        (C) Sybil of people, Berlin

LaSiren is usually syncretized with St. Philomen, for the anchor she carries. Her annual festival is held in the seaside town of Limonade, where an apparition of Sen Philomen was seen over the water. Her colors are all the hues  of the ocean - blues, aquas and sea greens. Offer LaSiren mirrors,  combs, a small trumpet, pearls, perfume and anything from the ocean -  sand, stones or shells.



Copyright 1995 - 2016.  Sosyete du Marche, Inc. is a Federally recognized 501c3 church, operating in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Your donations are tax deductible, and go towards supporting Sosyete du Marche, its mission to provide a safe haven for all worshippers, and to help those who need it most. To date, we have led medical missions to the Caribbean, supported Native Americans after Katrina and currently support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.