Loa Ayizan: The Goddess of Earth

In Haiti Vodou, Ayizan is the loa of the marketplace and commerce. She is also referred as Grande Ai-Zan, Aizan, or Ayizan Velekete. The name Ayizan in the original Fon Language is derived from earth and sacredness. For this reason, she is regarded as the benign earth goddess. According to the legends, she was the first mambo because of her knowledge on religious rites and ceremonies.

This loa is called upon during initiations and she is the protector of religious ceremonies.

Origin:

Fon Dahomey

Symbols:

She is represented by mounds of earth sprinkled with oil and surrounded by palm fronds. She can also be represented with the picture of an old woman.

Colors

Gold, yellow, white, silver and pink.

Offerings:

Yam, sugar cane syrup, plantains, palm fronds.

Appearance:

She appears as a market woman wearing a white dress with very large pockets. She is also seen with candles and money to give to children.  In contrast to other Loa that enjoy alcohol, Ayizan drinks no alcohol.

Possession:

When she comes in possession, she is never violent and most times her possession is unnoticed.

Voodoo worshippers of Loa Mambo Ayizan must address her politely and she must be among the first spirits to be honored.

Duties:

She protects her followers from envy and the evil eyes. She oversees the initiation process and handles only trivial issues. She gives success to the women who work at the marketplace and punishes those who try to exploit others. If you are seeking for justice, you can call on her to aid you.

During the time of slavery in Haiti, voodoo worshippers were forced by the French masters to embrace Christianity and pray to the Catholic God and saints. The slaves who disobeyed were punished severely then the voodooists decided to represent their different loas with the Catholic Saints. Mambo Ayiza was syncretized with Saint Clare. So while they worshipped these saints publicly, in their hearts their prayers were made to their traditional loas.