Voodoo Spiritual Temple

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 3 November 2004.

Phone: 504-522-9627
Email: voodoospiritualtemple@hotmail.com
Website: http://www.voodoospiritualtemple.org/
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The Voodoo Spiritual Temple was established in 1990 by Priest Oswan Chamani and his wife Miriam. It is the only formally established Spiritual Temple with a focus on traditional West African spiritual and herbal healing practices currently existing in New Orleans. "Mother Miriam", as she is also known, was ordained a bishop in the "Angel Angel All Nations Spiritual Church" prior to her marriage. Upon the death of her husband on March 6, 1995, Miriam Chamani continued her husband's Belizan Vodou traditions in addition to her own spiritualist practices.

Activities and Schedule

The Voodoo Spiritual Temple offers a wide variety of services, including African bone readings, Vodou weddings, oils and baths, and rituals involving Erzulie (a female divinity connected to elemental forces) and Damballah (the ancient sky father who manifests as a serpent; one of Erzulie's three husbands). The temple also offers a sizable selection of written material on the origins of Vodou and spiritual practice, in addition to personalized potions of protection like "Ju-Ju" or "Gris-Gris." Most recently, Priestess Miriam released a CD recording her singing during the Vodou rituals performed in the courtyard behind the Voodoo Spiritual Temple.


The Voodoo Spiritual Temple incorporates many African and African-derivative traditions. Priestess Miriam was ordained a bishop in the "Angel Angel All Nations Spiritual Church," and continues many of the inclusive trends of Black Christian Spiritualism. In addition, under the influence of her late husband Oswan Chamani, priestess Miriam has incorporated the practices of Belizan hoodoo and herbalism.
Erzulie is actually personified by seven different incarnations; each represents a unique quality or type of love. Gran Erzulie, the old, matronly love of a grandmother, is considered the quintessential manifestation, but the other six are not all as warm and comforting. One Erzulie, a character from the Haitian revolution, cut out her own tongue to preclude giving away the hiding places of rebels and children. Hers is something like the protective, defensive love of a bear defending her cubs. In this guise, the shamanistic performer, the "vessel", channels a spirit who speaks only in clicks and growls (recall the tongue removal), and who is adversarial and often violent. However, the general timbre of the Erzulie complex is of purity, beneficence, and guardianship. Another Erzulie demands fine champagne and perfumes, and the adoration of all male members present. At the possession ceremony, standard ritual practice compels the men to kiss and otherwise fawn over the possessed, and for the women to retreat to the far edges of the gathering, as not to provoke her jealousy. The bottles of perfume and other accessories usually associated with vodou ceremonies are never consumed physically, but are discarded as if spent after their spiritual consumption.


The temple caters to an international community, with members in Japan, Europe, Canada, Russia, and South America. Located on the edge of the French Quarter, the temple affords easy access to tourists and convention goers who are curious to learn about the Vodou religion - or "Voodoo."

Location and Directions

The Voodoo Spiritual Temple is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, across the street from Congo Square. From I-10 East:
1. Proceed on I-10 E until reaching exit no. 235-A
2. Merge onto ORLEANS Ave via exit number 235A toward VIEUX CARRE. (0.3 mile)
3. ORLEANS AVE becomes BASIN ST. (0.1 mile)
4. Turn LEFT onto CONTI ST. (0.1 mile)
5. Turn LEFT onto N RAMPART ST. (0.2 mile)
From I-10 West:
1. Proceed west on I-10 E until reaching exit no. 236-C
2.  Take the ST BERNARD Ave exit -- exit number 236C.
3. Turn LEFT onto ST BERNARD Ave. (0.4 mile)
4. Turn RIGHT onto MCSHANE Pl. (0.1 mile)
5. MCSHANE PL becomes N. RAMPART St. (0.4 mile)
6. Make a U-TURN at ST ANN St. onto N. RAMPART St. (0.1 mile)
7.  End at 828 N. RAMPART St., NEW ORLEANS LA

CD of Vodou rituals

Title: Voodoo
place: recorded at the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, 2004
singer: Priestess Miriam Chamani
distribution: Jose Suescun Music Distribution
Description: "The sounds you are about to hear are from actual rituals still being performed today on the ancient flagstones of a hidden courtyard in the French Quarter of New Orleans."
1. Legba, The Gatekeeper (4:54)
2. Omo Chango (5:02)
3. Le Grande Zombi (3:54)
4. Resurrection of the Ancestors (4:44)
5. Mama Waters (4:38)
6. Yen Velou (4:15)
7. Ogun (2:48)
8. Dance of the Dead (3:59)
9. Ghede (3:34)
10. St. John's Eve (4:18)
11. Legba, The Gatekeeper (10:35)
12. Omo Chango (Extended Trance) (7:37)
13. Thirteen Stones (1:26)