Updated: Oct 15
Erzulie Dantor is part of the Erzulie family of loa in Haitian Vodou. This group of spirits is associated with femininity. However, Erzulie Dantor often exhibits masculine traits. Her manifestation is usually connected to what modern-day society refers to as the “independent woman”. She can be fierce, aggressive, temperamental, and hard to deal with at times.
Though, she is also a very nurturing loa as Erzulie Dantor is the protector of children, abused and scorned women, prostitutes, working women, and female soldiers. Thus, she embodies the attributes of maternal love. If you are feeling lost, forgotten, neglected, or need to find your voice, the veve of Erzulie Dantor will attract her spirit to you.
Erzulie Dantor is often depicted as a black or dark-skinned woman as opposed to her sister Erzulie Freda who usually embodies a fair-skinned disposition. Erzulie Dantor represents the feminine struggle and the plight of single mothers and neglected children. She is credited as the patron loa of the Haitian revolution as a black pig was sacrificed in her honor, which subsequently ignited the spirit of rebellion within Haitian society. Thereafter, leading the people to overthrow their colonial rulers claiming a sovereign, independent nation in 1804.
Erzulie Dantor is heavily associated with maternal energy as some myths about her envision her with as many as seven children. Though, other narratives place only one or two children under her lineage. Because of her association with children, Dantor is often consulted in matters related to child support and abuse, and domestic abuse, neglect, and violence.
Erzulie Dantor is typically venerated on Tuesdays and Saturdays. She is also represented by the colors red and blue. Traditionally, Dantor has been represented as a dark-skinned woman with a strong, sometimes masculine demeanor. Several depictions of her include two scars on her face. While many modern-day images still depict her as a woman of a darker hue, contemporary artists are beginning to showcase her in a more elegant, nurturing light.
Erzulie Dantor’s veve is simple and straightforward, which is reminiscent of her no-nonsense character. Her ultimate goal is to gain justice for and exact vengeance on those who have wronged her devotees. She is full of controlled rage and fury as she witnesses the poor treatment of society’s most vulnerable populations. As such her veve prominently displays a heart pierced by a dagger (in some instances two daggers). This symbolism shows that Dantor is ready to fight for her children.
Three stars adorn the top of Dantor’s veve symbolizing the combined procreative power of air, water, earth, fire, and spirit. The three stars positioned at the top of her veve are indicative of procreation as symbolized by the union between a male and female resulting in beloved offspring. The top star in this instance corresponds to the masculine principle as it is outward-facing. The bottom star corresponds to the feminine as it sits inside two columns. And the middle star is embraced by a lozenge, which is associated with female fertility.
A larger star graces the bottom portion of the veve. It sits just below an empty lozenge connected to a Cover of Hermes. The empty lozenge showcases an evacuated womb indicating that the woman has given birth. The Cover of Hermes embodies the spirit of protection that safeguards the feminine procreative force. Finally, the bottom star is the result of spiritual procreation. In essence, it represents the child which Erzulie Dantor protects at all costs.
Learn more about this fierce loa in this episode of the African Spirit Reintegrated + Reimagined: