REVERSALS: III -- Ayizan rx [The Empress rx]


III -- Ayizan rx [The Empress rx]

Ayizan is the wife of the lwa (spirit) Loko, who governs the sacred place where the voudon ceremonies are held. Ayizan's sacred symbol is the palm frond, which initiates wear over their faces and shred in homage to her during ceremonies. She rules the initiation process, and this process is supposed to reflect the joy, success and abundance that is possible by becoming an initiate in voudoun. Also, Ayizan is supposed to reflect love.

I must admit, I don't get most of that when I look at the card! I get more mystery, and lesser aspects of Death (since three of the initiates have skull faces while the other two seem to be human...and most are carrying trays of food [abundance]. One woman is toting a load on her head. a reversed position, I'm getting that there is a blockage of some sort to abundance and success.




  • 3 -- Ayizan reversed.jpg
    3 -- Ayizan reversed.jpg
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Grip Dellabonte

Morning, afrosaxon! Thanks for starting this up again. I was missing my cards.

This deck is a challenge because the cards often depict images that have a more circuitous route to the traditional meanings of tarot than a direct one. And sometimes they don't seem to have any connection at all!

I usually research the lwa represented on a card a bit on the net while I'm studying the image. It helps me get a better understanding of its role in vodoun along with the interpretation just provided in the book.

What I have found out this morning is that in vodoun the whole world is The Marketplace. Ayizan is the patron of The Marketplace, and also, of worldly commerce. So, where in traditional tarot The Empress can be Mother Earth, Ayizan as The Empress is more like the patron of Mother Earth. She cares greatly what happens to the planet and can sometimes be angered by the things that happen here.

It is another dimension - The Green Party Empress! - that I never saw attached to this card before, and I like the addition.

In one of my searches I found this:

"Just like this old Divinity of the Dahomeans, Her name comes from the Fon people of Benin for whom 'Ayi' means the earth, or the land.

"In that same language, 'zan' means sacred, Ayizan meaning then 'The sacred Earth or the sacred Land, Mother Earth or the Generous Provider.'

"This name is in a way doubled because Velekete is an expression utilized by the Mina people of Benin for whom 'Vele', like the Ayi of the Fon, means the Land, and 'Kete' signifies sacred.

In the card, she is in The Marketplace and various women are displaying their wares. The book says that the dead also have offerings, so that's why some venders have skeleton faces.

Ayizan reversed may trigger an insight based on a traditional Empress definition depending upon where she comes up in a reading.

But I also think Ayizan brings her own unique messages as well. Ayizan reversed could be saying that the querent is not taking responsibility for their place in The Market. Maybe their role has been too passive. Maybe they need to get more involved. And that doesn't necessarily mean the world of commerce, but their personal world as well. Maybe they've drawn back from issues that need to be taken care of.

Maybe a loved one who has passed had brought them something, and they are not open to receiving it for whatever reason.

Maybe the querent is not the one who has not taken responsibility for something in their environment, but is upset by someone else who hasn't done so.

Ayizan is a caring lwa. I like this card a lot. It is said that she and Loco are the major healers of the pantheon. I seem to always be drawn to the healers!

So, if Ayizan turned up reversed in a reading, well...I was going to say that since she is a loving sort and a healer she would be patient while the querent was trying to set things right.....but she evidently does have a temper, too!

Hope this helps.....(people will tell you... I'm longwinded!).

Edited to add: a reversed position, I'm getting that there is a blockage of some sort to abundance and success.

Oops! Yes, I see this, too!