Voodoo Expert Likes Rams' Vibes

BY: Lorraine Kee
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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A longtime Catholic and a 25-year practitioner of voodoo, Jones was ask ed by the Saints in 2000 to help them to reverse a historic skid. The team had no playoff victories in its 34 seasons, never mind only a handful of winning seasons in that time. Superstitious locals speculated the team's unlucky run is tied to the Superdome being built atop a burial ground, displeasing the old spirits who still inhabit the space.

Jones came. She blessed. She asked the ancestors under the dome "not to work against us but work with us."

The Saints conquered the Rams that day and won their division. "The energy was wonderful," said Jones, whose priestly prowess made the national news.

Last month, the Saints came knocking again for help with a game against the Rams. The event was billed by its promoters as "Who Dat Gris-Gris?" What Jones says she didn't know is that 70,000 fliers had been handed out to fans before the game Dec. 17. The fliers referred to gris-gris as a hex, a spell and a jinx. To Jones, the fliers were blasphemous. With all that bad energy, she said, no wonder the Saints lost.

When she found out, Jones was incensed. Jones' version of voodoo, a synthesis of Catholicism and the beliefs of slaves from Africa, never involves the practice of black arts. That's Hollywood, she scoffed. She says she issues blessings rather than curses. Jones fills her mojo or gris-gris bags with positive energy from such things as rose petals and sage. Her voodoo dolls have no stickpins.

The team and organizers of the latest promotion have denied they deliberately twisted Jones' words, saying the fliers should have been scrutinized better.

"I'm gun-shy about the Saints now," Jones said. "They didn't have enough sense to appreciate what I gave them."

A law-school graduate, the priestess is thinking about taking the matter to a higher authority. To court.

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