New Orleans (WGNO) – After working out of the same historic Creole cottage for more than 20 years, Voodoo Priestess Miriam Chamani was forced to find a new home base. She was uprooted by an electrical fire that happened February 1st.
She moved to New Orleans in 1990, and hopes to have another 25 years here, kicking off with the new location for her Voodoo Spiritual Temple.
“You don’t always know where your life is gonna lead you,” she says.
When we met Priestess Miriam at the end of March, what was once a cultural center and gift shop was transformed into a storage area filled with boxes waiting for their next destination. The hardworking priestess was juggling clients while packing.
Now her energy—and all the temple décor, much of which traveled from Africa, has journeyed down the street—along with all those boxes.
Priestess Miriam welcomed Twist Reporter Stephanie Oswald and Photographer Deryl Andrews as the first TV crew in her new location, at 1428 North Rampart Street.
She’s beloved by friends and clients locally and around the world. She’s listened to problems, offered guidance and has helped lots of college students with Voodoo research.
“I have catered to all kinds of peoples,” she recalls.
And some folks are returning the favor, helping with the transition into this bright, bigger space. Lots of donations have come in. A GoFundMe account started by a friend has raised more than $20,000.
“I really am ever-indebted to many of the people that probably I never met that put out that love,” she said.
But the Voodoo priestess, who also is an ordained minister, says she’s not looking for a pity party or a handout. She’s just hoping for another quarter century to share the love.
“And if God grants me 50 years in New Orleans, Hallelujah!” she said with a smile.