The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot - Congo, 2 (Gran Ibo)

Little Baron

Gran Ibo
I sit beside you
I walk beside you
Like I always do
To the secret place where life begins

Give me your hand
Lay your hands on my head
Bless me

Whisper your secrets in my ear

Now I really like this one. An old woman relaxes outside with a swamp as a view. She holds a yellow canary. Apparently, the animals come to Gran Ibo for her wisdom. I imagine that her councel is second to none.

So this card is about age and wisdom, yes? In relation to the second trump, 'Marie Laveau', she has the ability to listen.

The number two is about an exchange. Congo is water. An emotional change. Gran Ibo may represent a friend, someone to talk to, guidance.



Little Baron

Here she is, LB


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Gran Ibo sees all and knows all. Not only animals come to her, but people as well. She no doubt also is a healer, knowing all the herbs and remedies. In seeing all and knowing all, I suspect she's somewhat like Marie Laveau, who heard all sorts of secrets from the people she dealt with and which she could use to barter for things for herself and others. Gran Ibo, though, even though she may know all sorts of secrets from those who seek her counsel, may not use her knowledge in the same way Marie Laveau did. Rather than using it for personal gain, she may use it just to help those who come to her, who credit her knowing these secrets as being more magical than it actually is. I picture Gran Ibo as living out in the swamp, being visited in the night by ladies in distress who need an abortion or people of both sexes coming to her with needs for powerful grisgris and spells. She accepts payment but only to fill her basic needs, not to gain power and money.

Mind you, I don't have the book, so I'm doing my research online and I'm finding it more helpful than I've ever found a tarot book to be, for some reason. It's much more stimulating to my imagination and my intuition.


I like that she has her back to us and yet still gives off a feeling of being very aware. You could just image that little canary singing to her. :)


The little bird also brings to my mind the old saying "a little bird told me". Gran Ibo gains a lot of information on the secrets of everyone when people come to her for help and she doesn't divulge her sources, which gives her the illusion of being able to know things others can't know. It's said that Doctor John and Marie Laveau did this, too, and that's why they were so powerful.

Little Baron

I keep trying to not connect these cards with traditional tarot, but here, I feel something of the High Priestess. Or at least, using that archetypal image is the best way I can explain what I mean.

Gran Ibo understands the languages of all the animals. She absorbs and holds secrets and mystery. In the book, we are told 'Go and listen to life in its many manifestations. Seek the one voice behind all the sights and sounds'. This is like the little voice we have deep within us. It might be about trusting our gut feeling. Gran Ibo also stores all of the mystery and secrets in our lives, as well as being a true confidant. The card may have echos of trust entwined in it.



Gran Ibo, the wise woman of the swamp and lwa of herbs and herbal medicine, sits on her balcony, overlooking the swamp. In her hand she holds her sacred canary. The swamp isn’t immediately visible due to the lush foliage, but it’s right on the other side of it. Gran Ibo communicates through the creatures and plants of the swamp. The sky in this card is a darker blue (late day?).

Her chair and balcony are red (passion, energy). She is sitting on them  controlling her energy, passion, choosing her battles.

A canary was once used to detect carbon monoxide in coal mines; this is a nod to wisdom and of heeding warnings (canary is yellow --> intellect).

Water Pixie


I think that the element of congo is very significant to this card. The swamp is a very special place full of wonders and secrets, but it can also be a very volatile place. You must have the wisdom of the swamp and know its creatures and ways before you go into it. the 2 of this card represents in my experience, partnership of some sorts. If reversed I see this as a loss of some sort. Either a loss of knowledge of the fear that "I will never know love".

"Listen to the trees whisper their secrets"