Simbi in Haitian Voodoo, Between the Living and the Dead

Simbi, the Haitian Voodoo Snake God is a god for the modern world, shedding its skin from the past and unveiling a new and improved, digital persona that allows it to communicate through the Internet.

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Simbi in Haitian Voodoo

In earlier, less advanced iterations, the Voodoo Lwa, or god, was a sorcerer of great skill, giving service to the secret societies of Sanpwel. It has also been known in Voodoo as Mercury, the messenger of the sun, Legba. In its capacity as such, Simbi acts as the conduit for creativity and also the carrier of souls from place to place.

The Simbi is a serpent that traverses the land of the living as well as the dead. Its more terrestrial counterparts grace from the many and varied snake family of the Loa, found in the Kongo region of West Central Africa. Traditionally associated with water, shown in the names of two types of Loa, the Simbi Dlo or Simbi of the Water, and the Simbi Makaya or Simbi of two waters, the Voodoo culture has ascribed a variety of associations with the serpent, one, Simbi LaFlambeau, even being associated with fire.

For voodoo, the snake embodies mystery, magic and communication. It has great knowledge and transports information at great speeds. Revered Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau had a serpent named Simbi, and some believe Simbi to be a manifestation of Damballa, another Lwa.

On January 6, the country's voodoo practitioners honor the god at the feast of Epiphany, hopeful the snake will slither from its magical realm to deliver messages of great wisdom to all.

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Read more: Voodoo, Lwa, Simbi, Legba, Damballa, Voodoo

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