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Simbi

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Simbi in the water escort travelers in the painting "Simbis Voyageurs" by Gerard Valcin
Simbi in the water escort travelers in the painting "Simbis Voyageurs" by Gerard Valcin

Simbi, also spelled Sim'bi, is a family of snake or serpent lwa with roots in West Central Africa and the Congo. Nearly all the forms of Simbi, such as Simbi d'l'eau (Simbi of the Water), Simbi Andezo (Simbi of Two Waters), and Gran Simba (Great Simbi), are associated with water, particularly the ancestral waters that surround the world of the living.

Within the African Traditional Religion of Voodoo, Vudu, Vodoun, or Vodun, Simbi comes from the ancestral waters that hold all the spirits of the dead and, as a snake perched in a tree, he descends to Earth to work magic and bring wisdom. He guides souls and bears them to all directions starting at the visible crossroads and leading to the hidden. In this function Simbi is the messenger of Papa Legba.

Simbi is part of the Rada, Petro, and Congo nations. He rules over rainwater and rivers and can be found in ponds. His offerings include candles, ribbons, water, and snake skins. The offerings of water can be collected from rainwater gathered during a storm, from a river, or from the ocean. Simbi is a powerful sorcerer and oversees the making of spells, charms, and brings power to all situations. He has special dominion over herbs and poisons. He is also the lwa of communication, though when he comes down during services, he tends to be quiet and to stand on the edges.

In Catholic syncretic Voodoo practices, Simbi is linked to The Three Magi.

Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who are adherents of the Voodoo Religion and who petition the lwa on behalf of clients may work with Simbi for magical spells, wisdom, and spiritual guidance and to connect clients to ancestral spirits.

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