Kolowisi, the Great Horned Serpent, is a plumed water serpent. Kolowisi inhabits every drop of fresh water. Kolowisi is the guardian spirit of all sources of fresh water including springs, rivers, streams and rain; hence he is the guardian of the source of all life. Kolowisi lives in underground springs but sometimes emerges to swim in surface waters, especially ponds and lakes. (There are periodic reports of sightings.)

At his finest, he is a guardian spirit who brings abundance, fertility, prosperity and good health. If offended or not treated respectfully, Kolowisi causes floods, the destructive power of water. Kolowisi is also sometimes credited with saving people from floods; restraining flood waters until people can reach high ground.

Once upon a time, according to a Zuni myth, a young girl found a baby by a spring and brought it home, neglecting to mention it to her parents. She put the baby to bed beside her. Unbeknownst to her, that baby was really Kolowisi in disguise; at night, while she slept, he transformed back into his true form; picked the girl up in his coils as easily as she had picked up the baby and returned to his spring with her, keeping her as his wife.

Stone fetishes in the form of Kolowisi transmit the power and blessings of water. They may be used to spark and ease transformation. They are also ritually used to protect and bless sources of water and to bring rain. Kolowisi is considered among the most potent fetish animals.


Kolowisi is a huge horned, feathered water snake. He also manifests as lightning.


Ahuizotl; Kukulcan; Quetzal coatl


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.