In his book, Ecstatic Voyage, seventeenth-century German scholar Athanasius Kircher describes the sun as populated “with angels of fire swimming in seas of light around a volcano.” He may have been describing Silibo who bathes in the fires of the sun. Silibo is a spirit of wells, springs, streams, ponds, and fire. She is a spirit of fresh water and the feminine aspect of the sun.
Silibo is an esoteric lwa of magic and sacred sexuality. In her book, Vodou Visions, author, artist, and Vodou priestess Sallie Ann Glassman compares Silibo to Shakti and the Shekhina. Silibo is not syncretized to a saint; instead the biblical image to which she is compared is from the Book of Revelation: the woman cloaked in the sun.
Silibo is a spirit of purification. She is a fiery wanton virgin in the tradition of Astarte or Inanna–Ishtar. She is virginal in the old, traditional, nonliteral sense: an independent, shame-free woman who is beholden to no one. The Scarlet Woman is not crimson from shame but because of her burning, fiery nature.
Sacred sexuality is the most primal root religion. Vestiges survive today. The hexagram, also known as a Jewish star or Solomon’s seal, consists of two interlocking triangles: one facing upward, the other down. It is a sign of tremendous magical protective power:
• The upward-facing triangle symbolizes fire and male energy.
• The downward-facing triangle symbolizes water and female energy.
• Their union is the point of creation, the magical meeting of fire and water, and the source of ecstatic sexual energy.
Silibo dances on this point. She is the embodiment of creative energy and sacred sexual energy. Sex may serve as an instrument of humiliation and degradation, but sex also potentially serves as the fires of purification. Silibo cannot be debased because she bathes in the purifying waters of the sun. She is those purifying flames. Silibo burns away shame. She is an alchemical spirit whose magical fires burn away dross, leaving what is pure and powerful.
• Silibo is invoked to heal sexual abuse, violation, degradation, and humiliation.
• She burns away guilt and shame and leaves you free and clean.
• Silibo is petitioned to awaken sexuality and to discover, or rediscover, ecstasy.
Silibo presides over spiritual cleansing rituals, especially cleansing baths. Invoke her presence to empower any magical bath. She is a spirit of enchantment and clairvoyance who bestows spiritual and magical power. Silibo teaches candle magic, crystal ball gazing, and how to divine using nothing more than a pan of water. Silibo may or may not have a relationship with Lord Agwé.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Grande Silibo; Silibo Nouva-vou; Grande Shi-lih-bo; Maman Silibo; Silibo Nou Mawou; Silibo Vavou
Silibo is a guardian of young women.
Silibo is a shape-shifter. In her guise as Grand Silibo she is the majestic woman cloaked in the sun, but she also sometimes appears as a small girl indicating the purity of her nature.
Silibo is not one of the most famous lwa. Images are not as easily available as of other lwa like the Ezilis and La Sirène. Silibo appears on a card from the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot as well as in Haitian paintings.
Spring and pond water, solar images, lit candles floating in water (especially little sun or star candles, but tea lights in a basin or the bath tub will do, too), rhinestones, sparkly gems, a crown of stars
- Sirène, La
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.