You don’t have to be human to be a magician. Simbi, among the greatest of all magicians, is a water snake spirit who rules all aspects of magic. He protects magical practitioners and offers them his tutelage. Legends describe children who go missing, having been stolen or “borrowed” by Simbi, only to return home years later, now masters of magic.

Simbi is master of all magicians. He can bestow magical ability and clairvoyance. Simbi is also a master healer and botanist. Among the gifts he bestows on healers is the ability to accurately diagnose. Simbi will speak to you: envision a snake winding around your body and whispering in your ear.

Simbi ranks among the highest of Vodou spirits. He is part of Ogou’s army; he holds the rank of chief of the Coast Guard. Although associated with both Petro and Rada rites, Simbi’s origins are in the Congo. Simbi may be understood as a Congo lwa who navigates between the other Vodou nations. Simbi travels wherever he likes and is at home wherever he wishes to be. He is a very patient but assertive spirit. He is a specialized lwa whose devotees tend to have esoteric interests. Simbi is also among those spirits invoked by secret societies.

Simbi is a freshwater spirit with dominion over moisture, rain, springs, ponds, wells, marshes, waterfalls, fountains, and drinking water. Simbi controls river currents and running freshwater (including the water running in your pipes). Simbi rules things that flow like water—electricity, tears, and words. He oversees the flow of electromagnetic energy. Simbi is a conductor of souls: he controls the flow of spirits into humans during ritual possessions. He has charge of the vulnerable threshold moments before and after possession. Many cosmologies describe rivers separating the realms of the living and the dead. Simbi controls those waters, too. He sometimes serves as a psychopomp, especially for deceased shamans and occultists.

In addition to water and the esoteric arts, Simbi has dominion over communications, crossroads, and currents:

• As ruler of currents, Simbi controls the flow of information and energy. This ancient magician has emerged as the patron of cuttingedge technology, including computers, the Internet, and telephone transmissions.

• As a crossroads spirits, Simbi is a road-opener, removing obstacles from the paths of his devotees. Simbi can circumvent all manner of red tape; he breaks stalemates.

• Request his assistance when communication is challenging or crucial.

Placing an image of a snake on your computer (or as a screen saver) allegedly protects it and reinforces its power. Offerings to Simbi may be placed beside computers or whatever you wish him to protect.

Simbi is also a master healer and can bestow knowledge of medicinal herbs to his devotees. Simbi’s venom is poison and its antidote. Heknows everything about spirit-derived diseases or magical diseases. Simbi can heal illnesses caused by hexes, curses, or disease Demons. Simbi is syncretized to Moses, another great magician associated with snakes, Archangel Raphael and also to the Three Kings (the Magi).








Occultists, astrologers, diviners, healers, herbalists. Simbi’s human children may display particularly precocious psychic skills or interest in the occult. They may be born with a caul or a head full of snaky curls. In Haiti, locked hair is known as “Simbi’s hair”. Simbi’s snake locks may be the equivalent of Medusa hair.


Simbi is usually a snake, but he is a great magician and shape-shifter, so prepare to be surprised. (Simbi tends to be a small-to medium-sized, slim snake, not a huge snake like Damballah.)

Realm: Simbi lives in the water but also likes to perch in trees.

Metal: Mercury (quicksilver)

Mineral: Quartz crystal


Green, white, gray (That said, Simbi is a master of transformation and may advise you that he prefers different colors.)


Calabash, elm, mango


Snakes, turtles


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (Simbi will negotiate terms and days with you.)


Decorate his altar with images of snakes, magical tools, and divination devices.


Simbi is a water snake and needs to stay moist. He accepts milk or water, especially spring water, rainwater, or pond water. He drinks alcoholic beverages like whisky or rum. He may wish to have access to multiple beverages simultaneously.

Not every Simbi spirit is the same, so you may have to experiment to discover what yours prefers. Many like fire-water: liquor that physically resembles water such as white rum, vodka, mahia, cachaça, and aguardiente. Offer Liqueur Saint-Raphaël, a quinquina liqueur (aperitif containing quinine).

Simbi is a master of arcana and thus master of detail: he can be fussy. Snakes don’t like the cold. He may prefer beverages served at room temperature. (You’ll know when he’s not pleased: if he’s protecting some sort of technology for you, it may start to malfunction.) In addition to beverages, Simbi accepts mangos, yams, river rocks, quartz crystals, ribbons, and shed snakeskins.


  • List of Lwa
  • Cymbee
  • Damballah
  • Dandalunda
  • Lwa
  • Mami Waters
  • Medusa
  • Ogun
  • Petro
  • Psychopomp
  • Rada
  • Raphael
  • Rusalka
  • Simbi Spirits
  • 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.


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