Aida Wedo: The Snake Goddess Rears Her Beautiful Head

Aida Wedo: The Snake Goddess Rears Her Beautiful Head March 6, 2015

queen snake photo by Pete and Noe Woods. Text added. Licensed Under CC 2.0.
queen snake photo by Pete and Noe Woods. Text added. Licensed Under CC 2.0.

Silence, stillness, potential and possibility all lie at the tip of the serpents power. This is especially true of Aida Wedo. Snake goddesses are as old as time and tide, echoing the sacred beginnings that birthed us all. In the Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo pantheon this primal serpent commonly takes the form of the Loa, or Goddess, Aida Wedo. She is a divine wife, bride, mother, progenitor, and a beacon of hope. In many ways contact and communication with Aida Wedo’s ashe, or sacred energy, can prove elusive. Like snakes themselves, you either love them or hate them, you get “it” or you don’t. The power is fierce, calculated… and for some too intense.

In my post Rainbow Goddess Aida Wedo I describe that“ Offerings to her include white eggs painted with the colors of the rainbow, flour, rice, cream, white snake sheds, and snake vertebrae.” Luckily for me every time I have performed a Damballa and Aida Wedo ritual a snake has manifested and allowed itself to make it’s energy

Veve Drawing for Damballa and Aida Wedo, image by Lilith Dorsey, all rights reserved.
Veve Drawing for Damballa and Aida Wedo, image by Lilith Dorsey, all rights reserved.

known during the ceremony. One time that stands out in my memory, two of my godsons and I were carry altar items to set up for our ritual at a pagan festival in rural New England. I was lamenting that we did not have a snake and did not have the means to obtain one because I had traveled by train to the event. Just then a small garter snake crossed out path. I thought one of my strapping young godsons would catch the blessed animal as I yelled out the words “ hey snake, hurray! Grab it !” Little did I know that both these grown men had a fear of snakes, and by the time I had transferred my boxes to try and grab it myself, the animal had eluded us. I guess the lesson there was always be prepared for both change and opportunity – good advice for those of any age.

It is not possible to talk about Aida Wedo without also speaking about her divine partner Damballah or Damballa Wedo. The New Orleans Voodoo Museum says Aida Wedo is represented by the image of the blessed virgin, while Damballa is represented by Saint Patrick because of his association with snakes. This raises the interesting question of syncretism, the representation of the elements of one religion with the tools of another. For many years these religions and practices were forced to be kept secret, it is easy to see how association with more accepted traditions and imagery became common practice.

Ratsnake and eggs photo by Kuznetsov Alexey. Courtesy of Shutterstock, all rights reserved.
Ratsnake and eggs photo by Kuznetsov Alexey. Courtesy of Shutterstock, all rights reserved.

In addition to holding great power and energy, snakes are also symbolic of deep fear. In some ways it is as if the power of potential makes people wary. The Goddess Guide by Brandi Auset talks about she “appears as a rainbow python, a serpent whose scales are iridescent. Her rainbow body wraps around the earth and seas, making her a cosmic protector and the power that links heaven and earth.” This power is primal and maybe that’s part of the reason it rightfully inspires such awe. Connecting to this goddess takes patience and fortitude, important traits to have when trying to be friends with any snake. The key is transformation. For more information about access the power of Aida Wedo and other Goddesses, please check out my book 55 Ways to Connect to Goddess for simple and easy ways to rediscover the divine.

 


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