As a ProjectilePluralism-ish observance of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s talk about Dambala, the Vodou lwa (spirit) who was synthesized with St. Patrick. Why St. Patrick? Because Dambala is a serpent, and a serpent is one of the iconographic symbols of St. Patrick (because the saint is said to have driven snakes out of Ireland).
When I Googled “St. Patrick’s day Dambala,” curious to see what I would find, I was quickly pointed to the following blog entries posted four St. Paddy’s Days ago by a houngan (Vodou priest) in New Jersey. In the first, he announces that he will be holding a celebration in his home on St. Patrick’s Day to honor Dambala; in the second, he provides a quick report of that celebration. Note that for devotees of Dambala, the symbolic color to wear for the day is white, not green.
March 16, 2009
Tomorow is the feast for Danbala, St. Patrick’s day. [. . .] Danbala Wedo, the Great Serpent, is the Spirit of Peace and Wisdom. Wherever he slithers, peace, enlightenment and wisdom follows. He is the father of the Mysteries and behind him are many more Mysteries.
I encourage all Vodouisants to dress in all white if possible for Papa Danbala tomorrow March 17th. So that Papa Danbala may rain blessings, luck, health and prosperity upon you.
At my house, my family will be doing a small service for Danbala. We will give him his offerings and do a small candle illumination.
March 17, 2009
Happy Fet Papa Danbala. [. . .] Our service for Papa went lovely. The altar looks stunning and clean. It is radiating power. Papa was quite happy with it as well. One of my initiates who was over for the service was possessed by Papa!
Papa Danbala claimed one of my children, then he slithered into the altar and blessed it.