Satan & Exu: One and the Same?

Hail Satan
(Image: 13th-century mosaics adorning the Baptistry of Florence, Italy. Photo by Paul Williams)

 

No. 

Absolutely not.

Quimbanda came into being during the slave trade when Brazil became the epicentre of violence and oppression, having three times the amount of stolen Africans shipped over than the United States. This was after deciding that there simply weren’t enough Caboclos (natives) to do all the work needed, especially as they were too busy being ‘converted’ to Christianity en masse. They wanted worker ants that they felt were disposable.

When those from Africa were stolen from their lands their spirits came with them; angry and ready to work.

These stolen people mixed with the caboclos, saw the power in their spirits and their methods, and simply incorporated it with their own. If it works, it works right!? 

During this time there were two particular spirits that were fast and furious in their work. They were close to the people and eager to help those who were suffering; Exu and Pomba Gira.

Thus Quimbanda was born, alive and without doctrine. 

As you can imagine the multitude of work asked of these spirits was against their oppressors, Christians. And what is the one thing Christians fear, Satan.

So, fuck it, lets take the symbol of our oppressors enemy as our own. The enemy of my enemy is my friend after all.

The Quimbandeiros take the trident, Exu and Pomba Gira accept it as their own and now all of a sudden the oppressed already feel more powerful. 

‘Oppressors, we are your worst nightmare come to life. Fear us.’ 

And they do. 

Imagine, back in the day, when all of this was going on and you are an exceptionally white christian milling around in your ALMOST smallpox infested clothes, feeling all smug and righteous. Nothing can touch you because you have ‘God’ on your side.

Then you see a trident. Smack bang in the middle of the settlement, opposite your house where your very white wife and christian kids are sleeping.

They. Would. Have. Been. Terrified.

 

Exu Lucifer

Image from: The Burning

 

Imagine, for once, having that power over those who torture you day in and day out. Those who rape your daughter and sold your son. Those who decided you are worth less than cattle.

Use the trident as a tool to manipulate those who have no regard for your existence.

This, TO IT’S VERY BONES, is the essence of Exu and Pomba Gira.

They are there willing, hoping, to help the oppressed. Those whose power has been taken, whether by judges, boyfriends, wives, bosses, parents, children, sister, friends, teachers, police, social services or rivals. They are the oppressors adversary. 

That is what they stand for.

This is why Pomba Gira and Exu are linked to Satan. Nothing more, nothing less.

Satan is simply a fucked up fairytale.

Having worked with Lucifer I know he exists and found him enigmatic, yet stern with a knowing touch. However, Satan, I don’t believe exists in the way others do. He is our baser instincts, the horrific part of us that we let out very rarely if ever. 

Satan doesn’t exist because, quite frankly, it’s us. 

You can see the change in a person’s eyes when they do something that is wholly wrong. They want it so badly though so they are obviously supposed to have it so they are taking it.  That is Satan right there.

And it always involves taking another’s power. Always.

Exu and Pomba Gira are so tired of being misrepresented by those who walk around dangling their own fucked up version of Quimbanda like a dog showing off it’s bone.It’s as though the darker you make your practice sound, the sexier you are.

When this is far from reality.

Hail Satan and Salve Exu should not be in the same sentence. Exu can be hilarious, charming, sexy, magnanimous, merciful and a cheerleader – does this sound like any version of Satan anywhere ever!?

The next time you are scrolling through social media and you see Satan and Exu put together, swerve that Cabula or temple. 

It’s a load of macho bullshit.

  • Author Posts
Silver L Wolf
Having Amazigh heritage Silver L Wolf naturally found her way down the winding roads of a nomadic existence, hopping from one land to the next connecting with the spirits calling her name. Not only does she wander physically but spiritually too as different deities and spirits knock on her door, wanting to be known. Quimbanda has been the first place she can call home. A Writer, Exorcist, Ambassador of Spirits, Fire Walk Leader and a Soul Worker, Silver can often be found researching an obscure cult, walking across hot coals or hunting things that have been lost. Silver is passionate about the holy three – death, sex and magic. Maybe a little wine too.
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Silver L Wolf
Having Amazigh heritage Silver L Wolf naturally found her way down the winding roads of a nomadic existence, hopping from one land to the next connecting with the spirits calling her name. Not only does she wander physically but spiritually too as different deities and spirits knock on her door, wanting to be known. Quimbanda has been the first place she can call home. A Writer, Exorcist, Ambassador of Spirits, Fire Walk Leader and a Soul Worker, Silver can often be found researching an obscure cult, walking across hot coals or hunting things that have been lost. Silver is passionate about the holy three – death, sex and magic. Maybe a little wine too.

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