Baron Samedi Veve: Baron Samedi is probably the most recognizable loa of all. He appears in a black or white top hat, wearing a formal tuxedo and smoking a cigar. The Baron has hollowed-out eyes and ghastly white skull-face with a skeletal body. He wears dark glasses and cotton nasal plugs that associate him with the corpses in the graveyard. Sometimes Baron Samedi twirls a cane or walking stick. Samedi actually looks like one of his own spirits. He spends much of his time in the ghostly realm with recently departed souls since he is their guide into a mirror world that reflects our own but exists in the shadows— a mysterious place that souls slip into and one Baron Samedi is familiar with.
The Baron is an ancestral loa who helps departed souls cross over. He is a guardian not only to those living but also those who have passed on. The Baron rules over ghosts, an afterlife called “Guinee” (also represents the African homeland) and the underworld. The center cross in this veve symbolizes a graveyard cross and also the crossroads, a mysterious place where two roads meet, form a cross and human beings are tested by dark, spiritual forces and no human rules apply. The coffins show that Baron Samedi is the leader of the Guede who are not only spirits of the dead but also other forms of non-human ghosts. The coffins signify the twilight world of the zombies, a place where those passed on are not quite deceased but neither are they truly alive.
But these zombies do not kill or eat flesh. They have no real powers except to become slaves for the living through Baron Samedi. One cannot die and become a zombie unless Baron Samedi digs your grave. But sometimes a zombie can be given the gift of prophecy by Baron Samedi when and if the zombie is able to talk at all. However, when the zombie speaks it is usually the nasal, tinny voice of this creeper guardian of cemeteries named Samedi.
Baron Samedi goes by different names, such a Papa Guede, Baron Cemetiere, Baron La Croix, and an even darker aspect, Baron Kriminel. In his more positive aspects he can be called upon for healing or to help cross over those near death. Baron Samedi is a shape-shifter and a magician. Despite some of his obscene gestures and ribald jokes, he is a very wise loa.
As offerings, the Baron prefers rum, tobacco, pungent cigars, tops hats, and anything made of silver pleases him.
Story of Baron Samedi: On Halloween night, or the “night before the holy day,” Baron Samedi can be found at the crossroads welcoming the recently departed into the land of Guinee, or Voodoo afterlife. The Baron stands betwixt the worlds of life and death, and is represented by a wooden cross dressed in a tail coat or top hat and his symbol of the crossroads. During Voodoo rituals this facsimile of the Baron Samedi is carried into the graveyard to represent him. They know when the ghost of Baron Samedi has arrived as the clothes attached to the cross will start to whip in the winds. Those who are psychically attuned may even glimpse the image of Baron Samedi as a tall, lithe black man, with face that glares like a skull and hollow black eyes whose centers glitter under the moon. It’s easy to recognize the Baron’s lesser spirits because they dress exactly like him.
The first burial of a man in a cemetery is dedicated to Baron Samedi and one cannot become a zombie unless the Baron digs the grave first. Thus, if the Baron refuses to dig the grave, a zombie cannot be made. He stands at the cemetery gate that leads into the underworld. He is the spiritual father not only the ghosts in the graveyard but spirits all over. Baron Samedi is called upon to the help the sick, and those who are beyond help, he will assist them into crossing over into the land of the spirits.
Baron Samedi is the loa of sex and resurrection. He can act crudely during Voodoo ceremonies as he makes obscene gestures, and shares vulgar jokes about sex and human elimination. As a spirit of extremes, he finds humor in sex and death both. Baron Samedi reminds us of our limitations while living in the human form, as we cannot move about like a spirit as he is able to do. The Baron is also a trickster, shape-shifter and a great magician. He is helpful with magic spells and loves playing with children. In fact, Baron Samedi shows a gentler side toward the very young. Baron Samedi is married to the female loa Maman Brigitte where they act as King and Queen lording over zombies.
As a loa, the image of the Baron is familiar in the United States as the spirit guardian of New Orleans. He often appears at Mardi Gras with grinning skull-face, twirling a cane and in his top hat. There are other stories that link Baron Samedi in New Orleans. One story tells that the Baron’s zombie trance was taught to Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau and her followers by Baron Samedi himself in the 1800s.
The Devil baby, who is said to torment visitors along Bourbon Street, is thought to be the spawn of Baron Samedi. The Devil baby was born of a young Creole woman whom the Baron had lusted after for a long time. On November 1st or All Saints’ Day (the holiday of Baron Samedi) she visited her mother’s grave. It was while she was grieving over the tomb that the Baron impregnated her without her being aware of it. Maman Brigette found out about the Baron’s sex act with the Creole girl and cast a spell. The baby was born as a Devil baby who still floats throughout the French Quarter scaring visitors and bringing bad luck on those who do not respect Baron Samedi by not taking his powers seriously.
Baron Samedi Meaning: “Samedi,” is French for Saturday so the Baron’s name actually means “Baron Saturday.” This is quite fitting since “Saturday” means “Saturn’s Day,” a day given to the Roman god Saturn, who acts as a reaper and clears away waste, what is old, no longer has a purpose or is outworn. Some pictures show Saturn holding a scythe, cutting away weeds, discarding refuse, and what is no longer useful.
When the Baron Samedi veve comes up in a reading, the old way is going by the wayside and the deck is being cleared for new action. You can expect the changes to be dramatic, but not necessarily quick. There will be a death to something that has worn out and is no longer useful, and a new beginning will break through. However, in one way, these changes will tend to drag on and you may feel some frustration over time. Passions, jealousies, obsession or being the object of some obsession will likely figure in into the course your life is currently taking.
This is the time for making firm decisions, burning your bridges and not looking back. Sexual ardor may figure in but not usually with any softness, tenderness or sympathy. Instead, it will seem that something very deep is driving the connection and it is one of great passion, and also tempting and unforgettable.
Probing for the truth and gaining a focus also comes with this card. Facing the darkness and standing alone, especially because of your most deep principles and beliefs is another major part of putting this veve card. It indicates willpower and powers of all kind, including supernatural powers. Ghosts may speak to you or you may suddenly become aware of spiritual presences in your life.
The taboo and the darker side will intrigue you. Having gained a radar, while “sizing up” a situation for what it truly is, will not let you down, because in what you are now sensing is real and you’re not crazy. You may develop a stronger temper than the norm or may be provoked into standing up for what you believe.
Baron Samedi rules over finances and gambling because he endows good luck to gambler at the crossroads especially on Halloween night. Goods of the dead, what the dead leaves behind, inheritances, hidden resources are represented by this card. You may feel unusually seductive and sexual. The mystery of love and what can be found in sex, as in being transformed through the sex act is connected to this card. Now is the time to rely upon instinct and gut reactions.
Magic spells, charms and enchantments fall under this card. Exerting force, making things happen, and personal magnetism are all at your disposal. Never forgetting an insult and quietly riding it out until you can make your move and strike back are also properties of this card. You may give off an energy that is independent and “hands off” for the time being. This may be a time where you do not want to show emotion because of a deeply-rooted vulnerability. You are feeling secretive and are unable to show love openly. You may feel alone or lonely while staying aloof and pushing others away.
You will have an increased awareness of all things paranormal, and may witness for yourself true spirit contact. You may suddenly gain the ability to see into the future or have precognitive dreams. Deceased persons may give you messages in dreams. If so, take them seriously. You will want to shy away from any kind of manipulative behavior, whether or not it comes from you or another person. Lay all of your cards on the table and expect the same from your partner.
Doors are being for you into opened into unknown territory. This change will involve risk and will call upon all of your powers and strengths. If you are involved in a romance at this time, it will be either be tempestuous or very consuming and deep, one that is life-changing. Your sexual relationship may be on that is very rewarding or jealousies and insecurities may intervene. At this time, it would not be a good idea to make your partner jealous to test his or her love. Be careful of relationships that start to become passionate too soon.
At this time, you will notice an increased focus, more inner strength and more commitment. You will be shining a light in the darkness for others to see as Baron Samedi will surely show you the way.
Things that are associated with the Baron Samedi card: Vampires, ghosts, zombies. Look into what is hidden is misunderstood. There is a partiality toward anything paranormal and the darker the better. The colors maroon, egg plant, scarlet, orange and black. Darkness, midnight, the dead of night. Graveyards, occult bookstores, stagnant water and sewers. Feeling haunted or afraid that surfaces out of nowhere. Feelings of unease, being closed in, sensing what is there and what might not be there. Not showing love openly for out of fear. Waking up feeling dead or unable to move. Feelings of being pressed and suffocated. Experiences so unusual others may not believe them, they are so strange and incredible. Psychic powers to a scary degree may be a part of your life now. All of these matters are under the ruler-ship of Saturn, and more faintly, the planet Pluto.
Catholic Saint: Saint Andrew (who was nailed to a cross).
Egyptian Deity: Anubis
Colors: Black, Plum, deep Red.
Day of the week: Saturday
Astrological archetype: Scorpio
Tarot card: The Devil
Holiday: November 1st, All Saints Day, and October 31st, the night before, traditionally a time when the dead are allowed to return to visit with the living.