The Mystic Voodoo
Where Art, Psychology, and Mythology Collide
About Papa Legba
Legba has his origins with the Fon people of Dahomey (Benin) Africa and is said to be the guardian and trickster of the crossroads and entrances. He is one of the most widely worshipped loas and is known by several names. In Surinam in Brazil he is known as Exu, in Trinidad, in Cuba he is known as Elegua, and in Haiti and New Orleans he is known as Papa Legba. Papa Legba is the master linguist, the trickster, warrior, and the personal messenger of destiny. He has the power to remove obstacles and he provides opportunities. All ceremonies begin and end with Papa Legba, and there can be no communication with any of the other loas without consulting him first. His gift for linguistics enables him to translate the requests of humans into the languages of the spirits and loas.
Papa Legba’s colors are red and black (as worshipped in New Orleans), and some of his favorite things that can be used as offerings include, candy, cigars, rum, and tobacco. He absolutely loves palm oil. His number is three and his day of the week is Monday.
Papa Legba walks with the black sun. He is very powerful as his tales manifest in the crossroads between the visible and the invisible worlds. He is the first to open the doors to the spirit world when called upon, and has the power to remove obstacles. Among many other things, he is known as a storyteller.
Likened to St. Michael and St. Peter, Legba is the guardian and opener of the crossroads of the world. His colors are red and black. His favorite foods are corn, candy, and rum.
Voodoo practitioners place representations of Papa Legba behind the front door of their home in order to clear their path in many ways and to bring His protection and to help accomplish goals.
Traditional and Ancient Images and Papa Legba/Elegua
Papa Legba voodoo dolls can be used as a focusing tool for gaining clarity on the current obstacles in your life. First, you must prepare your altar. To show respect, place some of Legba’s favorite foods and some red and black cloth on your altar,. Your Legba comes with three stones; place them along with a crooked stick on your alter. Place Papa Legba on the cloth on your altar. Sit quietly and meditate on the task you wish to accomplish. Acknowledge the barriers that get in your way. Once this is clear, ask Papa Legba to exert his influence over the matter at hand. Begin with a call to greet him:
Odu Legba, Papa Legba, open the door, Your children are waiting. Papa Legba, open the door, your children await.
Sit quietly and meditate on the task you wish to accomplish. Acknowledge the barriers that get in your way. Once this is clear ask Legba to exert his influence over the matter at hand. Make your request by simply talking to him as if he were a person in the room with you. When you are done, place him behind your front door so he can clear the path and help you accomplish the goals that you seek. This ritual is best done on a Monday, at 3:00 am, on the third day of the week, the third week of the month, or the third month of the year. The number three is his favorite number, so be sure to incorporate it in some fashion in your ritual. In the days and weeks following, pay attention to the stories that come your way through your dreams, other people, books, or the media. Contemplate on the truth inherent in each. In this way, you will gain wisdom from Legba on an ongoing basis in your everyday life. By doing so, you are allowing the doors to open and obstacles to vanish.
Song and Dance for Orisha Elegba from the 17th annual African Street Festival
The most important concept in Voodoo is reverence to ancestors. Always be sure to remember those who have gone on before you. It is the single most important thing you can do to insure success in your ritualistic endeavors.
To purchase a Papa Legba Voodoo doll, click here.