Musings on Rootwork

Archive for the tag “Papa Legba”

The Many Faces of Ellegua

African masks Loas and Orishas

Ellegua Elegua Exu Eshu Papa Legba MASK

Ellegua God of the Crossroads

This is the mask of Ellegua that I have and thought I’d share it with everyone.

Papa Legba

Papa Legba is always invoked at the beginning and ending of every ceremony. Before speaking to any other Lwa , you must consult with Papa Legba, because he will determine who passes between those gates. Papa Legba decides if you will be able to speak to any other lwa or not.  It is necessary because he stands at all the crossroads.  This is why so many hoodoo rituals are done at crossroads.

Legba likes candy, toys, and coconut as offerings, or anything children would enjoy. The dog is sacred to him. His favorite color is red and black, and his number is three.

Papa Legba is the first one you call and the last one in a ritual. He is the opener and the closer of the gates.Papa Legba is also associated with Saint Peter. He is connected to St. Peter because St. Peter is the saint of the gates to heaven, and has the keys to the gates of heaven.  This is why Papa Legba is often associated with keys.

Here is a list of Legba’s corresponding saints.

Eleggua / Elegua/ Legba: Messenger, Opener of the Way, Trickster:

Saint Simon Peter

Saint Anthony (of Padua)

* El Nino de Atocha

St. Lazarus

When calling on Papa Legba to either open the gates or to petition him, you want to light  candles for him and always give an offering of rum. Decorate his altar with candy, red and black items, cigars, rum, and coffee.

Set up your altar on a Monday night, to bring Papa Legba into your life. You can use a coconut to represent him.

Place on your altar 3 coins with the glasses of rum and the cane.

Say the following while shaking a maraca:

Papa Legba, open the gate for me Ago eh, Papa Legba, open the gate for me Open the gate for me, Papa for me to pass When I will thank the Lwa!

Or you can chant:

Papa Legba open the gates for me.
Papa Legba open the gates so I may pass through
Papa Legba open the gates and let me pass
Papa Legba open the gates so I may pass through

Papa Legba I give you this offering as a payment
So that you may open up this gate and let me pass

I must speak to the (add name of lwa family or single Iwa here)
Papa Legba open the gates so I may pass through

Then smoke the cigar smoke onto your altar.

No you may tell him what you need or want. Promise him a cigar, Candy (7 pieces), rum, and candle if he grants your request.
When he does grant your request, it is best to make these offerings of gratitude to him on a Monday, along with any prayer you may know to personally thank him (you can write one of your own to him if you wish). It is important to say goodbye to him and ask him to close the gates.


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