Papa Legba is dressed in red and black when he appears at the crossroads, as the light shines on him his body and clothes are long, his face has some white chalk.
Why? this shows his innocence and his hot but dark temper. Papa Legba is the messenger to the higher gods, he holds with him the stick of protection, for he is the guardian of the crossroads. He is the owner of all paths, roads, and gateways to the next world. He owns the road to tragedy but also to success, the path to your home, and the path of the road. He can manifest as either a small boy or a limping old man. A bit of a trickster, he likes to play games, he laughs and smiles, especially if you bring him gifts. Sometimes he prays on your weakness and laughs at your mistakes or misfortunes. He watches your every move predicting what you may do next. The great things about Papa Legba are that he is forgiving. He will give you another opportunity if you make a mistake. He knows that everyone's not perfect - like him. With the wink of his eye, he can turn one simple path into many others.
He opens the doors to blocked situations and can move things along quickly. He knows he's one of the most powerful Orusha's in Santeria. Papa Legba loves you working with him, he is especially attuned to a fine cigar to puff on and maybe a bottle of rum for good measure! A tumbler of clear fresh spring water normally makes him appreciative of the bearer's plight. He is cunning and smart, yet playful at the same time. Among the different deities of the Yoruba lineup, he is the tactician and charlatan above all of them.
Papa Legba is the Lord of Paths, an immortal prince who guards you and your travels and pursuits from all evil and harm. On top of that, he is also the gatekeeper of the spirit world; he keeps evil from coming into and out of the realm. This also means that he can grant you permission as well as deny you from communicating with the spirit realm of the other Orusha's. You will need to earn his favor if you seek help from his fellow deities. Additionally, when you part from this world he will ensure your safety on the path to the Spirit World and welcome you accordingly. Such powers place him high upon the ranks of the Orusha.
On Mondays, a prayer may be said that begins with a greeting to glorify Papa Legba and to pay respects. Then you must ask for his blessings, so that good fortune may come your way. Then you can ask for wisdom, and at the end of it all declare that thenceforth you will set out on your day to claim victory.
As an offering, anything that children enjoy will be pleasing to Papa Legba. That means offering up a bowl of candy, or a toy, or little childish curios, will definitely please this Arusha and gain his favor. West - then is called. The floor must be knocked four times in all four directions. He will meet you and ask your request. He likes to pass messages onto the higher gods, especially Olorun, the king of Justice. Olorun favors him and treat's him as a son.
Papa Legba has a kind heart, especially for children. He is a deity of Yoruba origin. Yoruba is a religion of Africa that has many derivatives and has no true founder; in other words, it is founded by ancient folk and has evolved through the hands and minds of many ancestors, which makes it a living, breathing religion. It is not surprising that Papa Legba made it's way as a spirit of worship in Santeria, and it is responsible for opening the ways of our lives. Papa Legba has also been referred to when during the Initiation of the Warriors, where a ceremonial artifact in the form of Papa Legba’s head is given. At ceremonies for blessing him a consecrated head is endowed to the subject.
This is made of cement, with shells for eyes, nose, and mouth, and a metal spike at the crown. The head must be kept safe at all times in the home for increased effect. Ceremonies may take all day to perform. There are varying power and levels, asking the deities to grant wishes or help causes. To call him, go to a crossroads then splash spring water in all four directions (North, South, East and West then call him. The floor must be knocked four times in all four directions. He will meet you and ask your request. When seeking an answer or to unblock your path -- Papa Legba will help guide you the way! Note: His name is Papa Legba in Haiti. In Brazil he is known as Exu, and Elegua in Cuba.
By Flo Saul
Dec 4, 2012