Legba the Misterio of the Crossroads, is a Loa that can be as noble as he can be chaotic, he can represent order and disorder, he can be creative as he is destructive.
Legba is the Divine Trickster of the roads, and the greatest symbol of transformation. He is the young disobedient child but at the same time the wise old sage, he embodies change in every corner, in every stage, in every step one takes.
One moment one can be strong and healthy as an Ox, and the next moment one can be as fragile as a butterfly. In one corner one can be full of vibrant life, while in the next corner one can be as cold as a corpse. He is one of the eldest of the Divine Spirits but within him lies the vitality and youth that would portray him as one of the youngest.
He is the master linguist, the great messenger, the one who holds the keys to the realm of the Divine, the realm of the living and the realm of the dead. Legba is also very wise and often resides in every realm, often on the side or on the outskirts, unnoticed but always watching, vigilant and always ready to act. Legba is the guardian of the crossroads but also the guardian of pathways, of entrances and exits, and it is within these points that he has the power over destiny which he is second in ranks under the Divine Spirit of Destiny, Fa.
But Legba is a Misterio which no one can fully comprehend, and often his acts of trechery and deceitfulness, which at the time seams unjustified to the humans he deals his cards to is the way Legba helps those who need it, in order for them to reconcile and find a solution which in turn will restore balance in the individuals life.
For this reason each Legba although they work under other Divisions, are never viewed as less than or insignificant than the leader of that particular Division, for to see it that way is to insult Legba, insuring that he does not open the doors of opportunities and blessing and in turn bringing chaos into an individuals life.
He is in every house, in every door, in every pathway, in every corner, and it is there where Elegba learns everything that happens.
He thus becomes the emissary of God, his spokesman, intermediary between the living and the dead, between Men and Spirit, between the Divine and Holy, and the demonic. Although there are always questions about his moral judgment and his sense of responsibility. He is always unpredictable and uncontrollable, and for this reason like all Loa he is a Mystery. In all traditions, Umbanda, Candomble, Santeria, Sanse, and all in between, he is invoked and prayed to first before any other Misterio, before any Division, so that the living ensure that he is pleased and will allow the gateways to be opened.
Even in Espiritismo Criollo one knocks on the wooden table three times to San Hilarion ensuring his blessings, before any candle is lit or bell rung. Many synchronize Papa Legba with that of San Lazarus, while the younger Spirits within this Division enjoy to dance and play pranks, the elders of this Division are sareen and walk with a limp, in which they support their balance by a cane, crutches or walking sticks.
While the younger Legbas dress in fine satins and silk adorned with cowrie shells, the elder Legbas dress in tattered heavily used sack cloths which demonstrates their on going mission, age and hard work.
Both take their offerings close to the ground or on the floor in a corner of a wall which symbolizes that this Division of Spirits, like the Gede are closest to our realm of existence. The younger Legbas dress in red and black demonstrating their closeness to life and death while the elder Legua dress in brown demonstrating their age and wisdom. While the younger Leguas enjoy being within the mists of crowds, the elder are hermits and enjoy their solitude.
Also Legua are tricksters and one never assumes that what is being offered is acceptable and for this reason one communicates with him directly through his oracles, to make sure he excepts or even wants what is being offered, or if he requires more.
Legba is known as the Jefe of all the Saints, Loa, and Misterio, and a bit of an offering to one must also be given to him first. Without a salutation to the Legua that makes a part of your cuadro, it would be almost impossible to have contact with other Loa; since he is the one who opens the doors, mapping the direction and passes along the paths, the one who knows all languages. Legba is symbolized by the central pole used to invoke the other Loa within the temples.
He is the foundation on which rests the world of both the dead and the Mysteries. His staff, cane or pole symbolizes the phalic symbol in which life all though unseen at first comes through. Although Elegba is a trickster Lwa he is also the master of humbleness and humility. Humility is a way to see the virtues of those around you and in truly understanding their attitude in any given situation. When a person is humble, they are open to the views and opinions of others.If you are 18 years or older or are comfortable with graphic material, you are free to view this page.
Otherwise, you should close this page and view another page. He is a character in American Horror Story: Coven. Papa Legba's role in American Horror Story is mainly to acquire as many souls as he can. He is based off of the character from Haitian Voodoo, who is also called Papa Legba. Being the gatekeeper of the spirit world, Papa Legba seems to be always interested in acquiring souls, regardless of who they're from.
He was willing to make a deal with Fiona Goode for her soul despite her being vain and murderous, but revoked the deal when he found that she, 'had no soul'. Yet once he successfully makes a deal for someone's soul, Papa Legba delights in tormenting his victims into sacrificing innocent souls for him. Despite his often antagonistic and somewhat sadistic personality; Papa Legba is an honest individual.
He explained clearly and honestly his terms of granting immortality to Fiona when she asked for details. Furthermore he meticulously explained the dynamics of Marie and Delphine's immortality to Queenie while also praising her for her sharp mind and powerful magic in being able to enter and exit the spirit world successfully. Asylum Bloody Face Dr. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Contents [ show ]. Categories :. Mature pages are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.For that, there are loas, subservient spirits that act as intermediaries between Bondye and the human world.
Perhaps the most important loa in Vodou tradition is Papa Legba. He is the gatekeeper between the human and spirit worlds, and no one can reach the spirits without Papa Legba acting as the intermediary.
There is often intermingling between Roman Catholicism and Vodou, and as a result, Catholic traditions are often associated with Vodou beliefs. Bondye, the Supreme Create, is seen as God, and the loa are similar to saints. In this case, Papa Legba is most often considered a contemporary of St. Peter, who is the gatekeeper to Heaven. In other instances, he is associated with St.
Lazarus, the lame beggar, or St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. Papa Legba is most commonly depicted as a poor old man, wearing a straw hat, d ressed in rags, and smoking a pipe. He is usually accompanied by dogs. He needs to lean on a crutch or a can to walk.
However, though he may at first glance appear old and weak, he is actually one of the most powerful gods in the Vodou tradition.
He walks with a limp because he walks in two worlds at once, the world of the living and the world of the spirits. The cane that he leans on in not an ordinary cane — it is actually the gateway between the human world and the heavens. Flickr A drawing of Papa Legba smiling. Papa Legba is the great communicator. He speaks all of the languages of the world and of the gods. He alone opens the door to lets all the other spirits into the human world, so no communication with spirits can happen without first saluting him.
Therefore, all ceremonies must first begin with an offering to Papa Legba, so he will open the door and let the other spirits into the world. Although he commands respect, he is a benevolent, fatherly-type figure, and it does not take much to appease him. He is not a very demanding spirit, but is thought to be a tricksterand is fond of riddles.
Papa Legba is a great communicator but also likes to deal with uncertainty and confusion. Sometimes, messages are distorted or misunderstood, because Legba stands at the crossroads between certainty and uncertainty.
All loa can show a negative side if they are not treated with respect, so it is important to remember to show respect and reverence for Papa Legba, so that he will remain benevolent and keep the gates of the spirit world open.
Papa Legba can be honored by offering him a drink, like coffee or cane syrup, or simply acknowledging him and asking that he open the door to the spirit world before a ceremony. There are some varying beliefs regarding the specifics of honoring Papa Legba, but the colors most often associated with him are black and red, white and red, or yellow.
There is also some disagreement on what day is the right day to pay him homage. Some say it is Monday, while others believe it is Tuesday or Wednesday. This often differs from household to household, depending on what Papa Legba has told to the members of the household honoring him. Legba stands at the crossroads. There is no denying he has one of the most important roles in the Vodou tradition.
He is the owner of all paths, roads and gateways to the next world. 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 is 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 know's he's one of the most powerful Orusha's in Santeria. Papa Legba loves you working with him, he is especially attune 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 offering, anything that children enjoy will be pleasing to Papa Legba.Papa Legba is a loa in Haitian Vodouwho serves as the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives or denies permission to speak with the spirits of Guineeand is believed to speak all human languages. In Haiti, he is the great elocutioner.
Legba facilitates communication, speech, and understanding. He is commonly associated with dogs. He usually appears as an old man on a crutch or with a cane, wearing a broad-brimmed straw hat and smoking a pipe, or drinking sparkling water.The Bizarre Voodoo World Of New Orleans
The dog is sacred to him. In BeninNigeria and TogoLegba is viewed as young and virile trickster deity,  often horned and phallic, and his shrine is usually located at the gate of the village in the countryside.
Also in this novel, Papa Legba is referred to as "the Lord of the Roads," in the scene where Ti Noel discovers a large gnarled tree that is comparable to Legba's crutches after freeing himself from slavery. In his study of the Delta bluesRobert Palmer discusses the appearance of Legba in blues lyrics and lore.
The Talking Heads song can be found on their album and soundtrack to the David Byrne film of the same nameTrue Stories ; the Talking Heads song has been covered regularly by Widespread Panicwhose performance of the song can be heard on their live album, Light Fuse, Get Away.
In keeping with the image of Legba often conceptualised in Haitian Vodou subculture, Papa Legba is depicted as "controlling" the gateway to the spiritual world through the use of drugswalking with the aid of crutches,  and smoking a pipe. There is extensive referencing to Voodoo in the Sprawl trilogy by William Gibson. In the second book, Count ZeroPapa Legba stands at the gateway to cyberspace as the "master of roads and pathways," with other loa appearing throughout the book.
Jurgen remarks "Now certainly, Queen Anaitis, you have unusual taste in sculpture". Legba" at a Mississippi crossroads.
Later in the film Legba takes the name " Scratch ". They also appear or are referenced in Terry Pratchett's book Witches Abroad While he states that Papa Legba is one of his names, he also claims to be synonymous Saint Peter.
Tandy Bowen begins referring to him as "Papa Mysterious". In Lance Reddick portrayed Papa Legba in American Horror Story: Covenwhere the character is depicted wearing a top hat and black tuxedo jacket, more in keeping with one of the Barons e.
Baron Samedi. The "Danse Vaudou" episode of Constantine has Papa Legba summoned by the character Papa Midnight to open a channel allowing the living to speak and attain closure with the dead.
The Voodoo Truth About Papa Legba
Papa Legba is mentioned in the horror film, Jessabellewhere he is called upon to open the door for a dead spirit to return to the living. The album Memoirs of a Murderer by heavy metal band Kingincludes an introduction for the track "Take It" with vocals by singer David Gunn: "Papa, Papa Legba, open up the gate for me.
In the novel The People's Police by Norman Spinradthree people from New Orleans appear on TV hoping for publicity and support from the people against the banks, corporate fat cats, and corrupt politicians. Papa Legba responds by asking "What do you offer?
A subsequent animation video directed by Pascal Le Gras was also issued. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Papa Legba. American Anthropologist. The Kingdom of This World First ed.
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. New York: Penguin.It's just me, clicking the keys, burning hi-octane conjure and working wonders at the old dirt track crossroads in AZ. Papa 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 served African deities. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and grants or denies permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages.
He is always the first, and the last spirit invoked in any ceremony because his permission is needed for any communication between mortals and the loa—he opens and closes the doorway to the spirit world. The Crossroads deity known as Papa Legba is referred to by several names though he is not the same spirit as many of the other names commonly used interchangeably to identify him. 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 in black as worshipped in New Orleansand 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. He is often depicted as an old man with a crooked cane, dressed in brown pants, and accompanied by a rooster.
What about that legend where a person can sell their soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune?
The infamous crossroads legend is one that ignites such curiosity. The legend of the crossroads is referenced in many popular songs of the Delta Blues tradition circa to These songs referenced Voodoo, Hoodoo, and the crossroads, explicitly. Robert Johnson sang of "hot foot powder sprinkled all 'round my door" and Muddy Water s referenced "the gypsy woman," "seventh son," and the "mojo hand. When Mississippi Delta folk songs mix references to Voodoo and to Satan, what is being expressed is social pain such as from racism, which is couched in Christian terms and blamed on the devil.
Those who practice voodoo do not worship or invoke the blessings of a devil. Get there be sure to get there just a little ' fore 12 that night so you know you'll be there. You have your guitar and be playing a piece there by yourself. A big black man will walk up there and take your guitar, and he'll tune it. And then he'll play a piece and hand it back to you.
That's the way I learned to play anything I want. Legba is the loa to petition when you have special problems; when things are getting in the way of your progress in life.
It is customary to offer things to him as payment for his help. 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. In New Orleans Voodoo, ritual baths are commonly used as prescriptive measures for a variety of conditions. The following ritual bath is a purification bath and can be done whenever a cleansing is needed. Spread pennies and candy in the corners of your home. Do the same at street corners and crossroads. It will make Papa Legba happy, and he will favor you. Exus are a family of spirit-deities that that are worshipped in the Afro-Brazilian tradition commonly called Umbanda.
Exu Ey-shu is a powerful spirit who functions as Divine Messenger. As such, he is a translator between humans and the natural world.Not sure of the spelling? Try entering just the first three or four letters. He knows all the languages of the world and is also fluent in the Cosmic Tongue does that mean Esperanto? If you need to get a message to the Gods, Legba is the one to go for.
Not only that, but as he gets older, garbled messages and confusion have a tendency to creep in. Legba is known as Eshu among the Yoruba, where he does much the same thing but with more up-to-date technology. He also makes a guest appearance in certain Vodou circles — see Legba. Name: Legba Pronunciation: Coming soon Alternative names:. HTML: To link to this page, just copy and paste the link below into your blog, web page or email. Article last revised on May 19, by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders. Link to this page HTML: To link to this page, just copy and paste the link below into your blog, web page or email. Cite this article Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below. Saunders, Chas, and Peter J. Allen, eds. April 17,