Nov 17, 2015

Posted by in Occult Studies, Vodou | 0 Comments

Meet Me At The Crossroads: Papa Legba’s Story


VeveLegba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Haitian Vodou tradition loa are intermediaries between Bondye – the Supreme Creator, or “Good God” – and humanity. Bondye is distant from the world and can only be reached through the loa. Loa are not deities in and of themselves, however they are not only prayed to, they must be served. Each loa has a distinct personality with likes and dislikes, and has sacred rituals, dances, songs, and symbols dedicated to specifically to them.

The oldest of the loa, said to be around since the beginning of time, is Papa Legba. He has seen the creation of all things and is known as the keeper of man’s history. Legba is thought to know all human languages and facilitate communication, speech, and understanding. For these reasons, he is also known as the Master Storyteller, who has an infinite amount of data stored in his memory.

Papa Legba is the mediator between the loa and humanity and is believed to stand at the spiritual crossroads giving or denying permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee (the Haitian spirit world). In ceremonies, he is always the first and last spirit invoked, as he opens and closes the doorway between the mortal and spiritual worlds.

Papa Legba is thought to appear as an old man holding a cane or crutch. He wears a broad brimmed straw hat and smokes a pipe. He is sometimes pictured sprinkling water on the ground and is accompanied by a black dog or a rooster. His sacred colors are said to be black and red. He is also associated with the number 3, and Monday is his day of the week.

Legba has been given the title of the ultimate trickster god, because he presents mortals with opportunities and then tests their internal progress with challenges as they pass through life. He is concerned with the habits and beliefs of humans and offers each person the choice to either reexamine their life or continue to fail his tests over and over. The most important choices to Papa Legba display maturity of the heart and mind.

Sometimes offerings, such as candy, tobacco, bananas, and coffee are left for Papa Legba. There are also tales that suggest people can go to the crossroads and receive gifts or talents from him, such as better skill on an instrument or extra luck when gambling. It is thought that Legba has the ability to take away unwanted things too, such as sorrow or haunted items. Pictures of Papa Legba are often kept at the front door to clear away negative energy and open the door to opportunity.

So, for the Vodou practitioner looking to gain some extra skill or leave behind spiritual waste all that is needed is a trip to the crossroads and a meeting with the elder loa, Papa Legba.


  1. Meet Me At The Crossroads: Papa Legba’s Story | Amiee Boyd - […] Source: Meet Me At The Crossroads: Papa Legba’s Story […]

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