Messenger god; Trickster; god of crossroads.
Mercury / Sun / Moon / Fire / Gemini
(African: Yoruba, Fon; Afro-Caribbean; Afro-Brazilian)
Legba rules fate, chance, roads, doors, mirrors, crossroads, contradictions, opportunities, primordial light, and the daytime Sun as it travels across the sky. He is the patron of interpreters, travelers, and small children. Variations of his name include Elegba, Elegbara, Elegua, Eleggua, Eleggùa, and Elegguá. He is also called Lucero, and Exu or Eshu. His titles include Papa Legba, Tata Eleggua, Lord of the Road, and Opener of the Way. Kafou Legba is his dark, lunar aspect. In the New World, Legba was syncretized with St. Peter, St. Martin Calallero, the Archangel Michael, El Niño de Atocha, the Devil, St. Martin, and St. Anthony (St. Anthony of Padua, St. Anthony the Hermit).
Legbaís colors are black and red, or black and white. His tool is a baton, called Le Baton Legba, and his symbol is a square cross which represents the crossroads. The rat is his sacred animal. Legbaís feast days include March 18, 19 or 20, the feast of Legba Zaou, when he is offered a black goat, and June 29. On November 1 bonfires are lit in his honor, for the new year.
Invoke Legba for swiftness, centering, protection, permission, magic, healing, communication, mediation, regeneration, creative power, trance possession, and spirit work. He can also be invoked for opening doors, delivering messages, guarding doorways, unifying opposites, reaching heights, pushing the envelope, protecting the home and small children, choosing the right direction when you reach a crossroads in life, opening the way for seekers, contacting the other orishas, opening the door to the spirit realm, and enabling communication between worlds, such as between male and female, human and divine, older and younger generations, the living and the dead, or the sacred and the secular.
Altars to Legba are usually erected indoors, near the entrance of the home. Appropriate offerings to Legba include candy, smoked foods, palm oil, black goats, green bananas, toys, rice, cassava, molasses, candles, rum, roosters, chickens, cigars, cigar smoke, and a rat powder called jutia. Libations to him are poured at the doorway. Offerings are made on Mondays and on the third of every month. Legba is always the first god honored in every ritual, because he opens the way to the other loas or orishas.