NAME: Eshu-Elgbara also in different places known as Legba, Kalfu, Exu, Baron Carrefour, associated with St. Peter, St. Anthony & the Holy Child of Atocha. Also known in some forms of Santeria / Lucumi as Eshu Oro “Master of the Spoken Word,” Eshu Elekun “The Predator, and “Eshu Odara “Lord of Transformation,” & Eshu Laroye Messenger of the Love Goddess Oshun.” Among others.
SYMBOLS: Crossroads, Red Feather, large staff or other phallic symbols, the Ifa Oracle, the colors red & black.
USUAL IMAGE: As he was taken from his African origin his images has changed to fit into the different ways he is visualized which range from his being seen as an energetic teenage youth to being seen as a bent old man with clawed hands who much walk with a stick. He is often pictures with a huge erect phallus or wearing a red father or with a nail in his forehead.
HOLY BOOKS: The Ifa Oracle
HOLY DAYS: Mondays & Saturdays
MAJOR TABOOS: Depends on the manifestation of Eshu. For instance if Kalfu should ride a worshipper everyone falls silent because he does not like extraneous talk.
FORM OF WORSHIP: In the manner proper to how a Lwa / Loa is honored in that tradition. Initiates of Eshu offer an ebos (sacrifice) of rum, cigars or other things each Monday. At special times however the ebo may call for something such as three black roosters. It is thought to be VERY foolish, dangerous even to not feed the Loa once you have started a relationship with them.
DETAILS: Eshu-Elgbara is one of the Orisha gods of the Fon and Yoruba people of West Africa.
He has become better known today though the religions known under various names such as Voodoo, Vodon, Hoodoo, Voudou, Candomble, Lucumi, Sevi Lwa, Santeria and other names.
He is a trickster god known for humor, rules braking, boundary crossing, deceit, lawlessness & sexuality. However he is also the god of communication who must be called first of all if any of the Gods or Goddess are to be reached at all, the inventor the Ifa Oracle, the keeper of the keys and the crossroads who stands at the boundaries of all things in the universe and the lives of people, as well as the only Orisha who understands all languages both cosmic and mundane without whom all contact with the ultimate Creator would be lost.
As originally visualized by the Yoruba people he was seen as a youthful man full of life and energy, however on being transferred to the New World with the slaves he took on somewhat different aspects in different areas.
So that in Haiti where he is called Legba he is seen as a pleasant old man who walks with a cane because of his age crooked body which also turns his hand into painful claws. While at the same time also seen as Kalfu, powerful & dangerous master of the baleful Loa who, when he shows up in a ceremony must be meet with silence less he let dark spirits lose that would not otherwise come near the rites. And cases even cause transformations in those foolish enough to displease him. While in Brazil he is Exu who is quite simple the Devil.
For most however Eshu is the God who can go anywhere due simply to the fact that when the remote all-powerful being who put the Loa in charge of men and nature asked what where each wanted to go they all gave an answer such as the air, the sea or such like. Only Eshu was cleaver enough to say “I want to go wherever I will.” And so there was no place here is he denied, no language he cannot speak, and no rule he cannot break.
Therefor it’s hardly any wonder that in whatever form he takes he is always the first one called.