(Painting is a Work in Progress)
PRAYER TO ELLEGUA
To the Lord of All Paths, illustrious warrior, immortal prince, I offer this humble prayer. Keep away from my abode all matters of evil and guard my home and those who reside in it when I'm awake or asleep, present or not. I ask Olofi God to bless you, Ellegua, beloved Lord of all roads. Ashe (From Helping Yourself With Selected Prayers Volume 2)
PRAYER TO ELLEGUA
Elegua, energy of opportunity, with all my respect I honor and praise you. With humble respect, I ask for your blessings and ask you to allow all good opportunities to reach me and to help me take advantage of all the great possibilities that life presents to me today and every day. With your help let me choose the road to success and help me open the doors of opportunities. Allow all positive things to reach me, and block all possible things that may cause me harm. Help me live a winning and positive life. Elegua, you are my guide and my leader. With your blessing, all is possible for me. With you, I start my day, and with you, I finish (From Awo Orumila Ogundache- Prayer to Elegua).
According to Wikipedia, "In Yoruba mythology, Ellegua is an Orisha (spirit) associated with 'opening the ways', or crossroads. Often depicted as a child or a small man, he is a playful; a trickster and a strategist amongst the divinities."
Ellegua or Elegua is one of the most powerful orishas in the Santeria religion. All ceremonial services commence and end with him. He is the first to be revered.
In Migene Gonzalez-Wippler’s book, Santeria, The Religion, she depicts Ellegua as, "…the one who is said to carry the offerings to the other orishas, and will not do so unless he is honored first.” It is his responsibility, “to carry messages between human beings and other orishas and to report human actions to Oloddumare” (God Almighty).
Elegua possesses the keys to all doors, and is recognized as the Lord of all Paths. Although Ellegua is known to open doors, sometimes, he closes them. The latter occurs when he is displeased with a person's inappropriate behavior, in which, he then creates havoc and closes all doors in the person’s life.
There are different images of Ellegua. They are a cement head, a stone, a coconut, and a large seashell. Each one is a unique representation of Ellegua. Cowrie shells are used to denote the eyes, the mouth and, at times, the ears. Additionally, a metal spike protrudes from the top of the image. It represents his immense power or ashe.
The image of Elegua is usually kept near the front door. Monday is the day in which he is honored. Offerings consist of candles, sweets, rum, corn and cigars.
Additionally, he loves the colors red and black. The number connected to him is three.
Those who are faithful to him will always find him nearby ready to protect them from all evil.
Below is a brief story about Elegua's glorious deeds.
NOTE: please keep in mind that without God's permission, Elegua cannot fulfill any requests.
Mr. R was facing financial problems. Things were going from bad to worst. His financial woes kept pulling him down into a dark, endless abyss.
He decided to visit a Santeria practitioner for spiritual assistance. The solution to his problem, according to the practitioner, was Elegua. He was told that Elegua had the power to open doors and remove obstacles.
Soon after receiving Elegua, he was instructed to take Elegua to his job. It was essential in order for Elegua to see his job environment. From that point, his situation began to disentangle. He began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Presently, he has a steady job, which enables him to financially stay afloat.
I was in my young teens when I first heard the name Elegua. It was during a spiritual consultation with a Babalawo- a high priest in the Santeria religion- that the name of Elegua was mentioned briefly. At the time, I had no clue who or what was an Elegua. It was later in life that the true essence of Elegua began to reveal itself to me.
Although the consultation was focused on receiving collares or necklaces- sacred representation of the various Orishas, and a symbol of their presence and protection, I believe it was Elegua who was preparing me for a new spiritual adventure. He was at the crossroad of my life waiting to direct me into unknown territory.
It took a while before the final decision was made to receive the necklaces. Certain decisions require full attention. Undoubtedly, this was one of them.
When the decision was made, the preparations commenced immediately. It took several days to prepare the necklaces. When the process was completed, I was called and informed of the upcoming activity. The ceremony would take place as soon as possible.
The ceremony was an all-day event that consisted of various rituals. The experience was unforgettable. Later, I received Ellegua, The Warriors and Osun.
The cost of all the items I received was relatively inexpensive. Nowadays, I am told that some individuals are charging hundreds of dollars for the same items. This is outrageous.
While visiting a friend of a friend, I heard the most intriguing story. It was the story about a woman and her experience with Santeria.
Some time ago, the woman was going through a difficult time in all aspects of her life. In a desperate attempt to get her life back on track, she went to see a santero for a spiritual consultation. He immediately told her what she needed to do. It included the Orishas’ necklaces, Ellegua and Osun. The cost would be in the hundreds. She agreed and received seven necklaces, Ellegua and Osun. The Guerreros or Warriors were not part of the deal. As she waited patiently to see some improvement, she saw none. In fact, she felt her life going deeper and deeper in a downward spiral. Frustrated and angry, she took all the items and placed them in her closet, where they were hidden and forgotten for an incalculable amount of time.
When I asked her if I could see them, she agreed. After digging in her closet, she came up with the items. What I saw was shocking. The items she was given were not prepared. The Osun, which is carefully prepared and sealed, was empty as if just purchased. Her Ellegua was a morbid-looking coconut with some cracks on the surface. It looked more like a discarded coconut. No cowrie shells were used.
As for her necklaces, no ceremony was performed. She was just told to go pick them up. For that, she paid several hundreds of dollars.
It is my opinion that a con artist pretending to be a Santeria practitioner swindled her.
If you are searching for a Santeria practitioner, it is extremely important to take proper precautions. Get as much information as possible about the person. Remember, a true practitioner is not out to exploit people. Their goal is to educate and assist people to live a better life.
Although I am not a santera-priestess, and never will be, I respect all the good aspects of Santeria. I cherish my Ellegua, and believe that he placed me in the path of Santeria to show me its beauty and power.
Although I have traveled on many different spiritual paths in this lifetime, I have not forgotten and will never forget Ellegua–The Lord of Paths.