How Elegua is the God of Crossroads, Beginnings and Opportunities

Elegua also known as Eleggua, Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára is the Trickster God of Crossroads, Beginnings and Opportunities. Guardian of the Crossroads of Life. Whenever there are decisions to be made, he provides opportunities and second chances if one is lucky. As a Trickster God, the childlike Elegua can sometimes make things even more complicated. At a whim he can turn a simple choice into a vast conundrum of paradox. He is also a messenger to the higher Gods, particularly Olorun, and loves attention and enjoys being noticed. He is partial to cigars and rum, but he is very good with children.

Eleguá likes all kinds of things associated with child's play, like kites, whistles, balls, toy soldiers.  He also likes keys, silver coins, a shepherd's crook, and a straw hat.  He dresses in red and black, sometimes in Spanish colonial-style knee britches.  On his head, he wears a red kerchief or cap, or a straw hat. When he dances, he is playful and wants others to pay attention to him.

He is sometimes represented as a child, and sometimes as an old man.  He represents the beginning and end of life, and the opening and closing of paths in life.  Sometimes known as the trickster, he likes to play jokes on people.  He enjoys candy and toys.  Despite his childlike nature, however, he is a very powerful Orisha.  He is one of the Warriors (along with Ogún, Ochosi and Osun).  Eleguá is always mentioned first in any ceremony, because without his permission, the doors to communication with the other Orishas stay closed


Known in Cuba and Puerto Rico as the orisha and "owner" of caminos, or roads and paths. All ceremonies and rituals in Santería must first have the approval of Eleguá before progressing. He is the messenger of Olofi. Within the "Regla de Ocha" [Cuba], he slightly differs from Eshu, who in this case is seen as his brother, by having less dangerous and less aggressive characteristics. Eleguá moves silently; in contrast, Eshu "breaks through". Manifestations of Eleguá includes Akefun, Aleshujade, Arabobo, Awanjonu, Lalafán, Obasín, Oparicocha, and Osokere.

Eleguá's eleke (beaded necklace) consists of one red bead, one black bead, in a repeated pattern.  The color and design of the necklace represent life and death, war and peace, the beginning and end of all things.  Eleguá is called the Lord of the Crossroads because he plays a role in every decision we make in life.  With his help, things go smoothly.  But he can also put obstacles in our path, and life takes unexpected and negative turns.  Most practitioners of Santería know that it is very important to maintain good relations with Eleguá because without him, nothing is possible.

Eleguá's colors are red and black. His number is 3, or any multiple of 3. His day of the week is Monday, and the 3rd day of every month.  Traditionally, the 6th of January and the 13th of June are recognized as his "saint's days" in Cuba. On these days, a feast may be given in his honor.  In the Catholic religion, Eleguá is syncretized with the Child Jesus of Atocha, Saint Anthony of Padua, and the Anima Sola (soul in Purgatory).  Eleguá and Ochún are good friends.

His day is Monday — so you can start the week well under his ministrations. His color coding is red and black.

Elegua Facts and Figures

Name: Elegua

Pronunciation: Coming soon

Alternative names: Eleggua, Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára

Gender: Male

Type: God

Area or people: Yoruba people of Nigeria and Benin

Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Mayhem

Area of expertise: Trickster, Mischief, Mayhem

Good/Evil Rating: OKAY, not bad


Click here to get you an Elegua African god pantheon figurine - HERE

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