The path of destiny is large, large like a large penis. ~ Papa Legba

The notorious legend of the “Black Man at the Crossroads” ignites much curiosity across cultures. References to making deals with devils at dusty four-way crossroads are found as early as the fifth century in the writings of St. Jerome. In the sixth century, we see the legend of Theofilus, who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a position as bishop. Numerous instructions for conjuring demons exist in the old grimoires. Of course, we cannot ignore the infamous deal with the devil allegedly made by renowned bluesman Robert Johnson. According to legend, Johnson went to a crossroads at midnight and summoned Satan, who appeared as a large black man. Johnson gave his guitar to him, and the “Devil” tuned it, played a few songs, and gave the guitar back to him. In exchange for Johnson’s soul, the devil gave him the skill to play the legendary blues for which he is famous.

But who is that black man at the crossroads? Some say he is Satan. Others say he is Papa Legba, the Voudou spirit everyone nowadays confuses with Baron Samedi, the Voudou Spirit of Death. Still, others say it’s neither Legba nor Baron Samedi; instead, he is an aspect of Legba called Met Kalfu. Historically, it was the habit of early missionaries to liken Legba to the Christian Devil, whose evil nature must be feared. However, Legba is neither demon nor devil, nor is he Satan himself. In fact, he is arguably the most important and beloved spirit in the New Orleans Voudou pantheon. He serves as the guardian of the Poto Mitan, the center of power and support in the sacred temples. All ceremonies begin and end with him, and there can be no communication with any of the other spirits without consulting him first. Papa Legba is the cunning, celestial trickster, master linguist, warrior, guardian of crossroads and entrances, and destiny's personal messenger. His gift for linguistics enables him to translate the requests of humans into the languages of the Spirits. In Legba’s vévé – his ritual symbol - is the crossroads. He is known by several names in New Orleans: Papa Legba, Papa Alegba, Papa Labas, and Papa Limba. During Mardi Gras season, a popular shout by revelers is “A Labas!” This is a reference to St. Peter, who has functioned for over a hundred years as the Catholic cloak for Legba in New Orleans Voudou.

If you want to learn more about New Orleans Voudou, you will want to know Papa Legba. Anyone can work with Legba - initiation is not required. Guidance, however, is highly recommended as he is a trickster spirit. In this course you will learn who Papa Legba is and who he isn't, how he is served in the context of New Orleans Voudou, how to set up an altar to him and a variety of ways of working with him. This course is for anyone who wishes to broaden their knowledge base about this most important spirit in the New Orleans Voudou pantheon. Without Legba, all efforts to communicate with the other spirits is for naught.

Course curriculum

All lessons are not visible.

    1. Welcome to Class!

    2. How to use this course

    3. Create a Learning Ritual

    4. Questions?

    5. Before we begin...

    1. Introducing Papa Legba

    2. Legba's Invocation

    3. Song: Invocation to Legba

    4. Papa Legba, Gatekeeper and Guardian of the Crossroads

    5. Video: Once You Meet Him at the Crossroads, You Ain't Never the Same Again

    6. Legba's African Origins

    7. Areas of Influence

    8. Characteristics that Align with Purpose

    9. Papa Legba's Attributes

    10. Drum Rhythm of Papa Legba

    11. Legba Cleansing Ritual

    12. Test Your Knowledge

    1. Video: Papa Legba Haitian Vodou Ritual Music

    2. Sacred Herbs and Plants

    3. Papa Legba's Feast Days

    4. Food Offerings

    5. Akasan, Legba's Corn Drank

    6. Video: Yanvalou Rhythm for Legba

    7. Offering Papa Legba Incense

    8. Papa Legba Incense Recipe

    9. Experiential Assignment: Take a Legba Cleansing Bath

    10. Prayer to Open Roads

    11. The Kongo Cosmogram

    12. Road Opener Prayer

    13. Deconstructing the Symbology of the Cosmogram

    14. The Crossroads in the Cosmogram

    15. Magic Bowls

    16. Location of African Cultural Groups

    17. Test your learning

    1. Week 3 Introduction

    2. Video: American Horror Story Coven, Marie Laveau and Papa Legba

    3. Papa Legba in American Horror Story: Coven

    4. Assignment: American Horror Story: Coven

    5. Test Your Learning

    6. The Death of Kat Restin, the 19-Year-Old Girl Who Died Suddenly Two Days After Reportedly Summoning Papa Legba

    7. Article: The Viral Death of Kat Restin

    8. Discussion: Did Legba Really Kill That Girl?

    9. The Voodoo Drums 1950

    10. Discussion: Voodoo Drums

    11. Video: True Stories: Papa Legba

    12. Legba's Ghetto Sculpture

    13. Ghetto Sculpture Quiz

    14. Legba, Open Wide the Gates!

    15. Test Your Learning

    1. Outdoor Shrine

    2. West African Legba Shrines

    3. Creating an Outdoor Legba Shrine

    4. Simple Service for Legba

    5. Indoor Altar for Legba

    6. How to Petition Papa Legba

    7. Experiential Exercise: House Cleansing with Legba

    1. Papa Legba's Vévé

    2. What is a Vévé?

    3. Examples of Legba's Vévés

    4. Powders Used for Drawing Vévés

    5. Presentation: How to Make Blessed Chalk

    6. Psalm 23

    7. Experiential Exercise: A Simple Vévé Ritual for Papa Legba

About this course

  • $225.00
  • Community forum
  • Certificate of completion
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