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 The Loa

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Tankgrrl
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PostSubject: The Loa   Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:59 pm

The Loa are the spirits of voodoo, once you are initiated you become Hounsi or spirit wife/husband you become married to the spirits. The spirits have specific wants and desires, this is a very simple list of the main Loa, there are many different Loa from many different traditions.

Papa Legba

Guardian of the cross roads first loa to be called during cerimony to open the gates.

Monday

Black & Red

Three

Sweets, Maize, and Rum

Mercury

Ritual greeting - Atibon Legba, open the gate for me
Papa Legba, open the gate for me
Open the gate that I can enter
When I return I will thank the Loa
Abobo!
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Shango

Chango is the god of fire, thunder, power, and sensuality. He has the power to help you win wars, defeat your enemies, and can help you gain power over others. He will ensure you are victorious over all of your difficulties. Chango is believed to have once been a Yoruban king; thus, he must be treated as such.

double Ax, forest, horse, ram, pigeon, pheasant

Friday

Red & White

Six

apples, yams, corn, and peppers

Mars, Sun

Ritual greeting - Kaguo, Kabiosile
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Erzulie

The goddess of love, romance, art, jealousy,passion, & sex. Erzulie Dantor is the patron loa of lesbian women, fierce protector of women experiencing domestic violence and patron loa of New Orleans. Beauty, love, and sensuality are her Creations. Emotions are what link her to the endless reservoir of universal creativity. Erzulie Dantor offers to you protection and possibilities beyond the imagination. Erzulie Dantor is a mulatto woman who is often portrayed as the Black Madonna, or the Roman Catholic "Saint Barbara Africana". She has tribal scars on her cheek, and is considered heterosexual because she has children, but she is also the patron loa of lesbian women. Thus, she loves women fiercely, and will defend them to the death. She loves knives and is considered the protector of newly consecrated Voodoo priests and priestesses, as well as of women and children who are victims of domestic violence, and women who have been betrayed by a lover.She is highly respected and much feared due to her Woman Power. Most Haitian women serve Dantor, and she is also the patron loa of New Orleans and so she is served by many there as well. She also supports independent business women and is the patron of women's finances. Many women invoked Erzulie Dantor against their partners (male or female) should they become violent. And enlightened men also serve Dantor, especially men who honor, love and respect women.

Jewlery, Mirrors, fans, gold, little bells, parrot, peacock, quail, clams, hawk

Thursday

Coral-red, yellow, green

five

Cake, oranges, cinnamon, honey, melon

Venus, waxing moon

Ritual Greeting - Ori Ye Ye O
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Aida Wedo

Goddess of the wind, fire, water, rainbow, ruler over the forces of nature, warrior, courageous, beautiful, passionate, and upreictable, she is the feathered sky serpent. the rainbow is the bridge between the heavens and the earth a road the great invisibles may walk.

copper, black horse hair, sheep, locusts,

Wednesday

purple, brwn, red, terra cotta (burned earth color)

Nine

Eggplang, blue grapes, plums, red wine

Uranus, New Moon

ritual greeting - Hekua Oya
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Yemaya

Yemayá is the Mother of the Seven Seas, the Santeria Orisha of fertility and motherhood. She offers protection to women. She is likened to the patron saints Lady of Regla, and Mary, Star of the Sea.

shells, rattles, glittering clothes, crystal pearls, Sandpiper, cockroaches

Saturday

White, Blue, Silver

Seven

Watermelon, molasses, maize flour

Neptune, Full Moon

Ritual Greeting - Omio Yemya
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Obatala

Obatala is the creator God, of whom all of the Orishas are but aspects. His color is white, containing all the colors of the rainbow. He rules the mind and intellect, cosmic equilibrium, male and female.

Coconuts, grapes, elephants, snais, owls, white garments

Sunday

White with silver, purple

Eight

Coconut, peas, pears, cola nuts

Jupiter

Ritual Greeting - Maferefun Ba Ba
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Ogun

presides over fire, iron, hunting, politics and war. He is also considered to be the Father of technology as we know it today. He is the patron of smiths and of the unemployed and is usually displayed with a machete or sabre, rum and tobacco. He is one of the husbands of Erzulie, but is also linked to Oshun in a fiery and passionate affair of the heart.

Machete, ax, iron, dog, goat, rooster

Tuesday

Green, black, red

three and four

Meat, roots, nuts, berries

Pluto, Saturn

ritual Greeting- Onile Ogun
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Agwe

god of fish and sea plants, the patron of fishermen and sailors. During elaborate ceremonies, the worshippers of this proud god send expensive offerings to his magnificent underwater palace.

Shells, Starfis, ships, fish, sponges, the trident, tadpoles

Champagne, seafood, white chicken, white sheep

White
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Damballa

Serpent loa, peace and purity, of platinum and silver, and the one who grants riches and sustains the world. Optimism emanatesfrom his presence and it is he who is the original servant to the Creator.

snake, water basin, thunderbolt, silver

Milk, milk rice, flour, sugar, water, eggs, all food and drinks that are white

White, Silver

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Loco

patron of healers and plants, especially trees. He is a racine (root), and a Rada Loa. Among several other Loa he is linked with the poteau mitan or centrepost in a Vodou peristyle.

He is the husband of loa Ayizan, and just as she is the archetypal Mambo (priestess), so her husband Loco is considered the first Houngan (priest). As the spiritual parents of the priesthood he and his wife are two of the Loa involved in the kanzo initiation rites in which the Priest/ess to be is given the asson (sacred rattle and tool of the priesthood), and are both powerful guardians of "reglemen," or the correct and appropriate form of Vodoun service.

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Gede

the Gede are the family of spirits that embody the powers of death and fertility. They are closely associated with the loa Baron (whose aspects are Baron Samedi, Baron La Croix and Baron). Depending on the tradition followed, Baron is one of the Gede their spiritual father who has raised them from the dead, along with Baron Samedi's wife Maman Brigitte who is their spiritual mother an aspect of the Gede

In any of these configurations, Baron, his wife Maman Brigitte, and the Gede rule death, the cemetery and the grave.

Well known Gede spirits include Gede Nibo, Gede Plumaj, Gede Ti Malis, Gede Zaranye, and many others. They are known for the drum rhythm and the dance called the "banda" and in possession will drink or rub themselves with a mixture of raw rum or clairin and twenty-one habanero or goat peppers.

Gede Nibo is a psychopomp and acts as an intermediary between the living and the dead, who gives voice to the dead spirits that have not been reclaimed from "below the waters".

The Gede often dress as an undertaker dressed in black with black sunglasses. Some Gede will only have one lens, seeing as they do in two worlds. The chief of the Gedes is still Gede Nibo. He has no wife, and goes around flirting with the lady Lwas, except Ezili who apparently does not like him.

The colors of the Gede are generally purple and black, and they enjoy unfiltered cigarettes like Pall Malls, rum steeped with hot peppers, dancing the suggestive "banda" dance with the ladies, and they are very protective of children, as many of the lwa are.
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Marrassa

In Vodou, the Marassa are the divine twins. They are children, but more ancient than any other loa. "Love, truth and justice. Directed by reason. Mysteries of liaison between earth and heaven and they personify astronomic-astrological learning. They synthesize the voodoo Loa as personification of divine power and the human impotence. Double life, they have considerable power which allow them manage people through the stomach. They are children mysteries." (source: Voodoo Diagrams & Rituals: by Milo Rigaud, Trilingual edition)

The Marassa are somewhat different from standard Loa, both on a level above them, and counted in their number, they are both twins, and yet they number three, they are male and female, and both male and both female - an example of the Haitian worldview's capacity to retain two seemingly contradictory concepts. In some houses they are not channelled through possession in Vodou ritual, but served first after Legba.
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Tankgrrl
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PostSubject: Re: The Loa   Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:52 pm

This is an article I wrote when I was first learning about the Loa, there is however mention of Orishas which are of the Santeria faith which does differ in some aspects and are considered independent of each other, they do however share a lot of similarities.
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