An Eleke is a string of beads that can be worn by man or woman to help achieve their goal for the problem at hand.
The beads represent the energy of the various Orisha, Saints, and Spirits to guide us with spiritual awareness, inner peace, and positive transformation.
The beads are a vehicle to connect you to the Orisha on a daily basis. It’s like a mini shrine being placed on your person.
Eleggua (also spelled Elegua, Elewa, Elegba or Legba) is the most important of the orishas in Santeria. Elegua was the first orisha created by Olodumare and he existed prior to and witnessed creation unfold. He is the key to any of our religious practices, for without Elegua’s blessings nothing can proceed, transpire nor succeed in the world. Eleggua is the owner of all roads, crossroads, and doors. He is the power that allows all of the ache in the universe to move from point A to point B. Elegba allows our prayers to reach the orishas. Elegba allows ache to flow in ebó so that our fate may be changed. He facilitates divination (diloggun, obi, okuele or any other form of divination) by communicating to and for the other orishas, and to Olodumare herself.
Elegua is said to be present everywhere and at all times. Because of this Eleggua has many aspects or “caminos” (roads) each encapsulating a different area he rules over, or a different personality. Eleggua is the great divine witness to all humanity’s actions. He is also the first to test our integrity and our word. Because of this quality many followers of Santeria consider Elegba to be a trickster or a troublemaker. At our church we prefer to think of him as the great experimenter, always testing humanity to see what will happen next. Eleggua is always propitiated first in every ceremony that we do (after the ancestors have been honored, that is) so that he can open the road and our ebó will reach its destination.
Elegua along with Ogun, Ochosi and Osun is one of the orishas received during the reception of The Warriors (Guerreros) in initiation. Every person receives Eleggua as the first orisha in his or her life emphasizing how important his presence is in our spiritual life and in the religion of Santeria. Eleggua’s diloggun (cowrie shells) are the ones used for general readings as he can speak for all of the other orishas.
Symbols, Numbers, Colors and Attributes of Elegguá
Number: 3 and 21
Sacred Place in Nature: wild places, the crossroads, truthfully Eleggua lives everywhere (including the river, the ocean, the mountain top, and everywhere else)
Colors: Red and black
Tools: a hooked stick called a garabato
Temperament: Inquisitive, curious, talkative
Syncretized Catholic Saint: Saint Anthony, Saint Martin of Porres, The Holy Child of Atocha
Approximately 34 inches long.