Elegua is the Orisha of the crossroads. As the personification of fate, he has the power to help a person realize their destiny. Though he is a trickster who delights in testing humans, with his aid, it is possible for anyone to open any road and obtain happiness.
Elegua and Eshu
Sometimes, Elegua is said to have a counterpart, Eshu, who control misfortune. Really, Eshus are a family of Orishas that try to cause problems for people -- interacting with them without the proper respect is a sure way to create misfortune for yourself!
Elegua has many roads, also called Eshu. As the first Orisha created by Olodumare, he has existed before the rest of creation. He knows everything, is always honored first among the Orishas, and facilitates the connection between humans, ancestors, and beyond. Without his help, few things are possible. He is said to live behind every door, and so Santeria practitioners often keep an Elegua head there to protect their homes. Since he knows everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen, he is a messenger between humans and the rest of the Orishas.
Opening Roads with Elegua
Though he is often depicted as an adult or old man, Elegua is also frequently shown as a child, sometimes with a sack of toasted corn and sweets. You do not have to be a priest or priestess to make personal offerings to Elegua and ask for help. Anyone can petition him for assistance in unblocking the roads to their happiness, as long as they show respect and make the proper offerings: smoked fish, yellow rice, toasted corn, candy, rum, or tobacco are good places to start.
One of the best ways to stay in Elegua's good graces is consistency. Since Elegua can be almost anywhere, it is important to greet him whenever you pass by a place that you associate with him. This is a way to show respect and pay homage, to ensure that he keeps your roads open for you. Though he is very helpful, he is a trickster. If you establish a pattern of saying hello or leaving offerings to him, be sure to keep it up -- the day you miss will be the day things start to go wrong for you.
Anoint an Open Road candle with Open Road oil, beginning at the middle and stroking the oil toward the wick, before turning and stroking from the middle toward the base. Take a piece of parchment or paper, and write the words "open roads" three times. Turn it one quarter turn, and write your name three times. Draw an equal-armed cross (+) in the center of the paper, and place it beneath the candle. Ask Elegua to open the roads to success, health, love, and happiness for you, and light the candle.
Protecting Your Roads
As you embark on new opportunities, there are new chances for unforeseen danger. Protecting yourself as you try new things is just as important as opening your roads. Request Elegua's aid by anointing an Elegua 7 day candle with a few drops of Elegua oil. If you like, you can also light Elegua incense. Ask him to protect you and your loved ones from all harm or evil intentions.
You can also protect your home by mopping your floors with some Elegua floor wash. If you are concerned about meeting evil when you leave your home, prepare by steeping some herb bath in boiling water, allowing it to cool, and then pouring it over yourself in the bath. Allow yourself to air dry, and anoint yourself with Elegua perfume or cologne. As you do this, request that he protect you as you go about your day.
Elegua is a powerful and knowledgeable Orisha, and it is with his help that universal power flows throughout the world. If you need help with luck, new opportunities, or safe travel, pay homage to him and ask for his assistance.