Meet the Gods: Eshu

Merry meet.

Deities from the ancient African pantheon are often overlooked when seeking gods to call upon for help with spells and rituals.

Eshu is a trickster god of the Yoruba people of Nigeria in West Africa. Also known as Esu, Eleda, Exu and Odara, he is sly, unpredictable, and fond of pranks that can be cruel and disruptive. He can speak every language on earth and thus serves as a divine messenger between people and the gods. He also delivers to the gods in heaven the sacrifices people offer up.

In one story, Eshu became the messenger after stealing yams from the god’s garden, made footprints using the god’s slippers and then suggested the god stole the yams. “Annoyed, the High God ordered Eshu to visit the sky every night and tell him what happened on earth during the day,” according to mythencyclopedia.com.

Eshu enjoys confusion and plays tricks resulting in arguments.

Talking Tricksters Studio’s website states, “In one myth he lured the sun and moon into changing places, which upset the cosmicorder.” As the god of change, chance and uncertainty, Eshu is sometimes paired up with Ifa, the chief god representing order.

Although considered to be a protective, benevolent spirit, Eshu must constantly be appeased before he will perform his duties of conveying sacrifices, and divining the future as well as looking to the past, the inside and the outside.

Together, black and red are his sacred color combination.

Eshu is also the lord of the crossroads, the market, communication and virility.

Sacrifice is a fundamental principle in the West African indigenous religion. What is offered – be it a cool glass of water, a bouquet of flowers or a goat – is of great value to both to the giver and the recipient. When calling on Eshu to help, be sure your offering to him is made with love and gratitude.

Merry part. And merry meet again.


About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.