Lwa Overview

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Lwa Overview
By: / Novice
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The Lwa The Lwa are organized are basically organized into three groups, defined by their characteristics as well as their similarities. There are also other sets of spirits such as the Ogou spirits of the Nago Nation but here we will be covering Rada, Petro, and Ghede. Rada Lwa The Rada lwa are seen as "cool", stable, and beneficent; they are seen as gentle in comparison to other Lwa and in a way more orderly. Also, these set of Lwa are more forgiving and slower to anger(does not mean that you could mess with them and expect forgiving). They share similar traits and white is always an acceptable color when serving them. They are very clean Lwa and tidiness goes a long way with them, one should always be as clean as possible and best if dressed in white when serving them(women should have their hair tied back and covered with a white scarf as a sign of respect).

Here is a list of popular Lwa of the Rada nation:

  • Danballa Wedo
  • Marassa
  • Papa Loko
  • Met Agwe
  • La Sirene
  • Erzulie Freda
  • Ayida Wedo

Petro Lwa The Petro Lwa are considered to be more fierce, less forgiving than the Rada, and fast to act upon enemies. To difference of their counterpart, the Petro Lwa prefer you to wear bright and colorful clothing. Red being the dominant color for them and women usually wrap their head in a red scarf. Neatness is still a factor that shows respect to the Lwa, although they are not as uptight about it as Rada. If you make a promise to any Lwa, keep it because the Petro spirits will be unforgivingly harsh in comparison with the Rada. Remember, do not promise what you cannot give. The Petro are very engaging spirits, water is not a part of saluting Petro and they prefer strong drinks such as white rum.

Here is a list of popular Lwa of the Petro Nation

  • Erzulie Dantor
  • Bossou
  • Gran Bwa
  • Toro
  • Marinette

There are many, many more of course just as for the Rada Nation.

Ghede Lwa The Ghede are considered a family of Lwa, with Baron Semetye as their father and Maman Brijit as their mother. Ghede are outrageous and interesting spirits in Vodou. There are countless of them, the first male buried in the cemetary is a Baron and the first female a Brijit. The Ghede are usually served on the floor, not being next to Rada or Petro as they do not like "smell of the dead". The Ghede are offered funerary flowers and they drink a rum in which 21 hot peppers have been soaked in. Ghede are sometimes seen as spirits that will help those having trouble conceiving, as they are linked with fertility.

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