My friends and I have recently done a service to call down the lwa Simbi Makaya, who is a spirit of Congolese origin that has dominion over magic and is known to be fiercely protective of his devotees. He is associated with Saint Expedite. Simbi is also highly revered in the Makaya sect of northern Haiti whose priests are called bokors and are skilled in divination and spell casting. During this session, Simbi Makaya appeared in possession and gave his blessing to a drapo, or spiritual flag, that I have previously prepared. Many people are curious as to how to make a service to the lwa or any spirit. I have decided to share with you the step by step process of how to serve the lwa in a simple ritual that may be performed by anyone, even the uninitiated.
A step by step process in a simple ritual that may be performed by anyone, even the uninitiated.
The information I am about to give you may be taken as a template on how to serve and request a favor or general blessing from any spiritual entity, not only those of the African diaspora. The following service would be equally adequate to obtain the favors of the Chinese Quan Yin, the Native-American White Buffalo Woman or the Celtic Brigid as it would those of Papa Legba, Erzulie Freda and Maman Brigitte. It is a simple and common approach that can be used by people with little or no experience in Voodoo or Hoodoo and just a bit of knowledge on the saint or spirit you are trying to invoke.
First find a space that can serve as a make shift altar. A table or a cleared space on a countertop would work nicely. You can make the space as simple or as elaborate as you like. Knowing what colors are sacred to the spirit or saint in question, you may choose to cover the space with a cloth of that color. You may also adorn the altar with items sacred to that entity, for example some seashells would be appropriate for La Sirene or a gold necklace for Ochun. Also, if applicable, you may wish to place an image of that spirit’s Catholic counterpart. It is possible to do a service to more than one spirit at a time, but make sure to keep their images, sacred items and offerings on separate sections of the altar.
Next lay out as many or as few offerings as you’d like. Food offerings are always important and flowers are also a welcome addition to any altar. You do not need to worry about making live animal blood offerings since this can only be done by an initiated priest or priestess.
Now light a candle and make your petitions. Your candle should be in the color sacred to the particular spirit. If in doubt, you may use white, which is universal to all spirits, saints and lwa. Sit at the altar as long as you want and meditate. Talk to the saint as you would a friend and ask for his or her blessing and assistance in the matter at hand. You could ask for a new special person in your life or a marriage proposal from a current partner or the return of a former lover or money and success in business. Whatever your needs are, explain them to the saint. To give an extra kick to your service you may decide to make a promise to the saint such as agreeing to perform another service or feeding once your petition is granted or perhaps donate some money to charity. Whatever you promise, make sure to fulfill it, since what has been given to you can be taken away just as easily.
Leave the altar in place until the candle has burned out and then dispose of your offerings, ideally in a place sacred to that saint, but if you are a city dweller, this is not always possible, so you may dispose of them in the trash after the service is complete.
I would just like to make a quick comment on the purpose of offerings in spiritual work. The saints and spirit guides to not need food as we do since they have no bodies. They do have foods and animals that are sacred to them and which when presented to them, they transform into raw spiritual energy and use to make things happen in the physical world. For example, if you make an offering to Papa Legba of rice, beans, rum and a cigar, he will take up those offerings and use that energy to make your petition manifest in your life.
The service I have just described is very common and many spiritual workers perform it every day. I am confident that this simple service would be enough to bring about positive change in anyone’s love life. I invite you to try it with the saint or spirit of your choice and please share your results with me!