By Mambo Sam
Honoring the Lwa can be simple or complicated depending upon your
time, finances, resources, etc. Mostly your intention to honor them,
no matter how humble your offering, is the most important thing.
Now most of you know that the Lwa have been categorized as far as
colors, specific offerings, etc., and I will be posting a list for
However, just because you don't know specifics, doesn't mean you
can't honor them! First off, decide which Lwa or Lwas you wish to
honor. This is a ritual where you don't ASK for anything, but rather
just offer your respect and honor to the Lwa. Here is a very simple
ritual that can be done for any and all Lwa:
1. Three white candles.
2. A glass or bowl with water in it. Sprinkle some salt in the
3. An offering of sweets. You can keep it simple - a candy bar, a
couple of Hershey's kisses, whatever you can afford.
4. A piece of paper and something to write with.
5. A small piece of cloth (about 5"x5") or a small cloth bag.
Ritual Set Up:
1. Cleanse a space to set up the items above (you can just use
regular household cleaner, clean water, or salt water to clean the
2. Place the three candles in a triangle with the top point of the
triangle facing you as you face the altar. Place the water in the
middle of the candles.
3. Place the sweets to your left on the altar.
4. On the paper, write the names of the Lwa you wish to honor.
Spend a little bit of time drawing veve's if you know them. If you
don't know them, then draw something on the paper that seems
appropriate to you!
5. Fold the paper down to 1/4 its size.
6. Place the paper to your right on the altar.
1. Light the candle at the top of the triangle (the one closest to
you). Say this: "With this candle, I honor your light in my life
___________." (Fill in the name of the lwa(s) you wish to honor.)
2. Light the next candle and say the same thing.
3. Light the third candle and say the same thing.
4. If you wish, play some nice music that seems appropriate to your
5. Take the water receptacle off the altar and hold it in both of
your hands. Take some time to gaze into the water and meditate on
what the Lwa have meant to you in your relationship with them. Feel
free to vocalize these feelings and say thank you for being there!
Be open to the possibility that you might receive a message or
guidance at this time during the ritual. Be aware that what may seem
like your own thoughts or "imagination" may well indeed be guidance!
Spend whatever time you wish doing this. Sometimes people see
amazing things in that water! I like to use a crystal bowl for this
purpose, but a clear glass is fine.
6. When you are done place the water back in the middle of the
candles (be careful, don't set your sleeves on fire, yes, I have done
7. Take the piece of paper you wrote the names of the Lwa on and
place it in the water. Make sure it is all submerged. Say
this: "Under the water, above the water, you're home. Thank you for
being in my life."
8. Let your candles burn down. (Save any wax that is left.)
9. Leave the paper in the water until that water evaporates. If you
used a big bowl, you can pour some of the water out, just make sure
the paper stays covered. (Yes, it can take several days for the water
to evaporate, depending on where you live.)
10. The next day, take your offerings to a tree. Stamp the ground
three times with your right foot. Call the names of the Lwa you
honored and put the offerings at the foot of the tree.
11. Whenever the water evaporates: Take the remnants of the paper in
the bowl and put it with the candle wax you saved. Put all of it
either in the piece of cloth (which you can then tie up with ribbon
or string) or in the bag. This is a now a lwa honorarium talisman.
You can use it in any other Vodou ritual - putting it on your altar,
etc. Just remember (or write a tag) so you know which Lwa you
honored with it!