Eshu (Eshua, Eva Chou)

Exu, Èsù, Eleggua
Exua, Eshua (as female)
Orisha deity
Trickery, Chaos, Misfortune, Death, Roads, Messengers
Olodumare (Creator)
Satan, Chaos
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Eshu, also known as Exu or Eleggua, is the trickster deity of the Orisha, the principal deities of Yoruba people in Africa. Besides trickery, he presides over crossroads, misfortune, chaos, death, travelers and messengers.

He is considered the opposite of Olodumare, the supreme Yoruba god and co-existed with him at the start of the times. He represents the darkness and void of the Universe. He is the primordial energy of movement and Chaos in the universe, which causes the imbalance that makes changes and evolution possible.

His symbolic colors are either red, black or white, and the numbers 1, 3 and 21 hold significance for the deity.

The Afro-Brazilian Candomblé religion has seen the trickster as the same entity as the Archangel Gabriel, though this appears unlikely, as loyal angels of God do not seek worship.

However, in the Umbanda and Quimbanda religions of Brazil, Exu is seen as a kind of equivalent to the Christian devil. In Quimbanda, he’s the main worshipped deity along with his consort, Pombagira, who is often identified with the Jewish Lilith. In the altars used to worship him the statues often look like a red demonic face with horns and some even mimick the appearance of Baphomet. He’s said to make his presence known through a smell of sulphur, like Christian demons.

In Yoruba translations of the Bible, the name “Satan” is translated as “Eshu”.

His actions are not fully evil though. He can help the magicians who invoke him (at the price of demanding worship), among the things he can do are curing illness, bring fortune and scare away evil spirits. But he can also do the opposite of all of that, and he might trick you.

He is known as “Exua” or “Eshua” in his female form.


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