One aspect of African-based religion that distinguishes it from other faiths and belief systems is the phenomenon of spiritual possession. It is through this phenomenon that the Loas, or the forces, come to serve the people, heal the sick, assuage the human spirit, aid the poor, feed the hungry, and otherwise bring comfort, joy, and solace.
The Loas are God's workers and messengers. Each and every person has a Loa that governs them, much like what one would call a Guardian Angel or Saint. Understanding the Loa that one has can lead a person to better understanding of self. Each Loa has a color, a day, a symbol, a territory, and from time to time a year that they govern.
Below are examples of several of these forces: their descriptions, their territories, their attributes, and pictures and video clips captured of them in spiritual possession on Gro Mambo.
The Petro Mother of All. The Blessed Mother. A mother to all who need a mother, Erusile Dantour is the highest Petro Loa and represents the force of the ocean; however, her force is evident in water everywhere. Her realms include family, stability, and order. Her color is blue.
The Petro Father of All. The name Ogu never changes. Throughout the world and regardless of differences in language or culture, Ogu is Ogu. His color is red. His territory is fires above the earth and metals, and his realms include money, business, strength and fortitude, and most importantly faith. 2007 is his year. Whenever a path needs to be cut for any direction to be taken, Papa Ogu is the one who cuts the way.
Papa Agwe is the Loa of direction. His territory is currents: the winds above land and sea, and the waves deep, deep under the ocean's surface. He provides light and direction whenever an individual needs them in times or turmoil, loss, or indecision. His color is turquoise.