Voudo: Loa: Gran Bwa: Big Boss of the Woods

Saint Sebastian

Gran Bwa literally means “Big Wood,” That is fitting because, as far as Loa goes, Gran Bwa is a BIG loa. Boss of the woods and chief of the forest, Gran Bwa is a centerpiece for the Vodou of the New World. Whether Puerto Rican/Sanse, Dominican/21 Divisions, Haitian/Ginen Vodou, including Haitian secret magical societies like the Mayaka (pure Petro), Gran Bwa stands in the middle of it all. Gran Bwa resides in the Vilokan, the tremendous primordial forest of the heavenly realm of the Loa called Ginen.

He is the most prominent and most potent Loa in the Vilokan, keeping order both natural and supernatural. Gran Bwa’s mysteries are like his roots, deep and vast. Without him, no genuinely practical magic can occur as he holds the secrets to all the herbs, roots, branches, and leaves. With those same herbs, roots, sticks, and leaves, Bran Gwa can make baths and washes, which will break the strongest of black magic and cleanse away all evil, or he can empower them, giving a tremendous advantage to an individual who has taken steps to earn his teaching. He can deny someone their connection to the forces of nature and cut them off from gaining the necessary power from it.

Saint Jude

In Puerto Rican Vodou-Sanse, two Saints walk with the mystery of Gran Bwa. Saint Sebastian and Sait Jude. Saint Sebastian is sometimes seen carrying Gran Bwa’s more aggressive actions. He is Petro. Saint Jude then brings Gran Bwa’s more elevated and Rada-like qualities. While this can be true, Saint Sebastian, lest Sanse is concerned, carries the Taino people’s mystery of a man, a warrior, and a talented singer lashed tightly to a Ceiba. He sings out to his Gods and the woman he loves in his suffering. They grant him mercy. It’s a mystery story, so I can’t say more, but this helped give birth to what Sanse or Puerto-Rican Vodou is now. Gran Bwa is seen as the sacred Ceiba tree, and the man’s blood from the thorns feeds its roots. A sacrifice made for others and largely why Sase is a bloodless tradition. Direct parallels can be drawn between the wooden cross and the crucifixion of Jesus. The last blood sacrifice God would accept. 

Because Gran Bwa is literally the sign post demarking the cosmic crossroad of both religion and sorcery, there is literally nothing he cannot do. All one needs to do is ask. For any reason you need, Gran Bwa is the Shade tree, Giving tree, Medicine tree, and the Hanging tree all at the same time. Tell me what you require of Gran Bwa, and we’ll go to the Vilokan to ask him, together.

Prayer to Saint Jude

Most Holy Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered your beloved Master into the hands of the enemies has caused you to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases and of things despaired of.  Pray for me who am so needy; make use, I implore you of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired.  Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings particularly (here mention your petition) and that I may bless God with you and all the elect throughout eternity.  I promise you, O blessed Jude to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor you as my special and powerful patron and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to you.  


Prayer to Saint Sebastian

Glorious Sebastian, martyr and saint, I call on your strength and courage
to help me through this difficult trial. Your faith was so deep ,a multitude of arrows could not finish you. I ask for your intercession that I may also survive that which threatens to destroy my beliefs in the mercy of Christ. 


Feel called to know Gran Bwa on a deeper level? Consider joining our Spiritual Temple.

-Kevin Wikse

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