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Santeria

Santeria is an underground religion that combines unique and contradictory beliefs.  It combines practices of various schools of thought in theology, religion, and mythology.  Its origins stem from West Africa, most of Cuba and Puerto Rico, and extends to other parts of the world. 

Africans carried a variety of spiritual customs, which include sacrificing animals, drumming, singing and dancing to enter into trances for communicating with their ancestors and the Santeria gods.  It has been passed down for several generations.

The 7 Orishas in the Cuban Santeria are:

Olodumare (God Almighty) - this is the Supreme God, the one and only creator of heaven and earth. He is father to all humanity. He is also believed to be somewhat distant and therefore created the Orishas (semi-gods) to deal with day-to-day human affairs. Santeria believes in one God, with semi-gods/Orishas created by Olodumare, to help intervene in our lives.

Ellegua (corresponds to Saint Anthony of Padua) - he is the owner of all crossroads and therefore has a strong influence on our destiny.  He loves children and candy.  His colors are red/black.

Obatala (corresponds to La Virgen de Las Mercedes) - he is the father of all who are not initiated. The one who owns everyone.   He symbolizes peace.  His color is white.

Yemaya (corresponds to La Virgen de Regla) - she is the owner of the ocean. The goddess of wealth and power.  She is the mother of all the other Orishas.  Her color is blue.

Chango (corresponds to Santa Barbara) - he is the god of thunder, lightening, music, and commerce. He has a powerful temper and a healthy appetite.   His color is red. 

Oya (corresponds to St. Therese de Jesus) - all cemeteries belong to her as she has powerful and volatile energy.  Her color is maroon.

Ochun (corresponds to La Caridad del Cobre) - she is the goddess of love, attraction, and luxury. All rivers and streams belong to her.  She is popular with matters of love. Her color is yellow.

Ogun (corresponds to San Pedro) - he is the god of metals.  His powerful weapons protect and defend. His colors are green and black.

Just like one can make parallels to the Catholic saints, one can also make astrological associations with these gods. For example, Ochun can be classified as Venus.  And Chango can be associated with Mars.  

The Santero is a practioner of Santeria who has undergone special rituals.  These rituals required time, money, and special living circumstances after the ceremony.  For example, women shave their heads bald and must wear a veil.  They are not allowed to look in a mirror for many months following the ritual.  They must wear white for a specific duration of time.  Also, they must be home by sundown.

Santeros try to give a psychic reading by speaking to the orishas.  Please note the keyword is try.  They are not psychics. Instead they try to find a parallel for remedying all types of “problems.”  Sometimes these problems may be medical treatment whereby the client might be prescribed some herbal teas, cleansing baths, or a special diet from the traditional healing practice.   Personally, I believe a doctor should be consulted in these manners.  Psychics read energy; they do not prescribe.  This is why I’m very clear on the keyword try.  The attempt is not one that involves professional psychic phenomena.

At the same time, I do not believe a psychic can bring back a former lover.  I believe a psychic can help you improve your relationships by telling you when you are most likely to attract others, and what type of people you will attract, as well as why a certain person’s energy is good or challenging for you.  A psychic can work more on a psychological level based on intuition.  What’s the point of bringing back someone that you were involved with if you or that person hasn’t improved or made changes where the relationship suffered?  Sound too practical?  Regardless of our beliefs or philosophies, we must always acknowledge that each person possess free will, and specific psychological, emotional, and spiritual makeups.  Each person in a relationship must work so we can improve our connection with our mate.

Sometimes, a Santero might advise the client use a magical herbal elixir for a "miracle cure.” These can stem from cleansings, protection from the evil eye, etc.

From my experience, if a person has a certain karmic lesson to master, the only thing that can change for that person is himself.  Surely a “spiritual cleansing” may help the individual gain clarity, in which case it would have served him well.  However, using Santeria to solve your problems to return former lovers may not manifest in the physical world unless or until change comes from within or the time is served.

There are many in the practice that do not understand this.  They believe the client needs to go through a cleansing, become a Santero themselves, etc. There is a borderline ethical issue especially since they are charged enormous amounts of dollars to undergo special rituals. 

There is also legal issues too, especially in the sacrifice of animals.  Florida is the most popular state for Santeria because of the high population of Cubans.  There have been many cases of animal cruelty reported where goats, cows, chickens, and many other four-legged animals were used for sacrificial ceremonies. 

I believe Santeria can be a good gateway practice to take on a different journey into new age, spirituality, psychic phenomena, etc.  As that is what it did for me, and I never looked back.  I had my intuition about it and treaded with caution.  It didn’t feel right. 

I have yet to hear about an ethical or legal practice of Santeria existing today.  Most of it is underground.  There is a reason for that.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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