Posts Tagged With: West Africa

Hoodoo Still Practiced After 100 Years

Hoodoo Still Practiced After 100 Years

By Mark Hoerrner

Witch doctors and their mojo spells aren’t just products of Hollywood imagination—for over a century, the practice of Hoodoo has been an integral part of the culture in countries all around the world, including the United States.

Stemming from African tribal magic, Hoodoo is currently practiced primarily in the Southern U.S., Haiti and West Africa. Brought to America during the African Diaspora fueled by American slave trade, the “white magic” of Hoodoo was a welcome counter to the Voodoo practitioners who also originated from Africa and spilled onto Haiti and other Southern Atlantic islands. Much like Voodoo, the quasi-religion was a mix of nature magic and spirit calling that would eventually mingle with the predominantly Catholic religions of the busy city of New Orleans and subsequent Catholic expatriates have propagated the mixture of Hoodoo and Christianity in Haiti as well.

It should be noted that practitioners will quickly tell you that the practice of Hoodoo is spiritual in nature but it is not a religion. There is no established formal practice other than spells and incantations passed down in written form and no clergy to speak of. Nor does there exist a hierarchy among practitioners. Each Hoodoo “witch” or “witch doctor” is completely autonomous, as is common among many of the botano-spiritual offshoots from Africa.
Common terms like “mojo,” “mojo bag” and similar terms are often used interchangeably with Voodoo practitioners and refer to material goods supposedly ensorcelled to give the user a specific benefit. Hoodoo, in fact, is meant to empower the individual, granting fiscal and physical prosperity, luck in love and gambling and similar self-interests

.
Hoodoo derives, however, from a complex system of magic, according to spiritualist Mama Zgobe.
“For example, in the West African & Diaspora Mami Wata Vodoun tradition,” she says in a web interview on Hoodoo, “the forest spirits, known as ‘Azzizas,’ were the most evolved guardians of the forest, who first presented themselves to the African hunters, and planters. They taught them the esoteric, medicinal (ahame) use and alchemical properties inherent in the abundance of herbs, trees, roots, minerals and life forms thriving in their mists.

“It was the Azzizas who also taught the African how to make poisons, potions, medicines, and Gbo, ‘ebo’ and ‘boicho/bo.’ Joined with the Azzizas, was the divinity later to be identified as “Legba,” the great messenger of the gods, who also taught the Africans the use of Gbo and transported their prepared requests to the respective divinities.
“The first practical and most extensive use of herbs, amulets and talismans in the forest was for protection from accidents & tropical disease, dangerous animals, repairing injuries, as well as to assure success in their hunt. However, their esoteric use was mainly for protection from jealously, envy, and death by other hunters, as well as protection from the angry spirits of those animals which were killed for food, or by accident during the course of the hunt. From these primary ancestors, eventually evolved a group of specialized priests and priestess known in Dahomey as Bokonons, (geomancers), Azondoto, Zokas, Garbara, Akpases (socerers), and Botonons.”

Other practitioners come from less of an African influence but still promote the strength of the practice. Martha White – yes, like the baked goods – says that she was indoctrinated into the world of Hoodoo by her great grandmother and subsequently by her grandmother.
“At first, it was something to tell friends about,” she says, a rolling creole accent carrying every word. “But later, I began to notice that other people had faith in what my grandmother was doing. They altered their lives based on her charms and spells. It was not long after that the spirits came to me.”
Spirits, she says, of wild areas, of deceased persons, of wild animals, all assisting her in her practice of magic. Through her enchanting, she claims to have made couples fall in love, to have made cheating spouses fidelity and children do better in school.
“Some people call me a witch,” she says, fitting the part in a long flowing green gown. “But I’m not a witch. I’m not sure what you’d call me, but I’m not a witch. My broom is just for sweeping.”

About these ads
Categories: Articles, HooDoo/Vodoun | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hoodoo and its Spell Rituals and Practices

Hoodoo and its Spell Rituals and Practices

Hoodoo is similar to Voodoo in several aspects. First, both terms are coined in the West. Second, both concepts originated from Africa. Third, both systems are folkloric practices associated with magical spells and rituals.
Nevertheless, one should never interchange Hoodoo from Voodoo or vice versa. They are different because Voodoo (originally, Vodun) is a religion in West Africa, whereas, Hoodoo is a system of magical beliefs and practices from Central Africa. Indeed, Hoodoo is neither a religion nor a denomination of religion.
Hoodoo is common to black community particularly the African Americans, who, they say, started the system of Hoodoo. White Americans practice Hoodoo system too. The African Americans call such system in many terms such as conjuration, conjure, witchcraft, rootwork, and tricking. Worth noting is that conjuration, conjure, tricking, and witchcraft are colloquial words in classifying Hoodoo Rootwork, on one hand, signifies a different meaning. Rootwork is used to recognize the significance of dried roots in making charms and casting spells.
Hoodoo is used in referring to both the system of magical beliefs and the practitioner. However, a practitioner who practices on behalf of clients is called a Hoodoo doctor. Not only there are African-American Hoodoo doctors, there are Latinos and Americans too.
The African American communities refer to Hoodoo differently from African in Europe. Since witchcraft is usually synonymous to Hoodoo, the former refers to Hoodoo as both alternative healing remedy and a harmful activity, whereas, the Europeans refer to it mainly as harmful activity.
Hoodoo allows its believers to access supernatural forces to improve their living by gaining luck, money, love, health, as well as employing revenge and bad luck onto other people. Fundamental to a Hoodoo tradition is communication with the spirits of the dead and the focus on magical powers on individuals. Such belief actually made non-believers think Hoodoo practices are done mainly because of human desires and inclinations.  Some areas consider Hoodoo as harmful magic or spiritual work and things that include spells and protection spells. Hoodoo spells may increase luck in love, money, good health, and happiness.
Its practices and traditions involve magical components of herbs, roots, minerals, animal parts, personal possessions, and bodily fluids such as menstrual blood, semen, and urine. A ritual also involves the use of ritual candles, conjure oils, incense, and sachet powders. The latter was an addition because of the African emphasis on footprint magic and spiritual cleansing, floor washing and bathing.
Notable aspects of African Hoodoo are foot track magic, crossroads magic, laying down tricks,
ritual sweeping and floor washing, and ritual bathing.
A Hoodoo spell called foot track magic puts magical essence to footprints. A practitioner may bury the footprint dirt of his enemy in a bottle spell with other magical items. When the enemy walks over the buried bottle spell, the result will be poisoning, unnatural illness, or bad luck. The acquisition of power at two intersecting roads is called the crossroad magic. This belief evolved in both African-American Hoodoo system and European folk magic.

Categories: Articles, HooDoo/Vodoun | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hoodoo Still Practiced After 100 Years

Hoodoo Still Practiced After 100 Years

 

Witch doctors and their mojo spells aren’t just products of Hollywood imagination—for over a century, the practice of Hoodoo has been an integral part of the culture in countries all around the world, including the United States.

By Mark Hoerrner

 

Stemming from African tribal magic, Hoodoo is currently practiced primarily in the Southern U.S., Haiti and West Africa. Brought to America during the African Diaspora fueled by American slave trade, the “white magic” of Hoodoo was a welcome counter to the Voodoo practitioners who also originated from Africa and spilled onto Haiti and other Southern Atlantic islands. Much like Voodoo, the quasi-religion was a mix of nature magic and spirit calling that would eventually mingle with the predominantly Catholic religions of the busy city of New Orleans and subsequent Catholic expatriates have propagated the mixture of Hoodoo and Christianity in Haiti as well.

It should be noted that practitioners will quickly tell you that the practice of Hoodoo is spiritual in nature but it is not a religion. There is no established formal practice other than spells and incantations passed down in written form and no clergy to speak of. Nor does there exist a hierarchy among practitioners. Each Hoodoo “witch” or “witch doctor” is completely autonomous, as is common among many of the botano-spiritual offshoots from Africa.

Common terms like “mojo,” “mojo bag” and similar terms are often used interchangeably with Voodoo practitioners and refer to material goods supposedly ensorcelled to give the user a specific benefit. Hoodoo, in fact, is meant to empower the individual, granting fiscal and physical prosperity, luck in love and gambling and similar self-interests.

Hoodoo derives, however, from a complex system of magic, according to spiritualist Mama Zgobe.

“For example, in the West African & Diaspora Mami Wata Vodoun tradition,” she says in a web interview on Hoodoo, “the forest spirits, known as ‘Azzizas,’ were the most evolved guardians of the forest, who first presented themselves to the African hunters, and planters. They taught them the esoteric, medicinal (ahame) use and alchemical properties inherent in the abundance of herbs, trees, roots, minerals and life forms thriving in their mists.

“It was the Azzizas who also taught the African how to make poisons, potions, medicines, and Gbo, ‘ebo’ and ‘boicho/bo.’ Joined with the Azzizas, was the divinity later to be identified as “Legba,” the great messenger of the gods, who also taught the Africans the use of Gbo and transported their prepared requests to the respective divinities.

“The first practical and most extensive use of herbs, amulets and talismans in the forest was for protection from accidents & tropical disease, dangerous animals, repairing injuries, as well as to assure success in their hunt. However, their esoteric use was mainly for protection from jealously, envy, and death by other hunters, as well as protection from the angry spirits of those animals which were killed for food, or by accident during the course of the hunt. From these primary ancestors, eventually evolved a group of specialized priests and priestess known in Dahomey as Bokonons, (geomancers), Azondoto, Zokas, Garbara, Akpases (socerers), and Botonons.”

Other practitioners come from less of an African influence but still promote the strength of the practice. Martha White – yes, like the baked goods – says that she was indoctrinated into the world of Hoodoo by her great grandmother and subsequently by her grandmother.

“At first, it was something to tell friends about,” she says, a rolling creole accent carrying every word. “But later, I began to notice that other people had faith in what my grandmother was doing. They altered their lives based on her charms and spells. It was not long after that the spirits came to me.”

Spirits, she says, of wild areas, of deceased persons, of wild animals, all assisting her in her practice of magic. Through her enchanting, she claims to have made couples fall in love, to have made cheating spouses fidelity and children do better in school.

“Some people call me a witch,” she says, fitting the part in a long flowing green gown. “But I’m not a witch. I’m not sure what you’d call me, but I’m not a witch. My broom is just for sweeping.”

Categories: Articles, HooDoo/Vodoun | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hoodoo and its Spell Rituals and Practices

Hoodoo and its Spell Rituals and Practices

 

Hoodoo is similar to Voodoo in several aspects. First, both terms are coined in the West. Second, both concepts originated from Africa. Third, both systems are folkloric practices associated with magical spells and rituals.

Nevertheless, one should never interchange Hoodoo from Voodoo or vice versa. They are different because Voodoo (originally, Vodun) is a religion in West Africa, whereas, Hoodoo is a system of magical beliefs and practices from Central Africa. Indeed, Hoodoo is neither a religion nor a denomination of religion.

Hoodoo is common to black community particularly the African Americans, who, they say, started the system of Hoodoo. White Americans practice Hoodoo system too. The African Americans call such system in many terms such as conjuration, conjure, witchcraft, rootwork, and tricking. Worth noting is that conjuration, conjure, tricking, and witchcraft are colloquial words in classifying Hoodoo Rootwork, on one hand, signifies a different meaning. Rootwork is used to recognize the significance of dried roots in making charms and casting spells.

Hoodoo is used in referring to both the system of magical beliefs and the practitioner. However, a practitioner who practices on behalf of clients is called a Hoodoo doctor. Not only there are African-American Hoodoo doctors, there are Latinos and Americans too.

The African American communities refer to Hoodoo differently from African in Europe. Since witchcraft is usually synonymous to Hoodoo, the former refers to Hoodoo as both alternative healing remedy and a harmful activity, whereas, the Europeans refer to it mainly as harmful activity.

Hoodoo allows its believers to access supernatural forces to improve their living by gaining luck, money, love, health, as well as employing revenge and bad luck onto other people. Fundamental to a Hoodoo tradition is communication with the spirits of the dead and the focus on magical powers on individuals. Such belief actually made non-believers think Hoodoo practices are done mainly because of human desires and inclinations.

Some areas consider Hoodoo as harmful magic or spiritual work and things that include spells and protection spells. Hoodoo spells may increase luck in love, money, good health, and happiness.

 

Its practices and traditions involve magical components of herbs, roots, minerals, animal parts,

personal possessions, and bodily fluids such as menstrual blood, semen, and urine. A ritual also involves the use of ritual candles, conjure oils, incense, and sachet powders. The latter was an addition because of the African emphasis on footprint magic and spiritual cleansing, floor washing and bathing.

Notable aspects of African Hoodoo are foot track magic, crossroads magic, laying down tricks, ritual sweeping and floor washing, and ritual bathing.

 

A Hoodoo spell called foot track magic puts magical essence to footprints. A practitioner may bury the footprint dirt of his enemy in a bottle spell with other magical items. When the enemy walks over the buried bottle spell, the result will be poisoning, unnatural illness, or bad luck. The acquisition of power at two intersecting roads is called the crossroad magic. This belief evolved in both African-American Hoodoo system and European folk magic.

Categories: Articles, HooDoo/Vodoun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHAT IS HOODOO?

WHAT IS HOODOO?

Hoodoo is an African American type of folk magic with its roots in African, Native American, and European traditions. Also called conjure or conjuration , hoodoo developed in the American Southeast and spread mostly through word of mouth. Though there are experts in hoodoo, there is no hierarchy, and the practice of hoodoo is open to anyone. Traditionally, experts in hoodoo, known as hoodoo doctors, traveled to practice their craft and took on apprentices. Hoodoo is often confused in the popular imagination with Voodoo , a religion originating in West Africa. The concept that most people have of Voodoo is actually closer to hoodoo. Hoodoo practices include folk remedies, magic spells, necromancy, and fortune telling, and practitioners are predominantly Christian rather than followers of Voodoo. Though there are spiritual elements in hoodoo, it is not a religion. Many hoodoo spells and remedies make use of physical objects believed to have spiritual or supernatural powers. As in other magical traditions, plants, minerals, animal products, and bodily fluids are common spell ingredients. A person’s hair, nails, or possessions may be used to make him or her the subject of a spell.

The Christian Bible, especially the Old Testament, is considered a powerful artifact in hoodoo. The psalms and other passages are often read aloud as a part of spells, and the Bible itself can be a powerful talisman, particularly for protection. In the hoodoo worldview, the Bible and biblical figures are reconceived according to supernatural and magical ideas; God is the greatest conjurer of all, using magic to create the world in six days. European and European- American grimoires , or books of spells, also had an influence on the development of hoodoo.  A common practice in hoodoo is the use of a talisman known as a mojo or gris – gris . A small bag, often of red flannel, is filled with certain items chosen for the effect the charm is to have and worn by the subject of the spell. Both the choice of items within the mojo and the way in which the bag is tied are important to the spell. The charm is typically worn under the clothes and must regularly be “fed,” for example with a drop of perfume, in order to retain its strength.

Categories: Articles, HooDoo/Vodoun | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Santeria?

by Efun Moyiwa

This article can also be found on Efun Moyiwa’s World Wide Web page, OrishaNet (http://www.seanet.com/~efunmoyiwa/welcome.html).

Santería, or La Regla Lucumí, originates in West Africa in what is now Nigeria and Benin. It is the traditional religion of the Yoruba peoples there. The slave trade brought many of these people to the shores of Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, among other places. But along with the bodies being brought over for sale into a life of misery, something else was being brought along. Their souls. And their religion.

First of all, Santería is not a “primitive” religion. On the contrary, the Yorubas were and are a very civilized people with a rich culture and deep sense of ethics. We believe in one god known as Olorun or Olodumare. Olorun is the source of ashé, the spiritual energy that makes up the universe, all life and all things material.

Olorun interacts with the world and humankind through emissaries. These emissaries are called orishas. The orishas rule over every force of nature and every aspect of human life. They are approachable and can be counted on to come to the aid of their followers, guiding us to a better life materially as well as spiritually.

Communication between orishas and humankind is accomplished through ritual, prayer, divination and ebó or offerings (which includes sacrifice). Song, rhythms and trance possession are also means with which we interact with the orishas and with which we are able to affect our day-to-day lives so that we may lead deeper and fuller lives during our stay in this world.

In the New World, the orishas and much of the religion was hidden behind a facade of Catholicism, with the orishas themselves represented by various saints. The slave owners would then say, “Look at how pious this slave is. She spends all of her time worshipping Saint Barbara.” Unbeknownst to them, she would actually be praying to Shangó, the lord of lightning, fire and the dance, perhaps even praying for deliverance from that very slave owner. This is how the religion came to be known as Santería. The memory of this period of our history is also why many in our religion regard the term Santería as a derogatory.

The traditions of Santería are fiercely preserved, and full knowledge of the rites, songs and language is prerequisites to any deep involvement in the religion. Initiates must follow a strict regimen and are answerable to Olorun and the orishas for their actions. As a person passes through each initiation in the tradition, this knowledge deepens and their abilities and responsibilities grow accordingly. In fact, during the entire first year of their initiation into the priesthood, the initiate or iyawó or “bride” of the orisha must dress in white. The iyawo must not look into a mirror, touch anyone or allow themselves to be touched, and they may not wear makeup or go out at night for this year.

La Santería is famous for its “magic.” This magic is based on a knowledge of the mysteries or orishas and how to interact with them to better our lives and the lives of those who come to us for the aid of the orishas. We live under the premise that this world is a magical one. This knowledge seems “supernatural” only to those who don’t understand it, but it really is quite natural.

Although the people were yanked away from their homes in Africa and enslaved in the New World, the orishas, the religion and its power could never be chained down, and the religion survives now – not as an anachronism, but ever-growing, even now in such places as France and the Netherlands.

Maferefún gbogbo orisha!

Categories: Articles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deity of the Day for June 29th is Yemaya

Deity of the Day

Yemaya

Mother Water, Star of the Sea, Yemaya is the protector of women. Her healing powers are carried in the great waters, her energy powerful during the ebb and flow of life challenges.

 

MANTRA

  • · Nourishment

GEMSTONES

  • · Lapis lazuli, aquamarine, turquoise (light blue stones), pearl, coral, mother-of-pearl (ocean-sourced)

ESSENTIAL OILS

  • · Goddess-enceIshtar* blend for the crown chakra

AFFIRMATIONS

  • · I voice my needs
  • · Freedom is a birthright I enjoy
  • · I release my anger, I embrace joy
  • · Others recognise my needs and honour them
  • · I connect with my needs, and let them be known
  • · My body is a temple, and oh what a temple it is!
  • · My body is a pleasure, a temple and a treasure

Her Story

West African, Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean goddess Yemaya is Mother Water, orisha of the oceans. She represents mother love and the affairs of women – fertility, children, birthing, the home and family. She is the merciful goddess of creation and protector of women during conception and childbirth, and of children during their childhood. She is the deep ocean of comfort for those in need.

African deities (orishas) are usually represented by flowing, swirling images of colour and movement, depicting the elemental energies rather than an anthropomorphised image. Yemaya’s energy is depicted with sky blue, white and silver swirling colour. In other images, she is a mermaid or a beautiful woman.

Yemaya brings forth and protects life through all the highs and lows, even during the worst atrocities that can be suffered. She reminds women to take time out for themselves, to nurture their own needs and to respect their deserved position in life.

Her Modern Energy

If Yemaya is speaking to you today, ask yourself, who or what is it that is taking all your time and energy? Whose problems are you trying to fix at the expense of your own vital energy? And why are you trying to fix them? (For approval?) Yemaya does not ask that you conquer your problems nor dominate the source of your problems, but instead to learn how to dance with the ebb and flow of the inevitability of the life cycle.

Yemaya gives you permission to pamper yourself, and for one week at least, to retire from being the “fixer”, the “nurturer”, the “servant”. The world will not end if you withdraw to take care of yourself for a while.

Reconnect With Your Inner Yemaya

Spend some time this week building a shrine to Yemaya, with ocean-sourced items (especially the conch shell), crystal and silver objects, and symbols to represent the moon and stars.

On a Saturday, enjoy watermelon and brew your own raspberry leaf tea (this will take around two weeks to prepare).

Raspberry leaf tea: Tie organically grown raspberry leaves in a bunch and hang in a warm, dark area until dry. Strip the leaves, crumble them into your favourite tea-pot or cauldron, and brew Yemaya’s tea. Take your time to drink this – cancel appointments and other demands for your time, and let yourself truly, purely, “be” in the moment!

Alternatively, on a full moon, invoke Yemaya’s energy by “drawing down the moon”. Here is a suggestion that is in Ffiona Morgan’s book, “Goddess Spirituality”. This ritual can be done as a private ritual with yourself, preferably outside under the full moon. (If it is not possible to go outside, you can sit or stand facing a window in view of the moon, with the moon’s rays shining in on you.)

Start by chanting ‘Ma’, ‘Yemaya’, or ‘Luna’ for five or ten minutes, to raise energy for the drawing down. Then place your hands with palms facing the moon, index fingers and thumbs touching, forming the sacred triangle, or sign of the yoni. Spread your fingers as wide as possible, so they are receptors for moon energy. After you chant to raise power, focus all your energy and vision on Mother Moon and draw her energy down into your body. Move your hands, if desired, back and forth, from arms-outstretched position to your heart and back again. After a few minutes of holding your hands up to the moon, you can feel them tingle. This is magical energy. This can take 15-20 minutes, but you may take more or less time, there are no rules. Here are some songs and chants to the moon:

“Yemaya, O Lo Do, Agua Lo Do Mi O”
(repeat over and over again)
“Moon, Moon, Moon on my mind, think I’ll fly”
(repeat over and over again)
Simple Shower Ritual

First, gather your shower and ritual tools. You will need a bar of soap (pick one that is special to you because of the scent or whatever), a big, fluffy white towel, 3 white votives or pillars and your favourite incense. Pick a soothing CD to put on.

Next, arrange the candles, put on the CD and light the incense. Hang your towel nearby. Take 5 deep breaths, centre, and ground yourself before beginning.

Take the soap and carve a pentagram on both sides of the soap. Ask for the sense and presence of the Goddess. Hold the bar in the air and say these words:

O Mother Goddess,

Bless this soap that you have seen
Soap to make me pure and clean.
Clear away all dirt and grime
Protect my body all the time.

Blessed be.

 

Place it in the soap holder.

Lastly, take each candle and carve a pentacle or protective rune on its side. Grab all three candles in your hands and repeat these words:

Candles that I light this day,
Keep all evil thoughts away.
As the water washes me,
Burn out all negativity. Blessed be.

Kiss each candle then light it. Now you are ready for your shower.

As the water runs over you visualise all your stress, sadness and worries rinsing away, the bubbles cleaning off dirt and leaving your skin glowing with a radiant white glow all around you. This will keep you feeling strong and protected all through the day. Thank the Goddess for her presence and put all tools away for next time.

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Santeria?

What is Santeria?

by Efun Moyiwa

Santería, or La Regla Lucumí, originates in West Africa in what is now Nigeria and Benin. It is the traditional religion of the Yoruba peoples there. The slave trade brought many of these people to the shores of Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, among other places. But along with the bodies being brought over for sale into a life of misery, something else was being brought along. Their souls. And their religion.

First of all, Santería is not a “primitive” religion. On the contrary, the Yorubas were and are a very civilized people with a rich culture and deep sense of ethics. We believe in one god known as Olorun or Olodumare. Olorun is the source of ashé, the spiritual energy that makes up the universe, all life and all things material.

Olorun interacts with the world and humankind through emissaries. These emissaries are called orishas. The orishas rule over every force of nature and every aspect of human life. They are approachable and can be counted on to come to the aid of their followers, guiding us to a better life materially as well as spiritually.

Communicationbetween orishas and humankind is accomplished through ritual, prayer, divination and ebó or offerings (which includes sacrifice). Song, rhythms and trance possession are also means with which we interact with the orishas and with which we are able to affect our day-to-day lives so that we may lead deeper and fuller lives during our stay in this world.

In the New World, the orishas and much of the religion was hidden behind a facade of Catholicism, with the orishas themselves represented by various saints. The slave owners would then say, “Look at how pious this slave is. She spends all of her time worshipping Saint Barbara.” Unbeknownst to them, she would actually be praying to Shangó, the lord of lightning, fire and the dance, perhaps even praying for deliverance from that very slave owner. This is how the religion came to be known as Santería. The memory of this period of our history is also why many in our religion regard the term Santería as a derogatory.

The traditions of Santería are fiercely preserved, and full knowledge of the rites, songs and language is prerequisites to any deep involvement in the religion. Initiates must follow a strict regimen and are answerable to Olorun and the orishas for their actions. As a person passes through each initiation in the tradition, this knowledge deepens and their abilities and responsibilities grow accordingly. In fact, during the entire first year of their initiation into the priesthood, the initiate or iyawó or “bride” of the orisha must dress in white. The iyawo must not look into a mirror, touch anyone or allow themselves to be touched, and they may not wear makeup or go out at night for this year.

La Santería is famous for its “magic.” This magic is based on a knowledge of the mysteries or orishas and how to interact with them to better our lives and the lives of those who come to us for the aid of the orishas. We live under the premise that this world is a magical one. This knowledge seems “supernatural” only to those who don’t understand it, but it really is quite natural.

Although the people were yanked away from their homes in Africa and enslaved in the New World, the orishas, the religion and its power could never be chained down, and the religion survives now – not as an anachronism, but ever-growing, even now in such places as France and the Netherlands.

Maferefún gbogbo orisha!

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,932 other followers