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Santeria - Ancient Spiritualism Still Practiced Today

Updated on December 20, 2019

Santeria in New York

Santeria, is not just practiced in Haiti and the bayous of Louisiana. It is practiced just about everywhere in the United States and beyond.

Santeria or La Regla Lucumi originated from West Africa It is the traditional religion of the Yoruba people. The slavery trade brought many people to Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad and Puerto Rico. Santeria's roots are in Africa, in the Yoruba religions native to Nigeria. Africans often brought their cult practices with them, when sold into slavery.

La Botanica for all your Santeria Needs

La Botanica, is a religious supply store you can find all that is needed to practice the craft. They can be found on every other street in cities all over the United States.

They vend books on religious rituals, CDs of drumming music, incense, idols of every size, sacrificial bowls; voodoo dolls called madams, pictures, statues of Jesus, Mary, Lazarus, religious jewelry and spiritual readings. Do not go into them!


The Hierarchy of Spirits

In Santeria, there is a hierarchy of spirits that you must consult for different needs, such as, love, money, sickness, and protection against your enemies. You must approach them with an offering of what that particular Orsha likes, like fruit, rum, cigars, etc. and wearing certain colors that pertain to that spirit. If the Orisha accepts you, you will receive a blessing, if they do not, you may be punished.

You can see where the certain Old Testament elements of the bible have been twisted and incorporated into their practices, such as animal sacrifice, bringing a gift to the Prophet, even fasting and a form of cultist consecration.

In order to be made a High Priest or Priestess after your have gone through several ceremonial levels and many offerings; you are required to fast for seven days and stay inside after which you must wear white for one year. You are to touch no one and no one is to touch you or else you will be considered unclean.

African Origins

Santeria, has gone through many transformations in order to survive. When Yoruban slaves, (in Africa), were brought to Cuba, in 1517, the Catholic Church wanted to appease the slaves and allowed their occult practiced to be incorporated into Catholicism.

To appease the people, the Catholic they were allowed to continue their dark practices as long as they accepted the Catholic Church. As a result you can be a very devout Catholic and practice animal sacrifice and worship to Spirits (Orishas).

You may not know it, but the practice of Santeria is all around us. There are literally millions of followers from every walk of life, doctors, lawyers, politicians and the sweet old grandmother new door.

On more than one occasion, I have seen a headless chicken discarded in the middle of a city crosswalk.It was the aftermath of a cleansing ceremony or offering to an Orisha or spirit guide!


My Personal Experience with Santeria

The first time I ever attended a meeting where they were practicing Santeria, was as a high school student. A girl invited us to go with her somewhere, but did not tell us where. We stood on the basement stairs as we watched the ceremony below. It was eerie and foreboding as though we were observing some dark secret ritual.

I never thought much of it until later that summer I was having problems with my boyfriend. My best friend was Puerto Rican and she told me, her mother could consult the spirit to find out if my boyfriend loved me or not.

Her mother agreed to do a reading for me and went into her bedroom with a cigar and began to consult the orisha. The dog began to howl as though he was terrified. I asked my girlfriend, why the dog was howling like that and she told me not moved, that he could feel the spirits.

Many people unknowingly get involved in the satanic the same way; by wanting to know the future or hear from a departed loved one. It is very dangerous when you open yourself to these types of spirits they cling to you and do not want to let go. Read: But it wasn't so easy to separate from it!

For Good not for Evil

I later met a woman who befriended me who was a priestess in Santeria and became my God mother. She was in charge of my spiritual instruction and cleansing through ritual and spiritual baths. I can not say why I was attracted to Santeria, perhaps it was my Afro-Carribean background, or perhaps I was really searching spiritually.

Many people searching for God can get seduced into these types of cults. They sound spiritual, they pray, there is always and open Bible on the alter. If you don't know what Santeria is you can be tricked.

I questioned whether this was good or evil, but was told my my Godmother that she only practiced this art to help people. Being an addict at the time, I guess I was looking for something to make me better. Though I had gone to church from the time I was a small child, I found this different, strongly cultural and hauntingly beautiful.

Headless chicken

animal sacrifice
animal sacrifice
goat being sacrificed
goat being sacrificed

Sacrificing to the Oricha

The time of my greatest awaken to Santeria was when I attended a service where one of my god-brothers was making a service to one of his orishas (spirit that protect him). When I can into the house I went to the bathroom and saw chickens pigeons and a goat.

There was a group of people in the apartment all talking, drinking as the drummers played in the background. It was like a celebration and a crackle of excitement was in the air. Later a man came in carrying a black attache case. To my surprise, when he opened it up, it displayed a set of ceremonial knives.

Two men brought the goat to the table as the babalo cut the throat of the goat, while someone else caught the blood in a wooden bowl. Never in my life would I have ever expected to see an animal sacrifice, especially in an apartment in the Bronx, NY.

After the ceremony I walked home quite disturbed. I knew this was deeply wrong and at that moment a scripture came to me from my childhood. Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. I wondered if Jesus has already died for us, why were people doing animal sacrifices.

From that time on I began to separate myself from Santeria. At the time I wasn't a Christian, but God was speaking to my heart.

What the Bible Say about Santeria

Jesus is the way, truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except for the Son. There are many counterfeit and seducing spirits in the world. Their purpose is to deceive and lead people astray. As Satan wanted Jesus to fall down and worship Him, these false spirits want worship from man. The worship that belongs to God alone.

Over 30 years ago I repenting my involvement with Santeria and renounced its evil works. I can not go into why it is wrong, but if you are interested, please read: What the Bible says about Santeria.

For more information read: Santeria - Mystical but is it Scriptural?

Pray to Be Set Free

Father God, I believe that Jesus Christ is your son, and that died for my sins. I have been involved in witchcraft, Santeria, and demonic practices. I ask that you forgive me for my sins. I reject and renounce, Satan and all his power. I reject Santeria, I reject tarot cards, I reject everything I have done that is not pleasing to you. Satan, I want no part of you, or your works. Jesus, wash me in your blood, and take over my life, in Jesus Name, Amen!


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    • profile image

      E G 

      8 months ago

      this is sad on so many levels. But everyone answers for their walk in life. God bless yours

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Srojasv, thank you for your comment. Shortly after leaving Santeria, I have found my way 37 years ago...Jesus is the Way the truth and the Life. No man comes to the father except by the Son.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Wow just ran to this site. It's sad that you had that experience with Santeria. I was raised in the religion and I still practice it. I have three children I have raised them to practice it as well. Santeria is beautiful religion, I've had nothing but beautiful memories growing up. And I want my kids to have the same experience. Hopefully you find your way!!!!!!

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Olorisha777, as you have not read my body of work, you have no idea of what I say about other religions! I am not of the option that there is more than one way to God. Jesus Christ said, I am the way the truth and the life. No many comes to the father except by me. There are nations where headhunting and cannibalism is a part of the traditions and spiritual beliefs. That does not mean it is the right way. Why are you offended because I tell you what the Bible says about witchcraft, voodoo and white magic. If you are happy with your practice, by all means continue in your beliefs.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      When anyone of African roots is trashing the traditional African religions they are in fact hating our own heritage! The slavers knew that the quickest was to subjugate a people is to separate them from their religion. It's human beings that are flawed and who corrupt religions of ANY type. What's really funny is that on Santeria forums we don't bash other religions, but it's amazing how we are attacked so vehemently!

      Again I'll say that it's people who can be bad, the Orisha are not evil or demonic.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      7 years ago from North Texas

      Very interesting hub. While I have studied all of the Christian denominations, I have never known much about the more exotic religious practices around the world. This hub is informative and I appreciate your sharing. Voted up and interesting.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Kylee, I am glad you got out of this group. They used fear to try to make me stay. They said all these bad things would happen if I left. The only thing that happened is I gave my life to Jesus and got saved. Bad for them, great for me!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I must say thankful for seeing this been in Santeria for awhile and left........ do to the fact of seeing my madrina was all about the money. Now one god brother i left behind but we still see each other and am seeing what it is doing to him........ He was told it was okay to drink and do smoke weed while in the religion..... which i am totally don't believe it's okay not only does he have really bad spirits around him in which she has cast on him and i see them his personality is nast short fused and i no she wont let him leave..... I ask for him to open his eyes to see but cannot ask him to leave out of fear of revenge of his madrina...... i don't no what to do but i am scared for him

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Yes, they are afraid of the blood of Jesus invoked by a true believer. The person must also repent and re ounce their involvement in the practice and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. And burn any items used or given to them relating to the practice.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Your story is inspiring and educational. How would one protect himself from such filth? Does anyone know what these negative spirits are scared of?

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I speak as one who practiced Santeria in the past and one who is a Christian believer presently. My words are to warn those who are seeking to find God, but being deceived by familiar spirits, Often the truth will offend those who want to remain in darkness. Love and telling the truth should be synonymous! You shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free!

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks Calico, it is a intense subject.

    • voodoo123 profile image


      8 years ago from Provo, Utah,United States

      Great Hub Posting! Thanks for sharing.Keep up the good fight of faith.I have bookmarked link and loved to read again

    • calico Stark profile image

      calico Stark 

      8 years ago from Earth for the time being

      Another informative and well written hub. Vote up!

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks Paul, I am a Christian now too. I got a good education about Voodoo, living in New York.

    • Daddy Paul profile image

      Daddy Paul 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Voodoo was something my mother practiced. I consider myself a christian. This hub brings back memories. Very well written. The pics are also very illustrative.

    • Bitingtruths profile image


      8 years ago from Mumbai

      hi 2besure

      you are a God loving person. what do you think about reincarnation.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      friendoftruth, I am that that God has delivered you as well and that we are free to warn people of this counterfeit that is seducing many.

    • FriendofTruth profile image


      8 years ago from Michigan

      sounds very familiar - I too was involved in santeria prior to becoming a Christian. I am so thankful that the LORD delivered me from that wickedness. I hope others, who are truly searching for the truth, will listen to the ONE TRUE LIVING GOD, the LORD JESUS, and not these other 'spiritual' deceptions.

      thanks for sharing your testimony on this! Blessings!

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Abby, thank you for taking time to comment. I know this kind of thing can be very disturbing. Those involved in it believe it is OK.

    • Abby Lysach profile image

      Abby Lysach 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      interesting... why there must be sacrifices with blood flowing like that? I can not bear to see it. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. I pray it will open the eyes of many who are led astray. God bless and keep you

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      You know it sky321! I am free indeed!

    • Sky321 profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      Great article! Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good fight of faith.

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks Hattie for your comment!

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      It really depends where you live. It is very prevalent in NY where I was raised.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image


      8 years ago from Europe

      hmm...interesting, never heard of this before. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • 2besure profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I was so messed up then, strung out on drugs and vulnerable.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 

      8 years ago from America

      God said you will put no othe gods before me! Reason enough to leave! Voted up!


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