Santeria - Ancient Spiritualism Still Practiced Today
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.
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.
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?