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Spirtiualism at Home The Fundamental Principles of Santeria

Updated on December 21, 2014

Spiritual Presences on Shrine or Alter

Spiritual Understanding

Acknowledging Spirituality:

Spirituality, that which binds all that is of existence in the universe, nature and us on Earth. We all have, and in a form of sense perception, instinct, intuition, spiritual abilities, a soul. We nurture the soul to develop strong spiritual abilities, through devotion with dedication to God or, that, which is of God.

We believe that all that is of God is spiritual, seen or unseen. What’s unseen begins as such until it can materialize into a form as matter. Yet, there are unseen molecules or particles present in the air, or water, unseen to the naked eye; which are already in their materialized form. Henceforth, there is always something. And, in the nothingness of something, is God. Do you remember hearing from your parents when as a child asking the question “mommy/daddy where is God?” and the answer always seems to be “God is everywhere, and in everything.” Henceforth, spirituality is every where, as in connecting to God is everywhere?

Human beings as walking, breathing, seeing and all sensing materialized spirits/souls. Generate energy which is seen and unseen. We’re made up of four distinct selves, meld together as oneself. These are the Physical Self, Emotional, Psychological, and last but not least the Spiritual Self. This basic understanding can lead us to conclude that everything occurs to us in four ways as well as four times. For example, if by chance we were to get hit by a baseball. There would be the physical occurrence, trauma, consequence and reaction too being hit; a psychological impact/trauma of being hit; the emotional reaction of being hit; and the spiritual consequences, an event, tied too being hit. This simple rule can be applied to any traumatic or non-traumatic event in a person’s life. Because of this spiritual tie, systems of divinations and oracles, can tap in. There is also, a network of spirits that communicate the event or what has transpired, as in a spiritual scribe or log that is taken down for each individual. Yet, that is another subject. For now, understanding that in order to resolve issues, occurrences, we need not to forsake a resolution at the spiritual level as well. All healing or resolutions are not complete until a spiritual healing therapy solution is applied as well.

Spiritual Influenza:

Spiritual consequences due to events that transpire in our lives can be classified as either positive or negative. Even though not all causes & effects are negative. There are negatives that turn to positive as in “sometimes we have to loose to win.” Having a spiritual occurrence or event can be said to be “spiritually influenced.” As in acquiring an influenza that’s in the air. What I’m trying to say is that we humans generate positive or negative influenza, as a result of our actions and reactions. We attach influenza to one another no differently that we do a cold, virus, or flu. We assimilate or absorb this influenza as simple as by way of earth, wind, fire or water. Earth is by touching one another or surface; Wind is by molecules or dust particles that are in the air; Water is by touch or ingesting a fluid substance; Fire is through religious, spiritual, or fraternal political, ritual. Once an influenza is ascertained or acquire, what does one do? Well, apply a spiritual healing therapy solution. Spiritual healing therapy solution is a fancy way of saying voodoo ritual, spiritual cleansing, or holistic/alternative new age healing method. This normally involves the expunging or expulsion of negative energy through ritual.

There are many systems of spiritual relief or therapy out there for those who search. We suggest that you find what works for you. It does not matter of what denomination or religious belief or concept, there will always be a benefit. For those who want to experiment, venture out, and attempt to tap into the spiritual on their own, there is natural spiritualism.

Spiritual Devotion at Home:

Spiritualism, spiritual self-development, enlightenment, and enrichment on your own. Is a form of connection to God or the divine will of existence that is self acknowledged in all of us? Even though family upbringing in a religious faith serves as a base. There are times where we search or want a little bit more. Now, let’s take what ever spiritual base you have or don’t have, and let’s elevate it or expand it bit. This is done by erecting a sort of alter or shrine in your home. In no way is this worshipping idles, for those who have a conflict with this idea, you will soon understand as you read; that it is not.

Let’s start with your temple, holy land, comfort zone, which is your home. In most primitive cultures connecting to the divine begins in your first place of worship which is the home. The dwelling carries the family energy, vibe, spirituality, aura, essence, or glow. Each person’s presence has a separate spirituality in itself, complex, vulnerable, susceptible, and reactionary. Each individual is a spirit, soul, presences, exhorting energy influencing things around them; made of internal and external forces, accompanied by spiritual energies. They can be called, Angel, Deity, entity, spiritual force, Saint, or spiritual protection. Then there are also our ancestors or past relatives. Which link us to the divine, and we can relate them to being closest to God in the land of spirit or spirit world. Who’s to say, that their new task once in the land of spirit, is to look after, those they left behind and protect them. I certainly wish so. For whom better than someone I knew and loved in flesh and blood, and loved me back, to look after me now. This form of spiritual understanding has been around for centuries and is very popular among Latin’s/Latinos. It’s called Spiritualism, a form of ancestral worship. Ancestor worship, as a divine link to God, can be viewed as paganism. Yet, what is the making of a Saint? The Martyr’s that died in the name of Jesus or Ala, becoming of a Saint. Although Jesus converted gentiles to Judaism, and from the conversions, Christianity was born. Who where the Gentiles. They were Pagans, and some worshipped ancestors. When we dedicate a religious service, mass or sermon in church to a relative that has traveled to the other side. What are we doing? We are honoring that spirit. We are acknowledging its existence or having existed. Venerating it, a praying to God that his heavenly Angels, accompany, protect, and give light and strength to this ancestor; so that its protection and blessing can be bestowed upon us as well by the Angels of God that walks with it.

Connecting to the spirit world or the divine from home, also involves connecting to spirituality outside our homes. God’s universe is so vast and expansive, that we can’t fail to omit nature that’s around us. The natural forces at play here, in which we are also vulnerable, susceptible too, and have battles with. We can connect to these forces from the comforts of our home in order to receive blessings and overt tragedies. With spirituality at our grasp, we can link to all that is at our disposition. So we are taught, made to believe or intuitively know. Getting all this out of the way, we can now focus on finding a special place in our home in which we can connect to the most divine.

Spiritual Alter or Shrine:

This area of holiness does not have to be large. It’s just a section, corner, or space, where you can set up a place for prayer, meditation, or solitude. Included in this space is a table, bookcase, or shelves, covered with white cloth. Whatever type of material that appeals to the individual is fine. Floor mats, European, African or Persian rug for the floor. A stool, bench or chair to sit in, can also be included. Now, place three to seven clear glasses or wine glasses of water on the surface along with religious relics, statues, or icon, which will connect to your particular system of belief. For example; Catholic Saint, Divinity of Buddha, Hebrew Star of David, Hindu, Islamic, African Deity, or Native Indian symbols etc. On this special table can also be added pictures of deceased relatives to serve as connections to ancestors. These figures represent what we are made up of or a part of. Now, we have what we can call a Shrine or Spiritual Alter.

Your, unique spiritual shrine can now be a place for channeling spiritual energy and focus. Bless this area by sitting and praying, lighting candles, burning incense, sprinkling holy water. Place offerings of food, fruit, and pastries, things that you like to eat on your shrine. You see, in the old days, part of acknowledging and honoring spiritual forces and divinities included giving, a giving/sacrificing to them. As in, “give on too those/others so that those/others give on too you.” “He whom gives shall also receive.” These phrases don’t just apply to man giving to man. We believe they also extend to the forces around us that God has created. I guess this is one of those forgotten lessons, that in our times we fail to apply. He who gives to the spirits, nature, divinities, etc. will receive from them. Have e you ever heard the phrase “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh.” Most of the time I’ve heard people use it when they loose something that is dear or of value to them. Yet, I don’t believe the Lord takes; we just don’t give enough, in form of servitude. And, if nature decides to take, it’s because we have forgotten to give onto to nature willingly. Folks today, have a way of thinking that God and his divine forces exist to work or serve them. When in actuality, we should work together, to serve God his divinities, and respect nature. When you do good, and don’t look at whom you do good too, you will always receive goodness.

Oh, by the way, don’t leave your offerings on your Shrines too long. It should always remain clean and free of stale food. With the devotion, dedication, humility, and righteous heart, the growth of your spirituality will bring great achievements and success.

Why? Waters, Herbs, & Candles:

Very simply, waters, herbs, & candles are spiritual conduits, which connect to the sublime forces of Heaven, Earth, and Spirit. These substances form the base for connecting and utilizing the basic fundamental elements Earth, Wind, Fire, & Water, in spiritual ritual. All that we can feel, see, touch, or smell that is manifest and materializes in one of these basic forms. All that is of nature carries these basic four spiritual elements within. Take man for instance, the body is three quarters water, the bones serve as dirt/earth, we breathe and expel gas/air/carbon, and we have energy generating heat. This can also be said about every living creature which God has created/generated through natural occurrence. As previously stated. Everything is somehow connected. The Air we breathe is the electrical and gaseous carrier of molecules, which everything that is of life absorbs. We are all connected to one another as simply as acknowledging that we breathe each others air. What are sound waves? But, electrical currents. What? Are colds or virus, but parasitic bacteria infectious, when absorbed? Water, the secretion of such, is the plasma for generating or regeneration of organism, organic living tissue. Fire/Heat radiation from the Sun; is the fusion for binding life, for growth and expansion, hence connects or awakens spirituality. Finally Earth, the ground, construct, frame, arena, realm, where things manifest as we know it. Earth is the outcome of the great manifestation of spirituality. Earth transmitted through the air has a form it is called dust. So, if we can positively charge dust we can neutralize negatively charged dust. The same can be said for water, air, and fire. There is a religious system which specializes, in spiritual therapy by positively charging and neutralization of negative, dust, air, earth, and water. It is Santeria. Believe it or not the quasi scientific principles outlined here, form a base understanding for fundamentals in the learning and connecting to spirit via Santeria. Santeria is all that is of an indigenous pagan culture connected via indoctrination to Christianity. It is the semi copulation of two systems, on certain ideology, yet not on ritual. In Cuba it is the respect the African slaves had for the masters, by allowing assimilation to their Christian ways, yet not forsaking the African indigenous religious concepts, rituals, and philosophy. The same can be said of Mexican, Venezuelan, Colombian, and Honduran Santeria. But, from and Indigenous Indian spiritual realm, with Christian connectivity. See, how broad and expansive it could be.

Now, back to the herbs, candles, and waters(rose, sandal, colognes, holy etc.). To simplify, all this, we can venture to say. Herbs, roots, seeds, & minerals, with their medicinal, nutritional, & spiritual properties; combined or otherwise put through some form of fusion, whether spiritual or scientific are made into oils, candles, & powders. When dispersed in the air, absorbed, or ingested with water form and stimulate spiritual activity within and around us. Powders made from herbs, roots, seeds, or minerals; carry medicinal properties to nourish, cure, heal, make ill or cause death, and can be dispersed in the air.

In conclusion, we can influence positive or negative change in our lives knowing how to work, spiritually with these substances. When you put all this together, we are offering these substances to spirits/spirituality which blesses, charge, or activate it spiritual property, and spiritual work has been done. In the giving we are sacrificing, not taking for ourselves yet letting go. In this there is power too, for we are not giving to this world, utilizing for ourselves, but to the other in order to gain consideration, and recognition. The Spirits, Angels, Ancestor, Divinities, Deities or Forces/Spiritual Protections, respond or show there gratitude in the proof that we resolve the problem for which we preformed ritual for.

The Weekly or Bi-Weekly Routine:

Start with sitting down at your alter, once a week. Pick a day and time. Change the water in the glasses; replace flowers, oils, perfumes, candles etc. You are in essence refreshing your shrine. This is so that every week your life is refreshed and renewed. Read prayer books at your shrine or alter, light your candle, burn your incense. And, I believe you will see results, on how you can influence a positive change in your life.

Spiritual therapy can be applied and administered to the self at home. Since, you now have a basic concept. With consistency, devotion and dedication results are assured. There are no rules for how long to apply your therapy. There isn’t an exact day or time for spiritual consideration. God, the divinities, and nature are not keepers of time as we are. There is no distance, space, or time, for spirituality to reach, or work. It is the way it is, and we should accept how nature or spirituality manifests itself. For, further development in spiritual awareness, seek advice. Research, and learn with an opened mind. Yet, take care of not being co-horsed, or used. Everything, told has to make sense, and prices for spiritual work as donations should be made fair. Oh, by the way, when lightning a candle, know to who as a spirit or divinity you’re lighting it too. And, for what purpose or reason. Make sure you state this, in your prayers. This is only a humble start in exploring the nature of spirituality. All things done with respect, humility, and responsibility will always be honorable

There are many people buying books, on candles, oils, and herbal magic & spells; developing psychic abilities or connecting to the spirit world. For those that do, I hope this article sheds some light on the understanding, that a place for all this work must be put together and maintained. In this way you are organizing spirituality, and not doing things without some knowledge, thought, structure, principle, or place of work. I wrote this article because, I had so many people ask me how they can understand Santeria, or how can they get started in understanding it’s concepts. And, this is what I was able to come up with. May God bless us all….>

Different Alters or Shrines

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Buddah Statues for Alter

Spiritual Alter Item Samples

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kabbalah Tree SymbolTable for Spiritual AlterClear Glass SampleOther GlassessAfrican StatueHindu StatueStatue of St. Michael
Kabbalah Tree Symbol
Kabbalah Tree Symbol
Table for Spiritual Alter
Table for Spiritual Alter
Clear Glass Sample
Clear Glass Sample
Other Glassess
Other Glassess
African Statue
African Statue
Hindu Statue
Hindu Statue
Statue of St. Michael
Statue of St. Michael

The religious or spiritual practice of ancestral  worship is common in Eastern philosophical ideology. So it is evident in the following video.

Here is being expressed a fundamental reason for feeding and paying attention to ones ancestors. The spritual alter can be used in order to put offerings to our ancestors. There support can lead us towards fixing, certain situations that are carried over from generation to generation...


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  • OldWitchcraft profile image

    OldWitchcraft 5 years ago from The Atmosphere

    This is a very nice article and very informative. Thanks for the information and the inspiration.

    Accolades and a vote up!

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    Bill & Channah 6 years ago

    awesome article, I love your writing

  • BabaSixto profile image

    Sixto J Novaton 6 years ago from Florida

    Thank you.. I've read your articles and I must say your writing & photos are wonderful... your Island is on my wish list of travel destinations..

  • Pixel-Alchemist profile image

    Pixel-Alchemist 6 years ago from Waitakere Auckland : New Zealand

    This is a well written, researched and presented hub. With great spiritual and practical ways to enlighten yourself in your very own home

    So I had to link to it from my newest hub.

  • BabaSixto profile image

    Sixto J Novaton 7 years ago from Florida

    Much appreciated, and welcome to hubpages.. I believe that you will find great writers here on every topic you can possibly think.. please check them out as well!! Thanks again...

  • Kristale9 profile image

    Kristale9 7 years ago


    I wasn't a member of hubpages prior to reading this article and I must say, I had to sign up just to leave you a comment.

    Thank you for posting this very enlightening piece. I have been all over the internet trying to piece articles and information together to come up with nothing but "Do this" and "Do that" and "You have this" and "You have that" but no one wants to share the why or how?

    Your ability to break down the rituals in a way someone like me can understand and even give scientific merit to is immensely appreciated. I will definitely share this with my family and shed some light on a topic that seems to be so closely kept and secret to even some of the elders.

    Again, I appreciate all the information you have shared and can now bulid a better foundation for future practice and study. I completely agree with the previous comment and can not stress enough how much this article is a MUST READ!

  • BabaSixto profile image

    Sixto J Novaton 7 years ago from Florida

    Thank you for your comments... It is my pleasure to shed light on the obvious that is not so obvious...humm

  • profile image

    Butterflygoddess 7 years ago

    I really enjoyed this article.. Thank you so much fo rposting it!

  • Ask Queenmother profile image

    Ask Queenmother 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA


    This article is excellent and it is the must read article that I will be recommending to my family, godchildren, my Ile and my clients.