Five facts about caribbean magick

Fact 1: Santeria, a form of Caribbean magick, has its roots in Africa. The people who followed the Yoruba religions which are native to Nigeria were brought to the surrounding islands and the Americas to be sold as slaves. This was how this form of witchcraft spread to the West. Many of these people, including men, women and children, were hunted and forced to get into boats in which they were forcibly transported to places in the Carribean such as Cuba. Once there, they were forced to convert and take on the practices of the new land. These beautiful and artistic natives of Africa now have to stop enjoying their songs, their music and worst of all, their joy of dancing!
2. Santeria was created as a fusion of the ancient African witchcraft techniques combined with the Catholicism from Cuba. As the slaves had to adapt to the new form of religion, the customs of the Catholic religion were followed in addition to the older forms of witchcraft that were practiced by the natives in Africa.

3. In the fusion of these two religions, many of the African deities survived. The African culture was too strong for easy assimilation to an very controlling and widespread but weak religion which took away all the powers that the people from Africa used to enjoy. In defiance to the local Catholic powers that be, the African deities such as Elegua, Chango, Obatala, Oshun were worshipped in church. By “converting” the Catholic saints and other holy figures into African deities and vice versa, the population of slaves cut off from everything they had known in their lives, survive the great divide caused the rampant greed and selfish motives of the Westerners.

4. In Santeria, the Rede is called the Rule of Osha. Most of its lessons are passed on orally as most of witchcraft is. On Saturdays, people gather in a home to worship together. The altar combines the deities of the Catholic religion as well as the African deities such as a statue of Christ along with items that are sacred to the deities back in Africa. During ceremonies, the drink Omiero is passed around the people drink from it and also may use it as a cleansing agent to bless people as well as items or rooms. The Orishas are summoned with sacred symbols that are created with powdered eggshell which is mixed with earth from under a favorite plant. These diagrams are considered sacred and no one walks over it. Candles are lit and as drumming begins, some people may be blessed by the Orishas. They may be “possessed” by the Orisha who control their bodies which may start shaking violently. As the drumming increases, the ceremony advances to more dancing and sacrifices. The Orishas communicate through cowry shells or coconut divination. The trances end naturally and the participants rarely remember what they did or said during the ceremony.

5. Petitions are made to the Orishas in the form of offerings of food, drink or property. This event is similar to a petition, plea or a prayer to the deities. The Orishas are believed to have expensive tastes. Only the best of food, drink or sometimes blood of animals are also accepted. These offerings are called Ebos and they can be for the Head for people who have mental illnesses or people who are at the point of death. Ingredients such as cotton, egg shells, cocoa butter, grated yam, grated coconut, etc. are required for this ceremony. At other times, Ebos which petition the Orishas are conducted. Omaya usually requires Indigo dye, a candle and water. To petition the Orishas, the requirements include: Corojo oil, Iron filings, Orange water, peppercorns, coconut wine, mercury, red ocher, etc. To petition Oshun, we need one large gourd, five eggs, oil, honey and a sugar plum.

Rose Ariadne: Providing “Magickal” answers to your Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft spell casting questions since 2006.

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