Showing posts with label Santeria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Santeria. Show all posts

Paganism & Wicca - What Is Santeria?


Santeria is a saints' religion, but not just any saints. Kidnapped Yorubas enslaved in Cuba were adamant about maintaining their ancient spiritual practices and loyalty to the orishas. 

  • The colonial rulers banned and prohibited African spiritual practices, and anyone who disobeyed the order faced harsh punishment. 
  • What should We do? Slaves were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism, and the Church provided graphic representations of the Holy Family and saints to aid conversion of the illiterate. 
  • Santeria was created. A repurposed new born faith. Through the usage of matching pictures, each orisha were linked to particular Roman Catholic holy saints. 
  • As a result, Ochossi the Sacred Archer assumed the persona of St Sebastian, whose votive iconography depicts him being wounded by arrows. 
  • This syncretism seems reasonable at times: a saint and an orisha may have a lot in common, but other times the links are strange. 
  • Chango, Master of Thunder and Lightning and Spirit of Male Sexual Prowess, was syncretized with St Barbara, the young virgin martyr, since her votive picture depicts lightning. 
  • Syncretism provides security: one may seem to be praying to St Barbara while really communing with Chango. 
  • Syncretism, on the other hand, leads to complexity. 
  • Santeria in modern times maintains a Yoruba spiritual framework with Roman Catholic influences, as well as influences from other African traditions, indigenous Taino Indian influences, and others. 
  • Some Santeria followers are devout Roman Catholics, while others have abandoned syncretism, feeling that the time for masks is passed. 
  • Many others choose the middle road. In all instances, however, the main emphasis of Santeria is devotion to the orishas/saints and connection with them. 

Related to -  Orisha and Vodoun.

You may also want to read more about Paganism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on Religion here.