- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WAR ROOM -
STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
Olorun interacts with the world and humankind through emissaries. These emissaries are called orishas. The orishas rule over every force of nature and every aspect of human life. They are approachable and can be counted on to come to the aid of their followers, guiding us to a better life materially as well as spiritually.
Communication between orishas and humankind is accomplished through ritual, prayer, divination and ebó or offerings (which includes sacrifice). Song, rhythms, and trance possession are also means with which we interact with the orishas and how we are able to affect our day to day lives so that they we may lead deeper and fuller lives during our stay in this world.
In the New World the orishas and much of the religion was hidden behind a facade of Catholicism with the orishas themselves represented by various saints. The slave owners would then say "look at how pious this slave is. She spends all of her time worshipping Saint Barbara." Unbeknownst to them, she would actually be praying to Shangó, the Lord of Lightning, fire and the dance, perhaps even praying for deliverance from that very slave owner. This is how the religion came to be known as Santería. The memory of this period of our history is also why many in our religion regard the term Santería as a derogatory.
The traditions of Santería are fiercely preserved and full knowledge of the rites, songs, and language are prerequisites to any deep involvement in the religion. Initiates must follow a strict regimen and are answerable to Olorun and the orishas for their actions. As a person passes through each initiation in the tradition, this knowledge deepens and their abilities and responsibilities grow accordingly. In fact, during the first year of their initiation into the priesthood, the initiate or Iyawó or 'bride' of the orisha must dress in white for an entire year. The iyawo must not look into a mirror, touch anyone or allow themselves to be touched, and they may not wear makeup, or go out at night for this year.
La Santería is famous for its 'magic'. This magic is based on a knowledge of the mysteries or orishas and how to interact with them to better our lives and the lives of those who come to us for the aid of the orishas. We live under the premise that this world is a magical one. This knowledge seems 'supernatural' only to those who don't understand it, but it really is quite natural.
Although the people were yanked away from their homes in Africa and enslaved in the New World, the orishas, the religion and its power could never be chained down and the religion survives now. Not as an anachronism, but ever growing even now in such places as France and the Netherlands.
We begin with a quote from a Roman Catholic missionary to Africa:
"African Traditional Religions should not only be seen as "stepping stones" to Christianity, but should be appreciated as genuine experiences of the Divine. Only then should they be evaluated in the light of the Gospel." Father Fritz Stenger.
This is exactly what the Catholic fathers did all around us in Tanzania in the 1950s. Some of them attended devil dances and handed our Mary and Christopher medals. The Africans, under demonic influence, gladly added another trinket to their collection of talisman hanging around their necks. Also, the Catholic priests would go to a beer drink, after the man were totally drunk and passed out, and they would slip a Mary of Christopher medal over their heads. Voile, when the drunks woke up the next morning, they were Catholics, much to their delight. This is Roman Catholic evangelism. So, Fa. Fritz statement comes many years later and is simply a more sophisticated form of the practice of the Maryknoll and Dutch priests I saw as a kid.
This has been the pattern for hundreds of years, and was the method used in the Caribbean by Roman priests. This resulted in the African slaves being invited to combine their African religion and Roman Catholicism, and the result is well known.
A Catholic priest who was a friend of mine was a missionary in India. He ran several boy's homes which were quite famous for their academic level. He was a Tridentine priest and very conservative. He told me that the Vatican, under John Paul II, ruled that the Indian Puna religions rituals must be added to the Mass. The Lingum, a phallic icon to Hinduism, was ORDERED to be placed on the altar during the Mass. My friend and his whole Order refused to do this, though all other Catholic orders in India did so. For this, his whole order was excommunicated from the Roman Church by the Pope.
The traditional Yoruba religion and its Santer�a counterpart can be found in many parts of the world today, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and the United States, mainly as a result of mostly Cuban and Puerto Rican migration.
In 2001, there were an estimated 22,000 practitioners in the US alone, but the number may be higher as some practitioners may be reluctant to disclose their religion on a government census or to an academic researcher. Of those living in the United States, some are fully committed priests and priestesses, others are "godchildren" or members of a particular house-tradition, and many are non-committal clients seeking help with their everyday problems. Many are of Black Hispanic and Caribbean descent, but as the religion moves out of the inner cities and into the suburbs, a growing number are of African-American and European-American heritage.
In Puerto Rico, the religion is extremely popular, especially in the towns of Loiza, Carolina and Bayamon.
Operating independently of the historical syncretism described above, there are now individuals who mix the Lukum� practices of Cuba with traditional practices as they survived in Africa after the deleterious effects of colonialism. Although most of these mixes have not been at the hands of experienced or knowledgeable practitioners of either variant of the system, they have gained a certain popularity. A very similar religion called Candombl� is practiced in Brazil, along with a rich variety of other Afro-American religions. This is now being referred to as "parallel religiosity" because some believers worship the African variant that has no notion of a devil and no baptism or marriage, yet they belong to Catholic or mainline Protestant churches, where these concepts exist.
in Hialeah, Florida caused a fierce battle of wills and words because of live
animal sacrifices by the alleged "Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye." a Satanic
ritual group with Cuban pagan roots.
For decades, Santeria has operated in a muted underground here, its rites confined to basements and living rooms far from the condemning eyes of outsiders who labeled it hoodoo. Recently, however, the religion has jumped out of the shadows. It has burst onto the Internet. It has smitten musicians like David Byrne and Paul Simon, and will hit Broadway next fall in a musical. And it has slowly seeped into city life through its African and Cuban culture, its houses of worship and the innumerable botanicas, shops frequented mostly by Santeria devotees -- santeros and santeras -- who buy needed herbs and religious objects.
''The religion is absolutely more public and more popular and more secular now,'' said Emilio Barreto, ''People are more willing to talk about some of the things that go on. There are more initiates every day and more people coming to the celebrations to witness what they are about. People are spreading the word and people are showing up.''
For thousands of New Yorkers, such a ''toque'' (pronounced TOE-kay), or performance for the saints, is now no more unusual -- or secret -- than attending shul or kneeling to Allah. Once dismissed as a ghetto religion practiced only by the Caribbean poor and uneducated, Santeria has a growing following among middle-class professionals, including white, black and Asian Americans. There are police officers in New York who pray to Obatala, the father of all deities, or orishas, before they slip on their gun belts. There are lawyers and professors, civil servants and musicians whose homes are filled with altars laden with flowers, rum, cake and cigars to keep the gods happy and helpful. Many dress in white to symbolize purity. ''This isn't the bush here,'' said Anthony Cabrera Mondesire, a Santeria priest and a former regional transportation planner who lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. ''We are not hicks and peasants.'' NEW YORD TIMES
children watching please, and no one who you know is not born again and has been
into the occult. This is trance music, and the off beat is extreme. The off beat
is African and was originally the foundation of all African Religion. This off
beat is the foundation also of rag time and stride music from Bourbon Street in
New Orleans, and this beat is the reason Southern Gospel music feels so good.
More on this in the next section.
It is the beat of the groin. All Satan worship runs to this.
More on the Southern Gospel Music connection in my article on this.
is a devil dance allegedly to Gospel music. The dancers think they are a civilized
choir, but they are possessed of devils, at least temporarily. When such things
happen in alleged churches, we need to call it what it is-- Satan worship. The
Hebrews dancing around the golden calf at Sinai were God's children, but they
were reverting to Satan worship.
is the African devil dance beat, body shaking, and the affect. Note the rubber
face of Jake Hess, and the jive activity of Hovie Lister on the piano. The bass
is "Big Chief" Wetherington, who was an American Indian. I heard various
quartet members from many groups give a "personal testimony" of salvation,
but NEVER Big Chief Wetherington. I suspect some American Indian devil was hanging
around. I ran to Southern Gospel conventions in So. California long ago before
I repented of the filth. These men had vile immoral lives, and I saw that up close.
That was when I realized something was suspect. Get Away Jordan is the most banal
rubbish I ever heard as to doctrine, but the crowd went mad with frenzy at the
Long Beach Auditorium, and the girls in the from row would scream like at an Elvis
concert when Jake Hess did his solo. Here is African religion in the beat circa
of a Santaria priest in New York City:
So, do you think I am just making this up?
turn-- Is this an African devil dance? Who is the "Jesus" the lady sings
1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave
them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
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