Santeria

Luna Llena

When I began to explore Wicca, I wondered how Santeria, saint worship, would fit into what I was learning about the Craft. Seeking clarification for this dilemma, I consulted an online Wicca blog. I wanted discussion, instead I received admonition, and warning that traditions should not be mixed because the Gods and Goddesses would not like it. I listened and considered, but continued to seek feedback because I knew I was on the track of something powerful. Then I found a diagram in Higginbotham (2012), placing Santeria under the umbrella of paganism, which also included Wicca, Druidism, and eclectic traditions. I was delighted. Here was inclusion of different traditions and perhaps there was room for a looser more accepting interpretation of paganism! Reading Cunningham (1996), he seemed to imply one could blend traditions but the protocol for Wicca rituals needed to be respected. Things were now starting to fall into place. As I continued to read, study, explore and learn, my solitary practice evolved to intertwine the tradition of Santeria with those of the Craft.  

My experience with Santeria

Growing up in a NYC working class neighborhood of Catholics and mixed ethnicities I was surrounded by saint statues and candles in the homes of friends and neighbors, Puertoriqueños, Dominicanos, Cubanos, Italians, Irish. My friends were first and second generation Americans, the grandmothers and some of the parents still spoke their ethnic language and played their old- country music. It was an interesting way to grow up. At that time Catholicism was all I knew, seeing it practiced in various ways.

My parents, from Mexico were not outwardly religious. My paternal grandmother however, maintained what I interpreted as an ancestral altar, with offerings of flowers, candles, candy bars, glasses of water, sometimes food, given to the santos, saints, like Santa Clara, and to my grandmother’s deceased sister, Celia. Some of my mother’s Puertoriqueña and Cubana friends also kept elaborate altars that included fruit, sometimes cigars, shot glasses of rum, and statues of Catholic saints and African Orishas, deities. I was fascinated by these altars.  

Sometimes, during a walk through the more wooded areas of Central Park, I would see remnants of what appeared as ritual animal sacrifices and offerings. And, while I experienced simultaneous fear and attraction to what I was seeing, until I began to read about Santeria, I was not sure what I was observing.

The trappings of Santeria were not uncommon when I was growing up. There were a number of botanicas, herbal shops, in my neighborhood; an essential part of Santeria rituals is the use of herbs, roots, flowers and plants. Santos and Deities, both Catholic and African were displayed in the shop windows, along with collares/elekes, necklaces. The inside of some botanicas had a strong energy felt from the moment one stepped inside. One thing that always attracted me though, were the statues of African Deities, dressed for battle or emerging from the water with dolphins swimming about. My favorite, was la sirena, the mermaid, later I learned that she was Yemaya, Goddess of the oceans, and my special Goddess as I am a Pisces.

During my high school years, I traveled around the city, learning more about Santeria, the Orishas, the use of the elements in healing rituals, different types of magick, and the role of the Santero, the shaman, to whom I could go should I need a problem resolved.

Many years later in San Francisco, as I browsed in a bookshop, I came across a book on Santeria, written in Spanish by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler (1973). It was meant to be on that shelf for me, and for years I would read it many times, practicing what I had learned.  I had become a solo Santeria adherent with no formal training. Just Migene’s book and continued research. My altar grew with Catholic saints and African Gods. Little did I know that I was now on the pagan path.

So what is Santeria?

The Orishas venerated in Santeria are of West African and Congo basin origin, specifically from the Yoruba culture of southwestern Nigeria. Yoruba speaking slaves were brought to the isles of the Caribbean in the 16th century by the Spanish to work the plantations. Slaves were forced to convert to Christianity and their beliefs in Yoruba Deities were forbidden by the Spanish. But as conquered people will do to ensure cultural survival, the slaves superimposed the Catholic Saints on their Yoruba Deities, and in this way continued to honor for example, Shango under the guise of Santa Barbara, Saint Barbara.

Santeria, is an Afro-Caribbean religious cult, a blend of African religion and Christianity, a tradition handed down verbally from generation to generation. Santeria developed through  descendants of Yoruba African slaves, and today the cult has adherents throughout the Americans, in particular the Caribbean. One could say that because of the number of slaves brought to Cuba, a former colony of Spain, and the high numbers of Afro-Cubans on the island, Santeria is more prevalent than Catholicism, remaining the primary religion of mestizos –  products of intermarriage between the colonizers, Africans, and the indigenous who remained on the island — and black working class Cubans (Clark, 2007).   Santeria is also very much alive in areas in the U.S. with large populations of Puertoriqueños and Cubanos, in for example, New York City, and Miami.

Santeria is part of the pagan world, and anyone observing or practicing Santeria rituals can see the overlap with other pagan traditions — honoring of pre-Christian Deities, the use of the elements in its rituals, and solitary practice with each person discovering  his or her personal Orisha.  So, my persistence paid off, I have added Orishas to the pantheon of Saints, Gods and Goddesses that are very much part of my daily life, worship, and protection. I am also fortunate in being part of a Coven that accepts diversity, without admonishment.

References

Clark, M.A. (2007). Santeria: Correcting the myths and uncovering the realities of a growing religion. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Cunningham, S. (1996). Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn.

Gonzalez-Wippler, M. (1973). Santeria: Magia Africana en Latinoamerica. Bronx, NY: Original Publications

Higginbotham, J. & R. (2012). Paganism: An introduction to earth centered religions.  Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn.

Luna Llena is a writer and eclectic solitary practitioner residing in New Mexico.

What Do I Need to Have and Do to Be a Witch – series continues Part 1

How Long Does a Spell Take to Work?

Let me start by reminding you the Universe, Gods, and Goddesses do not wear watches, look at clocks, or use calendars as we do. Where we may think of time in different ways for different things in this lifetime starting with a year being 365 days for 3 years in a row and than the 4th year has 366 days. Or to break it down smaller those day are broke down into 12 months 11 of them always have either 30 or 31 days and the 12th month consist of 28 dayys for 3 years in a row and every 4th year it gets 1 extra day. The 12 months break down in 52 weeks most consistening of 7 days. 7 days breaks down for a total of 168 hrs or 24 hours per day every day of a year. I could go futher and break it down to the number of minutes and seconds per day but I don’t feel like borung you or doing the math right now. The form of a calendar was introduced in 1584 by Pope Gergory XIII and is referred to as the Gregorian calendar.

Right about now if I were you I would be asking myself, “What does this have to do with Witchcraft and spellwork?” The answers is we are bound on this planet by time restrictions be it something that make time seem to go faster or be it something that makes it feel like time is running slower but no matter on the passing of time feels a day still only has 24 hours, each hour 60 minutes, and each minute has 60 seconds.

When we write a spell the questios I was taught to ask and teach my students to ask include When should the spell start and when should it come to furitation? Going back to my original sentence that Goddesses, Gods, and The Universe do not wear watches or look at clocks to find out what time it is, nor do thet look at at calendar to see the day or date or even what year it is.

Keeping in mind about time, the Universe, and when you want a spell to come to fruitation bring the results you want. Let me tell you from personal experience one spell I did multiple times a years for 17 years and each year I would pick a date for my spell to come to fruitation. I wrote a spell for each phase of the Moon asking for a coffee shop to open up within walking distance of my house. Here’s where we go to lack of Universal time for me it took 17 1/2 years for my spell to work but if you think of how long scientists have said our universe has been around those 17 1/2 years are probably less than a blink of an I for the God and Goddess I invoked to help my spells to have more power. But there is now a nice coffee shop about 5 blocks from my home that also has yummy baked goods they make right there.

A close friend of mine wrote different spell and rituals to bring as perfect of a fit as possible to what she wanted in a man for a long term relationship. After dating a few men that were not right at all when she really got to know them. But she kept empowering a special jar where she placed things and a list of the qualties the right man she wanted it had. Each time she tired and it wasn’t the right man she got discouraged but did not give up and about 4 years after doing a lovers spell for the 1st her dream man came into her life and they are very happy together. I need to stress this was not a special to make a specific man fall in love with her. The spell was sent out for a man to come to her of his own free will to see if they were compatible or not.

The reason for these examples is to stress you may have to wait for your spell to work and when it does it is because it is at the time in your life you really need it to come to fruition. So don’t get upset if it doesn’t happen by the date you set for it to. I have learned instead of setting a specific date I want wherever it is I did the spell for I ask the deity and/or universe to find the right time in my life for it to happen. There are exceptions to this like healing or comforting spells or a ritual for someone who died to cross the veil as these are thing we need our spells to work as quick as possible and the Goddesses and Gods can see the urgency in the spell or ritual happening right now.

I have been asked many times if a spell has to rhyme or not. This is a topic that is damaged daily by pagans especially witches. The Wicce/Wican Rede says, “To bind the spell every time, let the spell be speak in rhyme.” But their are traditions in the pagan community that follow none of the Wicce/Wiccan and even some witches that do follow the major part of the Rede,”Do what ye will, least it harm none, and” do not always rhyme spells. Personally most of my spells rhyme but longer ones usually do not. I have over the years that when my spells rhyme because it takes longer for me to write them which helps me to focus more on my intent to make sure the words I am using have the correct meaning for the out come I want.

I strongly suggest that every with who is writing spells have a regular dictionary, a thesaurus (sometimes a word you are using his no rhyming word that works for your spell so you can look it up and find others words with same meaning that rhyme with another word you want to use in your spell), and lastly a rhyme dictionary (this dictionary has been invisible to me when my brain derails from failing to come up with the word I want to use.)

I teach my students as I was taught to have any spell we write to be able to answer all 6 of these questions:

Who is the spell for?

Why does the person including yourself want it done?

What is the spell for?

When is the best for the spell to be done?

When should the spell come to fruition?

How is the spell going to be done? This answer would list things like herbs, essential to oils, crystals, bags to make into a mojo bag, candles, paper, pen, altar items, etc.

The great thing about being a with is you do not have to follow my suggestions at all and do spell in a way you are comfortable with and you get results from.

Copyright Lady Beltane 2019

What Do I Need To Have and Do to Be a Witch? – Introduction to Series

This is an introduction to help explain the title question. Today’s post is just going to answer frequently ask questions I have gotten over the years. Some of the other topics for this series will include but not limited to magickal tools, herbs, essential oils, crystals, precious and semi-precious gems, stones, your Book of Shadows, your altar and what you want to put on it, spells, rituals, etcetera. Most of the topics have other posts about them on Coven Life and Witches of The Craft. I also might add viedo links and/or a link for a general search on that day’s topic.

If you have questions about things in any of the post please ask them in the Comment box located below each post. This way if other people have the same question I only have to answer once.

If at anytime you want to share a picture of how you do something for that days topic please email it to LadyBeltane@aol.com subject line should have “For Sharing” please include your first name only or you pagan name and a short description about the picture. At the end of each days post the top I for tomorrow will be there. If you get pictures to me by 8:00 PM CDT for the next days topic I will include them in them post.

Any questions please ask them in the Comment section and I will reply to them by 8:00 PM CDT.

Tomorrow’s topic will be “Magickal Tool.” I look forward to learning different ways of doing things for every topic with you.

 

Angel Advice and Tarot Advice and a Special Oracle Card Pull for the Week of Monday 7 Oct 2019

For this weeks reading:

Reading for Mon, Oct, 7, 2019

For a site with yummy recipes, Angel advice, tarot card advice, and an oracle card pull, history on more then just witchcraft I strongly suggest my dearest sister’s website ….

The Sliver Sage Witch on NewFound-Life.com

Her website is not that old but it is all chocked full of interesting information. I think she also takes suggestions for posts so she can bring you magickal, spiritual, and non Witchy things as well. I think you will like it enough to want to follower the Silver Sage Witch on a daily bases.

For NewFound-Life’s Youtube channel, which offers a new Angel And Tarot Cards Advice every Monday and than Thursday brings us The Witching Crossroads which bring us information about different paths of The Craft.

Sliver Sage Witch of NewFound-Life Website

 

Once in a while you will even see a post from me on New-FoundLife.com

The Silver Sage Witch is my go to if I do not have time, want a second opinion on a question, or just do not want to do my own Tarot Card Reading. Her reading ability is one of the best tarot card readers I have ever come across. SHe also will do spells and/or rituals by request. If you would like a Tarot Reading or a spell done, etc by Silver Sage Witch click here CharmingMagick.com

Witches Answer to Witchcraft Questions

I have books about Witchcraft some I have had for years yet only getting around to reading them now. This is one of those books. “A Witch’s Book of Answers is an outgrowth of the Open Sesame e-list hosted by Cerelia and me, along with Ororo since 1999. This book is based on actual questions asked on the list over the years — and our responses to them.” As I am reading it the Muse, Callopie, who inspires and guides me quite often on what to post on here and WOTC, helps with spell wording, new rituals for Esbats and Sabbats, or basically anything I maybe writing, coloring, painting, etc in short is advises me or inspires me anytime I need or want to be creative, whispered in my ear that she would let me know what gems I should pass along to you from A Witch’s Book of Answers.

A Witch’s Book of Answers

By Eileen Holland and Cerelia

Copyright 2003

Page 5 — “Who can be a Witch? Anyone who can find his or her way to the Goddess — and is willing to spend the necessary time reading, studying, learning, and practicing — can be a Witch. A Witch must have patience, imagination,compassion, focus, and willpower.”              by  Eileen

Page 6 —- “What type of attitude should a Witch have? To me, the most important thing that anyone can believe is, “I like myself.” You must like yourself and respect yourself in order to like and respect others. You must be able to do this first, and then take responsibility for your actions.” by Cerelia

“A big part of being a Witch is having respect for yourself. This includes never allowing anyone to mistreat you, physically or otherwise. No Witch should ever tolerate violence or abuse.

 

I recommend this book for any witch that has a question but cannot find the answer. While this book does not answer every signal question about Witchcraft, The Craft, The Old Ways or whatever label I any you choose for your path because thank the Great Mother Father we do not follow a religion rather we walk a spiritual path that for the most part we forge a head they way we feel is right to us.

 

Can We Help You to Teach Your Children and/or Descendants about The Craft?

One of our Elders thought, and I agree, that we should post a survey to help us help you to teach your children about The Craft. If you do not want to put your answers in a comment below please email them to covenlifescoven@gmail.com, please include your child’s age so we can post information by age groups. This whole idea of helping you to help your children learn is in the planning stages any ideas and/or suggestions to make it how you think will help our descendants to learn are very welcomed.

1. As pagan parents, would you like to see children’s activities posted on Coven Life?
2. What age groups would you recommend activities for?
3 – 4 years old (mostly coloring pages of the different Sabbats with a small paragraph on what the Sabbat is for)
5 – 6 years old (Coloring pages of the Sabbats and Moon Phases with a small paragraph in wording they can read themselves to bring about a dialogue about what they are learning)
7-10 years old (Printable Information delving deeper into Moon phases. Brief introduction to Sabbat and Esbat rituals)
11-14 years old (Information for considering following a Pagan path building on what they would learned above)
15 – 18 years old (Introductory information on what it means to follow the Old Ways of The Craft including an introduction to Gods, Goddesses, Spellwork, Rituals. The spell work and.or rituals would be geared for the young adult to help their parent, grandparent, or care taker to prepare a spell and how to set up an altar if wanted and what preparation goes into writing and doing a ritual.)
This is a way that a child or young adult can build an understanding of the magickal and spiritual sides of witchcraft/ It will also help prepare them to become a novice in our coven or just to have the knowledge to work better with the adults that are solitary practitioner.
3. What topics would you like to see addressed?
4. What type of activities?
5. What other suggestions would you have for children’s and young adult’s activities ?
Remember you can answer the questions in the comments or email your answers to covenlifescoven@gmail.com. If you have any questions or ideas about this project please ask or share your idea. We are willing to start any child or young adult of any age so please do not think your child would have to start as a preschooler. There is no charge as you will be able to use what we post to teach your child the way you follow The Craft. We are here just to answer questions or help in anyway we can. We will be posting things for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the appropriate times for Sabbats.

Lady Beltane is Sort of Back

Well found out to get my laptop fixed would cost almost as much as buying a new one. So while I save enough to buy my new laptop I will be using my tablet, that was cheaper to fix, to do posts. Only problem with this is I do not get all the same information I get with a computer for some of the daily posts. For example I do not get the current Moon phase details but as always there will be a link to click on to get this information. All posts will always have a link back to the website I get the information from if you want to use it to find out more details about the post or finish reading an article. Hopefully, I should have the money saved for my new laptop by Samhain/Beltane.

I have had an Acer and HP brands laptops. I really liked my Acer but as I am not very knowledgeable on computer hardware I am going to ask the tech savvy of you to recommend a laptop in the low $400.00 USD range. Please add an explanation that a kindergartener can understand. Thank you for helping me to find the best user friendly computer for my needs. I need it to be able to play DVD and CD, not be over 4 pounds/1814 grams, have a 14 to 15 inch/35.56 to 38.1 cm screen, built in webcam/microphone/speakers, latest Windows running format. Please do no recommend any Apple or that type of running format. While this “old gray mare” is willing to learn something new every day, I do not have the ambition to learn a totally different way a computers basics are set up. Hades, I never even turned a computer on until I was about 34 and had to take as college course as a requirement. The last 27 years I still don’t know much more, luckily the Lord and Lady blessed me with my youngest son who knows has way in and out of hardware and software. (side note for a chuckle picture around 1995– How many parents have the FBI knocking on there door because someone from that address hacked into the FBI mainframe? Well I did because my youngest had did that. Thank they gods and Goddesses all they want was my son to show them how he got in and possibly help in the begging. He was just 11 years old at this time.) If anyone in the US has a laptop in very good condition and works with Windows 10 as its start up program and is willing to sell it to me please send a picture and information about it, like how much RAM it has and how old the computer is etc to me at ladybeltane@aol.com . Thank you!

So starting tomorrow I will strive to giving hthe best I can do posting via my tablet. I as you to please bear with fewer, short posts for the next few months. Who knows may I’ll get a new laptop.

From my herat to yours thank you for your support! Namaste dear brothers and sisters.

Week 23 Goddess Knowledge – High Priestess

The high priestess is the direct representative of the goddess on earth. She has direct responsibility for functions that ensure fertility and ongoing creation. Priestess often were responsible for ensuring rain, for the goddess was the giver of few and of rain. They often tended a sacred flame, the embodiment of the creative spark of life.

The High Priestess is the Great Goddess herself, a universal figure founder in such diverse guides as Isis in Egypt, Juan Yin throughout all of Asia, Athens in Greece, and Rhiannon among the Celtics. This goddess is all-knowing and all-wise; she creates life out of herself and bestows life-giving waters. At the proper time she takes life away so that the divine spark in each person may be freed to continue on its journey. The High Priestess is a reminder of the innate wisdom in each of us. She demands that we connect to the divine within and manifest it in the world.

 

 

I did not purposely pull this week’s card. It was on top after I shuffled the unposted Goddess Knowledge Cards. I personally do not look at myself as “the direct representative of the goddess on earth.”  The reason being is my dearest sister has pointed out to me something I let go to the way side which is the Goddess lives in all who ask. This goes for he God Consort also.

 

Witches of The Craft and Coven Life Now Under 1 Owner

After 18 years and being a pioneer on the world wide web with her award-winning site Witches of The Craft Lady of the Abyss is retiring.

Lady Abyss and Lady Beltane talked on the phone earlier today after hashed out the finer points of everything it was decided that Lady Beltane will be taking it over with monthly payments to Lady A so WOTC does not go to a stranger.

WOTC format will be staying basically the same but the number of posts will be going down. If you want to check what Tarot cards and Ogham are pulled for the day and some of the other things WOTC is known for just go there to find them.

Coven Life will still be having open chats, Esbat and Sabbat gatherings in the CL chatroom. The online school for witchcraft for novice through priestess/priest level studies is not going to change at all.

If you have found that either website contains information you enjoy reading and/or using please consider making a donation to help Lady Beltane cover the cost of keeping these two websites up and running smoothlas as her only income is a SSI check. In advance thank you very much for your help and being part of the WOTC/CL online family