Sentaria Meaning – The term Santeria or La Regla Lucumi, is an Afro-Cuban philosophy that can be traced back to the Yoruba tribe
of Southwest Nigeria and Benin. During the slave trade, millions of Yorubas were brought to Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad, Puerto Rico and other countries.
If you were to listen to some historians you might think that Santeria is a primitive faith. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Yorubas have always been highly advanced in many areas including: art, philosophy, mathematics and medicine.
Unlike some European cultures, the Yorubas believes in one God known as Olorun or Oludumare. Olorun is also the source of ashe, which is the religious energy that make up the universe, as well as all life and anything that is considered to be material.
The divine messengers or emissaries of Olorun are called orishas. The orisas are powerful forces of nature and energy that we can tap into to improve our lives not only spiritually but physically as well.
One communicates with the orishas thru prayer, divination as well as offerings or sacrifice. Trance possession, song, and rhythms are other means that humans commune with orishas. Those techniques are used to affect the daily lives of people who wish to have a deeper non secular and meaningful life while they reside on this planet.
During slavery, Africans could not openly practice traditional spiritual beliefs and so they “hid” them in Catholicism. For example, while slaveowners might have thought that the slaves were praying or worshipping “Saint Barbara,” in reality, they were praying to “Shango”, commonly known as the Lord of Lightning, fire and the dance.
For more information about Santeria, check out the book “Altar of My Soul” by Martha Moreno Vega. Dr. Vega is also one of the scholars that will appear in the film, Across The King’s River.
Tags: santeria,ifa,yoruba religion,yoruba spirituality,orisa initiations,african religion,cuban religion,across the kings river,james weeks