The Ever-changing Bóveda

My Bóveda 8 Months Ago

My bóveda gathers items over time. Things that take my eye, and I think, that would look good on it. Today, whilst attending to my bóveda spirits, I decided it was time for a change (yet again…)

I do this periodically, a kind of ritual simplification. These days, I have intentionally limited my bóveda space to a small cabinet, about 14″ x 12″.

I have experimented with electronic photo frames displaying photos of my dead ancestors, an oil lamp instead of a candle, wooden statues to represent spirits, and so on.

At one time I had a separate bóveda and Eggún, but felt that two separate places only served to split my attention. This left me with a ‘running in circles’ feeling.

So I removed and wash everything, including the cabinet top starting with an altar cloth and set it up anew. I feel good, happy, it flows. It feels like a fresh start and I am loving it.

Bóveda with Electronic Photo Album for Ancestors
Streamlined Bóveda


21 Replies to “The Ever-changing Bóveda”

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am doing the same. Moving some of my sacred things and choosing what is most clear and connected for my altar and prayer spaces as well.

    Much Love


    1. Hi Kjerstin,
      It is an ongoing process for me, but I am happy with the current feel of my boveda. May you find the right feel for your altar too 🙂

    1. Hi George,
      Thanks. Yes, the flowers are real. I dont think I would get the same feeling from my boveda if I was to use artificial flowers.

  2. Very nice I like the constant change to the altar it bring different energies and keep your contact with eggun fluid. I had bought feng chua water fountain and placed it by eggun altar. When the water is running nine bells in the water ring one at a time. I did that because eggun like things to be constant transition. And I have seen some interesting affects from doing this.

    1. Hi Ginea,
      I love the idea of the water fountain, I might try to incorporate that myself 🙂 It must be over a month since I posted this article, and I am feeling once again the urge to redesign my boveda.

        1. could you provide a photo of the water fountain? Do you replace the customary water glasses with the water fountain, or is the fountain an addition. One final question: do you have to have the boveda away from the Orishas? Can they be in the same room?

          1. Jamie,
            I would not change the fountain for the glasses. It is just an addition that is meant to be experimental not a substitute. The water glasses sometimes have messages as well, look into them carefully. Are there bubbles? Is the water claudy after being poured clear?
            It is wise to keep the Boveda away from the orishas, I have seen better results when they are placed in different rooms. I also advise against having it in the same room where you sleep, it may disrupt your sleep pattern.


  3. I Am new to Santeria and I set up my boveda in my room. Its really the only place I have privacy, as I am a 15 year old in a small condo where my mom has a loft bedroom and my bedroom is the only doored space. Is this okay? Ive only had it for one night. This is the second. It didnt seem that bad last night, just something youd get used to.

    1. Hello

      I think that so long as you are comfortable with the space you have for your boveda then you are fine. Remember, it does not have to be a complicated set up. A simple glass of water and a candle will suffice. Mind the candle, do not ever leave it lit and unnatended.

      Congratulations on your start!


      1. I leave a 7 day candle. Is there something wrong with leaving it on to the boveda it self, or is that just a precaution if I was using an un covered candle? Thank you for the replies I really enjoy this blog, although I am an aborisha and a lot of the information doesn’t apply to me. I Mainly read the general info, and personal experiences. I try not to get ahead of myself on information for the initiated. Taking it slow, but my madrina has the best in mind for me.

        1. Hola Maferefunyemaya,

          Leaving a candle burning unatended always presents a risk of fire, that is why I advise to be careful about it. There is nothing wrong with leaving it on so long as you are sure it will not cause trouble with your property. 🙂

          It is really good that you take things step by step, it is the best way to learn. There is an expression that says, “Bit by bit, we eat the head of the rat,” I will let you figure it out.


          1. That’s a good one, Ill keep that in mind, and maybe it will fold out. I have an idea but it feels like it can mean more than just the first thing that came in my head, as rats wouldn’t go down that well if you took it all at once. Ill try to expand on it.

    1. Hello Boveda

      If you lit the cigar, it will get funky after a few days. However, you could also crumble any unsmoked parts and use them for an ebo misi or bath.

      I like using red roses, rum, Florida Water, honey and crumbled up cigar (unsmoked parts) for a nice bath water. Do strain it before using it and only pour it from your shoulders head down.



  4. I never thought to break that down like that metaphorically and literally. That is a lot of pieces! You cant just mash a bunch of puzzle pieces together and get a picture. The complexity and mystery should be respected. if you just took the rat skull apart without contemplating and not individually you’d be pretty darn confused. at least if you cared about what you were dining on. or deeper, the journey your spirit was on.

  5. In my altar, I have a glass of water, but have never seen so my bubbles like ro night,ehat doest it mea ,ean, lots of small bubnles?

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