Leaving Santeria? Don’t throw your Orishas down the river…

La Lupe, did she make a mistake abandoning her Orishas?

I have heard over and over the same story, people who are initiated into Santeria and for their own personal reasons, whatever they may be, one day they decide they want to leave Santeria and simply throw away their orishas down the river. Capital mistake, huge mistake, a mistake that can cost a person their very own life.

Let me start with a case I know from firsthand experience. Timothy was one of my best friends and in time he became my godson, but his path to my Yemayá was not free of accidents and woes.

Tim, my husband and I all received the warriors, elekes and Olokun around the same time from the hands of Omi Oké in San Antonio, TX. Back then, Tim was in a huge hurry to amass initiations as he dabbled in many things from Kabalah to Ceremonial Magic to…Santeria. I used to tease him calling him ´degree collector´ but he never took offense to it and I held hopes that one day he would simply commit to one spiritual path. Contrary to Tim´s point of view, for my husband and I, the orisha are not a destination, they are our lifetime path to travel.

One day, I went to visit Tim and I had the most disgusting feeling as I stepped into his home. I asked to salute Elegua and to my horror I found the orisha covered in offerings, old stale candies and lots of nasty cockroaches and bugs. I immediately made him clean Elegua and disinfect the area. I was visiting Tim because he had had a series of mishaps and strange things happening, now you can see that Mr. Personality was upset and trying to get attention. A long conversation with Tim followed; I then discovered that he wanted to get rid of his orishas. I was shocked that he would consider that step after spending so much money on the initiations and being in such a hurry to get all of them. But in reality his reasons to return the orisha were very childish. Therefore, I advised him to simply take them back to our godfather and not throw them away. He followed my advice.

Less than a week later Tim had a terribly car accident after blacking out from a diabetic seizure and nearly lost his life in the process. The accident happened at a crossroads a block away from his home. I guess Mr. Personality was not very happy to have been returned in such haste.

Tim´s life was never the same after returning his orishas. Years later, I was already an olosha and he came to me wanting to receive the elekes again. I consulted with Yemaya, my head orisha and she blessed him with a second chance by allowing him to enter the ilé with an eye ife. Yemayá wanted to save him from what was coming: Ikú. I did all I could for Tim, from taking him to Ifá to doing very strong ebbós with my babá Iwori Oddí who warned him of impeding death. Tim had a bypass surgery and he came out well from it, however, his desire to live had dwindled and he did not follow up with the medical and spiritual advice that he had received. He died 48 hours after the surgery. I miss my godson and friend with all my heart for he was a kind human being, filled with complexities and a very talented astrologer.

Getting rid of the orishas is not a decision to be made lightly, having the blessing to come back to them and not heed their warnings is even worse.

There is another case I know of first hand. A lady was referred to me seeking immediate advice on what to do to turn her life around. She had received elekes, warriors and Olokun and after getting a reading with a self-righteous and meddlesome Tarot card reader she decided to get rid of them because the card reader convinced her that the orishas were ´evil.´ The card reader’s advise was to ´throw the orishas down the river.´ The nerve! So the woman who was not doing well to begin with made the huge mistake to follow the card reader’s advice. Her life went to hell in a hand basket and now she is in the process of sorting it out with the help of an experienced awó Ifá I recommended as they live in the same area and I don’t believe in long-distance readings.

If you are considering taking an initiation, do yourself a favor and think about it carefully as it is time consuming, costly and it means a lot to commit to a godparent, an ilé and mainly to the orishas to then decide years or months later to get rid of it all.

For those who have taken the step of doing kariosha (ceremony to become an olosha or priest in Santaria) I have news for you; there is no way of getting rid of the orisha once it is seated on your head. You can do as many ceremonies as you want, you can renounce the orishas until you are blue on the face, you can do a hunger strike, you can do as you please, but the orisha will be sealed inside your skull until you take your last breath and itutu follows.

What happens if you are an olosha and you get rid of your orishas? I would tell you to ask La Lupe, but she is long gone to live at the foot of the Egun. La Lupe was an extraordinary Cuban singer from the 1950s, she was also a devout Santera crowned Oshun. Her life was marked with fame as she was admired and followed by renowned people like Ernest Hemingway, Jean Paul Sartre and even Marlon Brando. Her career took a turn for the worse in the late 1970s when Fania Records dropped her after her performances became unstable, some say due to drug issues. The orishas and drugs are like a powder keg and a lit match. Those of you who are serious about the orishas know for a fact they do not mix with the underworld of drugs or of shady lifestyles and eventually they will punish those who transgress and not heed their advice. La Lupe injured her spine in 1984 after taking a fall while hanging curtains in her home, she was ‘healed’ during an Evangelical Crusade and became a born again Christian getting rid of her orishas in the process. She died in 1992 from a heart attack at the age of 52. Hmmm…Oshun rules over the blood stream and all things related to affairs of the heart… I guess La Yiyiyi broke her Yeye’s heart and perhaps, Oshun in turn, had La Lupe’s heart in exchange.

Are these stories examples of how the orisha can be slow to punish but crushing in their efforts? Are our orishas vengeful orisha or are these simply coincidences? I for once not going to be one to tempt fate and get rid of my orishas, only death can break this bond and ‘spiritual contract’ I have freely and lovingly accepted.

However, not all live in spiritual bliss with their chosen paths like I do, so if you are considering a drastic break, please do yourself a favor and take proper steps. Go to a competent oriaté and get a diloggún reading or go to an awó Ifá and get a consultation with Orunmila, but most of all do the ebbós marked, find ways to mitigate issues if you are wanting to get rid of your orishas due to clashes with godparents or other issues that may be fixable.

The orisha will bless you if you give them a chance and follow advice, otherwise you may find yourself facing a long road to heartache and loss. In any case it is your decision to make, may you always have the serenity of mind to make the right choices for your growth and the development of good character.

Omimelli
Oní Yemayá Achagbá

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183 Responses to “Leaving Santeria? Don’t throw your Orishas down the river…”

  1. Mrs. Torres says:

    My husband had gotten an eleguà from his godfather (which he passed away a couple of years ago) and my husband got rid of his eleguà and negative stuff started happening to him and I wanted to know if some one can help him get his life back in balance with the eleguà,my husband wants a second chance. Please help!!!

    • bailise says:

      I left an anwer at the bootom page for all who wonder about these things. Trust me I have been there.

    • Anna says:

      Mrs. Torres,
      My suggestion would be to find a reputable babalawo (Ifa) and you and your husband go together for a reading with Ifa.
      Please don’t be afraid though; the orisha are of wrath! When one receives things of Orisha that person is on a road which is a lifetime commitment, so this is really about your husband throwing his life off path.
      For anyone who has crowned Ocha, that Orisha you crowned is FOREVER inside of your head and part of your DNA. That being said, once a person has Ocha crowned there’s no way that person can throw their head away!
      Do not allow people to intimidate or try to frighten you about Orisha, because Orisha are pure and about love. The Orisha are NOT demonic forces and our religion is not a satanic cult either. Why we are being attacked I can’t understand, but I will always defend my faith, the orishas, my ancestors, my heritage!

    • Omo Eleggua says:

      Mrs Torress have you been able to resolve the situation with eleggua?

    • luna says:

      He who the Son sets free is free indeed (only Jesus can set you free because greater is He who is in Saved Christian than He who is in the world). There is no other name greater than The name of Jesus. Come to Christ and be free from all chains. its the only way. May the Lord soften your hearts.

    • Nelson Nolasco says:

      Hello mrs Torres I’m Nelson what state do you live I might be able to help you.

  2. L. says:

    My grandmother was a high priestess in the Bronx many years ago. She made my mother some beads that my mother keeps hidden in a drawer. She is elderly now and never believed in this sort of thing and wants me, her daughter to dispose of these beads. I don’t know anyone in this town that we live in so was wondering what I should do with them??

    • Anna says:

      L, please do NOT dispose of those beads. Your grandmother made those beads in love and respect for the Orisha. If anything, you should keep them yourself even if it’s only in a box. In memory of your grandmother those beads should be cherished as part of her. I hope you haven’t thrown the beads away!

  3. bailise says:

    “Religion was invented by man” said the spirit of “EDGAR CASEY”, that is because man knows deep down in his soul that “GOD” exsists and man will do anything for”GOD”. Look around at the wars that have been waged in the name of “GOD”. The book in which I found this quote in is called “There is a river”, by “Edgar Casey”. Say to the beads, “You have served my grandmother and my mother, but your service is no longer needed, therefore I am returning you back to “EL Shaddai”‘ go with “JESUS” for “JESUS” knows what to do with you, thanks be to “GOD”, go in peace to serve “GOD”. Be firm and put them in an insinurator or the trash.

    • Anna says:

      For your information the surname is correctly spelled CAYCE. It is NOT Casey. hmmm
      And you sir, have no right to instruct someone to destroy a family heirloom! You are way out of line and very irresponsible trying to force your beliefs and preaching on someone in need of help!

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  5. Anna says:

    There is a blog on Hub where this born again ‘Christian’ who is yelling to people and quoting scriptures about throwing one’s Orishas away! I posted defending the Orisha but they aren’t listening. Remembering this blog and the stories I know are true, I was thinking ‘fools they’ll see what happens when they mistreat and throw their Orishas away to run to church.
    On another note: I’ve heard of a Baptist church where the minister DEMANDS every member of the congregation gives him a copy of their W-2 form so he can make sure they are tithing the full 10% of their salary each month! Mind you, this is the poorest county in the whole state but this ‘christian’ is doing that to his congregation.
    And then they have the nerve to throw stones at US!

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  17. Nelson says:

    His first mistake was even believing in this stuff. So he had a diabetic siezure and that’s proof of fairy tales? Lmbo. Oh man, that’s funny. Yeah, Chango, Ele, yema, all of them. Fairy tales for adults.

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  24. cookie says:

    When the owner of the warrior dies and they are not santeros or santeras what can the family do with the warriors.

  25. sublime says:

    I come seeking your advice on a situation involving my father in law who had become involved in santeria a few years back… over these couple years hes become sick with kidney failure and many other health issues… one most recently. His wife is now going crazy wanting to bless the house, a cat they received from someone who practiced the religion and everyone in the house. She is also wanting to rid of the dolls but not in the right manner, he never became a priest so I know it is possible from him to separate from the orishas. How does one do it in a safe manner?

    • Omimelli says:

      Hello Sublime,

      Does your father-in-law wants to get rid of his orishas. It is truly his choice and not his wife’s.

      Omimelli

    • Jonathan says:

      Hello my friend. FYI, if he has been initiated, the reason for his misfortunes could be because the babalawo who initiated him has wronged him somehow. That babalawo may be corrupt or has given him his stuff incorrectly and probably just did it for the money without a care of what happens to this man. If you can, please convince her not to just dump the dolls.. If there is no convicing her, I would consult a babalawo. If you can, try to convince her and him that there may be a way to get rid of all this, if he just recieved a reading to ask the orishas what they would like in return for healing him. Believe me, there is always a way, and when you see it for your own eyes when he is cured, there will be no doubts in your minds.

  26. cookie says:

    What is done with the warriors after the owner who is not a santero passes away..Can someone inform me what is to be done..

  27. Oatzinu says:

    Though there are similarities in Yoruba/Santeria to Curanderismo, I know they are not the same.
    There is an Yorubeno in the Ifa’ faith that I know of laying with women saying that Oshun/Ochun will protect them if they do so (lay with the spirit in the flesh – which is him). He gives the women a trinquette of a wedding band of metal.
    What are the ramifications of the women whom lay with a man other than Ochun/Oshun, be the man their partner or not?
    What are the ramifications of the Ifa’ practitioner using these ways? I am nor familiar with a Babalawo laying with women to give them “protection”.
    Of what I have seen with one woman her life has turned to hell and is having more uteral pain since the incident.
    What your take on this, Oní Yemayá Achagbá?

    PS I remember Tim.

    • Omimelli says:

      Oatzinu

      A so called priest who persuades women to have sex with them in exchange for protection is nothing but a crook. There is no need for sexual exchange of any sort with a person who is your spiritual counselor or guide. That is called spiritual incest. It is revolting.

      Those women should know better. They are surely charmed by a silver-tongued devil who may or not intimidate them as well with veiled threats of bad luck or osogbo if they do not provide him with sexual favors.

      I do sincerly hope Oshun takes care of this person and shows him some of her darkest aspects for abusing women.

      Omimelli

    • Jonathan says:

      There is no such person. Ifa is all about the humble and protection from such crooks. I’m sure if they have not by now, they will rid the world of the troubles this person is causing. ESPECIALLY if he really is initiated into Ifa. If he is babalawo and not just saying he is, I would pay money to see what Orunmila and Ochun has in store for him.

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  31. Malcolm Red says:

    I was in ifa and I loved everything about it. I went to a misa and my godmother told me I was going to jail. She told me not to worry about it and that would be okay. Sure enough I went to jail and for a very serious crime I was facing life life In prison. I was thinking about what she said when I was In there. I was saying that woman is crazy there’s no way I’m getting out of but sure enough I did. When I was locked up I became a Christian my family blamed my incarceration on Orishas. I serve Christ now because I don’t want to go to hell. But I miss my Orishas and my god parents I wish I could be a Christian and a santero at the same time.

    • Jonathan says:

      Good evening my friend. Not to throw salt on the wound or anything but if you went to jail after they specifically told you you would, that is because you did not do ebbo or whatever they asked of you. Your parents blame them when all they were doing was warning you to try and help you. The fact that you left them behind to dump them probably will have angered them, especially Orunmila. If you truly have been initiated into Ifa, you will know what I mean. It is 100% possible to be both christian and ‘santero’. Ignore what all the non believers tell you and do what you feel in your heart is right, and i am positive i am correct that your orishas are waiting for you.

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  33. Daji says:

    Hello, i was crowned by a palera. I received what she claimed to be my guerreros but all i received were my saint (chango’s) beads ( white and red, red and black, red, white, and a clear yellow one). She dressed my Chango, blessed him, and underneath him put some of my personal belongings in a jar mixed with some wine and his oils..telling me this was my cabeza. After a year of taking care of my santo i am having mixed feelings about it and am wondering a few things…1. was i really crowned ? 2. if i decide to, how would i get rid of my santo?

  34. boterogrrl says:

    Hello, to all. I am someone who has dabbled in aspects of Santeria, candomble and umbanda as well as Occult practices and magic in the past. I am not initiated into anything but have had readings done in the past where the Santero/Priestess said I was a daughter of Oya, and had the Pomba gira Maria Padilha as well. Another who read the Cowrie shells, said I was daughter of Babaluaye. I have many Santeria statues and items and artwork, and have made some spells and offerings in the past. I have long felt that this is not my path, and have since put away the items, but do not know what I should do with them. Many things were purchased as art, rather than for ritual and I considered selling those things. However for the items that were used in offerings and such, I wanted to know what I should do with them. I have great respect for the religions, and know that it was foolish to dabble in things that I know essentially nothing but basic book knowledge about. How does one who was not initiated in any way respectfully leave behind these things? Can they be donated or given away to someone who will use them? Any advice is appreciated.

  35. boterogrrl says:

    Also, I have some beautiful Santeria and Candomble artwork and items that were not ritually used, but displayed as art. Could these things be sold in perhaps an auction for charity and donated to a worthy cause in honor of the Orisha? Again, this is not my spiritual path, but I have a great respect for it.

  36. maria says:

    All these things getting rid of the orichas and I’m dying to get my warrior’s because of money situations I can’t but jeez

  37. maria says:

    I have my old way of my elegua and I pray to him all the time as I do to my Ochun and my boveda and I wish I can wake up saying I’m getting my warrior’s today that will be a blessing now I have read some of these comments and I hate negativity I dislike when people talk about the orichas like it’s a fairy tale for adults and I tell u my Ochun is not a fairy tale nor is my elegua, my yemaya but ignorance is wat kills people

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  39. boterogrrl says:

    I did not mean to offend anyone with my previous posts, as I am trying to make a sincere inquiry to those who are knowledgeable in this path. I would never mean to imply that the Orisha are a “fairy tale for adults”. In fact, it is just the opposite. With an influx of books being written on the subject of Santeria, Lucumi, Candomble, and even Quimbanda, there has been much misinformation as well as conflicting information being presented to the general public. There are even hoodoo and wicca spell books, grimoires, and magical compendiums which now include Santeria spells and offerings in their content. For those like myself, who in their youth have strayed off the beaten path to seek truth in religious paths and cultures vastly different from their own, many have made foolish decisions to tap into powers that we are essential ignorant about. Without proper guidance aside from the occasional advice of “internet Santeros”, and priests/priestesses, some of us have blindly entered into Spiritual territory that should be forbidden to all but the properly initiated and have realized that we were ill equipped and prepared to deal with the consequences. I cannot speak for all the other’s on this thread, but for myself I can only say that it is not about throwing away the Orishas, it is about recognizing my ignorance and unworthiness to proceed on a path that requires the utmost devotion and care. To continue as I have in the past, would be to dishonor the Orisha, and it is out of respect that I seek to leave behind what I cannot properly be of service to. Not everyone who finds beauty and truth in the Orisha is destined to follow this path. Some of us, must love them from a distance, because we are not capable or chosen to receive the gifts that they have to offer. I wish everyone on this post the best. In light and love.

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