Power and Money Hungry Merchants Sell Santeria Legacy as a Panacea

Santeria for Sale!

Santeria for Sale!

There are many reasons why people come to the orisha. And there are some very particular motives that would determine the entrance of a chosen few to the ranks of initiates. Those days seem to be over, days when some would give their life as the ultimate offering of servitude to the orisha. However, the days of the chosen few can come back again if we are conciencious. But in the meantime anyone with some money can find a shyster or even a reputable initiate to sell a piece of Lukumi-heaven for a few thousand. This makes me so sick to my stomach, sick to my soul, sick beyond description.

My day started busy, you know I have to work to earn a living. I do not live off the religion. There are many who do, but that will never be my case. I am a professional and I want to stay that way, free of greed for power emanating from how many godchildren I can amass, or from having to make this or that many initiations to pay the rent. I want to be free to love the orishas just because it makes me happy, because deep down without my Yemayá my life is incomplete. I want to be free to practice my religion for love, this is why I refuse to live off of it, even when I have special skills that would make me quite unique if I was to merchant them.

Don’t take me wrong, I am not against legitimate oloshas who have a passion for business and have a botanica or sell their services as awos and oriates or cooks or seamstress or thronemakers to name a few jobs one is glad to pay for during initiations or for materials. What truly bothers me are those jerks like that one who today tried to post on this blog a poorly written advertisement selling the mystical powers of his so called Temple. This ‘temple of miraculous solutions’ seems to consist of an email address and not much else. What really killed me is the incredible amount of stuff this person claims to be able to fix. Here is the ad this person tried to post, minus the name of the temple of course. Notice the lack of skills peddling his/her wares. I have refrained from editing it (yup, that took quite a bit of willpower as I hate bad advertisement).

—Text of the Ad—
Hellow
estás teniendo algún problema en la vida que te pone triste. ¿Has probado otro
lugares sin solución.
el templo ******* está aquí para ayudar a superar todas sus
problema. Somos espiritista genuino y podemos ayudarle a resolver todos sus
problemas a través
intervención espiritual por fin una solución a su problema pernmanent tiene
venir.
aquí está tu oportunidad de cruzar el puente de la pobreza. no
sufren en silencio. cuando sus problemas se pueden resolver.
damos todo tipo de poder para enriquecerse y encontrar la felicidad en su negocio
y también curar todo tipo de enfermedades en hombres y mujeres. tales como concers,
La diabetes, la esterilidad, la hipertensión y la fiebre tifoidea, etc
Este templo ******* también puede ayudarle a través espiritual medios tales como:

1. Promoción en los negocios
2. Venta flash de bienes a comerciantes
3. mujeres esterilidad
4. empleo urgente
5. Poder para ganar el amor del hombre y de la mujer
6. Dinero urgente y se procederá rico.
Promoción en el trabajo, en busca de niño, lotería victoria, el matrimonio
esperma defficulties bajo posible, el poder de los pastores para hacer milagros, aumento de la
miembro de su escuela, el poder de crecimiento rápido a los hospitales y otros
establecimiento comercial.

No dejes que esta oportunidad pase de largo. existe la oportunidad de
sucesssful convertido en la vida. la distancia no es un obstáculo. no mueren en silencio.
Sólo nos cantact imediatly en *********@gmail.com y su
la vida nunca será el mismo otra vez.

—-end of ad—-

Notice that the person promises to cure a wide variety of maladies including typhoid, sterility and Hypertension! Oh they can also help you with the winning lotto numbers. Come on! If I could predict those I would play them myself and become rich without so many shenanigans.

The sad part is that for every shyster, there is a fool or more than one fool being conned. Abures, when you find stuff like this, stand up, denounce it and fight for the honor of the Orishas. This sort of behavior should not be condoned. To be silent is to be an accomplice to the merchants of the religion.

Omimelli
OníYemayá Achagbá

About Omimelli

I am a Olosha or Santera and for years I have been at the service of the Orisha and the community. I am initiated to Yemayá and my father in osha is Aganjú. I am also an initiate of Palo Mayombe and hold the title of Yaya Nkisi. As part of my daily devotional I spend time at my bóveda and work with my spirits on regular basis.
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6 Responses to Power and Money Hungry Merchants Sell Santeria Legacy as a Panacea

  1. Papa Curtis says:

    Very well put. Commercialism has become rampant it seems. Not only do those within traditions use them for commercial gain, so do those without. Things like fake prendas and such come to mind. Neither are good. The work is about self improvement and helping people, not fattening the wallet.

    • Omimelli says:

      Papa Curtis

      The Green Orisha (Not Osain!!) can move many to action and can also keep Botanicas afloat with the flow of folks buying ‘el especial de kariosha’. Don’t make me continue on my rampage agaist the merchants of the religion.

      🙂

      Omimelli

      Makes me want to blow some pica pica powder on some nice green bills and pay with those….

  2. Carlos Oliveira says:

    Again, very well said, and I have felt this personally, lead into a path without knowing what was exactly right or wrong, and due to the greed of a Padrino in Palo I was scratched and much more in a short periode of time without having time to grow and learn. I have every reason to be upset and turn my back.

    But something hit me by reading this article, and I know that it does not, in anyway make up for these merchants and the wrong they are doing, but if it wasn’t for these Merchants, I would of never been exposed to Palo, ? Ifa ? , Ocha ? Yes I had to break my connection with my padrino in Palo, but after that, my interest, love and the connection I had made was strong enough to pull through and was able to meet very good people, that I have to thank. Michael Mason for leading the way, Misty Seas for her info and her blog, were I have learnt allot, My Padrinos, Manolo and Pedro Abreu. for making it possible.

    So in some strange way, I actually have to thank a merchant that is still out there, probably looking for another godson to support him, but the truth be said, it was through him, that this all started, yes you may say that I would of met some one sooner or later but that was the moment it had to happen. I am sure some one was out guiding me.

    • Omimelli says:

      Carlos

      You were relatively lucky to find your way fairly quick, there are many who are still lost in the dark or whose faith has been so shaken that they have abandoned their spiritual path.

      Yes, it is indeed a mix blessing the have the shysters for their wreckless behavior only reinforces the value of having good godparents once we find them.

      Ideally, no one should have to go through heartache in their search of spiritual enlightment…but I guess that path is as individual as we are.

      Keep at it and keep the faith and traditions. No inventions, take what is given to you and make it better. That is our role.

      Omimelli

  3. Charles Spencer King says:

    Where to start? I suppose I can sum it up in one story. I mentioned on the other post a bit about where I live (Nogales Mexico). Yet I am still and always will be a Chicagoan. Additionally, my 35,000 plus hours in La Habana may not qualify me as a habanero to 100% of habaneros, but at a minimum I am a Yuma). In any case Nogales, Mexico. After a few years of seeing residents here with our necklaces and ide I started asking questions, such as who is your Padrino/ Madrina and where did they live, are you a santero. santera? What’s your odu (yeah I grew up in the disco 80’s), among other approaches. What I learned was there was rampant fraud and hoaxes here, Hardly a person knew anything ! I next tried inviting their Padrinos/ Madrinas to my residence in the centro part of the city, none have come in 10 years. Of course having a Baba Awo of my rank and tenure and a fairly well known author in English and Spanish I expected at least a few to drop over, nope. Five years or so I decided, why not take a peak at the over 40 botanicas in the city of 700,000 where I live. I thought to myself {Hey perhaps this is where the Madrinas and Padrinas are to be found and you never know maybe like me to give a lecture, or even stock my book in Spanish, because it is written for those new to our religion and those outside of it….nope, and nah, nor did I find a single book on our religion in the 40 botanicas. What I did find in each botanica was rows of our necklaces and ide made in Mexico city and sold in bulk. Of course I asked about these, and not a single store owner or employee said more than their customers bought these every day for “protection”. Naturally I patiently explained that there was no protection without ashe. The response ” It does not matter the clients buy them and we make a small profit”. I began to see how futile my stab at education was for the Mexicans. I later discovered that there were a few Cubans living in Nogales. I said to myself { Gee, my people, of course they will drop over and we can talk about la isla, nope not a single Cuban visited. Now Cubans LOVE to reminisce about all things Cuban anywhere in the world, my Spanish is uniquely Cuban, and obviously I know every province on the island and have a substantial book titled ” Havana My Kind Of Town”. My take on the whole shebang is either these are not Cubans, or they are running a big scam involving our religion, perhaps both. Despite the fact of having a Baba Awo in town, I have scared them it seems or rather the truth of IFA has finally scared them. My odu is not to judge, let others do that, but I feel sorry not just for the victims, but for the defrauders because, I know Esu and Iku will eventually drag their ori to Olorun and the result will be worse than any Christian Purgatory or Hell. Its sad.

  4. sex says:

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