Santería and the Crowning Syndrome

Servitors or Kings and Queens?

There is an inherent sense of pride in the accomplishment of a significant commitment such as becoming an olosha or priest/ess of the Orisha. The ceremony by which this is accomplished is called Kariosha, it literally means to have the Orisha seated in your head.

However, this is interpreted as well as a ‘crowning’ because that energy is held literally inside of the skull, the skull being akin to a stone. However, the language has a way of playing tricks of perception and self recognition. This word literally is taken out of context and is interpreted by the ego as a badge of honor and applied by many initiates literally into their daily lives where they perceive themselves as queens and kings.

When people ask me about my religion, I am proud to say that I am an initiate to Yemayá. As one of her oloshas I have but one task: To serve my orisha. But where does the word ‘service’ fit when initiates are running around speaking so proudly about their crowns? Where does the word apply when charity is needed and the first thing to be considered are derechos (fees)? Where is the person that came to knock at the door of the Igbodú (initiatory room) as a supplicant to ask humbly for admission to a priestshood/esshood?

I do believe the orisha needs more humble hearts and less folks talking about their crowns as if they truly were wearing tiaras of gold and jewels. But this is just my humble perspective as one that lives to serve the orisha and the community. What is yours?

Oní Yemayá 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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9 Responses to Santería and the Crowning Syndrome

  1. Joe says:

    Wow! I am glad that someone believes in telling the unadulterated Truth with a capital T. Thanks Oni Yemaya Achagba!

  2. Omimelli says:


    Thanks. You know what they say about the unexamined life…it is not worth living.

    Oní Yemayá Achagbá

  3. Tata Nkisi Lucero Vira Mundo says:

    Nsala Maleco!
    Really enjoying your series…
    Nsambi te Bendiga, Maleco Nsala

  4. Omimelli says:

    Malecum Nsala Npangui

    Thank you for your kinds words. Keep on reading, there is more where these came from. 🙂

    Oní Yemayá Achagbá

  5. Omo Yemaya Ocutie says:

    I am happy to read your words of truth. Its not the crown but the ceramony and everthing that goes with it that is what you should be proud of as you explained. I can’t wait to receive my Osha so that I can be humble and loving as well as a great servant to my Orishas. I Love Yemaya and all the saints and would never speak as if I am wearing the crown, It is them who have the crown and we shal be there humble servants in this life.
    May all the blessings from the Orishas fall upon you gracefully.

    Omo de la Madre de los siete mares.

    • Omimelli says:

      Hello Omo Yemaya

      You will get there and you will know in time how good it feel to be complete, the orisha fills in gaps we never knew we had. Trust me on that one. 🙂


  6. wateriorn777 says:

    Ok Omimelli let me ask this, is it possible to be crowned by other Santos for example St. Micheal ?

    • Omimelli says:

      Hello Wateriron777,

      Let me see if I understand your question. You want to know if a Saint can actually crown you? Like a Catholic Saint crown you by force of mystery, or, out of the blue?

      If this is what you are asking, the answer is no. The orisha are the orisha and have nothing to do with Catholic saints. Two different religions.


  7. wateriorn777 says:

    Ah i see well Thank You Omimelli, you are as informational as always :]

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