The success rate in Santería marriages has not been, to my knowledge, officially studied and measured. However, it is common wisdom that people who share a common faith have more chances of success than those who do not.
Over coffee this morning, my husband and I started to reminisce about our life together. It has been nearly 16 years since we married. Our journey together started by with a simple question. “Do you know anything about Santeria?” We had just met at a party and he learned that I was from Puerto Rico. The conversation took off to a great start. We discovered many spiritual and mundane common interests and our relationship bloomed both spiritually and romantically.
In time I devoted my life to Yemayá and him to Obatalá. Life has tested our marriage in many ways and it is the Egun and the Orishas who keep us strong together as a family by providing us the guidance to overcome obstacles and the wisdom to follow advice even when sometimes it may not be exactly as we have foreseen.
An interesting fact about us as a couple is that although we are fully committed to one another, our commitment to our head orishas comes always first. Now, some of you may wonder how this can be. When a couple shares spiritual harmony and respect, their head orishas work together, it is as simple as that. A strong household begets the ideal ground to develop strong children and godchildren.
Here are some things we have learned along the way.
1. Honor the Egun as a family. Honoring and servicing the ancestors together at least once per month is crucial. This allows for children to observe, learn and be active participants is a crucial routine. The family here has a time and space to voice petitions, thank the egun for blessings and pour their heart out. This can also be a healing ground if there are any unresolved issues as they can be brought forth to the egun and resolved.
2. The power of collective ebbó. It is healthy to do a reading at the beginning of the year for the household and family to determine ebbó for the year. One of these ebbós can be feeding the earth as a family.
3. Keep tidy altars. Another way to increase ashé in the house is to have tidy ritual spaces that are kept in shape by assigning tasks amongst family members.
4. Keep communications flowing. Unspoken words are wasted opportunities for growth and learning. It is imperative to follow a simple rule, do not let the sun set over disagreements. Iron kinks out before going to sleep. There is nothing worse than festering wounds for it breeds osogbo.
5. Be selective in your associations. Keep a close eye on who comes to your house, both to your spiritual house and as guests. Get rid of any relationship that creates discord in the family unit. Do not tolerate gossip and do not engage in gossip. Gossip breeds osogbo.
6. Adhere to a cleansing routine. At least once per month do a spiritual cleansing of your home and prepare a collective ebbó misí (spiritual bath) for all family members.
We are sure that there are many other lessons that readers can share in the forum and we welcome your thoughts and experiences since no one has the full secrets to a happy married life. At least we hope this helps those who are just starting a married life and those who are thinking about embarking in this lifelong commitment.
May your home and destiny as a couple always be in harmony,
Kal and Omimelli
Olo Obatalá and Oní Yemayá Achagbá