In Cuba, Santeria comes directly from the Yoruba religion and it is the main foundation of the religious beliefs of Afro-Cubans, also called Lucumí cult or Osha-Ifá Rule, in which the deities of the Yoruba pantheon (known as Orishas) and ancestors (Egguns) are venerated.
In this post we will focus on the issue of ancestors, the so-called Eggun, so loved and respected by his devotees.
What are the Eggun?
When referring to the word Eggun, it talks about the cult of the dead, the spirits of the ancestors and the ancestors.
His cult in Cuba is ancestral, it is established in an organized way and in each ceremony or religious work it is taken into account, as a sign of respect, the permission of the dead and spirits that protect us should always be requested.
Having them assures us that things will turn out well, firmly and unflinchingly.
The meaning of the Eggun is not limited to a cult, it is the universe of the dead, the ancestors and the deceased, a world that contains great mysteries that man has not yet been able to decipher, much less understand.
The Egguns in religion
The veneration of the ancestors is one of the fundamental pillars in the houses of saint in Cuba, the first ceremonies are for the spirits (Eggun) of that house, they eat before the first Orisha Eleggúa and separated from all other deities.
Those present at these ceremonies must be marked with a cross of cascarilla on the forehead as protection, always using the keel (white scarf to protect our head).
The phrase "The dead gave birth to the Saint" translated from (Iku Lobi Ocha), shows the great value of the Eggun in all Cuban religious rites of African origin and in the Osha Rule of the Yoruba.
How are Egguns cared for?
We invoke them by saying «Maferefun Eggun«So we ask for your blessing.
When initiating any rite, the names of the Eggun are evoked, whether they are Creole, African or other ancestors.
Flowers are put on them, cascarilla, water with sugar, water, coffee, tobacco, brandy, coconut pieces with honey, ajiaco with a pig's head included, sweets and other foods.
Offerings and sacrifices:
In general, they are given everything they eat and what they know they liked to eat when they were alive, in case they are close deceased from our spiritual picture.
A space is dedicated to them to offer rituals, food, drinks, dedicate flowers and candles, along with their attributes, among them are photographs, canes, dolls, or favorite objects of the deceased.
Another way to pay attention to the Eggun is through sacrifices. Which have lasted through time and is an ancient way of honoring it. The offerings that are made give light to the spirits.
They are made mainly in places like pipes and landfills; or sites in reference to the burial places where their bodies rest.
The Egguns and Santeria
In the religion of Santeria, where the cult of the Egguns is influenced by spiritualism, it is common to hear the phrase: Light and progress!
When pronouncing it, these spirits are being asked to rise and manifest as good beings, so that they can provide us with the light and clarity that we need on earth.
The spiritual vault is one of the main ways to pay tribute to him, just as the spiritual masses in his honor allow them to manifest on the earthly plane.
The Eggun are asked for advice, protection and blessing to accompany and guide us every day, serve them with faith and love.
We must offer gratitude to all our ancestors, thanks to them and their actions in life we possess and are what we are today.