The jicotea or ayapa name with which this animal is identified in Santeria is a sacred animal within the Rule of Osha. Its slowness, classified by many as a disadvantage, allows it to possess the virtues of observation and patience.
Spiritual meaning and uses of Jicotea in Santeria
It is a living being capable of detecting movements around it immediately and acting accordingly.
When she feels threatened, she hides inside her shell, which protects her from all evil, because of what is said in popular slang that this is her home.
The Carapacho de la Ayapa serves as an instrument of divination in Ifá
His carapace is used by the Ifá priest to carry out divination by means of orunmila the great Oracle.
This piece is for the exclusive use of the Babalawo, as by lending it to another oluwo he will lose his Iré (good energy) with it.
The powder obtained by scraping the carapace of the ayapa has aphrodisiac powers and promotes fertility in both men and women.
The animal jicotea that is offered in sacrifice to the Orisha Shango
The jicotea is offered as a sacrifice to the Orisha Shango Deity owner of the thunder, the guayabera and the bata drums, this saint was the first to use the carapace of the ayapa as a musical instrument, turning it into the güiro with which he animated the Orishas festivities.
It is a four-legged animal so it must be treated with respect when sacrificing it because it is capable of making the saint speak.
Magical rituals related to the jicotea
The Urine of this animal is the antidote used par excellence to undo the curses and spells that are sown at the door of the Ilé (House).
The water where this living being develops is used in ritual cleaning for the home because, like its fluids, it has great properties to reverse sorcery.
Fundamental representations with this four-legged animal
It is common to observe the ayapa as part of many garments and religious foundations where it serves as a receptacle for the spirits who appropriate its strength to overcome difficulties.
His condition of persevering animal has served him as a source of virtues and blessings on the part of the deities, he is considered a difficult specimen to defeat since when he clings to something he never lets go, the aforementioned serves to refer to dreams and goals.
The powdered skin of this animal is an essential ingredient in works that are carried out in order to delay situations and legal procedures, allowing the religious to save time and perform ebbó at the foot of Orunmila before facing such situations.