When I usually say that I am a santera or they identify me by my bracelet or necklaces, many who do not know our religion, the first thing they tell me is:
- Ah yes, I know that religion, that is witchcraft!
This phrase gives me outrage, not because they do not know it, because I am super proud to explain it, the problem is that ignorance and disrespect predominate that expression.
When you do not know what you are going to talk about, it is better to be silent and not be ignorant, who does not know, it is better not to comment, it is my advice both in this and in other situations.
My Yoruba religion that I carry in my heart, has nothing to do with witchcraft, although I also respect it.
I recommend you read the previous post Why, if I am a santera, do they call me a witch? Read here
Is Santeria witchcraft?
To answer this question we must place ourselves in the history of both.
What is Santeria ?:
It is often known as "Santeria”, Thanks to the heritage of slave men who defended it with great courage and religiosity, who shed their African roots and had to learn to live in exile in America many centuries ago.
We owe our Afro-Cuban religious culture to them, who managed, thanks to their faith and devotion, to preserve their religious and spiritual tradition.
To safeguard their culture and belief, a mixture of elements, attributes and gods, the African slaves appeared to admit the images of the saints of Catholicism through a similarity with their own.
Thanks to the mischief, skill and creativity of our ancestors, syncretism arises in our land.
Religion that is born from the mixture of two cultures:
Thus was born the syncretization of the different African cults and the Catholic religion, as a product of a process of acculturation, and adaptation to the new roots that were imposed on it, here the Rule of Ocha or Santeria was born.
In those times, the mixture of both cultures caused the Spanish word "saints" to be used to name the Orishas, also being used to cite the Yoruba religion as "santeria", which means: "The way of the saints."
So, knowing a little about the history of our religion, we ask ourselves:
What is witchcraft ?:
For me witchcraft is where all the practices of spiritualism can be brought together, a group of rites and beliefs that are practiced in a hidden way by groups of people.
What most characterizes witchcraft is that magic, spells and all kinds of techniques with supernatural powers predominate in its cult. Thus magically dominating the natural and the laws imposed by nature.
Female practitioners call themselves witches and men are called sorcerers.
Santeria and witchcraft:
Two beliefs and one spirituality:
Why then confuse magic, hexes and supernatural spells with the cult of our Orishas, where we make offerings and pray for them to protect and care for us on the earthly plane?
Each of us decides what to believe, whom to worship, and how to face our spirituality.
My religion brings me tranquility, emotional and bodily stability, a way to find faith, comfort, hope and do charity.
Let's not be judges when it comes to talking about the beliefs of others. Respecting the opinion and spirituality of another makes us better religious.