By Marta Moreno Vega
Lengthy cloaked in protecting secrecy, demonized by way of Western society, and distorted through Hollywood, Santería is finally rising from the shadows with an anticipated seventy five million orisha fans world wide. In The Altar of My Soul, Marta Moreno Vega recounts the compelling precise tale of her trip from lack of expertise and skepticism to initiation as a Yoruba priestess within the Santería faith. This unforgettable non secular memoir unearths the long-hidden roots and traditions of a centuries-old religion that originated at the shorelines of West Africa.
As an Afro-Puerto Rican baby within the manhattan barrio, Marta paid little heed to the storefront botanicas filled with non secular paraphernalia or to the Catholic saints with international names: Yemayá, Ellegua, Shangó. As an grownup, looking for a faith that might replicate her racial and cultural historical past, Marta used to be ended in the best way of the Saints. She got here to understand Santería in detail via its prayers and rituals, drumming and dancing, trances and divination that spark sacred therapeutic power for kinfolk, religious development, and repair to others. Written through one that is a professor and a santera priestess, The Altar of My Soul lays sooner than us an electrifying and encouraging faith–one handed down from iteration to iteration that vitalizes the sacred power essential to construct a family members, a group, and a powerful, loving society.
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Additional resources for The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria
Your godchildren will come looking suggestion, details, and suggestions to their difficulties; you want to be ready to percentage your wisdom with a natural middle, constantly ensuring you don't have any hidden causes. after we try and idiot others, we're basically fooling ourselves. The unselfish advice you have got got out of your godparents is an instance you need to persist with. you will need to nurture a loving unified kin. ” It used to be a lesson I had discovered from my very own godparents, over eighteen years sooner than on my first journey to Cuba. The night of the 9th day of my first journey to Cuba, I stayed in Zenaida and Elpidio’s residence once more. i used to be so energized via the day’s actions, sleep wouldn't come to me, regardless of what number incense sticks and candles I burned into the evening. Writing in regards to the day’s occasions in my magazine, I hooked up the messages of Orula and my dream. My non secular course was once unfolding sooner than me. I knew now there has been no turning again. In coaching for my journey to Cuba, I had performed vast learn at the faith. the pictures within the books recalled the items I had obvious in my abuela’s domestic; although, they appeared far-off as I seen them throughout the aim eyes of a pupil, instead of the eyes of my abuela’s granddaughter. the knowledge collected from my reviews was once coming to lifestyles within the bright tales of initiates who embraced the orishas as a lifestyle. That night my dream used to be a prueba, a affirmation, of the phrases of Orula. Madrina Zenaida defined non secular awakening happened with a flowing jointly of messages from diversified assets, like many rivers getting into one. That night the spirit of my great-grandmother, María de l. a. O, got here to sit down through me. Her presence illuminated the room with clouds of white mild. Her hand tenderly stroked my head, sending out tender, smooth waves of numbing electrical energy. For the 1st time, her face printed a mild smile as she lightly nodded her head in confirmation. Then she stood up and delicately lifted my left arm. Magically, a white-beaded Obatalá initiation bracelet, an ide, seemed on my wrist, confirming the phrases of Orula in my dream. the next day, Zenaida and that i went to the general public rite in occasion of Javier’s initiation. the home, positioned an hour from Havana, was once jam-packed with initiates and overflowing with chatter; the scent of nutrition permeated the home as kids performed tag within the overcrowded room. once we entered, Olga, the medium, waved to us from the a ways facet of the room, signaling us to hitch her. No had we squeezed into our cramped house than we heard the drummers start to play. The slow, rolling drumbeats introduced new babalawo was once approximately to seem. The white curtains of the initiation room have been progressively pulled to the facet, and Javier may be obvious strolling at a measured speed surrounded by means of babalawos of every age. All decorated in white garments, they shaped a peaceful, relocating move round Javier. Javier’s clean-shaven, honey-colored complexion glowed with the religious cleanliness that magnificently heralds rebirth.