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Posted January 10, 2006 by publisher in Cuban Culture

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Priests of the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria called on islanders Monday to be wary of diseases, broken agreements and corruption as they issued their much-anticipated predictions for the New Year.

Although the annual “Letter of the Year” is vague enough to be interpreted in a variety of ways, Cubans anxiously look forward it each January.

Several competing groups of Santeria priests, or babalaos, gather every New Year’s Eve for religious ceremonies that include chanting and animal sacrifices. Predictions are announced in the first days of the New Year. 

Santeria is a mix of spiritual traditions carried here by African slaves and Roman Catholicism brought by Spaniards. The faith is practiced throughout Cuba; even many members of the Communist Party follow its rituals and look forward to the predictions each year.

The “10 de Octubre” group of nearly 900 priests, named for the Havana municipality where it is based, issued the warning about disease, ruptured accords and increased corruption. The group said that the Santeria orishas, or gods, ruling 2006 will be Obatala, god of wisdom and justice represented in the Roman Catholic faith as Our Lady of Mercy, and Ochun, the goddess of maternity and newborns, whose representation is Cuba’s patron saint, the Virgin of Charity.

The priests predicted that Cubans will need to watch out for cerebrovascular problems, stomach disorders, hormonal ailments and unknown diseases.

Society as a whole can expect an increase in crime, particularly corruption; broken agreements, including international accords, and a risk of drought and other natural disasters.

A different Santeria group, the Yoruba Association, which is more closely allied with Cuba’s communist government, had similar predictions with some variations and said that the orishas ruling 2006 would be Oggun, associated with St Peter in Roman Catholicism, and the Virgin of Charity.

The Yoruba group called for Cubans to pay attention to their health, especially cardiovascular ailments and mental problems. It warned against violence and alcohol and drug abuse, calling for the exercise of intelligence, humility and the guarding of secrets.

Like the larger “10 de Octubre” group, the Yoruba Association also called on Cubans not to underestimate the power of meteorological phenomenon.

The 2005 Letra del A�o can be read here.

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 15, 2006 by vicky rodriguez

    quiero conocer todo sobre santerismo

  2. Follow up post #2 added on October 22, 2007 by mirta perera

    deceo saber(cuando pones un vaso con agua a los guias espirituales si el agua tiene efervesencia es decir(burbujas en los bordes del vaso es malo o es bueno)por favor respondenme lo mas breve posible gracias

  3. Follow up post #3 added on January 02, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Here’s the 2008 Letra del Año but it’s all in Spanish.

    We are waiting for a translation and will post there when we have it.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on December 09, 2009 by Botanica Los Orishas

    Nosotros nos especializamos en todo tipo de articulos en artesania de madera para la religion Yoruba. Si desea algo en especial dejenos un mensaje y le responderemos lo antes posible. Nos especializamos en espadas, sables, tableros para Orula y Ochun en todos los tamaños; herramientas para Chango; herramientas para Olokun de Babalawo; bateas y pilones para Chango y Orula; hachas con o sin diseños, si desea algun diseño en especial, el precio sera diferente, si la desea sin nada sera menos costoso; tambien tenemos alboranes, tenemos el juego de 3 Ochosi, tambien sables adornados para obbatala ; hacemos tridentes para Yemaya con o sin diseños; tenemos abanicos preciosos para Ochun adornados con plumas de pavo real, y se adorna con cintas y cuentas para una mejor terminacion. Tenemos una gran variedad de coronas para Chango, actualmente presentamos solo dos en nuestra Galeria, pero pronto pondremos muchas mas, si desea algun diseño en especial, favor de contactarnos.


  5. Follow up post #5 added on December 09, 2009 by Botanica Los Orishas

    The 9 Orishas are energy that for the most part represent aspects of nature:

    * Oshun - sweet waters, love, money

    * Babalu-Aye - la filosofía, la profecía, el milagro

    * Orichaoco - dueño de la tierra

    * Orumila - el dueño de la sabiduría y la adivinación

    * Chango - thunders, lightning, warriors

    * Yemaya - ocean, mother, wealth

    * Obatala - the head, justice

    * Oya - tornadoes, change of fortune, wild-wind

    * Ogun - metals, honor and integrity

    Lucumi Afro-Cuban religion also know as santeria was originated in Nigeria, Africa by the Yoruba tribe. It is a religion that derives from a primitive culture. For those whose follow the religion, it is not just a religion, but a way of life. The supreme being of the Lucumi religion is Oloddumare.

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