During the 19th century, African slaves brought to Cuba continued to worship and revere their own Gods and spirits from their original Yoruba religion, but masked as Catholic Saints. These gods and sprits are called Orisha, and they form the backbone of the African diaspora religion Santería, otherwise known as Lucumí. There are many aspects of Lucumí which make it very unique, including initiation, divination, ancestors, and so much more. Giving the listeners a well-rounded introduction to this austere tradition are Santeros Steven Cherena and Eric Purdue!
Steven Cherena is a Santero Olorisa of Elegba, Olu Aña & Osanyin, Tata Nganga. He is also a Freemason, and has explored many varied forms of Spirituality and Esotericism. He incredibly active in the Santería/Lucumí community around Miami, Florida.
Eric Purdue has studied and practiced magic as well as Astrology for well over 30 years. He is a Santero/Olorisha in Afro-Cuban Lucumí as well as a noted scholar on the subjects of Medieval Astrology and Traditional Magical systems. For the last decade, Eric has taken it on himself to do the first translation into English since 1651 of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Eric is available for Astrological Consultations and more through his personal Website.
- Santeria: African Spirits in America by Joseph Murphy – A simple overview but still a pretty good one
- About Santería – A nice little website with introductory info
- Santeria Church of the Orishas – Pretty excellent website. Well worth exploring
- Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy by Robert Farris Thompson – This is a very good book
- Face of the Gods: Art and Altars of Africa and the African Americas by Robert Farris Thompson
- Santeria from Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories by George Brandon
- Iba’se Orisa: Ifa Proverbs, Folktales, Sacred History and Prayer by Awo Falokun Fatunmbi
- Santeria Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion by David H. Brown
- The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria by Marta Moreno Vega – A personal reflection
- Y.T.A. Publications – Most of these are for those who are initiated in Lucumí already but New World Black Gods comes highly recommended
- Finding Soul on the Path of Orisa: A West African Spiritual Tradition by Tobe Melora Correal
- Santería: A Practical Guide to Afro-Caribbean Magic by Luis Manuel Núñez
- Ritual Use of Plants in Lucumí Tradition by Maria Oggunbemi
- Obí Agbón: Lukumí Divination with Coconut by Miguel “Willie” Ramos
- An Introduction to Orishas – This is a pretty good site. Spend some time clicking around to learn about the Orishas
- The Orishas
- The Many Gods of Yoruba Lore
- Eric was also recently on another podcast talking about Lucumí, The Magician and the Fool. Well worth a listen also.
Santería/Lucumí is a living and oral tradition for the most part. Much of the information available online should be taken with a grain of salt. The links above have been confirmed with both of my guests for this episode. Be wary of anyone online who is claiming to be an authority and asking for money to learn about Santería/Lucumí.