The most public of ceremony

I was inspired to write this post for several reasons. Firstly  because until recently I had held the only Tambors de Fundamento in the UK and secondly because I hope that any Olorisha that is reading this in the UK will understand  the importance of playing to your Orisha in the country where you live ( this is my Opinion!) and thirdly because of one of my major projects  as director and lead singer of the London Lucumi Choir has always brought up such interesting points. I have been a musician all my life so it is no surprise that…

My View on filming and Photography of the Sacred

FILMING AND PHOTOGRAPHY:   I hold very strong views about the filming and photography of certain things in our religion. In my house,( and I may soon be alone in this, however I am determined to hang on to what I sincerely believe in ) I do not allow the filming or photo taking of anything once a ceremony has started. IE  I allow no filming or taking photos of  and during TAMBORS, GUIROS,  etc. I also do not allow anyone to take photos of my thrones or altars, expect by invitation. WHY is this may you ask?  There are…

Resources and Creativity, do you have Aché in your hands? What is your art?

I am always looking for new sites, new places to shop and new and easier places to locate what I need to make stuff. I just found an amazing site called, the lonely crafters guide to london http://cargocultcraft.com/knowledge/lonely-crafters-guide-to-london/Here it has a comprehensive list of all fabric, haberdashery, trimmings and bead shops in London. In addition to my hints on where to buy stuff it comes with a great map which pinpoints the shops and wear they are. http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=109288182410243877466.000480be122e45caaeef9&ll=51.530533,-0.117416&spn=0.203755,0.617294&z=11 I found it as I was looking for more craft classes. I am completely self taught in the art of embroidery ,…

Our Religion, A Green Religion

 I was crowned in Cuba in February 2006, however my path towards Kariocha was a very long and winding one.  It was not like many stories I  hear about these days. I truly believe that my destiny was fulfilled finally when I became crowned, however I was forever running away from it. Frightened of the commitment, the responsibility and what it may entail. I started to be pulled towards the path of Orisha in the early 1980′s when in Cuba it was prohibited. It was not a curiosity I felt, but an overwhelming pull  towards it, like a magnetic energy…

Orisha Art and symbol. Thrones.

  There are so many ways that an Artist walking this path can use their skills. The building of thrones for the Orisha, and making of ceremonial dress  is so much part of our culture. In addition there are Pañuelos to dress our Orisha on special occasions and Banderas to hang in our houses amongst other things.My second Ocha birthday was the first time I was challenged to build a throne for my Orisha. There are rules on how to build a throne correctly, and with those in mind, it was an exciting challenge to buy fabrics and learn how…

Making Elekes

When I was young, the idea that I would be able to sit down for long periods of time and create something quite beautiful would have never entered my mind. I lacked focus and concentration and was not very good at sitting still.  When I became an Iyawo (Iyawo signifies “Bride of the Orisha” and it is  the year that follows an Initiation as a Priest in the Lucumi tradition), the strict taboos bestowed on me inspired me to find things to fill my time and I was keen to find things Orisha inspired. Beading and making Elekes and Ides…

Beautiful Queen's Woods

Connecting to the elements; a Santera’s guide to London.

One of the great things about walking this path is the fact that it inspires you and obliges you to connect with nature, even in an urban environment. Hills, rivers, forests and the sea are all quite accessible for us. and if you need a Cemetery there are some fantastically historical ones to go to. Here are some of my tips on where to go in London; HILL London is not a flat City, there are plenty of fabulous Hills to visit. Please note my hill knowledge is quite north London based. Please feel free to add your information to…