Those who live in communities that do not practise Lucumi or other branches of the Orisha tradition often find that they are drawn to researching the tradition. This may be through books or online resources. It has to be said that on the net, there is a lot of rubbish and we know that things spread quickly on the world wide web. There are also resources worth looking at. Of course reading and researching has little to do with practise, but if your exposure is minimal then it may be a good place to start: Here are some of my top websites ( aside from mine ofcourse!) and books and other resources: First of all, I would say, please stay clear of any books that prescribe spells. This tradition is based on Divination. You cannot self prescribe. Also I would not buy books explaining how to divine. If you are not initiated, there really is no need, and you will have no use for this.
Who to Follow:
The danger of the net is that you can advertise yourself in any which way and you can freely set up youtube channels and many of these channels are fake, and dangerous. Be careful. Here are my top four suggestions of who to watch and follow.
- Different topics discussed and explained by a Lucumi Priest.
- An educational page. Also look out for “About santeria Community Forum” also
- David Sosa. No nonsense sensible advice.
Look out for a Podcast hosted by Myself, coming soon!
Santeria: Correcting the Myths and Uncovering the Realities of a Growing Religion: Mary Ann Clark REALLY RECOMMENDED AS A FIRST BOOK.
Santeria: African Spirits in America Joseph M. Murphy
Lukumi: Santeria’s Beliefs, Principles, and Direction in the Twenty-first Century. Christian Lopez
For young People:
Growing Up Yoruba. A book for teenagers.
Divine Utterances: The Performance of Afro-Cuban Santeria by Katherine J. Hagedorn THIS BOOK IS ESSENTIAL READING FOR ANYONE WHO PERFORMS OR STUDIES ORISHA TRADITION WITHOUT NECESSARILY BEING AN INITIATE.
The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria Paperback – 1 Feb 2002
Interesting Research looking at people’s experiences during their year in white
Finding Soul on the Path of Orisa: A West African Spiritual Tradition by Tobe Melora Correal
Black-Gods-Orisa-Studies By John Mason. Difficult to find but well worth it.
These two books come with a little word of warning: I know priests that have read both and find them difficult to understand and to apply but this is classic literature:
Sixteen Cowries: Yoruba Divination from Africa to the New World William Bascom
Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa (Midland Book) W. Bascom
PATAKI ( LEGENDS OF ORISHA)
Afro-Cuban Myths: Yemaya and Other Orishas
A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Recollections, Legends, Tales, Songs, Religious Beliefs, Customs, Sayings and Humor of Peoples of African American Descent in the Americas by Harold Courlander
Osun Across the Waters : A Yoruba Goddess Joseph M Murphy
Excellent, well researched books by Willie Ramos. Thoroughly recommended
http://www.wemba-music.org/orisha.htm ( also look at the FAQS page and info for newcomers
Articles and Facebook Pages
An interesting article looking at the differences between Lucumi and West African Orisha Worship
The above articles are useful if you are having doubts as to which tradition suits you. Which ever you choose, however it is important to stick to and follow the guide of your chosen elders.
There are plenty more resources, however I believe this to be a good start.
Feature Drawing by Céline Siani Djiakoua