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Sacrificial Ceremonies of the Santeria- Book

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Pages:  256

Author: Ocha Ni' Lele

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The first book to explore the history, methods, and thinking behind sacrifice in the growing Santería faith

• Explains the animal sacrifice ceremony in step-by-step detail

• Shares the ancient African sacred stories that reveal the well-thought-out metaphysics and spirituality behind the practice of animal sacrifice

• Chronicles the legal fight all the way to its 1993 U.S. Supreme Court victory to establish legal protection for the Santería faith and its practitioners

Tackling the biggest controversy surrounding his faith, Santería priest Ócha’ni Lele explains for the first time in print the practice and importance of animal sacrifice as a religious sacrament. Describing the animal sacrifice ceremony in step-by-step detail, including the songs and chants used, he examines the thinking and metaphysics behind the ritual and reveals the deep connections to the odu of the diloggún--the source of all practices in this Afro-Cuban faith.

Tracing the legal battle spearheaded by Oba Ernesto Pichardo, head of the Church of the Lukumi of Babaluaiye, over the right to practice animal sacrifice as a religious sacrament, Lele chronicles the fight all the way to its 1993 U.S. Supreme Court victory, which established legal protection for the Santería faith and its practitioners. Weaving together oral fragments stemming from the ancient Yoruba of West Africa, the author reconstructs their sacred stories, or patakís, that demonstrate the well-thought-out metaphysics and spirituality behind the practice of animal sacrifice in the Yoruba and Santería religion, including explanations about why each animal can be regarded as food for both humans and the orisha as well as how sacrifice is not limited to animals.

Shedding light on the extraordinary global growth of this religion over the past 50 years, Lele’s guide to the sacrificial ceremonies of Santería enables initiates to learn proper ceremony protocol as well as gives outsiders a glimpse into this most secretive world of the santeros.A revealing window into the secret and seductive world of Santeria.


• A Santeria priest discloses information never before revealed to outsiders.


• Removes the veil of occultism from Santeria to show it as a highly spiritual, thriving religion.


Initiated into the Santeria priesthood at the age of seven, Raul Canizares unveils in Cuban Santeria the secret and seductive world of this rapidly growing, yet largely misunderstood, Afro-Cuban religion. With the knowledge of an insider and the insight of a scholar, Canizares astutely examines the practice of Santeria, revealing many of its hidden dimensions while simultaneously providing a fascinating account of its unique textured mix of African, Cuban, and Catholic traditions.

The Cuban-born author describes the practices and rituals of the followers of Santeria--from magical herbal prescription and healing to spiritism and animal sacrifice--and explains how for many years the religion has been maintained under the guise of Catholicism to avoid religious persecution. Most initiates are sworn to a code of silence, but Canizares believes that the time has come to move Santeria, a religion of beauty and resilience, out of the darkness and into the light so that a more accurate picture of this rich tradition can emerge

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Sacrificial Ceremonies of the Santeria- Book

Sacrificial Ceremonies of the Santeria- Book

Pages:  256

Author: Ocha Ni' Lele