Let’s start with the most basic, in the Rule of Osha we believe in God as a force or universal god from which everything created comes, called Olodumare
The energy of Olodumare is Ashé. Then there are the orishás, who are deities who govern different aspects of the world. The orishás, moreover, watch so that each mortal fulfills the destiny that has marked from its birth.
Santeria has a priestly hierarchy. Although the Oshá and Ifa are considered as separate branches, the highest priests of Santeria or Regla de Osha-Ifá are the babalawos babalaos, priests of Ifá and their prophet Orunmila. Then there would be the babalorishas and iyalorishas, who are santeros with consecrated godchildren. The Iyalorishas and Babalorishas, santeros who do not have godchildren. The Iyawos, santeros in their first year of consecrated, and finally the Aleyos, who are believers but who have not yet been consecrated.
All of them are santeros, initiated by specific rites, the first of which is a ritual of purification and the delivery of five necklaces, representing Shangó, Obbatalá, Yemayá ‘, Oshún and eleggua or receiving the warrior orishás, who are Elegguá, Oggún, Oshosi and Ozun, who are santos consecrated in otanes [stones].
The fundamental pillars of religion are based on the cult of the dead ancestors (egúns) and on the knowledge that there is a unique God (Oloddumare) and is related to human beings through extensions of it, which are also divinities, to which the Yorubas denominated orishás. Because of these characteristics, it is considered to be a polytheistic religion.
The ebbó or sacrifice to solve problems of economic nature, health problems or spiritual stability is present in religion. And in the divination through the three oracles that make up the religion, the oracle of ifá (used by the babalawos), the oracle of the diloggún (snails) used by the santeros and the oracle of the biagué (coconut), used interchangeably by both . The sacrifice can be plants, seeds, metals, animals or other products from nature.
Animal sacrifice has been criticized by the mass media of Western cultures, however for the purpose of establishing the difference between the sense of sacrifice found in the Old Testament and in the Santera practices, we see as in the book of Leviticus, specifically from verses 1 to 7, the story is told of how one day the God Yahweh called Moses and ordered him to serve as a messenger before the children of Israel instructing them in detail about the method of performing the propitiatory sacrifices in his name . In the same way, Yahweh told Moses that these sacrifices, as long as they were made according to the prescribed provisions, would be well received by him and, in return, the sins of the person who offered such sacrifice would be forgiven. But now it is understood that animal sacrifice is no longer valid in the New Testament because Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for humanity, thus canceling the subsequent sacrifices.
Obviously, and unlike the Yoruba tradition, in this passage of the Old Testament the sacrifice and the way in which it must be carried out, both, are given by God to men through the revelation to Moses and, secondly, The main purpose of the sacrifice, as presented in the passage from the book of Leviticus, is to obtain the forgiveness of sins and in this sense we can say that Jesus Christ, sacrificing himself, forgave all the sins of man, making it unnecessary now to make sacrifices, that all sins and even those that are about to be committed have been and will be forgiven.
On the other hand, in Santeria, the sacrifice of animals is determined by the rite of divination, which shows the existence of a fundamental characteristic among many endogenous religions of Africa, namely, the absence of a divine revelation and, on the contrary , the persistence of ancestral knowledge that has been transmitted to men and women from the earliest times, those, according to the Yoruba, in which humanity and the Orisha lived together on this planet. In this sense, some animal sacrifices never capriciously. Each sacrifice responds to the request, through the methods of divination, of some orisha or ancestor that requires one or several animals to be able to resolve the situation that the person consulted wants to solve.
Generally the orishás and ancestors request that they be offered one or more animals specifying the type and the gender) in the case that the life or well-being of the person consulted are at stake. In this sense, sacrifice is not an instrument through which any sin is to be redeemed since in Santeria there is no such concept. In Santeria neither man nor woman are conceived as a priori depositories of one or more faults. Sacrifice, according to the Santera worldview, is the way by which a process or rhythm that has been interrupted can be restored. Santeros allude to the fact that each person is born with a specific rhythm, a spiritual rhythm in life, which should not be interrupted because if this is the case, then the person can not be fully realized. However, when this rhythm has been disrupted, for the reasons that have been, then it requires the sacrifice of an animal to restore it. The blood of the animal, offered to some orishá or ancestor, is able to restore this rhythm because it is directly linked to a rhythm in the body of the animal.
The santeros perform the ceremonies in their own homes, because santería lacks temples. They meet at home or ilés, which at the same time compose branches according to the first founders. The santero forms part of the believer’s daily life, becomes his intermediary with the supernatural, his counselor and his fortune-teller.
The highest degree in santeria is that of the oluwo or babalawo, which is a babalawo who was crowned saint, the babalawo who has no crowned saint but only washed saint, and they receive strong powers as osain to work witchcraft since by the Garment side can not work because the babalawo being limited to work with the dead that is what you work on the garment.
The santeros or omorishas are those who work with the Afro-Cuban deity through snail consultations or spiritual consultation, in spiritual sessions according to the development of each person.
The oriaté is the person who directs the ceremonies of the divinity (orisha, saint) so that it is done correctly and in it only santeros who are consecrated work; The new and newly consecrated initiate is called iyawo, who has already gone through secret rituals.
Aleyos are those people who have certain knowledge, are believers, are interested in ceremonies so they have some secrets, rituals should not be exposed to non-consecrated people.