The imposition of necklaces is a rather long and complicated ceremony, which can be considered as the first step of a person within the Osha rule.
Through a Record or Consultation with the Oracle of the Dilogun, the Orichas will ask that the person who is consulted will receive the Osha Elekes or Holy Necklaces, usually for health, protection or as the first step of initiation into religion etc. The Elekes are delivered by express order of the Orishas but not because they are beautiful or the person thinks that using them will be protected from everything bad.
The initiation to the rule of Osha or Santería is achieved with the imposition of the necklaces of Santo, also called Elekes or Iñales in the lucumí dialect.
These sacred necklaces are properly ceremonies under the secrets of the Osha Rule, that is, both the rituals to prepare the necklaces and the ceremony of delivery thereof must be performed by a consecrated Santero or Santera; only they have the ashé to energize them since they are ceremonialized in the tureens that contain the sacred foundations where the Orishas live.
The day before the imposition of necklaces, the person who will receive them, must sleep on the mat at the foot of the Orishas, although this tradition is not widely respected and what is done is to prepare the room where the ceremony will take place. the day before, without allowing anyone who is not settled in Osha to enter it. The necklaces are placed inside the tureen where the deity that represents them lives and which contains the omiero so that they “eat” that is, they receive the energy or ashé from the orishas.
It is not necessary to kill the animals in the presence of the person who will receive the collars, what is important is that the collars have eaten and received the ashé before imposing them, otherwise they will not fulfill the function for which they were made .
The day before receiving the necklaces the neophyte receives from his godfather or godmother a little omiero composed of twenty-one herbs to bathe with him.
On the day of the ceremony the neophyte must bring white clothes to dress her and throw away the old clothes she was wearing, symbolizing the beginning of a new spiritual life. Before the imposition of necklaces, the godfather or the godmother performs the praying ceremony of the neophyte’s head. This ceremony aims to prepare and harmonize the physical, mental and spiritual levels of the person so that the encounter with the orishas is optimal.
Once this first part of the ceremony is finished, the orishas are asked through the snails (never with coconut), if they accept the person and if they are happy with the offerings that have been made to them, at the same time that they are ask permission, to put the necklaces.
If the answers to the oracle are affirmative, then the sponsor or godmother proceeds to the final ceremony where songs and prayers are performed in lucumi dialect while they are placed in the aleyo (person who has not gone through Santeria ceremonies but who yes he has done ebbo) the necklaces, one by one and at that moment he becomes an aberikolá (person who begins to perform ceremonies in the santería, as for example, to take the necklaces).
At the end, the sponsor or godmother, together with a trusted santero, explain the rules and prohibitions that the neophyte must respect. They inform him what he should or should not do with the necklaces, in addition to the meaning of the commitment of respect he must have towards the santeros and towards religion.
Then leave the person, who is already wearing his necklaces, alone for a long time in the room where the ceremony is held so that he receives the ashé from the orishas.
All the settlers in Osha’s rule have the faculty to invest necklaces.