La Regla de Osha (mostly known as Santeria) has been around for thousands of years
It was initially brought to the Americans by African slaves. Unfortunately, this religion does not have a written legacy, and all the teachings were passed from generation to generation verbally.
After this quick intro, let’s move to the aspects of practicing this religion:
- Get ready to drop money.
Even though Regla de Osha is not established as a mainline denomination, initiations and offerings come with a price called derecho. The reason behind it: the priest/priestess give you their ashe, their effort and their knowledge. Moreover, the objects that are needed for the ceremonies also need to be bought. Of course, always follow your instinct. If you feel you are getting played, then just stop and look for another priest that will be honest with you. Believe me, there has been plenty of friends that got cheated and now they want nothing to do with this beautiful religion anymore, which brings me to …
- Get ready to know your priest/priestess.
I remember very well how I met my godfather. A santero introduced me to him over the phone. I was living in the Midwest and he lived in Miami. The first chance I got, I was on my way to his house to get a reading. From the moment I met him, I not only liked him, but he had a very peaceful way of transmitting Orunmila’s message. With time and many other readings, he would always emphasize that everything was going to be ok. He proved to me that I could trust him. Take your time to look around and see how you feel around your prospective godfather/godmother. Always pay attention to your gut feeling because those are your eguns (Ancestors spirits) talking and guiding you towards the correct person.
- Get ready to discover your eguns
These spirits have guarded you and protected you from the moment that Olofin (God) has determined your creation. These spirits can be people in your family that passed way or other spirits that are keen to you and decided to defend and protect you. They go with you and warn you of positive and negative situations. Have you ever slept and woke up scared because you knew if you didn’t act quick enough something bad was going to happen? Usually, these spirits present themselves in what psychology experts call lucid dreams.
- Get ready to answer the call of the Orishas
Before I got initiated, I decided I was going to become an expert divinator. I already prepared myself with books and was memorizing the odus from the diloggun so I could be a pro. Come to find out, I was not able to divine. The day of my ita (a summary of your past, present and future), my mother Yemaya gave me the odu Oshe tonti Oshe (5-5) which meant that I could not throw the diloggun. So I had nothing left to accept it and embrace it. Why? Because this odu also meant that Yemaya loves me so much that she wants me for herself. That I have her true and undoubted blessing if I listen and accept what she has to tell me. That I am her child and when I need her, she will be there for me.
Do not think that this is for the faint of heart. It takes sacrifice, devotion and more acceptance than any other religion because the Orishas will make sure to let YOU know that they can see and hear you. Your deepest secrets and thoughts will be revealed. This is not a religion where you pray and pray and you may see a sign here or there, or things will be left for your interpretation. The Orisha will give you an answer (not always the one you will be looking for). There is no sin nor guilt, but there will always be a ddep connection between the Orishas and you.