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Spiral Nature Magazine. Stuart Myers Destiny Books, , This book, by a priest of Santeria, who also holds initiations in the religion of Palo Mayombe, offers a look within a divination system used in Santeria. Learning tarot: Three ways to read the cards everyday.

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Mother Mary Oracle App. Stay Connected. Weekly Horoscope. Pride - 11 August 0. Occultnik Cabal. Heathens respond to hate by fighting back John Farrell - 24 July 0. Tattoo Tarot Peggy Kellar - 12 September 0. In this framework, the qualia marking the phonosonic voice reflect the irreducible multiplicity responsible for producing it.

The perceived features—qualia—of each utterance thus index an entire interdiscursive web of prior utterances and their sociological perspective s. The making of such cross-modal equivalences between, say, what earthiness looks like, feels like, sounds like, tastes like across different cases, and in contrast to the look, feel, sound, etc. It is not that such qualia necessarily or automatically convey ethereality, but that they afford some equilibrations with similar qualia of wispiness, lightness, ethereality more readily than others e. That is, the shells do not speak for themselves as shells, but serve as instruments to materialize oricha speech as agentive, capable of acting on the world.

The pantheon of orichas, for example, mirrors the range of human temperaments and identities. I reiterate the argument in Wirtz c regarding the significance of metapragmatic framing of and reflection on rituals—how practitioners anticipate, describe, and interpret, at the time and retrospectively, what is going on.

And so I explore the mechanisms of interdiscursivity in producing voice, focusing in particular on the temporalities indexed by voices in tandem with other objects. Oricha voices, I suggest, simultaneously index distinctive ritual time-spaces and religious genealogical-historical trajectories. Initiated santeros are religious experts who cultivate authorized relationships of devotion to a particular oricha as their principal oricha.

These principles can be briefly described as follows, regarding the questions of intimacy between initiates and oricha, materializations of oricha-human relationships, ritual hierarchy and kinship, and an ontology of multiplicity in agency.

The consecrated objects, thus, model the place of the human devotee, as a material being in relationship to the oricha who claim that person. That is, ritual genealogies and ties of kinship that emphasize hierarchy and equivalence are instantiated through both materials and utterances. These triadic relations model how the material entities, both human and object, are and are not the oricha; they simultaneously embody the oricha and remain separate entities owned by the oricha and in relation to one another.


As modalities of embodied connection, these transmission circuits are communicative between different forms of agency and constitutive of what Espirito Santo describes as the project of personhood for Cuban popular religious practitioners. For example, I once gave a white shawl to an oricha, as part of my offerings during a festive ceremony that I sponsored. She was for a moment the very image of such a vessel on the altar.

These, too, have their ceremony.

Obi: Oracle of Cuban Santeria

The stones come from the river or ocean. But not all the stones work. Stones are collected from the river and ocean. Remember that it is the coconut shell that asks. And so on with each one. Those agencies include not only the diffuse and ever-present spirits, such as those that are attracted to each object, but also oricha co-presences. Rather than retreat to a dualistic account in which the material actions somehow facilely represent the imperceptible spiritual charging, I suggest that religious practitioners learn to sense both, always in relationship to the other.

Crucially, for all participants in these circuits, communication is not somehow separate from materiality, but often proceeds through material mobilizations and transformations that may accompany speech or may in themselves constitute speaker turns, which is to say crucial links in communicative circuits.

Even more than praise, skillfully detonated insults pique the attention of the oricha, such as obliquely referring to an embarrassing story or praising another oricha in competition with the one being hailed. A ritual lead singer demonstrates skill by skating the thin edge of danger in his or her improvised lines, as well as by managing the overall sequencing of songs and energy level of the music and other participants.

Sounds, too, are material offerings as well as hailings.

The Ifa Divination System

They include not only the full-fledged sequences of songs and rhythms in a festive ceremony, but also the more frequent ringing of a particular bell or shaking of a rattle to salute a particular oricha when approaching the altar. Oricha may also respond materially and nonverbally, by acting on events or by provoking visions and dreams in devotees. In divinations, the answer to my question of how the oricha speak is that they have a minimal phonosonic presence, in the muffled sound of shells cast upon a reed mat or clattering on a table.

Instead, these materials respond to questions by forming visual signs in patterns of coconut or cowry shell tosses. So the focus shifts to my second question, regarding how the material affordances of these sources undergo processes of transduction and equilibration to convert visual signs into quotable speech. Each of these five possible signs has a name and standard meaning, canonically like this:.

checkout.midtrans.com/expat-dating-de-san-ildefonso.php This sound indexes that the oricha have spoken but nothing more: the visual pattern provides the actual message. Called the ibo , these objects include a small dark-colored stone, a round land-snail shell, a large round seed, a piece of white, chalky cascarilla made from eggshells , and a bone piece or even small head of a doll. The ibo indicate which spiritual agencies are responsible for communicating a particular message through divination, whether the oricha or the dead, and conveying positive or negative forces. Note how the properties of these relatively standardized, small objects index these agencies: meaningful contrasts of color light and dark , natural or human origin, and properties such as hardness and smoothness motivate what these objects index, even though they are similar in size and shape iconizing their equivalence to one another as tokens in what Werbner [] calls the microdrama of divination.

Equilibration highlights similarities as the basis of establishing indexical connections between groupings and motions of things and multiple spiritual forces.

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Consider the following typical metapragmatic account of how a coconut divination works, drawn from the same interview with a santero early in my fieldwork as my earlier example when my evident inexperience best elicited these kinds of normative accounts. Notice that the divination itself is represented as a mediated dyadic conversation, or rather as a series of mediated dyadic exchanges: the santero mediates between client and oracle; Eleggua mediates between the oracle and the rest of the oricha.

With you, Eleggua? That is to say, santeros describe a coconut divination as producing a readily voiced, readily quotable, succinct series of human questions and oricha answers. Divinations are also embedded in and forge links between past and future actions in ongoing communicative circuits connecting oricha and devotees. This interdiscursivity, I have suggested, is materialized through transductions that authorize and interpret oricha voice. The series of offerings and invocations, moreover, constitute a diagram of hierarchies of authority as an axis of differentiation and equivalences between categories of participant and material objects.

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Only then, with the entire hierarchy activated into co-presence, would ritual attention turn to the divination oracle itself. Since I was leaving so soon, I put it off. Two days later, at the airport, my flight was inexplicably canceled. My godfather, at my side at the check-in counter, turned to eyeball me with a significant look: see? The oricha had foretold of this problem with my departure.

This was going to be the greatest gift he could ever give Olofi and it would prove to everyone that he was the greatest of the orishas on Earth. At the party all of the orishas arrived to see the spectacle. They enjoyed the finest refreshments, food and decorations. They were truly stunned at the gala that Obi had put on for Olofi. They were even more amazed at his garments that seemed to rival the very radiance of Olofi himself. Yet Olofi had not arrived yet. He opened the door and found a dirty beggar dressed in rags at the door with his leprous hand held out asking for alms.

He blew up in the face of the beggar. He turned to face the other orishas and they were stunned. Many stood with their mouths wide open in horror. You were once my most beloved and perfect creation. But you became vain and arrogant with time. Because of your arrogance, I take away your voice. From now on you will not speak for yourself, but you will only speak what the other orishas want you to speak. As you have thrown yourself at my feet, from now on you will only communicate when you are thrown on the floor in deference to your master. From here forward you will be ugly and your skin will be coarse and dark, but inside you will always be white as a reminder to the world that your original intent was to represent my purity.

As your punishment you will always fall to the earth, over and over again, as a symbol of your fall from grace. Thus was born the coconut or kola nut. The coconut which is dark and coarse on the outside but white on the inside. Yet, in spite of his divine punishment, his nature is still to be pure, and his purpose to take away the evil of the world carries on. First, it must be dark and coarse on the outside, white on the inside, and fall every day to earth like a seed or nut from a tree.

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It can only speak for other orishas — it has no voice of its own. In fact its voice was taken away as a punishment from Olofi. It can only speak when it is thrown on the floor — not a table. This is a bit of a complex question to answer. In order to communicate with any orisha , a person must be able to recite the Moyuba prayer also called Mojuba or the Juba prayer.

This is the role of a priest or priestess, and not a layperson like an Aborisha. One half is filled with honey, the other is filled with cane syrup. Obi is energetically cool and has the power to placate osogbo. I often fill each piece with some of the items that orisha would enjoy. It is also a good idea to offer a gourd full of cool fresh water at the same time the opened coconut is offered to the orisha. Leave the offering there for the required number of days as determined through divination , then dispose of it in nature where the divination indicated would be appropriate. This is a great way to soothe and cool any osogbos misfortunes.

Tags: divination , misconceptions , obi , orishas , pataki , santeria , terminology.