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The religious practice of Santeria originated in West Africa and was seen mostly in the region of southwestern Nigeria. Due to slave trade that took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the religion also took hold in Cuba. Traditional Yoruban religion mixed with other African traditions and was influenced by the Roman Catholic religion that was so prevalent in Cuba. This fusion blend of various religions took the name of Santeria. The term Orisha to mean the divine religious figures became "santos", the Spanish word for saints, causing the change in terminology and religious name. In the Yoruba religion of Cuba, there are many significant figures who are...

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Love and happiness is what many people are looking for in life. If this is you, then you are looking for Oshun. Also known as Ocun or Oxum in Yoruba, she is a fair skinned woman of incomparable beauty. She and her fellow Orisha Yemaya add in a woman's maternity. She is known for her revealing dresses and her flirtatious demeanor. When in the priest or priestesses house she resides in a gold tureen. Her representative metal is gold and she is often seen wearing copious amounts of it. The story of Ochun is this. One day, as Ochun was preparing for a party, she dressed herself and was walking through the town....

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Babalu Aye, often referred to as Asojano, is the Orisha responsible for epidemics and the healing of infectious diseases. His name translates into "Father, lord of the Earth" and he is the earthly representation of Olorun, a deity. West Africans associate him with smallpox while Americans tend to think of him as the patron of diseases such as influenza, leprosy and HIV or AIDS. He brings these diseases onto humankind and is also responsible for curing them. People often fear him as his job is to punish transgressions, but people also love him because of his healing powers. He is highly respected and his name...

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Nearly everyone is familiar with the fact that candles are seen inside of churches, they are a very commonly seen element in the chapels of nearly all religions some for praying some for spiritual healing. For those who are catholic, the use of Spiritual candles is something very integral to the rituals that are common in the faith. There is beautiful symbolism attached to the altar candles that are seen in the catholic church. There are said to be three elements to the candle that symbolize Jesus. The wax of the candle is symbolizing his body, the wick, his soul and the...

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              Elegua is an orisha of the Yoruba religion. He is responsible for dividing heaven and earth and all paths to mankind are controlled by him. He loves to test the faith of humans and play tricks on them and he has the ability to appear at almost any age. He also is responsible for guarding the dead and he unlocks the door for the deceased to move through to their final resting place. He knows everything that is going on and can see it all. When you see a ceremony in Santeria, he is the first and last orisha that they...

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