Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santería

A Complete Guide to the Rituals and Practices

Ócha'ni Lele

242 Pages, ISBN 978 1 59477 455 3     
Published by Destiny Books, 2019     

Tackling the biggest controversy surrounding his faith, Santería priest Ócha'ni Lele explains for the first time in print the practice and importance of animal sacrifice as a religious sacrament. Describing the animal sacrifice ceremony in step-by-step detail, including the songs and chants used, he examines the thinking and metaphysics behind the ritual and reveals the deep connections to the odu of the diloggún - the source of all practices in this Afro-Cuban faith.
Tracing the legal battle spearheaded by Oba Ernesto Pichardo, head of the Church of the Lukumi of Babalu Aye, over the right to practice animal sacrifice as a religious sacrament, Lele chronicles the fight all the way to its 1993 U.S. Supreme Court victory, which established legal protection for the Santería faith and its practitioners. Weaving together oral fragments stemming from the ancient Yoruba of West Africa and from their descendants who were forcibly relocated to Cuba via the slave trade, the author reconstructs their sacred stories, or patakís, that demonstrate the well-thought-out metaphysics and spirituality behind the practice of animal sacrifice in the Santería religion. The patakís explain why each sacrificial animal can be regarded as food for both humans and the orishas as well as how the theme of sacrifice is central to this Afro-Cuban religion.
Shedding light on the extraordinary global growth of this religion over the past 50 years, Lele's guide to the sacrificial ceremonies of Santería enables initiates to learn proper ceremony protocol as well as gives outsiders a glimpse into this most secretive world of the santeros.

Ócha'ni Lele (1966-2019) was immersed in the underground culture of orisha worship in 1989. He made Ocha in 2000 and was crowned a priest of Oya. His other books include Diloggún Tales of the Natural World, Teachings of the Santería Gods, The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination, Obí: Oracle of Cuban Santería, and The Diloggún: The Orishas, Proverbs, Sacrifices, and Prohibitions of Cuban Santería.

"... this book is an absolute must-read! You will find here secrets never before revealed to the outside world . . . you simply cannot ignore this book."
- Aaron Leitch, author of Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires

"... very useful to students of religion, history, and folklore, as well as general readers eager to know more about this complex religion. It will be a welcome addition to academic and public libraries."
- Cynthia Duncan, Ph.D., professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma and author of Unraveling the Real: The Fantastic in Spanish American Ficciones.

(The text above comes from the back of the book)     

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