Please consider selecting The Accidental Santera for your book group. I am happy to visit in person if your group meets in the San Francisco Bay Area or, otherwise, by phone. If interested, please contact me at Accidental.Santera [at] gmail.com.
This guide was created for general audience readers and students. Please click on the Content item below to view portions of the Readers Guide. Click here to download a pdf of the entire 17-page guide.
- Discussion Questions
- For Further Reading
- Special Features
- Santeria in Pop Culture. The influence of Santeria and the orishas can be seen and heard in everything from music to hip restaurants.
- Orisha Worship in the New World: Map & Timeline. An overview of the many orisha-based religions of the African Diaspora.
- Celebrating Orishas. A guide to ceremonies, as well as ways to nurture the energies of the orishas in ones daily life.
- Praying in Yoruba. Being an American santera means being tri-lingual, at the very least, and giving up on precise spelling.
- Orishas on the Internet. Orisha worship is thriving on the Web, from how-to guides to supplies to chat forums.
- Feeding the Orishas. A beginners guide to the favorite fruits, vegetables and drinks of the Yoruba pantheon, including ways non-initiates can make offerings to their favorite orisha.
- Santeria in the News. As American santeros come out of the shadows, their practice makes news across the country.
- Talking to the Orishas & Ancestors. An introdduction to the divination systems used by santeros, babalawos and spiritists.
- How to Build an Ancestor Altar. A beginner’s guide to honoring and communicating with ancestors.
A Note from the Author:
This guide is meant for those who have enjoyed reading The Accidental Santera and want to learn more about the practice of Santeria, ancestor worship and the influence the religion is having in the United States.
While there are a few suggestions for those who want to bring the energy of the orishas and the ancestors into their lives, this is not meant to imply that I am trying to convert anyone to my chosen religion.
I had the benefit of being able to turn to family members whom I could trust. Not everyone is as fortunate. I suggest that anyone interested in pursuing this religion further to do so gradually. Get to know members of the religious house you intend to join, all the while fostering relationships with your spirit guides. Use your common sense and your intuition before making any commitments.
Have faith and patience. When the orishas call, they will surely lead you to your true spiritual home. What matters most along the way is your own pure intention to honor the orishas and fulfill your God-given potential.
In the meantime, remember that Santeria is a way of life, not a quick fix. Readings are meant to give you the tools and guidance to build character and handle what comes your way in life. Likewise, as one writer put it, initiation is simply permission to study. Readings give you clues to your purpose in life, while initiation is a blessing that brings with it great responsibility.