Nadine Rhodes, Psyc 257 on field school in Cuba, 2004.
History is from Africa where slaves were taken to work on plantations in Cuba and the Caribbean. Unable to practice their religion, took catholic saints as symbols but changed their meanings through their covert religion.
16th century until the Cuban revolution was very quiet then seen as a religion and accepted as a practice. 100,000,000 practitioners worldwide.
Santero is a follower - accept anyone, most are born into it otherwise brought in from outside, through friends.
Believe in the power of the collective having more power. Family is very important as well as filial piety (ancestor worship) and looking for guidance through prayer from dead family members or ancestors.
May connect with ancestors through trance ( possession like) to receive information. Other rituals involve drumming and dancing as well as herbal treatments and sacrifices. For example, one may bring about cure for one person by sacrificing another.
Collective unconscious is everywhere, prevalent connections among people through the deep collective psyche.
Symbols include masks that change the definition of the saints as well as shadows and other archetypes. The African two-coloured trickster can still be found there in Santiago.
Each Santero has his or her own colour, plant, animal, and saint and symbol given at birth.
Nature is very important, making a big symbol. One must be in tune with nature, plants & other natural elements (i.e., water glass under the bed - changed daily evil spirits go in to the water) Also have water at the front door along with the eye. Shrine may be in front or rear room involve an icon, a glass and flowers or other a natural items. Beads made of seeds around the neck or wrist.
Black and white magic are found in Santeria, where black magic may takes lives to save another, but white magic instead makes spells for love, jobs, or other such things.
Good Friday is when god is absent, black magic prevails
Saturday of glory is when God and nature come back to restore order.