Within the frequent psyche Obeah and Santeria aren’t linked. Obeah is considered as hailing from an English-speaking, African and Protestant custom whereas Santeria is seen as derived from a Spanish-speaking, African and Catholic custom. The unifying component is the African custom surviving the diaspora that continued in each, leading to similarities in Santeria and Obeah regardless of the trendy tradition and language barrier.
A middle of many Obeah traditions is that of Eshu, as identified in Obeah, or Eleggua in Spanish Santeria. There are traditions in each that acknowledge names mutually as properly. For instance, many Santeros know of Eleggua as Eshu similar to the Obi males. Eshu additionally seems as Exu in Brazilian Candomble and Papa Legba in Vodou. A ultimate be aware that have to be mentioned is that this doesn’t indicate the spirits are an identical; that is one risk, however they may equally be a collection of associated, or flange, spirits that survived throughout the African diaspora.
The custom of Eshu is Yoruba in origin. There are some individuals who will say Eshu is a trickster or a prankster, however this isn’t the character of Eshu. Eshu is the gatekeeper. He permits for any non secular forces to enter into the fabric world. He additionally permits for us to work together with the non secular world. Thus, all psychic capacity comes from Eshu.
Santeria does view Eshu in another way. Eshu (or Eleggua) is grouped as a warrior within the Santeria custom together with two different spirits, Ogun and Oshkosh. In Obeah apply there isn’t any custom of receiving these three spirits as warriors, or guerreros. As a substitute, they’re petitioned instantly from an early interval of apply in Obeah.
The character of Eshu is considered in another way in Trinidadian Obeah as properly. Extra akin to the Vodou idea of Papa Legba, Eshu is seen as a impartial gatekeeper. Though Eshu might be compelled for peace or struggle, it isn’t believed to be in his nature as seen within the Santeria custom. Eshu does function an equally distinguished position in different respects. And that’s the level. That regardless of the continuing variations, finally it’s Eshu on the coronary heart of each Santeria and Obeah.
A serious distinction between each non secular teams in apply is that of hierarchy. Santeria has historically held far more significance on the lineage of a collection of magical traditions, in addition to having a big department of practitioners. Essentially the most well-known Obeah man within the English-speaking Caribbean, for instance, is likely to be Three-Fingered Jack, a slave who used Obeah to flee a plantation and kind a Maroon colony in liberty. Essentially the most well-known Santeria then again is likely to be Oba Ernesto Pichardo, who based the Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye and received a United States Supreme Courtroom determination to permit Santeros to apply their spiritual obligations (in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. Metropolis of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520). A Santero is extra more likely to be a public determine whereas an Obeah man a person on the outskirts.
The cultural variance in how Santeria is considered in Cuba – broadly accepted – whereas Obeah in Trinidad is broadly practiced however outwardly shamed could also be the results of this. The Obeah man is feared whereas the Santero usually is a supply of consolation in the neighborhood. It might merely be that Santeria is extra acceptable in Cuban tradition or it could be that there’s something about Obeah that calls for extra from the practitioner.
The top result’s that Obeah will not be transmitted as Santeria is in Cuba. An individual would historically not hunt down an Obeah man to study; this could be hereditary, passing on from generations. In distinction, the Santeros of Santeria can be initiated upwards via the ranks as their non secular capacity developed.
Regardless of the variations, each Obeah and Santeria share a core perception in Eshu. Equally, there are numerous secret ritual practices taught to initiates that resemble each other. The 2 religions are clearly distinct, each in essence and at first sight. Nevertheless, the elemental non secular forces behind each are comparable in nature and testify to the validity of precise powers emanating from the spirits of the Yoruba custom.