Canarian Folklore: Santiguado Hex-Breaking Ritual

About The Word Santiguado

In the Canary Islands, we speak a dialect of Spanish, so we have plenty of vocabulary that only we use, and that is very difficult to translate into English. Although I use the word Curandera to define my work and tradition, Curandera is only the regular Spanish term; in our dialect, a Curandera/o is called a Santiguador (male) or Santiguadora (female), a word that could be translated as he/she who makes (someone or something) holy.

The tradition of Santiguado (or, Canarian Curanderismo), as most ancient healing traditions, mixes prayer, ritual and herbal lore on equal parts. In a completely holistic way, the treatment for any illness is applied equally to body, mind and spirit, as we deeply believe that what happens in one of those areas always affects the others. Spiritual illness that is created by a curse, if not treated, easily becomes physical or mental illness; just so, physical or mental illness turn the patient into a very easy prey for parasitic entities and harmful magic. In this blog post, I will describe a hex-breaking ritual of our tradition in detail; after the ritual, you will find a message about the topic of hex-breaking, that I have written specifically for my customers.

Santiguado Hex-Breaking Ritual

Herbal Treatment:

  • A bottle of red wine;
  • Three eggs, laid on the day the work is done;
  • A handful of each of these herbs, fresh or dry: Tea (Camelia Sinensis), Lemon tree leaves, Orange tree leaves, Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) and Grapevine leaves (Vitis Vinifera).

The mixture is slowly cooked together until the wine reduces its volume in half. Once it has reduced, it is filtered, and then three stones from the furnace that are red hot are placed in the liquid to remove any negative energies from it. The patient must keep this mixture in the fridge and drink a small cup every morning, before having any other food or drink.

Ritual And Prayer:

The patient sits in front of the Santiguadora, a pot filled with water placed between them. The Santiguadora makes the sign of the cross continuously over the water with the right hand, while reciting the prayer below seven times in a row.

I have added the prayer both in Canarian dialect and English. All words between brackets on the English translation are added by me to make the meaning of the prayer easier to understand.

” Si en la cruz te mato, con la cruz me das vida, con el Espíritu Santo, y la Virgen María.

¡Oh Madre de los Remedios! ¡Madre de los pecadores! Remédiame lo que tengo, y quítame los dolores.

Cuando vayas a misa, y entres en la iglesia, ¿Qué es lo primero que rezas? Un Padre Nuestro y un Avemaría.”

If on the cross you are killed, with the cross you give me life, along with the Holy Spirit, and the Virgin Mary.

Oh Mother of all remedies! Mother of all sinners! Heal my ailment, and remove my pains.

When you go to mass, and enter the church, what’s the first prayer you say? A Holy Father and a Hail Mary.”

Then, the water is thrown away at a crossroads, saying:

Esta agua bendita, que te riego aquí, que te pongas buena, y no se me pegue a mí.”

This holy water, that I spill here, (for) you are healed (and so the ailment) doesn’t stick to me”

After the ritual is done, the patient must do something for the Spirits; usually, a mass at the town’s church is the tradition, on behalf of the Souls Of Purgatory (Anima Sola), but if the Santiguadora/Curandera has an altar, the patient can purchase candles, flowers and/or fruit, and offer them to the Spirits in the Curandera’s altar.

A Reflection On Hex-Breaking: To My Customers

I tend to give my customers as much agency over the Services they get done as I can, not only because I am not here to judge that, but also because I firmly believe that nobody knows better what we need than ourselves. I cannot count the times that a customer has approached me with the feeling of something going wrong in their lives, whether as the result of a curse or as the result of negative Spirit activity, and were completely right about it – actually, so many times that I do not request a pre-spell reading for hex-breaking work any more, unless the customer wants it.

I believe in my customers, because:

a) in the cases where the reading was actually done, only 1 out of 100 or less was wrong;

b) because I believe that it was their Spirit Guides who guided them to look for help;

c) because simply, I believe them. I have no reason not to. The people I work for have shown me, time after time, that they are to be trusted with such intuitions. My customers are not paranoid people seeing enemies everywhere; they are conscious, intuitive and empowered people using the Services I offer. Harmful magic is something very real, and its damage can be irreversible; they don’t take it lightly, and they know that neither do I.

So, if you are reading this, and feel that you may be under the influence of negative works or negative entities, please don’t wait to get help, and don’t try to fix it yourself, because you are not in the situation to do so. In these situations, it’s always one hundred times safer to seek help from outside, and allow someone else to fight the enemy. Someone who actually knows how to do their job.

And, please allow me to insist on this: people with grave physical and/or mental illness can also be the victim of harmful magic and/or negative entities, just as anyone – and in my opinion, even more, because their defenses are weakened. You wouldn’t believe how many times people with mental illnesses are just not believed when they speak about this. So, if you feel you are in any kind of situation where you cannot trust your own judgement, get a reading with an expert professional, and if you are right (which, as I said, it is very likely), get hex-breaking work done as soon as possible.

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May 30, Day Of The Canary Islands

My small collection of Guanche reproduction statues.

Today, May 30, it is the day of the Canary Islands. It is a holiday for the two Canarian provinces, and all over the seven islands there are Romerías (pilgrimages with parades and dances), Bailes De Magos (traditional folkloric dance shows), and celebrations at all levels. Although it is very early in the morning as I am writing this, I am sure the scent of barbeques all over our neighbourhood will begin to spread very soon.

For us, it is a day of communing with our Ancestors and our heritage. We are fiercely Canarian all year round, and honour our Ancestry almost daily, as all Espiritistas and Curanderos do – but still, today we take that extra step to celebrate with our spiritual family. Please allow me today to share a bit of ourselves with you.

A Brief Introduction To Our History

Canarians descend from the Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the islands, which were of Amazigh Berber origin. The Spanish invaded the islands in the 15th century, enslaving and slaughtering thousands of Guanches. Although the invasion actually took two centuries because of the fierce resistance of the Guanches, in the 17th century the islands were finally part of Spain’s territories – during those two centuries, Guanches were stolen of their very existence and unique culture, forced to baptized into Christianity and speak Spanish, and became Canarians.

From there, Guanche history was erased from all areas of education and culture, and it still is an outlaw in many ways. It survived in folkloric traditions, and in the underground of society itself, as it always happens with colonized people. Craft and agricultural traditions, musical folklore, curanderismo, and our unique dialect*, still exist thanks to oral traditions, to the presence of the elderly in our families, and in syncretism with Christian practises and customs.

I have to say – even though we are extremely critical of any colonization, we are not Guanche reconstructionists, and we do not deny our identity as colonized people, because our direct Ancestors are part of it, and because we are too. It was my paternal grandmother, a devout Christian and totally patriotic Spanish lady, who inspired my love for Our Lady Of Candelaria, the colonized advocation of Guanche Goddess Chaxiraxi. So, I do not honour Spanish culture, but I do respect my own Ancestors’ traditions and life experience.

*Canarians speak Canarian, a dialect of Spanish and Guanche language that has been recently recognized as such by the Real Academia De La Lengua Española, the highest authority on the matter in Spain. We also speak with an entirely different accent to the rest of Spain.

Our Lady Of Candelaria, Patroness of Canarians.

Our Traditions On This Day

To be completely honest, this day is not really so different from our everyday life, because of the work I do, and because we do make a conscious effort on preserving our culture all year round. Today, we are only slightly more Canarian than we are the rest of the year :D.

Since I work mostly with international customers, I don’t take the day off, but after my work is finished, we prepare to enjoy the day with our Spiritual family. Of course, the first step is to cleanse our home, physically and spiritually. We will be receiving the visit of our Spirit family, and we want them to be happy and proud. After the regular cleaning, the house is cleansed with herbal incense smoke, and blessed with Holy Water.

The altar, of course, gets candles all day, and simple offerings of fresh water, incense or herbs. The celebration is not closed only to our biological Ancestry, so all the entities we work with are invited to participate in an informal way. Most will visit briefly to give their blessing along the day.

Canarian food will definitely be on the menu: today, it will be Puchero Canario, which is a dish of stewed vegetables and meat that we both love. Again, not so different from any other day, because we make this dish very often, since it’s so tasty and healthy – but today, our Ancestors get served at the table, instead of at the altar, and share the meal with us.

Without a fail, we eat gofio, a toasted flour made with many different grains that is absolutely essential to our gastronomy and culture. Since gofio is already toasted prior to grinding it, it does not need to be cooked, so it’s usually kneaded into soft balls with honey and milk, and eaten that way along any kind of dish, or by itself. It’s filled with nutrients (vitamins, fiber and minerals aplenty), so it’s usually part of a power breakfast, or eaten as a snack through the day.

It is very likely that the day will end in the garden, burning some herbs in the barbeque. Although this is not a Canarian tradition at all, I am a Bruja, and I love Burning Stuff Magic :D. Herbs of cleansing and protection are used to keep negative entities and energies away from our home and our neighbourhood – Rosemary, Rue, Wormwood, Moorish Sage, and Canarian Juniper will be the most likely options.

In all, it is a happy and relaxed day with family, that celebrates who we are, and who we can become. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post – here’s a short documentary about Tenerife, my island, that showcases the most beautiful cities and landscapes. It’s in English, so all readers can enjoy it!

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Prosperity Work With Saint Pancras

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Financially, January is a tough month for businesses and buyers alike – after the holidays’ excesses, everyone is broke and those of us who are independent workers are definitely among those who suffer the consequences of such excesses the most. Also, today is also the end of the latest Mercury Retrograde period – so, to make the best of the forward flow of energy this will bring, and give a little free magical advice for improving your finances, I decided to make a special offering to Saint Pancras, one of the Saints that’s traditionally linked to prosperity.

· Take a nice plate, and place a layer of brown sugar on it. Sugar is an essential food for Spirits, and in Prosperity Magic, represents abundance coming easily and “sweetly”. Nobody wants their money to come through the pain or loss of another.

· Over the sugar, forming a circle around the outer edge, add thin slices of lemon, as many as you need to make the full circle. Lemon cleanses and purifies, so our abundance doesn’t come from “dirty” sources, and the slices represent the Sun, bringing protection, strength, and success.

· Over the lemon slices, place fresh parsley and rosemary, in any way you want. Parsley is Saint Pancras’ herb, so it is deeply associated with Prosperity Magic, and so is Rosemary.

· In the center, place a red or green candle. It does not need to be tree-shaped as mine; any type will do. We just got this one from a friend, and here, all special candles go to the Spirits, so this work was a perfect excuse to use it. If you have any Prosperity or Money oils, you can, of course, anoint the candle with them.

· Offer it to Saint Pancras; of course, you do not need to have a statue – Saint Pancras is not deaf, and he will listen to your prayer! You can print an image from the Internet, or simply keep an image open in your phone/computer as you do the work. Or nothing.

Speaking about prayers – I do not use any particular prayer when working with him; I just call him, tell him that the offering is for him, and ask him for what I want with gratefulness and confidence. This work is not a ritual, it’s just simple Prosperity Magic so it does not need any formality – what it needs is trust and love for Saint Pancras.

And – this is VERY important -, if your request is granted, praise Saint Pancras in some way, and consider giving him a permanent place on your altar/sacred space.

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Visual Inspirations: The Island In January

Happy New Year to all readers and subscribers!!!

January is the greenest, most beautiful month of the year when it comes to our tiny islands. This year, after an unexpected (but deeply grateful for) very rainy autumn, Winter has started cold (by our standards :D ), sunny, and totally delicious.

The places where we wildharvest regularly become our gardens, our adopted areas; we know every tree that grows there, when they flower and seed, and when they are not to be cut. Many of the older trees hold very powerful Spirits, and they have become our friends through each visit, each offering, each time we clean the place from trash. We see seasonal plants come and go with the year, rejoicing by their return every single time. We are as attached to these places as if we owned them, and when civilization ends with them, our heart will be broken.  So, what you are looking at is not only pictures of pretty things – it’s our green family :). Enjoy!

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Hibiscus (above) and Bird Of Paradise/Strelitzia (below) are in full bloom during this season.

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Gorgeous moss textures on the bark of a bottle tree (Adansonia Genus, Baobab).

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Canarian Ivy (Hedera Canariensis) growing over a Pepper Tree (Schinus Molle).

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The Canarian Palm tree (Phoenix Canariensis) is giving fruit abundantly – only animals eat their dates, but the sap that is taken from the crown of the tree is the origin of the Canarian Palm Honey, one of the most delicious relics of Canarian cuisine, and sadly a disappearing tradition.

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Inside the branches of one of my “adopted” Dragon’s Blood Trees. This one is actually the biological mother of the one I grew from seed, and that lives in our garden.

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And finally, my beloved Juniper trees. These five trees grow around a well that is centuries old, and are the home to several families of blackbirds,  so they are quite magical indeed.

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Canarian Folklore: November And Saint Andrew

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November 30 is the day of Saint Andrew, one of the Saint more revered in our island. This post is a little homage to him, and to the folklore traditions around his worship in Tenerife, because both Fernando and I are tied to him through our families.

In Puerto De La Cruz, the city where I was born, and were my maternal granndparents lived, Saint Andrew’s feast was celebrated with a tradition named Correr Los Cacharros (Running With The Pots/Tins), which consisted in gathering old tins and pots, tie them to a rope, and run around the cobblestone streets of the town. I participated several years when I was a child, and it was so much fun – it’s one of my most treasured childhood memories. If you know a bit about older magical traditions, I’m sure you have already made the connection – making loud noises, specially by children, is a custom in many places in the world to send away evil spirits and negative entities.

In the town of Icod De Los Vinos, in the north of the island, we have the tradition of the Tablas De San Andrés (Planks Of Saint Andrew). The town is quite famous for its extremely steep streets; on the eve of Saint Andrew’s feast, the fearless Icodenses*  get to the higher point of those streets, armed only with a greased plank of wood, and using it as a seat, just launch themselves down a very, very dangerous race.  Sometimes, they do that in small groups, with three or four racers in the same plank. There is no way of braking, so racers just crash at the bottom of the street on a huge pile of old tires… and survive :D.

*Icodense means citizen of Icod.

The very brave Icodenses :)

San Andrés is also the name of the town where Fernando was born and lived with his family, and where we lived our first two years as a couple. This small town by the sea, which was once the home of Guanche Mencey** Beneharo, has the tiniest and loveliest church dedicated to him (along with Saint Lucia); November is a whole month of special events in the name of the Saint – special masses in his honour, events to showcase folkloric music groups, a procession, and of course, a good ol’ verbena***.

** Mencey was the title given to the Guanche Kings/Chiefs.

*** A verbena is an open-air dance, usually made in the town’s biggest square. It includes live music (traditional and contemporary alike), and food and drinks are sold.

The lovely and tiny church dedicated to the Apostle in the town of San Andrés.

All around the islands, Saint Andrew’s day also marks the date when the new wine is sold; roasted chestnuts, grilled fish and boiled sweet potatoes and yam are the most common food at local festivities. Being a patron of fishermen, and thus of coastal towns, the celebrations usually include maritime events, where fishermen deck their boats with flowers, flags and strings of lights, and parade together near the shore at dusk, usually with one of the boats carrying a statue of the Saint.

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Ancestor Stories

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Ancestors are on everyone’s minds these days – during my morning meditation I was thinking of them, and was inspired to do this: to share a funny and/or endearing memory about my Ancestry, and invite you to do so, however you choose. Post it on your social networks, share it with friends, share it with your children, it does not matter. The point is remembrance, loving remembrance, by sharing bits of their existence. So, there go mine :).

My grandmother told me that when my grandfather was a young man, he kept his hometown in terror for a week by putting a donkey skull with a lit candle inside on top of a very promiment rock, so everyone throught their town was hunted by the Devil. He stopped doing it after a week, never told anyone it was him, and let the town gossip about it for months. He told my grandmother many years after that, when they were already married :D :D :D.

My favourite story from her is different, and quite moving – and it is a Christmas story. She told me how one Christmas, right after the spanish civil war, she received an orange and a handful of peanuts as a Christmas gift. She held the peanuts in her hand for as long as she could, postponing the pleasure of eating them through the whole day, until my great grandmother threatened her to throw them away, because they were starting to get all sweaty and dirty. Every time she told me that story, she would say again and again how tasty they were, and how happy she was with her gift. Really humbling.

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Preparations For The Service: A Photo Post

This post is a selection of images of the preparations for our upcoming Noche De Animas Service that I have posted in the past three weeks in my social networks, for those of you who do not visit them often, or have been away for any reason. With it, I want not only to inspire you, but also to invite you to participate in the Service, and show how every detail is cared for lovingly. Spiritual Services are, for us, the top of our skill as Espiritistas, and a task that we take with the love and devotion it requires – as I hope this post will show you :).

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Herbal liquor (named Parra here in the islands), made with herbs from the garden. Once steeped for a few weeks, it will be sweetened with local organic honey and poured on a special bottle for the altar. On the sides of the jar, Sage and Lavender incense sticks, also made with herbs from the garden.

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The altar begins completely bare, and is purified with herbal waters and incense. A fresh tablecloth is placed, and just a candle that will be lit most of the day until the 31st. With fencing wood and handspun wool, I made a trellis to work as the background of the altar. That was really fun work :).

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A few days after, it was decorated with a garland of dry Bouganville flowers and Eucalyptus leaves, strings of beads, bones, a small horseshoe (probably from a donkey), owl feathers, and the incense sticks you have seen in the first picture of this post.

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A very special moment in the preparations for the Service – setting our Mother Africa statue and embellishing her. She will represent all Ancestral lines, ours and our customers’ lines. The energy in the altar, and in the whole room, changed as soon as she was finished.

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I got some vegetables from a dear sister’s family crop, and among them there was a couple of corn ears. Of course, I had to save the husk for a Corn Lady doll for our altar. A little wool for filling, red string for good luck, my amulet bracelets for her necklaces, and two keys in her arms, for opening and closing energies as she should :). The Corn Lady is abundance, prosperity, growth, medicine, susteinance. You can see how lovely she looks on the altar on the pic below.

dscn3100Our Noche De Animas service celebrates, empowers and strengthens your relationship with your Ancestral lines – and, this year, it has a totally irresistible price of 10$. Read all details here:

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Visual Inspirations: To Saint Michael, On His Day

Today is the feast of Saint Michael, and since he is tremendously important in the Canarian tradition of Curanderismo, and on our own personal practise as well, this post has the only intention of honouring him. He has performed true miracles for us and for our customers, and he deserves no less!

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Saint Michael By Cesare Dandini (1596-1657).

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Saint Michael By Guido Reni (1575-1642)

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Saint Michael By Rafael Sanzio (1483-1520)

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The Last Judgment, by Hans Memling (1430-1494), with Saint Michael weighing souls in the centre. Above, full piece and detail.

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Saint Michael Freeing Souls From Purgatory by Jacopo Vignali (1592 -1664).

May the protection and love of Saint Michael bless you always!

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Canarian Folklore: Advocations Of Mary (2)

This article is a compilation of several short articles published during 2014, in an event hosted on my website that celebrated a month of devotions to Our Lady. Edited and revised for this blog, it presents four of the more important Advocations of Mary worshipped in our island: Our Lady Of Candelaria, Our Lady Of Coromoto, Our Lady Of The Valley and Our Lady Of El Cobre. These advocations have been chosen not only for their relevancy in our Curanderismo tradition, but also for their connection to Latin America and the religions of the African Diaspora.

Please read part 1 HERE.

Our Lady of Coromoto

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Our Lady Of Coromoto is the patroness of Venezuela, and also one of the patrons of San Cristóbal De La Laguna, the town where we live, so it is not only another proof of the constant Latin America – Canary Islands connection, but also one of our dearest advocations of Mary.

Says the legend that when the town of Guanare (Venezuela) was built, the Native Indians moved to the north of the town, into the forest. On September 8 1652, Our Lady appeared to the Indians, encouraging their chief Coromoto to convert. While many Indians converted, Coromoto didn’t, so Our Lady appeared to him again days later, this time materializing a wooden icon that is right now a relic at her Sanctuary. Again, Coromoto refused, but many years later, he finally converted after being healed from a venomous snake bite through the rite of baptism. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared Our Lady Of Coromoto patroness of the country.

The veneration of Our Lady Of Coromoto is essential to Maria Lionza’s religion. She is considered to be one of the heads of the Celestial Court, and prayers for her presence and intercession are part of every important ritual in the religion. In our islands, she is mostly revered locally, where she has a small church and a whole neighbourhood named after her – and, of course, by the huge Venezuelan population that lives here, and by anyone who has emigration and/or immigration ties with the country, like me. There is also a statue of her at the Saint Ann church in the town of Candelaria (Tenerife island), another at the church of the town La Guancha (also Tenerife), and another in the island of El Hierro. In the 19th and 20th century, Coromoto has remained a very popular female name here.

Our Lady Of The Valley

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Right after Our Lady Of Coromoto, the beautiful advocation of Our Lady Of The Valley is probably the most revered in Maria Lionza’s religion. While she was already worshipped in Spain before the colonisation of Venezuela as the advocation of the Immaculate Conception, her importance in Venezuela, and the change in her name to Virgen Del Valle (Our Lady Of The Valley), begins when the image is moved from the island of Cubagua to the Valley Of The Holy Spirit in the island of Margarita, after floodings damagd her original sanctuary. Her feast is September 8 – which is, I’m sure you know, the day of Ochum :) – and she is considered as patroness of sailors.

Just as Our Lady Of Coromoto, her worship is well known in our islands, and Valle remains another popular Canarian female name; although, in truth, it is very difficult to find further information about her, besides the stories of her many miracles, and the fact that she is considered one of the non-official patroness of Venezuela. The fact that she is considered patroness of sailors comes from the story of a pearl hunter who got stung by a stingray; the wound got infected and gangrenous, so the sailor promised Our Lady Of The Valley the first pearl he would find if he was healed. He was indeed, and the first pearl he found not only had the shape of a leg – it had a very clear mark in the spot that would correspond with the sailor’s leg scar.

Caridad Del Cobre / Our Lady Of Charity / Our Lady Of El Cobre

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Our Lady Of El Cobre is the patroness of Cuba. Although part of the Our Lady of Charity advocation, in this country, and for most practitioners of Afro-Latin spiritual traditions, it has a completely distinct personality and legend.

According to the legend, around 1612, three fishermen (two native Indian brothers and a black man) were out to the sea in a small boat – a storm started, and the three men prayed to the Virgin Mary for help; the waters quieted, the clouds disappeared, and the men saw something floating in the waters towards them. Over a small plank of wood, they found a statue of Our Lady – in the wood, the words “Yo soy la Virgen de la Caridad” (“I am Our Lady of Charity”) could be read. Her first sanctuary was built near the local copper mines, starting the nickname of Caridad Del Cobre.

In 1916, she was declared patroness of Cuba, but her importance in Afro-Latin religion goes way beyond that, as she is syncretized with Ochum, Orisha of love. Their feast day is celebrated on the same day, September 8. And, once again, the relationship between Afro-Latin religions and the Canary Islands is brought to light by the fact that the Caridad Del Cobre advocation is patroness of Cuba, and also of two Canarian towns: Azanos, in the island of Tenerife, and Gallegos, in the island of La Palma.

Note – I do not own the copyright of any of these images. They are shown for educational purpose only, and no copyright infringement is intended.

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Canarian Folklore: Advocations Of Mary (1)

This article, which will be published in two consecutive posts, is a compilation of several short articles published during 2014, in an event hosted on my website that celebrated a month of devotions to Our Lady. Edited and revised for this blog, it presents four of the more important Advocations of Mary worshipped in our island: Our Lady Of Candelaria, Our Lady Of Coromoto, Our Lady Of The Valley and Our Lady Of El Cobre. These advocations have been chosen not only for their relevancy in our Curanderismo tradition, but also for their connection to Latin America and the religions of the African Diaspora.

Our Lady Of Candelaria

Our Lady Of Candelaria is the patroness of Tenerife and of the whole Canary Islands. Before the Spanish invasion, she was worshipped as Goddess Chaxiraxi by the Guanches; she was called “Mother Of The Sun”, “Lady/Queen Of The World”, “She Who Holds The Firmament”, and “Princess Of Great Kindness”. Chaxiraxi means “The One Who Carries The Owner Of The World” – the owner of the world being her son, Chijoraji, the infant God.

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It is believed that the original statue was found around the year 1400 (almost 100 years before the spanish conquest) by two Guanche shepherds in a ravine in the area that is now the town of Güimar. The shepherds were trying to put their goat herds inside the cave where they slept, but the goats started behaving crazily and didn’t want to enter the cave; when they approached the cave’s entrance to find out what was happening, they saw the image of the Virgin standing above it. At first, they thought it was a living woman; one of the shepherds tried to throw a stone at her to make her move, but his arm was paralyzed; the other, scared, tried to stab her, but ended up stabbing himself. When they finally reached the statue, their wounds and paralyzed limbs healed.

Note – the picture depicts a reproduction of the original statue found by the Guanches, not the original one. There are no images of the statue found by the Guanches.

For a long time, the statue, which most likely was brought to the shore after a pirate shipwreck (with a little help from Chaxiraxi, I’m sure!), was worshipped at the cave of Saint Blaise, while the first church of Our Lady was built in a very near location. That original statue, and the original church, are now lost – both were destroyed during a flood in 1826. The great sculptor Fernando Estevez was hired to make the image of Chaxiraxi that you can see on the top of this post, which was restored in 1972 by Ezequiel De León. This statue resides now in the Basilica Of Candelaria, a cathedral dedicated to her worship; every year, on February 2 and specially on August 15, thousands of Canarians visit her and worship her with pilgrimages to the Basilica.

Saint Blaise’s Cave

Our Lady’s Basilica

virgen_de_la_Candelaria

A very special note is deserved for the church of Our Lady in Caracas, Venezuela – for all those who are interested in the Canarian-Venezuelan connection in our work and spirituality :). In the county of Mérida, also in Venezuela, she was worshipped as the protector of Black slaves, after manifesting herself to a little black girl; slaves were not allowed in the local church, so the worship of Our Lady in Merida started as a hidden cult after Her apparition. You can see the main altar of the church in the pic below.

lacandelaria9

Part 2 Coming Soon!

Note – I do not own the copyright of any of these images, except for the images of the Basilica and Saint Blaise’s Cave. They are shown for educational purpose only, and no copyright infringement is intended.

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