Religious leaders of Cuban Santeria predicted 2022 with hope, but they also fear an exacerbation of diseases, an increase in the violence and even plots.
At least two major groups of “Babalawos”, as the priests are called in this denomination, released their “Letter of the Year” on Sunday: a set of predictions for the next 12 months.
According to the Organizing Commission of the Letter of the Year, known as October 10, by the municipality where the cult is celebrated, and the most traditional of divinations, the sign of 2022 will be “Obe Juani” and the ruling deity or orisha is Obatalá accompanied by Oshún.
“This sign is of the pandemic, of cardiopulmonary diseases. We must work with medicinal plants, because there will be a shortage of medicines, (something) that exists in Cuba, but it will also be seen in the world, ”the Ifá priest Victor Betancourt told the Associated Press.
“Yes, increased death, we call it the sign of the cold grave … it is worrisome.”
As for the predictions personally, they said that this year people could suffer from cardiovascular or lung disorders, skin or bone problems.
On the social front, they recommended that people maintain hygiene in homes and encourage the use of medicinal plants, and the governments suggested favoring the construction of infrastructure, from homes and hospitals to cemeteries.
In addition, people should pay attention to the formation of children and avoid interpersonal violence, as well as be attentive to plots in which “several people come together to harm another,” said the written text of the Letter.
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For its part, the Yoruba Association of Cuba published its Letter, for which it took as a ruling sign “Baba Eyiogbe” and as divinity of the year also to Obatalá.
Both “Letters” have Obatalá as the orisha of the year, the patron saint of intelligence and human thoughts, dreams and feelings. It is represented with the color white and according to these beliefs it is the creator of the earth.
In the syncretism of Cuban Santeria, the mixture that was made between African traditions and Catholicism is identified with the Virgen de las Mercedes.
Although the two groups of babalawos, who have thousands of followers or godchildren both in Cuba and in countries with strong emigration such as the United States, Spain and Mexico, have worked separately for decades, in recent years they have sought to produce a unified letter.
However, on this occasion they again distanced themselves due to differences that neither side identified.
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