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Santeria curses are an Afro – Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs and traditions, with some Roman Catholic elements added. Santeria curses came from a syncretic religion that originally came from the slave trade in Cuba. Syncretism is something that is seemingly contradictory when it comes to beliefs. It’s also about combining various beliefs while melding practices different schools of thought. In this article, you’ll learn about what this religion is and the Santeria curses use during rituals.

Santeria curses are an Afro – Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs and traditions, with some Roman Catholic elements added. Santeria curse came from a syncretic religion that grew out of the slave trade in Cuba. Syncretism is the combining of different, often seemingly contradictory beliefs while melding practices of various schools of thought. In this article, you’ll learn about what this religion is and the Santeria curses use during rituals.

Santeria Curses: Deities

The religion usually focuses on developing a spiritual connection between humans and the powerful but mortal spirits known as Orishas. Worshippers believe that the Orisha’s spirits will help them in their lives, provided that they carry out the right rituals and say the right santeria curses. If they do this, it will help them achieve the destiny or calling that Olodumare had planned for them before they even come into existence.

Catholic Saints

The Catholic faith has its part in the Santeria religion. It is quite obvious in the way Orishas are linked with various Catholic saints such as the following: 

  • St. Barbara [Shangó] – she is someone who embodies justice and strength. She is also linked with lightning and fire.
  • Our Lady of Charity [Ochún] – the Yoruba is the goddess of the river and she is linked with the color yellow, water, money, love and sweets.
  • St. Lazarus [Babalú-Ayé] – he is linked with healing sick people.

Catholic symbols are sometimes used in Santeria rituals and even if someone is carrying out santeria curses.

Santeria Curses: Holy Books

Santeria, unlike the Catholic religion, doesn’t have scriptures, or any kind of holy book that has some form of written commandment or stories to live by for its followers. The principles of the religion are only passed on by word – of – mouth and so are santeria curses.

Rituals and Customs

Santeria curses as well as rituals allow humans to stay in communication with the Orishas. Part of the ritual includes speaking with the spirits and even eating them, dancing, chanting and also drumming among others.

Usually, private homes of Santeria believers have a special altar set up for ritual purposes.

The worshippers believe that if they carry out the right rituals, the Orishas will be able to meet believers at the sacred spaces they have set – up. The materials used in these rituals can be bought from outlet shops known as “botanicas.”

These rituals and santeria curses can include Roman Catholic elements:


One of the most common rituals that Santeria believers do is called “bembe.” This kind of ceremony invites the Orisha, the whole community in giving praises through dancing, drumming and singing.

There could also be instances where an Orisha may sort of possess a person, and cause him/ her to “spectacular dances” as well as pass on various messages from the Orisha to the Santeria worshippers. Animal sacrifice is also part of Santeria rituals. Unlike what other people believe, animals are sacrificed and also eaten by the priests and participants together rather than any kind of obscure and mystical purpose. 

Animal Sacrifice

Worshippers of the Orisha usually sacrifice animals and give them as offering in order to maintain or build a spiritual relationship with the spirit or deity they need help with. The process doesn’t only bring the believer closer to their Orisha but also make them more aware of the presence of their Orisha that’s within them.

This is also a mutual process. You see, the food is essential for the Orishas because they will die if they aren’t fed, which is why in return the Orishas are able to help the worshippers.   

Kinds of Worship

Orishas are believed to also be nourished by other kinds of worship and praise. For instance, sacrifices are performed for life events such as birth, marriage, and death. They are also used for healing.     

Without doing such sacrifices the religion, or any religion for this matter, would die out. This is because sacrifice is essential for initiation when one become a member of the faith community and also during ‘ordination’ of their priests.

The animal sacrifices are killed through cutting their carotid arteries using a single knife stroke. This is also how animals are slaughtered in other religious methods. Animals are also eaten and also cooked after doing the Santeria rituals. However, there’s an exception to that particularly when they’re carrying out healing and death rituals because they believe that the illness is passed on to the dead animal.      

Sacrificial Animals       

Eating the slaughtered animal is already considered sharing a meal with the Orisha, who can only consume the animal’s blood, while the initiated eats the meat. Sacrificial animals include chickens (the most common), pigeons, doves, ducks, guinea pigs, goats, sheep, and turtles.

It’s very important for an individual to strive in becoming a better person, one with great character. Through doing this, one can change the energy flow around us. The title of being a Santero or Babalawo is nothing if the initiated can’t even show that they understand and manifest in their lives the concepts that Iwa Pele taught them.


They also use systems of Divination as their guides especially during rituals and they also look to the ancestors for help and guidance. The stories and moral tales that derive from the Divination systems were passed down orally, but there are also now books that tell them.

These stories are thought to allow them to predict the future and also perform some santeria curses. Divination mediates between earth (aiye) and heaven (orun). It offers guidance to those who worship at all the critical junctures and transitional experiences of their life cycles.

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