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Santeria rituals are usually performed for an initial period that can last for seven days. This is followed by a year of a very strict code of conduct. Worshippers need to wear white clothes, and they also need to wear sacred bangles and beads. Santeria rituals require that new members go through initiation and that they should also refrain from communicating from people who are non – initiates. The new initiates are also not allowed to shave, drink liquor, wear makeup, or even eat with everyone at the table. In addition to these rules, they are also not allowed to go to crowded places and shake hands with everyone or hug non – initiates. In this article, you’ll learn about the different santeria rituals and other practices.

Santeria Rituals and Beliefs

In santeria rituals, it’s not allowed to take photos, and they’re also prohibited from partying. They are only allowed to drink and eat from a special spoon, cup, and bowl that they themselves must carry at all times. They must also keep their heads covered at all times.

Some priests today still continue to follow these restrictions and taboos. Every individual Santero has different taboos relating to them as an individual. An Iyawois is what a newly initiated Santero is called.

Santeria Core Beliefs

The first core belief they have is called Ashe. Ashe refers to a life force. They believe that Ashe is what Olodumare blessed each individual with. It’s a generative energy and it’s something of a breath or a life force, and the world would simply not exist without it. Ashe also gives power so that individuals can gain wisdom to see things through, and creativity in each of us. For them, without Ashe, life will not exist.

Iwa Pele

Iwa Pele means a gentle character or goodness. It’s vital to grasp the entity of Iwa Pele as well as its true meaning. For them, learning to live with good grace is the main reason why all individuals have a purpose in life. This is because they believe that as spiritual beings, we are responsible for living the best life and make the most out of the things we are blessed with.  

Part of the santeria rituals is for an individual to analyze one’s faults, evolve and also improve upon our shortcomings. 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.

There are songs that accompany every single Santeria Rituals

As a follower and believer of Santeria, it’s important that the initiates learn the songs in order to create a good Ashe and keep that great energy.

Everyone should be able to sing the songs as it can help build up the energy that they need to channel during the ritual. The drum is consecrated, and they believe that inside of each drum are the lives of Orisha. Aña is the Orisha that make the drums speak.


A tambor is a santeria ritual that involves the bringing down of Orisha. Orisha inhabits the initiated priests for a period of time, and they become the vessel that imparts positive advice and knowledge to all that participate and partake in the santeria ritual 

There are various cultural projects today that have explored the Orisha Song tradition. However, these are more of cultural interpretations. It’s very important to note that the songs are amazing, and that singing them with meaning but they are still a cultural interpretation that came from a living and breathing tradition of carrying out santeria rituals.

Animal Sacrifice is a tiny part of Santeria Rituals

There’s been a lot of fuzz about animal sacrificing rituals in the Santeria religion that’s being carried out during santeria rituals; and that’s only because a lot of people don’t understand it. Believers and worshippers offer Orisha flowers, a candle, a glass of water, fruits, or other prepared food items like meat from an animal they sacrificed. More often than not reading will recommend suggestions towards improving an individual’s behavior, or what they refer to as behavior modification. It is quite rare that an animal would be marked for sacrifice during santeria ritual. However, it is a part of the practice of Santeria.

Prayers accompany the sacrifice and more often than not, those attending the santeria ritual eat the animal.

Santeria is not witchcraft

Many people are fearful of religions such as Santeria and Vodun since they equate the religion with practices of Witchcraft. Santeria is not Witchcraft. It is not the study of spells or using spells to harm or affect anyone else. Anyone who thinks that Santeria can be used to keep a girlfriend; harm an enemy or win the lottery has not understood the principles of Santeria and is misguided.

In general, Santeros do not have a church or a place of worship like other religions. For them, their houses are their temples. They do not have anything such as a bible and commandments but each Santero has their own personal advice straight from the Orisha that they should follow.

They also use systems of Divination as their guides especially during santeria rituals and they also look to the ancestors for help and guidance. The stories and moral tales; there are also now books that tell them.

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