¡¡ Alerta Esta!!
Alert, I am!
The various groups of this Commission of Spirits are as follows.
los Piratas = The Pirates the outlaws, a Pirata or Pirates was the Captain and crew of a ship that attacked other vessels and stole from them. Pirates where independent and worked for no one but themselves. They labored for personal gain, and where the common thieves of the seas. They where independent and did not work under the flag or protection of any country or nation. El Botin, or the booty was shared with the Captain and his crew. A greater percentage went to the Captain. Many pirates where unethical and blood thirsty.
Los Corsarios = The Privateers where a group of Pirates who attached and stole under the flag and protection of a King or Queen or a country. These Pirates where funded and protected by the Country for whom they stole for and their booty was split between the King and the Corsario. The Corsario split his half between himself and his crew. Many Corsarios where Caribbean native born, who at first sailed and looted for the Spanish flag, but then witnessing the injustice and cruelty done to their native homes became rogue, outlaws and unprotected Pirates.
Los Filibustero = The Filibuster name of a group of pirates that sailed and infested the Antilles in the 1700s and early 1800s. This group of Pirates unlike other pirates worked solely on the Caribbean sea, and usually did not stray to far from the coast of the island they where a native of, and only ventured to other surrounding Caribbean islands. They stole from the King and Country that governed and often oppressed their island and shared their botty with the poor.
Los Bucaneros = The Buccaneers were American born pirates who resided in Haiti the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. They stole live stock, such as pigs, goats, cows and horses. They traded skin, hives, meat and live stock with Pirates and privateers for gunpowder, weapons, and cloth which they smuggled to the United States.
Ranks of Spirits that can be part of this Cuadro Espiritual are.
The Captain = el Capitan
The Lieutenant = el Teniente (Second Mate)
The Master = el Maestro (Third Mate)
The Boatswain = el Contramastre
The Gunner = el Almero
The Carpenter = el Carpintero
The Quartermaster = el Intendente
The Mates = Los Tripulaciónes
Para que yo me arrepienta
I a meak and unhappy creature.
the waves of the sea.
When we think to name the real Pirates of the Caribbean, we think of names such as Captain Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, Black Bart, el Diabolito, Anne Bonny and Mary Read to name a few. People have asked me why is this Court of Pirates Spirits venerated or respected within Mesa Blanca or Espiritismo Cruzado, since many pirates are known for their lawless behavior, thievery and as blood thirsty ruthless killers. While in part this is true, but also through out history there have been Pirates who where loved and respected and known as heroes of the people, even literature and mythology tells the heroic tales of fictional Pirates such as Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts and recently Captain Jack Sparrow, who have been loved revered and venerated as heroes by children and those with a child like heart all over the world. Puerto Rico is no exception to this rule, and the two Pirates I am going to mention were not fictional character but actual historic figures that lived and sailed the Caribbean seas. Much of their historical lives have been shrouded in mystery and folk legends and fictional tales have been told to the children of the island of the adventures and exploits of these two pirates.
Captain Miguel Henriquez also spelled Miguel Enriquez a Mulatto (half black half white) was famous for being one of the Wealthiest Men in the New World at the time, and defeated the English on Vieguez and Culebra Island and reclaimed it for the thrown of Spain and the island of Puerto Rico. He was such a famous Corsario that he was dubbed the Captain of the Seas and Land. Although he was well respected he died a pauper in a Catholic Convent after being stripped of his title and loosing his wealth, after going rogue against the Spanish government for their mistreatment of Puerto Rican Criollos. But of all the famous native born Pirates of the Caribbean none was as famous and loved as the Puerto Rican Criollo el Pirata Roberto Cofresi. His history has been so shrouded with historical facts, myths and legends and he has become one of the most interesting spirits respected within Puerto Rican Espiritismo and Sanse Religion.
Roberto Cofresí Ramírez de Arellano was born and raised in the coastal town of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. At a young age Roberto fantasized of a life at sea after hearing the stories and legends told by local fishermen seamen and sailors. At around the age of 21 he purchased a small vessel that he dubbed El Mosquito, and in 1818 at the age of 27 he organized a crew of mates which consisted of 10 of his closest hometown friends and family members and set out to sea as Pirates. He remained a Pirate for another 8 years until his capture persecution and death. In Puerto Rico he was dubbed, El Pirata Cofresi and became a local hero similar to Robin Hood, as he often attacked American, French and English ships and shared his booty with the poor. He was greatly loved by the people that many hid him and his crew from American and later Spanish authorities.
What is interesting to note is that many locals of Cabo Rojo believe to have seen the Ghost of Cofresi walking the streets on the nights of the Full Moon drinking his rum and chanting old Spanish hymns.
Accounts also state that during a drunken stupor of rum he confessed to some the whereabouts of his treasure, he told a person that he hid his treasure at the base of a Ceiba tree where the roots touched the sea and that it could only be seen on the nights of the Full Moon. Cofresi locked the treasure with a chain and cast a spell over it to keep it hidden. The magical spell consisted of his treasure being hidden in the waters and is guarded by a school of fish that swim around it, furiously shaking the dirt around the treasure chest to keep it hidden. One legend tells the tale of how an American female archaeologist became so obsessed with finding Cofresi's lost treasure that she scouted all the possible locations and whereabouts of his lost treasure. One cloudy night she sat under a Ceiba tree
for rest when all of a sudden the clouds parted and the rays of the Full moon shown on the waters below. There the woman saw the treasure chest of Cofresi surrounded by the swimming school of fish. She quickly jumped into the water to try and pull the chest out, and at that very moment the clouds engulfed the moon and the school of fish transformed into man eating sharks and in a frenzy tore the woman apart sending her soul straight to Davy Jone's locker.
In 1824 in a fierce battle with Captain John Slout of U.S. naval ship the Grampus, Cofresi and his crew of 11 to 16 men where captured and where turned over to the Spanish government. The Spanish incarcerated him and his crew in the Fort of el Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. He and his crew spent their final months jailed in the fort and on March 29, 1825 he was excuted by a firing squad. Some legends say that he was skinned alive and his body was dragged by horse all around the Walled city, then was burried at the only entrance and exist of el Cementerio Antiguo de San Juan, Santa Maria Magdalena Cemetary so that all who entered and excited the cemetery would walk over his final resting place. His final resting place was never marked, but historians believe he is actually buried on one of the mounds or hills behind the cemetery or infront of the entrance of the Fort.
According to legend, before Cofresi was killed he placed the " Maldicion del Mal de Ojo" Curse of the evil eye on Captain John Slout and the Ship Grampus, and in 1848 the ship with all its crew where lost at sea, never to be found.
Till this day el Pirata Roberto Cofresí is viewed as a national hero, the Puerto Rican Robin Hood and a statue was erected in his honor at Boqueron beach in Cabo Rojo. He was also loved and respected in the neighboring island of the Dominican Republic, and his hide out on the island today is known as Playa Cofresi.
Spiritist accounts of Cofresi's apparitions include accounts claiming that when summoned in Veladas or Sesiones Espirituales, "La Fuerza de Cofresi" or the strength of Cofresí's spirit is so excessive and overpowering to the point of killing the Casilla host he possesses. For this reason it is rare that any Espiritismo or Sanse circle dare bother him or any Pirate for that matter from their slumber. Usually spirits of Marineros "Sailors" are invoked. The Patron Saint and protector of all sea lovers is Saint Peter and the their guardian Virgin is Nuestra Señora Virgen del Mar or Stella Maris. Our Lady of the Sea, the Star of the Ocean.
Salve, Estrella del mar, Madre, que diste luz a Dios, quedando perpetuamente virgen,
Feliz puerta del cielo. Pues recibiste aquel Ave de los labios de Gabriel, cimiéntanos en la paz, Trocando el nombre de Eva.
Suelta las prisiones a los reos; da lumbre a los ciegos, ahuyenta nuestros males, recábanos todos los bienes.
Muestra que eres Madre. Reciba por tu mediación nuestras plegarias el que, nacido por nosotros, se dignó ser tuyo.
Virgen singular, sobre todas, suave, haz que, libres de culpas, seamos suaves y castos.
Danos una vida pura, prepara una senda segura, para que, viendo a Jesús, eternamente nos gocemos.
Hail, thou Star of the ocean, Portal of the sky. Ever Virgin Mother Of the Lord most high.
Oh by Gabriel's Ave, Uttered long ago, Eva's name reversing, Stablish peace below.
Break the captive's fetters. Light on blindness pour. All our ills expelling, Every bliss implore.
Show thyself a Mother; Offer Him our sighs, Who for us Incarnate Did not thee despise.
Virgin of all virgins! To thy shelter take us, Gentlest of the gentle! Chaste and gentle make us.
Still as on we journey, Help our weak endeavor; Till with thee and Jesus We rejoice forever.
Through the highest heaven, To the Almighty Three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One in the same, glory be. Amen.