Thursday, February 16, 2012


The Pantheon of the
Puerto Rican Sanse Misterios



Los Misterios de Sanse simiar to Dominican 21 Division, Diviciones


Within the Pantheon of Haitian Vodou the Lwa are categorized within 5 various Nations "Nanchons" of Spirits, which are as follow.

Rada Nation
Petro Nation
Guede Nation
Kongo Nation
Nago Nation

The word Lwa is the Haitian Creole word for Law, and is pronounced Lalwa. "La Luwah"


Rada Lwa

The Rada Lwa are the highly elevated  ancient Spirits who have their roots in Africa. These Spirits where honored, venerated, worshiped and brought to the New World with the Slave Trade.  Within the Rada Division, the Cosmic forces and Spiritual Forces of nature are honored.  Many Orishas from Santeria, Candomble, Umbanda, Santerismo, Shango and Obeah also fall within this Division. They are generally benevolent spirits and as a whole are associated with the element of air and the color white, although singularly each Orisha and Lwa control a force of nature, or element, each has his or her own associated color and numbers.

Some Rada can also have Petro aspects which are considered to be much more harsher and aggressive than the more peaceful and benevolent Rada Lwa, some say that these Rada Lwa with Petro traits are aspects, "vueltas" or roads, "caminos" while others argue they are different entities altogether. 


Petro Lwa




The Petro / Pretho Lwa have their origin within the New World, and they tend to be more aggressive than the peaceful Rada.  The name Petro comes from Don Juan Felipe Pedro  "Jean Philippe Petro, Ti Jean Petro" a Negro Slave of the Dominican Republic who in 1768 learned to harness the darker aspects or sides of the Lwa, as well as the native spirits of the land, becoming a powerful and well renowned Papa Boko.  The Petro Lwa became very popular within the island of Hispañola especially in Haiti.  In Cuba these forces are known as the Inquices or Mpungo. As a whole they are associated with the element fire and the color red.

Ghede Lwa

The Ghede Lwa are often viewed as benevolent Spirits of the Dead who are in the transition state of reaching Rada status,  and still some Ghede are waiting to reincarnate or resurrect into the material plane.    They are great healers, protecters of children and often have a mischievous, and trickster like nature to them. 

The Ghede fall into the biggest group of Lwa and fall in between the Rada and Petro, and their mischievous nature is often misunderstood.

They are the messengers or mouthpiece to the dead as well as highly elevated spirits, and also are known to help transport dead souls into other planes of existence.   Many also help in opening the pathways between the realm of the Living and the realm of the Dead. As a whole their color is black.

The Kongo Lwa


The group of Loases have their origins within the Congo region of Africa.  This group of Lwa include the Simbi division mostly venerated in Haitian Vodou, and the Mpongo Spirits venerated in Palo Monte and Palo Mayombe.  While the Rada represent Cosmic and Natural Forces, the Petro and Congo embody human traits, desires and emotions.  They are fierce, and often hot tempered spirits.  There color as a whole is Blue.

Nago Lwa




The Nago nation includes many aspects or roads of the Orisha Oggun, or the Lwa Ogou, such as Ogum, Ogou Balendjo, Ogun Panama, Ogun Zarabanda,  Gran Ogun Batala, Ogou Sango, and so forth.  Originating from the Ogun state in present day Nigeria as well as Benin and Osun, the Ogun are associated with Fire and Metal, and manifest their energy through labor and hard work.  They have the power to destroy and create and are the great Leaders of battles.  They are blacksmith, and rulers of weapons and all metals.  They are envisioned as warriors, generals or soldiers, as they always carry a weapon such as a Sword, or a Machete.  Traditionally the name Ogun is similar to a surname or last name for Nago Lwa although the name Ogun or Ogou comes first.

While the Haitians classify their Lwa into 5 nations, The Misterios "Loases" of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico classify them into 21 divisions.

The Dominican Republic 21 Divisions are

The Leguas
The Ogunes
The Guedes
The Rodas
The Lokos
The Lokomis
The Petos
The Simbis
The Petifones
The Marasa
The Zombis
The Indios
The Nagos
The Congos
The Guineas
The Niñillos
The Caes
The Dangueles
The Shuques
The Piues
The Difemayos

In Puerto Rico there is a slight variation.  The Sanse Misterios are.


Within Puerto Rican Sanse the most venerated are the Siete Sanses or Siete 7 Jefes of the Sanse Pantheon, which is similar in concept to the Seven African Powers.


Los Siete Jefes del Sanse


los Siete JEFES del Sanse


Anaisa la Chiquita
Santa Marta Dominadora
La Madre Dolorosa
Belie Belcan
Ogun Belando
Baron del Cementerio


Some societies or families differ and may include,  Luis El Guedesito,  Pa Viejo, Cachita Tumbo, Amalia Belcan, Ofelia Balendo, Agua Dulce or Rio Tempestoso.  It is important to note that not all Sanse Societies venerate the same Misterios. 



La Siete Potencias Africana







Also Babalu Aye, Ochosi and Oya.


In tern these 21 Divisions are broken down into three major Divisions, each Division has 7 Seven main Jefes or Chiefs that rule over that particular Punto.  So you have 3 Divisions which has 7 Puntos, and 7 times 3 equals 21.  Some Puerto Rican societies include the Commissions as well.  Again each sociedad or familia will have variations on what constitutes the 7 Jefes of Sanse.
It is not that we do not respect the other Misterios, its that the 7 Jefes are the most widely respected, or known on the island both within Brujeria and Sanse.

The White Division "Air Division"
The Black Division "Fire Division"
The Indian Division "Water Division"

The Earth Division is made up of those Spirits, or Saints that are close to the Material plane these spirits as a whole are known as the Commissions, or Cortes and the Punto to the Comisiones is ones Guardiana spirit known as El Centinela.

The Misterios / The Loases






Alejo is Saint Alex

Anaisa Pyé / Anaisa la Chiquita =
Saint Anne  July 26th / Joan of Arc.  Colors : Yellow and White
Baron Del Cementerio / Baron del Monte = Saint Elijah
Day  17th of April or 20th of July
Colors Black and White

Barón Sandi / Papa Guede is San Gerardo  Feast Day, October 16, colors Black and Red.

Belié Belcan is Saint Michael,  Feast Day, Sept 29th, colors green and red

Bakúlu Baká is Saint Philip, Feast Day November 14. Colors Blue and Green.

Candelina is Our Lady of Candelaria, Feast Day, Febuary 2
Colors Red and Blue

Candelito is The Divine Child, Feast Day December 25, colors Pink and Blue.

Candelo Cedife is Saint Charles
Colors Red White, Black

Candelo del Monte / Candelo de la Escoba is Saint Martin de Porres, feast day, November 3 colors Red, White and Black.

Cachita Tumbo is Our Lady of Charity. Madonna della Neve, Feast Day,  Sept 8
Orange and Yellow

Chango Macho is Saint Barbara, Feast Day December 4th, colors Red and White.

Clementina is the Virgen Milagrosa, colors, White and Blue

Centinela is Saint Sebastián

Centinela Criminel is Saint Pancracio

Damballah is Saint Patrick. Feast Day March 17th.  Colors: White and Green

Ezili Ailá (Alaíla) is Our Lady of High Grace Feast Day, January 21, Colors: White, Blue

Ezili Danthó is Saint Barbara Africana, Feast Day December 4, colors Blue, Yellow, Green. 

Filomena Lubana is Saint Martha Dominator. Feast Day, July 29, colors, purple and green.

Ghuede Gran Bwa is Saint Jude,  Saint Cristopher,  Feast Day October 28, colors Red, Blue and Green.

Gran Soliér is Jesus of Nazareth, Feast Day, December 6, colors Yellow, Gold, white and Orange.. 

Gran Toro (Toroliza) Christ of Good hope, color red and purple

Guedé Limbó San Expedito

La Gunguna is Saint Ellen

Juan Bakéo is Saint Peter, colors, Red, Brown and Green

Juan Ferroz is Saint Marcos Evangelist, Feast Day April 25, colors Red and Yellow.

Juan Kriminelo (Jan Kriminel or Juan Criminal ) is Saint Pancracio

Papa Legba is Saint Anthony,  His color is brown and his feast day is June 13.

Luis Guede is Child of Atocha, His colors are Red and Black, his feast day is December 25.

Marassa is Saints Cosmo and Damian.  Their colors are Red and Green Rojo/Red, Verde/Green and feast day is September 26.

Marta La Bruja is Saint Martha

Metresili is Our Lady of Sorrows, Her colors are Pink, Baby Blue and White.  Her feast day is September 15.

Ofelia Balendjo is Our Lady of Mercy, Her colors are white, light blue and clear, and his feast day is September 24.

Ogun Balendjo is Saint James, His colors are Red and Blue, his feast day is  july 25th.

Ogun Fegai is Saint Jorge, His colors are White and Red.  His feast day is April 23.

Ogun Batala is Saint Martin of Tours, His colors: White and Red.  His feast day is November 11

Osanjin is Saint Franscise

La Sirena is Estrella Maris Blue.  Her colors are Blue and White, Her feast day is September 7th.

La Señorita is Saint Claire.  Her colours: White and Yellow, Her feast day: August 11

Rosita Guedelia Legba is Saint Rose of Lima.

Tindjo Alague is San Rafael

This is not the 21 DIVISION as practiced in The Dominican Republic, it is the Misterios that are venerated in Puerto Rican Sanse.  Each Sociedad will vary on which Misterios are part of the Division.
21 Divisiones de Sanse

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