Ones Principle Guide and other protective Spirits are often ancestral spirits or familiar spirits from this or past lives that are connected to one through blood. As our physical body grows older and we come closer to the physical death of the body, little by little the Spirits who have completed their mission become elevated, some are reborn into the physical world and others gravitate to their next mission. The only spirit from our Cuadro Espiritual who accompanies you through the physical death of the body is your Principle Guide and or Angel de la Guarda, which are with you from the time of birth until the moment of death. Often times as we pass through the veil between both realms, one is either guided by the Principle Guide or passes through the tunnel of light, seeing the Spirits that made up your Cuadro Espiritual, your ancestors and those who departed while you where alive, often times if the Guia Principal is not there to guide your spirit through the tunnel it will be at the other end of it, waiting for you with comforting open arms.
A major problem I have been noticing lately, and a trend that is growing big because of the Internet and lack of knowledge and common sense is, people revealing the names of the Spirits of their Cuadro to the public, this to all Hispanics who are a part of a Centro or Templo Espiritual know that this must never be done. (If you notice in my Blog the only names if any that I reveal are that of my Angel de la Guarda and my Patron Saint which are Spirits that are so highly elevated that they can not be easily persuaded to leave my side. This information can be used against you in so many negative ways. This is one way of so many, to tell if one has been initiated, baptized or received any Puntos or ceremonies within Sance, Vudu, 21 Divisiones or Espiritismo. A responsible Godparent will instruct you in many ways on how to protect your Cuadro, and strictly warn you on revealing the names of your Spirits to the world, which would be as dangerous as revealing the names of your loved ones to a hired hit man.
Besides one’s Cuadro Espiritual we are all accompanied by an army of Dark Spirits, which are also known as our inner demons. These spirits are earth bound entities that attach themselves to an individual, either by outside influence such as black magic and sorcery, or can be unconsciously picked up through a traumatic experience known as "un Susto or una Trauma" . If not taken cared of in its early stages of development these dark spirits can perturb the person and seriously affect his or her spiritual development. causing depression, anxieties, anger and frustration.
Long term suffering from dark spirits can cause road blocks, obstacles, alcohol and substance abuse, violent and suicidal tendencies, and many even resort to committing murder.
The beginning stages of this affliction is what is termed in Puerto Rican Sanse and Espiritismo Criolla as "una Causa" hence why we say "tienes una causa." A malignant spirit that causes problems and often begins with an individual suffering headaches, nervousness and uneasiness which in tern brings in the feeling as if the individual has a heavy weight on their chest and shoulders "un bajon" which in tern brings upon a radical change in behavior. It is in the beginning stages that ones Cuadro Espiritual is working over time to help the individual as much as possibly allowed. But if the individual does not seek spiritual, medical and or psychological help, as he/she succumbs to the dark spirits so will the link and bond to the Cuadro Espiritual suffer. Often times the bond becomes so weak that within time the spiritual link between the individual and the Spirits that make up the Cuadro begins to wane and suffer, until finally leaving the individual weak, disorientated and prone to spiritual illnesses that can cause mental, emotional and physical problems.
People often ask me. If we are highly spiritual, what is the purpose for these inner demons. My answer is simple. One, to test our faith, strength and endurance; and two, one can not know good or understand goodness without experiencing, bad, wickedness or evil.
A well trained Sancistas and Espiritistas try to help the individual who suffers from bad spirits and inner demons by first trying to remove dark spirits, through ritual ceremonies such as rompimiento, desprendimiento and recogimiento. But the individual is also advised to seak mental and physical help. Espiritistas and Sancistas understand that the only way a person can truly be healthy, is through healing spiritually, mentally and physically. In many cases the individual fails to ignore the importance of the healing process and the dark spirits returns and reattaches themselves to the person and perturbs them all over again.
Also there exists many individuals who wish to have the spiritual abilities that your Cuadro gives you. Some of the major reasons is that an individual such as a Nigromante, Diablero or Muertero likes the way your Spirits work for you within Misas and Sesiones. If the Spirits in your Cuadro are well cared for and attended, this process can be difficult but not impossible. This is the reason one should not mount Spirits unattended or accompanied by a trusted godparent or spiritual family member, someone who will guard the physical and spiritual body, and why one never mounts Spirits in a room full of strangers, another Sociedad, Templo or Centro. A Spirit from one's Cuadro Espiritual can also choose to leave of their own free will, one reason being is because the person who they guard does not attend his Spirits correctly, often ignoring them. Those Spirits searching for light and elevation will then seek gravitate or cling to, those individuals who attend their Spirits in a correct manner.
It is impossible for an individual to know the names of all the Spirits within their Cuadro, and often time this is not important, what is important is that we recognize their presence, give them respect, light and clarity.
Each Spirit has an important function, some are healers, others messengers, while others open the doors for opportunities and close the doors to misfortunes. They all work in unison in taking great care of the temple, the vessel which is your body that houses the Soul and Spirit. Like the organs and cells within our body that work in unison to help the body grow, heal and live a long sound life, so it is the same with the Cuadro Espiritual. To loose one Spirit from your Cuadro is to loose one's spiritual equilibrium, allowing for malignant forces to take over. It is during moments of great sadness, suffering or depression that our spiritual body tells us that our Cuadro is week, or something is spiritually wrong, similar to that of a sneeze or a cough which is the way our bodies tell us that a cold or a fever is brewing within the body and our immune system is weak. We must be strong, pray and pay homage to our Spirits, because it is at these moments when we are being tested spiritually, and many times we fail to understand that our Cuadro is working hard for us. Many individuals turn to narcotics, prescription drugs or alcohol to ease the pain. But these things fuel ones weakness, which in turn strengthens our inner demons.
A traumatic experience in life can be the cause as well, loosing a loved one, being physically or sexually assaulted, loosing a limb during an accident. This can cause a Trauma which wrips through the very layers of our aura and within time and without proper healing can reach the core of the aura which in tern allows for those spirits that protect us and guide us to wane and allowing the strength of our inner demons to increase and take hold. Once an individual looses one spirit from one's cuadro it is not impossible to have it return or replaced by another spirit that will take its place. But in a society where we turn to drugs and alcohol as a solution, instead of prayer, hope and faith, this is easier said than done.
The Cuadro teaches that strength, and endurance can only come through conquering and mastering our fears. They teach through suffering only the strong will survive. Every spiritual leader from the Buddha "Siddhārtha Gautama" to the Christ "Jesus of Nazareth" suffered and over came, and became stronger. They teach through inner acceptance and true inner love of one self. The love of one self that brings that inner joy that none can take away.
The Spirits teach us to dance, to sing, to make love, and even to enjoy a glass or two of an alcohol beverage, but never let the Demons Greed and Sloth take over your body. On another note, unlike your Cuadro that's names should not be revealed, the opposite is true about your inner demons. Mine are a part of the Nation of Pride and Frustration. I battle these two inner demons like no other on a daily basis. "I am a proud person to the point sometimes I can come of as being a bit to proud, and I get frustrated very easily, especially when confronted or pushed. These two together join forces and give birth to the inner demon Rage within me, and everyday I keep that inner demon in check and under control. But all who know me, know that on a daily basis I battle them as Saint Michael battles Lucifer. True acceptance of one's faults and weaknesses is the greatest of virtues.
The Cuadro Espiritual wants nothing more than for you to truly love yourself, truly know yourself, and except those things you must except and change those things that must be changed.
While ones Angel de la Guarda are protectors and guardians that's mane function is to save our Spirit our very souls and protect us from evil both in the material and spiritual plane, our Guias Espirituales are responsible for our spiritual growth and development. Also one needs to understand their origin. Angel de la Guarda are highly elevated spirits that have never lived within human form, many cultures view them as gods or demi gods, and a capitol G as in for God is never used, and some call them the purest of Saints, or by other names such as Irunmole Archangels, Orisha, or Zemi. They are celestial forces of the Cosmos, and each one is assigned by God to rule over an element or plane of existence within the Cosmos. They are like our Spiritual mother or Spiritual father, and many of their attributes and qualities are often inherited into the person they guard.
While the Angel de la Guarda are cosmic forces of pure light, the Spirit Guides are our dead, they are the Ancestral Souls of our blood line within this life or previous incarnations. They have lived within the realm of the living in physical form at least once " often times they have lived multiple times", and some have reached a higher level of concioisness, while.others not so. Some will be reborn into future earthly incarnations as they still must pass earthly tests of trials and tribulations, while others will elevate into another form of being. They know and understand from first hand experience our weaknesses, our temptations, our sorrows, our fears, our desires, they know like no other our needs and wants. They know the trials we must face on the earthly world, and are ever present if we have faith in them, believe in them and call on them. They are responsible for helping us in our spiritual growth, and speak to us through our inner voice and thoughts. Their messages come to us through dreams or omens within nature, if we are knowledgeable enough to listen and understand what messages they are trying to convey. They help us in the knowledge we seek in understanding those things that help us evolve spiritually. Within the Sanse Tradition and Espiritismo Criolla(o) (folclorica) our dead are not far away in a remote place, they are near us, present when we call on them even through a single thought of them, they come.
Our Spirit Guides are like a strong frame that protects the fragile photograph from the elements. The stronger the frame, the stronger the protection granted, the more the photograph is protected from the harsh elements. We are the fragile photograph, and they are the wood, the glass, the backing and the nails that surround and protect us. The Photograph can only be as strong as its frame.
They are the mentors, the wise sages, the Counselors, that have learned through their past life incarnations the lessons needed for spiritual elevation and now are present with the goal of bestowing upon us these lessons.
They come from many walks of life, so it is important within both Sanse and Espiritismo not to be a prejudice individual. To be prejudice towards a race or a people is to be ignorant. This ignorance can be very dangerous and departmental to our spiritual growth. To offend a race, or a people is to spit on the names of your Spirit Guides, because they in life could have been an Indian Chief, an African slave, an Arabian Popper, an Egyptian stone mason, a Catholic Nun, a Pagan priestess or a poor fisherman. Which brings the importance of Religious tolerance. I was in Salem Witch Village with a Godson when a well known Wiccan priestess was telling a client that Jesus is Dead. This frame of mentality that many Neo Pagans hold against Christianity and vise a versa, does not exist in Santeria, Umbanda, Sanse, Vodou, or any non Neo Pagan tradition. (No we are not Neo or New Age anything, our ways are as old as time) We respect all religions because we don't know if the very spirits that protect us may in life have been a Pagan Priestess or a Catholic Nun, and hear they are in Spirit form holding hands in unison to protect and guide us. To offend a race, a belief or religious view is like one offending our very own loved ones or insulting that foundation that grounds the temple.
"Many Neo Pagans hold to the thought, that Christians persecuted them for thousands of years. Believe it or not, there was a time when Christianity was persecuted by the Pagans. If we do not put a stop to this mentality, we are doomed to repeat history, It is time we put this very ignorant (frame) of mind to rest and have respect and tolerance for the personal beliefs of all your neighbors.'
Some Spirit Guides can be the souls of departed family members or close friends, or as I have stated we may not have known them within this lifetime, but we have a spiritual link that connects us even though it was from previous life times. They could be a wife, a mother or a teacher as much as they could have been a neighbor, a family doctor, a parish priest, a close friend or a tribal shaman.
We are all born with a custodial Guardian Angel who accompanies us through out our entire life. With the exception of one's principle guide, many of the Spirits within our Cuadro Espiritual will come and go, some stay with us until their mission has been completed, others move away from the lack of faith we have in their guidance. Some are replaced by others, while others are not. Some will gravitate to another individual because of the lack of respect or interest you show to them.
The Spirits that make up your Cuadro Espiritual are our closest allies to Papa Buen Dios, they are the link that links us to the realm of Spirits. They are dear and close friends to us, often closer or much closer than your living friends or family members , because they know the true intentions of your heart, soul and mind better than any living person could. There is a Spanish saying. "Caras vemos, corazones, no savemos." (Faces we see, hearts "intentions", we do not know.). Our Cuadro can not be fooled in this way. They know us inside out.
Our Cuadro are affectionate, attentive, concerned about our spiritual, mental and physical growth, and always want what is best for us.
They do not judge us harshly, even during those days when we make mistakes, or do not follow their sound advice. They like no other understand that it is essential for us to make mistakes, so that we may learn valuable lessons. They know that through true suffering, the Spirit is tested and the Soul flourishes.
EL CENTINELA: At the forefront of one's Cuadro is the Centinela which is that Spirit that is closest to you in terms of Spiritual protection. The Centinela’s function is to protect you from psychic warefare, psychic attacks, black magic, crossed conditions, hexes, curses, the evil eye and to make sure you develop within this life. The Centinela is your spiritual shield, safeguard and life guard. The Centinela has no physical representation, although we in Sanse use a photo or an image of Saint Sebastian, Saint Pancracio or Faith, Hope and Charity to represent our Centinela. The Centinela is with you from the first moment an evil eye is placed on you, and is with you until you reach old age or death. The Centinela rarely if ever mounts a medium’s body in a crowded room, its function is to safeguard your physical and spiritual body. But if they do, it is for observance, of the physical mediums body. A Centinela identity as with many spirits of your Cuadro Espiritual should never be revealed to the public and the name of one’s Centinela can only be given through an Investigation. When the Centinela mounts, it mounts as a wise and benevolent Spirit, and although it rarely mounts in public it does posses the body with messages of hope, wisdom, prudence and with divine intervention. The Centinela is that Spirit that is the ground keeper, the overseer. They rarely mount in Sesiones or Misas, they come speaking through times of quiet meditation, contemplation and prayer, they are the voice of ones Higher Self. The only people who know your Centinela’s identity is yourself and the Espiritista or Sancista who preformed the investigation and whispers quietly into your ear, the Centinela's name. Many people say the name or identity comes to them through dreams, which is rare, often impossible and is often confused with one’s Guardian Angel, Patron Saint or Principle Guide. The Centinela does not, and if so rarely represent an earthly culture or religion, the Centinela is not a part of a group of Spirits such as are the Madamas, the Gitanas, the Congos the Piratas or Indios although in life it could have been one but they are a part of Division of Spirits known as Los Centinelas. The Centinela is beyond earthly physical representations, and are above the Comiciones and Sanses but a bit below the Misterios.
GUIA PRINCIPAL: Of all your Spirits in the Cuadro Espiritual, your Guia Principal is the one that is with you from the moment of birth until the moment of death. While many spirits from one’s Cuadro Espiritual have a certain mission to complete and once completed they move on or become attached to another incarnate spirit, your Guia Principal is always with you. Your Guia Principal is the Jefe of your Cuadro, asigning missions and over seeing other spirits within your Cuadro.
ANGEL DE LA GUARDA: The Guardian Angel is that Celestial Being that protects you through out your lifespan. They are primordial beings of pure light, and have never lived in human form. They guard and protect you from evil forces, demonic forces and inner demons. Unlike a Misterio that's aspect can change as one grows or does not grow in life, the Angel de la Guarda is the same during life. The Angel de la Guarda is like a Spiritual parental figure, and has never walked or lived in human form. They are the most ancient of beings and although there are many levels of Angels some being further from human affairs than others, the Angel de la Guarda is the closest of the Pure Energy Spirits of Light that watch over human affairs. Although they can be seen through human eyes as male or female, and can be seen to represent catecoristics of human qualities, it is we as humans that give them earthly representations, for they are far beyond human comprehension.
PATRONALES: The Patron Saint, can be male or female. It can be a Saint from any religion, Catholic, Hinduism, or Buddism to name a few. Traditionally the Patron Saint was determined through the day an individual was born. In Sanse we have a male and or a female. Male "Patron" Female "Matrona". Like the Angel de la Guarda they are parental figures who guard and protect us, the names of these Patronales are determined through an oracle or through the investigacion or alinacion de cuadro. Also an individual can inherit a loved ones Patron Saints. When my grandfather passed I inherited his Patron Saint, Martin De Porres, a beautiful chalk ware plaster statue that has been in the family since the mid 1960s, while a client of mine inherited her mothers Santa Barbara when her mother passed. This is not uncommon in Puerto Rican beliefs and practices as the Atributos of Saints and Spirits can be left to a trusted family member at time of death.
SANSES: The Sanse also known in Espiritismo as Los Emisarios, Embajadores, En Corrientes, or los Sanses, are the Spirits of people who in life where Servidores "Servitors" of the Loases, Orishas, Zemi, or Nsambis. They where paleros, espiritistas, brujos, santiguadores, curanderos, yerberos or santeros, who often mimick the Misterio they represent with their own unique earthly qualities. Often time they will come baring the name of the Misterio they represent and are viewed as the Messengers of the Misterios.
ANTEPASADOS: The Antepasados are the spirits of ones ancestors. One never truly knows where ones blood lineage is from and the Ancestors can come from various cultures. They are very protective and carry us upon their shoulders and we walk the paths they once walked and breath the air they once breathed.
DIFUNTOS: The Difuntos or ones Muertos are those spirits of loved ones that a person knew in life, such as grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, close friends and other relatives. If the Spirit died a natural death they are often prayed to on ancestral shrines. The Spirits of those who committed suicide, where murderers or rapists are never venerated on the shrine but prayed to so that they may receive forgiveness and light.
MISTERIOS: The Misterios are the highly elevated Spirits that within the Sanse tradition can be Loases, Orishas, Angels, Archangels Zemi, Saints, deities.and other Spirits. They often represent or govern an element here on earth, such as Fire, Water, Earth, Metal, Wood, and Air. While the Angeles are guardians and the keepers of the Cosmic Heavens. Often times one is born protected and governed by a certain Misterio and latter in life another Misterio can take over the head or infuse with the Misterio that governs the head becoming as one. This may sound confusing, hence why they are Misterios. Unlike the Angel de la Guarda that has never walked in human form, most Misterios have lived in human form and are the ancient ancestors that are on their way to becoming Puro Misterios, Beings of Pure Light. Many Demonic Forces com
COMISIONES: The Comisiones are those spirits that share a spiritual bond and link to the person they protect. They come from all walk of life and spiritual or religious beliefs. They can have a spiritual link through blood lineage or past life incarnations. They are healers, doctors, messengers, counselors, to name a few of their functions. They represent a cultural group of people or race, and often enjoy the foods, music and traditions they enjoyed in life.
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