Sanse Vodou Spirits
Haitian Vodou in all its forms and branches such as Dominican 21 Division, Puerto Rican Sanse or New Orleans Voodoo are traditions that empowers women. In our rites, women are viewed as equally strong, as important and at times stronger then their male counterparts; this feminine power manifests itself with the Lua and Spirits we venerate.
In Sanse we respect and acknowledge all spirits of light, all the saints "Santos as we call them" wether they are Catholic, African, or Native American, every Misterio we respect them all, both masculine and feminine energies. It is not unheard in our traditions that the energies of Yemalla del Norte, are as powerful and when inprolerly harnessed are as dangerous as those energies manifested through the Ogou Nation. Within our traditions you cant be a spiritual person and ignore these facts.
Papa Legba the gatekeeper, the great messenger and Fa the Lord of Infinite Wisdom, himself knows this to be true, and for this reason many of our Loases have both masculine and feminine sides, energies, vueltas or counterparts, they represent the spectrum of night and day, of good and evil,, of fatherhood and motherhood, brotherhood and sisterhood, of that which is known and that which is unknown, that which is evident and obvious with that which is mysterious. As far as the Lua venerated in Vodou and all its branches, sometimes what may appear to have its branches in one Continent, has its roots in another, and no other spirits within the Sanse and Espiritismo traditions holds this true as does the Court of the Gypsies.
The Gypsies have always been associated with divination, may it be palmistry, tarot cards, crystal ball gazing or tea leaf reading and are also known for their love and mastery in music such as the violin, Spanish guitar, and castanets as they are known for their unique form of Gypsy magic. For this reason in Puerto Rican Sanse, Brazilian Umbanda and Venezuela Marialionzero Tres Potencias they are viewed similar as the ancient Muses, Satyresses and Satyr of Greek mythology.
While many associate cartomancy with the Commissions of the Madamas, many followers of Sanse, Espiritismo Cruzado, Santerismo, Umbanda, and Mesa Blanca have also rightfully so included the Gitanos with cartomancy.
We all have Spirits that make up our Spiritual frame, and each has an important role within our spiritual growth and development. Often times traits of the Spirits are manifested on the individual who has a certain court or commission of Spirit within their cuadro, which is similar to the traits of ones Astrological sign or Zodiac. It is more than likely that if you live a bohemian / nomadic existence, move around allot and enjoy some form of divination be it Tarot, dice or palmistry, and enjoy acoustic music such as Flamenco or soulful Canto Jondo, than you might have a Gypsy spirit that makes up your Cuadro Espiritual.
Now unlike some traditions who just pray or work magic with spirits such as La Madama or Indian Spirits, in the traditions I have previously mentioned, we don't just pray to them, we interact with them, they mount our mediums and fiscally interact with us which makes our relationship to these spirits very personal, and unique. More personal than that of just praying or working conjuration in front of a resin or ceramic lifeless statue, wondering if they are present or for that matter, even listening to our supplications. In fact many traditions outside of the various branches of folkloric Espiritismo have the misconception that we give daily prayer to the Spirits of our Cuadro Espiritual, when in fact we really don't. These Spirits are guides and although we have popular prayers for them, we do not kneel in front of them and pray as we would, lets say a Saint, an Angel, Orisha or Loa; we recite prayers as a form of veneration or when we wish to ask something of them. Traditionally the prayers for the Guides in our Cuadro, such as for los Indios, Madamas, Gitanas, Morenas, or Congos are used in Sesiones in order to invoke that particular Spirit to manifest itself. So in this sense they are not really prayers, but in all actuality invocations, and evocations which in time have been white washed into the popular prayers found today in books sold in Botanicas. On a general basis we speak to our spirits as we would any living incarnate spirit Usually the traditional prayers, (Invocations) followers a traditional song, which helps us and the Mediums in concentrating deeper and as a form of enticing that particular spirit we are invoking or singing to, to manifest or mount itself within an experienced Mediums body. For us the Spirits of the Commissions as are los Muertos, Loa and Oricha are alive and present and do interact with us on a daily basis and during Misas, Sesiones and Fiesta Espirituales. The Gitanos are also the same, they often come dancing, or smoking pipes, the younger female spirits are flirtatious and coquettish, the males are pranksters and tricksters, while the older are more serious and sareen.
Know yes Vodou Priests and Priestesses known as Houngan and Mambos as are the Papa Boko and Mama Mambos of 21 Division and Sancistas are viewed by many as magicians, or sorcerers, and as the popular European sorcerer who works with his traditional magical tools of harnessing energy such as the wand, cup, bell and athame, which help him / her manifest his corrientes and the fluidos of the spirits. The Houngan "Vodou Priest" Papa Boco and Sancista also has his / her sacred tools to aid him/her manifest their will, and it is through the proper usage of these sacred tools, songs, dances and chants that the energies of these Spirits are enticed to manifest.
Within Sanse and Santerismo the Gitanos fall under the leadership of a certain Division or Loa, for example although the Madamas fall under la Sirena they can also work closely with other Misterios or Loases. The Congo spirits often fall under the Ogun or Candelo Division, the Marinero and Piratas fall under Ague, and so forth, the same is true of the Gitanos. Although this group of Spirits can work with any Loa such as las Metresas and in life many of the Romany people venerated Santa Sara la Kali as their patron Saint " who has become a Loa in her own right", the Gitanos fall under the Legba Nation, they are not Legba Loa or Misterios themselves but Spirits who work under them, as Emisarios, Sance or Mensajeros. Similar to the Legba Nacion, the Gitanos are travelers, bohemians, often outcasts, quick to learn a language, quick to adapt into any and all cultures although, they hide within the outskirts of the aceptables societies normal way of living, are always greatly misunderstood and often viewed as wanderers of the earth.
The Gitano or Roma as they are also known are surrounded by so much mythology and folklore, as I have stated in earlier articles on these people and spirits. Many mythical tales associate the Gypsies with being the black smiths "Ogou" who where tricked into making the nails used to crucified the Savior, while others clam that the Gypsies are the descendants of Cain and the Canaanite people. Still others claim that prior to Eve, Adam had a wife named Lilith who was said to have given birth to the first Romany "Gypsy", while others claim that the mythical Wandering Jew was in fact the first Gypsy. Still others claim the Gypsies as being the descendants of Judas Iscariot. Although much of this is in fact based on mythology, it is sad to note that most of the Gitano folklore is based on fear, prejudice and misunderstanding of this people.
The Gitanos are similar to the Pomba Giras of Brazilian Umbanda and Quimbanda, although in Puerto Rico the Pomba Giras are "until recently" virtually unheard of; one thing the Gitanas and the Pomba Gira share in common is the way we invoke them and the way they manifest their fluids and energies within Sesiones and Fiesta Eapirituales. The word Gira means to tour or in the Spanish and Portuguese language, means to tern around, or spin, while the word girar means rotate, revolve, or to go around in circles. But to go deeper, the Pomba Gira and the Gitanas as viewed by Brazilian Umbanda and Puerto Rican Sanse are a Comision or Court of Spirits that seams to have its origin not only in the stereotypical Spanish Gypsies of Spain but also in two Congolese and Bantu deities, which are collectively known as Nikisi. This particular Spirit was known as Pambu Nzila masculine or Bombozira feminine which is a Legba Spirit honored in Palo Monte, Palo Mayombe, Umbanda and Quimbanda and is known as an Elegba path known as Lucero Mundo in Cuba. These spirits and their names did not survive the Spanish inquisition of Puerto Rico, but their Spanish Gypsi disguise and counter part did, at least within Espiritismo, Sanse and Santerismo.
The Gypsies in spirit as they where in life are true bohemians and travelers, they are as free discarnate as they were incarnate. They can be stern and obnoxious, but often happy, and content. One misconception that people who follow Sanse or Espiritismo have is that all the Gypsies are from Spain. Again this is far from the truth, yes many in our Gitanos ancestors do come from Spain and enjoy the traditional Flamenco dance and stereotypical castanets, but others are from Portugal, Hungeria, Egypt, Morocco, Arabia, Russia, Germany, Romania, Yugoslavia and of course the ancient mother land of the Gypsies, India.
This commission of Spirits is as large as all the others and like the blatino Slave Spirits that use the term Negro such as Negro Jose, Negra Francisca or Negro Manuel, the Gypsies come down always proudly saying they are Gitanos, and they ofren use the term for Gipsy from their country of origin such as Cigano, Sigany, Zingaro, Gitan, Zigenare, Gipsy or the Spanish Gitano. In the Spanish language Gitano is masculine while Gitana is feminine, and some of the most popular Gitanos in Cuadros are, Renzo, Hugo, Dracos, Yani, Neftali, Pablo, Vlademir, Juan, Pedrovick, Arsenio, Aldovan and Vitor. The Gitanas are usually Salomè, Sarafina, Waleska, Esmeralda, Tatiana, Yethenia, Amaiya, Zaira, Lucerito, Jovanka, Rita, Sashenka, Milenka, Sunakana, Sulamita, Wlavira and Vinka. In Sanse most of these Spirits come down using the name Maria, Juan and Jose, such as Maria Salomè, Jose Renzo or Juan Vladimir, or will use the name of the Loa they represent as a surname.
In many Caribbean African and Indigenous Traditions, when a Gitano as is any spirit of ones Cuadro, the Espiritista often blesses a statue or doll and in some cases fill it with powerful ingredients that are believed to attract that particular spirit into the statue or doll I will definitely not go into that here, but what I will be posting is for those who do have a Gitana or Gitano how to do a Servicio and connecting to their energies. This Servicio "for the Gitana" is often performed on the night of Venus, as the moon is full on the witching hour. The items and servicio that follows is one used in Brazilian Umbanda as a way of connecting with the Pomba Gira and I have used it as a Plaza de Muerto or as a servicio to las Gitanas before a Fiesta or as a way tuning into the Spirits faculties and has worked effectively for me. Although I use it within my home with Puntos Firmados with Cascarilla, traditionally it is done outdoors in deserted crossroads, which for safety reasons I would not recommend. "Never be alone unaccompanied at night."
- A Spanish Gypsy Doll, or a statue of a Gypsy.
- 7 Red Candles
- 7 Black Candles
- A bottle of rum.
- A bottle of anisette liquor or aguardient.
- 7 Red tea lite Candles
- 7 Black tea lites Candles
- 1 Square Red silk Cloth
- 1 Square Black silk cloth
- 1 Glass Ashtray
- 7 Cigarettes
- 7 Wooden Matches
- 7 Coins
- 1 Red or clear glass vase
- 7 Red Roses
- 1 Bottle of Rose Water
- 1 Bottle of Rose Perfume "Maja Brand"
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Holy Water
- 1 bottle of 4711, "Original Eau de Cologne or any Eau de toilette. (everyone seams to be infatuated with Florida Water, but 4711 Eau de Cologne, Kananga Water, Kolonoa 1800 or Locion Pompeya can be used, but we will just say Florida Water, unless you are near a Botanica and care to experiment with the vast colognes and waters we use.)
- Blessed Salt
- 1 Deck of Lenormand Cards
Begin by cleansing the area with Holy water, then carefully with the Cascarilla draw a circle and then outlining it with the blessed salt.
Place the square piece of Black cloth over the circle, then place the red silk cloth over the black cloth to form an 8 pointed star.
Begin buy cleansing the doll or statue with Florida Water, and Rum, this you will do by spraying the rum from your mouth onto the statue or doll and washing it with your hands using the florida water and passing it over the doll. After this you will do the same with the Anisette Liquor. Then place the doll or statue in the center of the cloth. On the right side place the vase with the red roses while on the left you will place the remainder of the liquors.
In front of the doll you will place the glass ashtray with the 7 unlit cigarettes and 7 wooden matches inside the ashtray.
Then begin to surround every thing with the tea lights, beginning with one black, (the unknown, death) then one red. (Blood life). Do this all the way around. To each candle drop one little drop of olive oil and light one at a time. Then open your deck of Lenormand Cards and begin to make a circle around the circle of candles with the deck, being very careful not to place the card to close to the flames of the candles. (We traditionally give our Gitanas, Lenormand Cards but a Spanish deck can be used.)
Then begin to invoke the Gypsies asking that the Spirit who is part of your cuadro,"if any" will use both the doll / statue and the deck as a spiritual platform for manifestation and communication. The invocation can be one used here or just speak from the heart. Do this until one feels comfortable, making sure that candles are never left unattended.
The Doll / Statue is not your Spirit per say but a vehicle in which your Gitana / o will manifest its energy. It is your Pitosina, and the ritual I have just included is an easier version of the one I posted on the Pitonisa article.
The cloth themselves are only used with the Gitana and can be used to cover the deck or use to lay the deck on.
Traditionally Sancistas and Brujos prepare a resguardo with magical items that are placed within the doll or statue, which are believed to attract the Gitanos.
The Gypsy in time like most of your spirits within your cuadro will ask for items in which they will use in Misas or Sesiones. Traditionally the Gypsies (female) enjoy rose scented perfumes, Spanish Fans, Castinettes, hair combs, black lace, and Arabian jewelry. The rose perfume such as Agua Fresca de Rosas or rose waters are often used to sprinkle or spray on the statue or doll. They enjoy red, black and rose colored candles, and expensive chocolates, although mine does not mind her occasional Twix or Hurshey bars. The Gitana as are many of the spirits are never placed on the altar with the Loa but placed on the boveda or is seated on a wooden chair with wicker seat. We call these chairs Taburettes.
Always keep a Fuente Espiritual with fresh water near her, with rose water and holy water, that is changed every friday. They enjoy menthol cigarettes, champagnes, beer, whisky and gin and semi precious stones, crystal balls, playing cards, tarot decks, silk and satin scarves. They especially enjoy Maja Eau de Toilette Perfume, Azahar Orange Blossom in which they use to bless and Maja talcum powder for their love magic spells. Important note, Gypsy Spirits often get insulted with the term Witch / Bruja or any form of the word and one should never use it when calling them.
A common mistake many individuals have is the difrence between the traditional Flamenco Dress wearing Spanish Señorita and the Gitanas. Although within time the Gypsies of Spain began to wear the traditonal Flamenco clothing worn by the aristocratic Spanish señoritas. Many times we know the difrence between what we call as La Española and la Gitana, although again the Gypies of Spain mastred the art of Flamenco, song and dance and many within time began to wear the traditional Flamenco dress. Traditionally the style of Flamenco the Gypies of Spain sang was known as Canto Jondo, which was a soul full improvised version of Flamenco that had a deep soulful style which differed from the upbeat Fandango and Sevillana style used by the Españoles. Canto Jondo often spoke of the Gypsy experience in Spain, their sufferings, trials prejudices and tribulations they endured.
As there is much mystery behind the people so to is their a shroud of mystery behind this beautiful Black Madonna and to write about her would take volumes of information and time. Many legends proclaim that she came to France as a maiden of one of the Marys. Other proclaim that she was a powerful Gypsy sorceress similar to England's Morgan la Fey, still others say that she was the mysterious mythical and sacred Holy Grail itself and daughter of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdeline. What is fascinating about this figure is that she has many similarities to the Hindu Goddess Kali / Durga. One similarity is that the name Kali comes from the word Kala which means black, "Saint Sara is often depicted as being of dark skin" another similarity is that Kali's aura is so blue "at times black" that it is transparent upon her skin, again Saint Sarah la Kali is always depicted as being dressed in blue garments.
Now there are many traditions, folklore and mythology surrounding this beautiful saint. One tradition tells the account of how Sara was the child of a Gypsy King "Chief" and as her mother and grandmother before her was well educated in the magical practices of her people. The Gypsy clan being a pagan people, where devotees of the Goddess Astarte, and as was tradition and custom a yearly procession for her was done, going into the shore of the sea. Now on the eve before the procession, lit by the full moons light Sara went to the ocean to make offerings to the Goddess Astarte. Sara since birth had the gift of premonition and dreams, and was unable to sleep that night because she had a dream that travelers from a far off land where coming from the Sea, and that they where connected to a savior who had been crucified by the Romans. On the shores of the moon lit beach Sara made offerings to Astarte so that the Goddess may help her interpret her dream. Just then in the distance she saw a small boat coming to the shore. Within the small boat was Mary Magdeline, Marie Salome, Saint Marta and Lázaro of Betania.
Que el camino sea suave para tus pies, que el viento sople ligero sobre tus hombros, que el sol brille calido sobre tu rostro, y que la lluvia caída traiga la paz hasta tu campamento. y que Dios siempre te guarde en las palma de sus manos.
Es una linda flor que desabrocha en amanecer es un espíritu de luz. Es la luna que aclarea nuestras mentes para que pasemos a dar un consejo en la hora cierta.
Es el espíritu que nos de la fuerza para superarnos todos nuestros obstáculos.
Es una estrella brillante que ilumina nuestras vidas, y nuestro planeta Tierra. Es un espíritu maravilloso que à noche vigila nuestros sueños, impidiendo la aproximación de espíritus maléficos. Gitana, con tus cintas coloridas, estás siempre transmitiendo la fuerza del arco iris.Siempre que nosotros te invoquemos, puedas transmitirnos la energía da paz, de la armonía y de la consolación.
Que, al mirar la llama de una vela, podamos sentir tu presencia. Que, al tocar un cristal, podamos sentir tu energía positiva. Que, al sentir la aroma de violetas, podamos sentir que estás confortando nos.
Gitana, cúbrenos con tu saia colorida, escondiéndonos de los engañosos y mostrando a ellos que el camino no es ese.
Gitana encantada, que en esta hora podamos sentir seguridad, paz y felicidad. Con tu encanto, encanta cosas buenas para que nuestros caminos no tengan obstáculos.Desencanta todas las perturbaciones que existan. Gitana, cura aquellos que estén enfermos del espíritu, del alma, de la materia, Como el poder del Gran Solier igual Como el poder de la Madre Tierra.
Oración de la Gitana
Salve Sol, la Naturaleza, el ocaso de mañana! Salves Bondye Todo Poderoso, que me das felicidad de tomar la Bendicción de toda la Naturaleza. Salve al Viento, al Sol, a la Lluvia, a las Nubes, a las Estrellas e a la Luna ! ¡ Salves a todas las fuerzas de las Aguas, a la Tierra, el Aire y el Suelo fértil ! ¡ Que bello sea su remedio ! ¡ El Pan que parto en la mesa, sea multiplicado ! El trigo que cargo conmigo, sea mi propriedad. El Universo me abrace. Y que los quatro elementos: Tierra, Agua, Fuego y Aire, me den las fuerzas necesarias para todas las dificultades de mi vida. Mis caminos sean abiertos, hoy y siempre, con toda la pureza de los Elementales y de los Angeles Mensajeros de Dios.
Es una linda flor que desabrocha en amanecer, es un espíritu de luz abrocha en amanecer es un espíritu de luz
Es la luna que aclarea nuestras mentes para que pasemos a dar un consejo en la hora cierta. Es el espíritu que nos de la fuerza para superarnos todos nuestros obstáculos. Es la estrella brillante que ilumina nuestras vidas nuestro planeta Tierra. Es un espíritu maravilloso que à noche vigila nuestros sueños, impidiendo la aproximación de espíritus maléficos Gitana, con tus cintas coloridas, estás siempre transmitiendo la fuerza del arco-iris.Siempre que nosotros te invoquemos, puedas transmitirnos la energía de paz, de la armonía y de la consolación. Que, al mirar la llama de una vela, podamos sentir tu presencia. Que, al tocar un cristal, podamos sentir tu energía positiva. Que, al sentir la aroma de violetas, podamos sentir que estás confortando nos. Gitana, cúbrenos con tu saia colorida, escondiéndonos de los engañosos y mostrando a ellos que el camino no es ese. Gitana encantada, que en esta hora podamos sentir seguridad, paz y felicidad. Con tu encanto, encanta cosas buenas para que nuestros caminos no tengan obstáculos.Desencanta todas las perturbaciones que existan Gitana, cura aquellos que estén enfermos del espíritu, del alma, de la materia, Como el poder del Pai-Sol Como el poder de la Mãe- Tierra
Salve mi Santa Sara, madre de todos los Gitanos de este mundo y de otros.
Yo rezo invocando tu poder, mi Poderosa Santa Sara Kali, para que prepares mi corazón y retires toda la angustia que está en mi.
Santa Sara abre mis caminos por la Fe que yo te tengo. Tu que venciste el mal, todas las tempestades y caminaste junto al Maestro. Madre de todos los misterios Gitanos, que da fuerzas a este pueblo a través del don de la magia, me haga fuerte ahora,
Amorosa Sara, domina todos los leones que insisten en devorar me.
Santa Sara aleja de mi todas las almas perversas para que ellas no puedan ver.
Ilumíname para que la felicidad llegue. Tráeme fuerzas como la del pueblo gitano,
Madre, Señora y Reinas de las fiestas Gitanas. Suenan los violines, caen las monedas, bailan las Gitanas alrededor de la foguera, se siente el perfume de las Gitanas, las manos golpeando.alabando el pueblo de Santa Sara Kali!
O! Poderoso Gran Rey Gitano, que en esta hora yo vengo a saludar. Saludo en ti la fuerza de las estrellas, saludo las ondas del mar, saludo todas las tribus gitanas.
Pido permiso a este pueblo para poder trabajar. Saludo las montañas, los valles, las gotas de rocío, la arena. Tu pueblo baila feliz invocando la vida y la belleza.
En sus músicas está la gracia de la danza, libre para soñar.
Tus tesoros son infinitos. Ningún precio puede pagar el valor de la libertad de los pies descalzos caminando.
Tus joyas tienen el brillo del oro mas caro. Tus gitanos ponen las manos en el pecho para el corazón calentar.
Tus mujeres exhalan perfumes frescos con sus abanicos para alejar los espíritus negativos.
Tus fogueras poseen las salamandras mas altas que en los ojos de tu pueblo pueden brillar.
Gran Rey que esta oración no tenga fin, porque cuando un gitano reza mirando para el cielo. Dios se pone a cantar. Amén.
Santa Sara: por la fuerza del agua, Santa Sara: con Tus misterios, que estés siempre a mi lado, por la fuerza de la naturaleza, nosotros que somos hijos del viento, de las estrellas, de la luna, Te pedimos, Amada Señora que permanezcas a nuestro lado, por la estrella de cinco puntas, por los cristales que brillan siempre en nuestra vida: que nuestros enemigos no nos vean, así como nada se ve en una noche oscura sin estrellas ni luna. Si nuestra casa es el descanso al final del día, que Santa Sara la ilumine, para que todos los que golpean la puerta reciban siempre una palabra de amor y alegría.
Santa Sara que yo nunca sea alguien ingrato, que perdone a todos y sea siempre humilde. Amén.
Sarah, Tu que eres la Madre de los gitanos del mundo entero.
Tu que sufriste todas las formas de humillaciones y preconceptos. Tu que fuiste amenazada y tirada al mar para que murieses de sed y de hambre.
Tu que sabes lo es el miedo, el hambre, el sufrimiento, y el dolor del corazón. No permitas que mis enemigos también me maltraten. Se mi abogada frente a Dios y dadme suerte, salud y bendice mi vida.
Amada Maestra Ascendida Sara que iluminas mi camino!
Abraza con tu manto protector toda mi vida! Abre mis caminos! Tráeme la armonía en el amor y la paz con el dinero.
Líbrame de todos los cortes y de las separaciones sufridas!
Aléjame de todas las pérdidas. Dame suerte! Dame el amor! Dame suerte! Dame el dinero que preciso!
Haz de mi vida un himno de alegría! A tus pies me coloco, bendita Sarah.
Mi Madre, Mi Maestra, Mi Luz Gitana!
Te ofrezco mi vida para que la transformes en un lindo lirio perfumando de paz toda mi casa.
Salve, mi Madre Gitana! Salve Gran Reina del Amor!
Salve, Poderosa Sara!
Que bendices mi amor y mi hogar. Amen.
Mi Amada Maestra sara tu, que como madre del pueblo gitano, sabes lo que es el desespero de ver un hijo sufriendo,protege el (los) mío (míos) de todas las calamidades.
Que el camino de ellos sea siempre de Luz, Prosperidad, Alegría, Felicidad.
Y que cada uno de ellos consiga perpetuar su vida con una familia numerosa y feliz.