Originally Posted by pyrite
No, Santeria is it's own religion, distinct from the Craft. I am pretty sure it developed long before the modern day resurgence of the Craft. It has its own culture, traditions, and Dieties. However, yes, it does combine elements of Christianity in it. And yeah, it is not respected/ accepted by most Christian Churches at all. (At least in most parts of the world, I dunno about in Cuba, where Santeria is widely practiced.)
Now some pagans worship the Dieties of Santeria in a neo-pagan context, so this is one thing where you will get varying opinions about. IMO, many modern day Witches/ Pagans often play with the culture and Dieties of Santeria, not researcing nor respecting it as a religion in its own right, IMO. I don't agree with this approach.
Pagans largely build their traditons from religions that largely went extinct (in their original form) and are being revived or are inspiration for something new based on the old. Santeria is still quite alive and thriving and vibrant in its original form. Yeah, I am talking about not watering down a religion again.
My Feri Tradition teacher also practices Santeria. He worships and follows both religions, but he keeps his Wtch altars and his Orisha altars separate and he respects each with the full understanding, worship and study that each deserves. There is one other in my lineage that is an initiated Priestess in both the Craft and Santeria (or was it Voudoun?). (Santeria is also an initiatory tradition-different than most Craft in details, but both are initiatory traditions.)
He would occasionaly mix the two a bit, but very carefully and with proper respect for each.
This sort of approach, I have no issues with. See, I know I am coming across to some like I am against mixing religions, but that is really not what I am saying. Try and bear with me if I am not being clear- I am trying to.............
My belief/ approach is if you cultivate a relationship with anyone (be it Diety or Marriage partner, or friend), you build a relationship with them by getting to know all about them. You learn their history and how that makes them who they are today. You strive to get to really know them, understand them, relate to them. You learn the context of their "lives" or existance. You learn what foods they like, what their favorite color is, everything from the most mundane to the deeptest core of what makes them tick. This is true in making friends, getting into a relationship/ marriage, and it holds true for cultivating a relationship with Diety- in whatever religion you are in.
If you are trying to get close to your significant other, do you buy them a shirt you know they will hate? Do you not bother to even find out what they like? And are you really going to get closer to them if you just pick a couple of things that you like about them out of context of the whole of who they are as a person and ignore the rest? Does this analogy make any sense? Lol?
I want to clarify that in this post, I am in no way saying I represent the majority opinion of the Craft. In fact, I am pretty sure my opnion is a minority opinion.
I think that people who can't believe in fairies
aren't worth knowing. - Tori Amos