I am now a member of the greater Santeria family. Although I cannot be called an “official” member of the religious system yet, I have a foot in. The official part comes after receiving the Warriors.
This afternoon, after finding a madrina or godmother some time ago, I received the collares.
I found my madrina by calling a list of botanicas I found online. This was the only place where they admitted they had a person who worked in Santeria. I did get some numbers from a botanica I visited before, but nothing seemed to come from it. I couldn’t get a hold of anyone.
Anyway, once I met my future madrina, I was impressed. She was very skeptical and cautious about me. But she answered my questions. She consulted the shells, and said that Ellegua was my guardian. With Yemaya (her Orisha). She said that in order for Ellegua to open the doors, I would need to receive the collares and Warriors. Which is what I wanted anyway.
So, today I went, was purified, and received the collares.
(Side note: one interesting part was that when passing them to me, she dropped each collar. I picked each up and handed it to her. She explained that she does that so that should a collar fall and I pick it up, the Orishas will not be offended, since they fell before placed around my neck.)
I am now saving up and preparing to receive the Warriors and Orunla (the latter which will determine who my guardian Orisha is). My madrina said she would take me to the babalawo when I am ready.
One thing I like about my madrina is that she believes in tradition and in being cautious. She’s very skeptical about everyone - everyone needs to be tested and taken with a grain a salt. The fact her madrina grossly overcharged her is why she is cautious - which is good for us, her godchildren, because she will make sure no one fools us or takes advantage of us. She’s a very nice person.
She will be initiating someone into the priesthood (making Ocha) later this year, and she invited me for a feast, adding I should come early to help. That made me feel good - if this is to be ile, it would be nice to help out.
I have learned quite a bit from her and from books and online. This is very fascinating!
WRS - que los Egun y los Orishas nos bendigan!