HAVANA ( Associated Press) — This 2023 could be a year of hope and prosperity for Cuba, but also of social instability and unrest at sea, according to some predictions revealed Monday by various groups of Cuban Santeria priests.
The “Letter of the Year” is a type of divination followed by the population, especially in the Caribbean nation, who await the predictions of the so-called babalaws, the religious of this polytheistic sect in Cuba.
According to the Commission of the Year of the October 10 Letter – the name of a popular neighborhood in Havana – the ruling symbol for the coming 12 months will be Ogunda Osa and the reigning deity or orishas Yemaya – the patron saint of the sea and fish. – accompanied by the orishako-agriculture woman-.
“It is one of the signs of the Ifa oracle that has messages of hope,” Babalawo Lazaro Cuesta, one of the most famous organizers of the ceremony since the 1980s, told The Associated Press.
As a counterpart, the sign also warns: “He who does things in one way will never get a different result. You have to change the mindset… and instead of talking and promising, you have to do and work to achieve the objectives”, Cuesta said. If not, it could bring about a “tragedy in social and family stability”. .
Santeria originated from a syncretism between African religions brought by slaves to Cuba and the Catholic beliefs of Spanish colonists and spread throughout the island and neighboring countries.
Although believers in Santeria consult the Ifa divination system for advice, they often seek the protection of orishas to cope with daily hardships, from food shortages or the need to obtain medicines to cross the diaspora by sea or land. Let’s invoke.
The island is facing a strong crisis due to the impact of sanctions during the COVID-19 pandemic, its own inefficiencies and the impact of sanctions from the United States.
Priest Victor Betancourt recognized the difficulties of disseminating the message of “The Letter of the Year” in a landscape of scarcity and record migration.
“It is very difficult to explain to the new generations. In particular, I would like my friends, my family, to come back (from other countries) and explain to them the message from the point of view of Ifa that good times are coming for Cuba”, indicated Betancourt, who said that ” There can also be an “opportunity” for people who “serve in public office”.
Cuba’s Yoruba Cultural Association also released “The Letter of the Year”: the ruling symbol will be Otura Niko and the ruling deities Obatala—the patron of thought and purity—and Oshun—the lady of fresh water and fertility.
For this group, the year will be marked by the “movement of the seas” and the effects on the central nervous system caused by stress.
Andrea Rodriguez is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP