Author: Tobe Melora Correal
Trade Paperback, 182 pages
Publisher: Crossing Press
Publication date: 2003
List: US$12.95, C$20.95
Price & More Info: Click Here
Over the years, the Santeria/Lucumi/Orisa faith has become a focus of
cross-cultural interest. Once the exclusive domain of Afro-Cuban
individuals, it has become much more wide-spread in its appeal. It is still
controversial (both to "mainstream" religions and Pagan belief systems)
because of its association with animal sacrifice. It is not an
easy-to-understand religion, and it is not for everyone.
The book is divided into three sections: Basic teachings of the
metaphysical underpinnings of the tradition; the ancestors and how to build
a relationship with the spirits; and an overview of the tradition's
structure. This is one individual's relationship to the religion and will
not be universally accepted by all the followers of traditions which
encompass the worship of Orisa.
This is not a book of ceremonies, oracles, and/or magic. It IS a book
about bringing our life into alignment. Alignment with what, you ask? Good
question. There isn't a single answer to that question.
Ms. Correal has ideas which are definitely not in accordance with the
mainstream of Orisa-religion. Some of them border on the radical for a
follower of Orisa. I am sure that many would view her writing with
suspicion because of her attitude.
If you have no exposure to the Orisa-culture, I would hesitate to recommend
this book as your only source of information. You would be well advised to
pick up copies of Santeria: An African Religion in America by Joseph
Murphy, Cuban Santeria by Raul Canizares, The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination by Ocha'ni Lele, and at least one book by Migene
Gonzalez-Wippler. These offer very different perspectives, and will provide
you with a much wider overview. Ultimately, of course, you should seek
personal contact with practitioners of the religions.
Ms. Correal's works offers a perspective which has been missing from this
field. I do not know how much respect she has from fellow practitioners in
the Orisa community, but she is, to all appearances, sincere in her beliefs,
and confident enough in them to share with others. For that she is to be
admired, in my opinion
Reviewed by Mike Gleason