Havana, Jan 2 (EFE).- This year will be one of respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous system disease, according to forecasts made on Sunday by Cuban Santeria priests, known as “babalawos,” who also called for the public to exercise humility and follow good hygiene habits in 2022.
The predictions, which are part of the so-called “Yearly Letter” of prophesies presented on Sunday to the press by Cuba’s Yoruba Cultural Association and are the results of the traditional meeting between Christmas and New Year’s Day by a group of priests from all families of Santeria on the communist-ruled island.
The babalawos warned that 2022 will be governed by Obbatala, the Yoruba religion’s main “orisha” or deity who is also known as the creator of the Earth.
The warnings of the priests come within an especially significant context for the island due to its serious economic crisis and the resurgence in Covid-19 cases after authorities had managed to get the pandemic mostly under control in the last few months of 2021.
The prognostications by Afro-Cuban religions included in the Letter recommend “avoiding arrogance and bad behavior,” exercising good personal hygiene and paying more attention to the education of children and teens.
Regarding marriage, the priests recommended that couples act with greater prudence to avoid catastrophes, as well as be humble, patient and united in dealing with life’s travails.
The predictions and admonitions come after a year marked by the Covid pandemic and the closure of Cuban schools due to the prevalence and spread of the coronavirus, but also a series of social protests and increased political polarization.
The priests also called for “establishing favorable agreements on immigration policies to prevent the loss of human lives,” especially at a time when the illegal emigration of Cubans trying to get to the United States across the Florida Strait has skyrocketed.
The forecast also contains somewhat mysterious mentions of “dead king, installed king,” “I have everything, I have nothing,” “while there’s life, there’s hope” and “God gives a beard to he who has no jawbone,” all of which can – with a certain stretch of imagination – be applied to Cuba’s current context of scarcity and galloping inflation.
Obbatala will be the Yoruba deity to reign in 2022, the priests say, and combines characteristics with the Virgin of the Mercies, the patron saint of Barcelona. He is thought by Santeria believers to have created the world and sculpted human beings, and he presides over the head and a person’s thoughts and dreams, according to the Yoruba religion.
His name derives from a Yoruba word meaning “king of purity,” and thus he governs all that is clean, white and pure and does not abide a lack of respect or any form of nudity in his presence.
Santeria developed in Cuba as part of the cultural heritage brought by African slaves during the Spanish colonial era and it has been passed down through the generations via prayers, rituals, dances and even in various kinds of food.
The religion merges Catholicism with ancient African beliefs and is practiced by millions of Cubans, with most people on the island saying that they “accept” it or “consult” the religion’s priests for help and advice with assorted questions, problems or difficulties.
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