Jorge Milanes

Calle de Hamel, Havana, Cuba.
Calle de Hamel, Havana, Cuba.

Many of us have a charm or amulet that protects us from evil influences or energies. These objects -which can be in the form of a stone from the river or sea, the seed from a robust tree, a magnet or simply a tooth from some animal or a bone from a person- supposedly give us spiritual force.

These are prepared at the foot of an iron caldron that contains all of the African secrets, made from “palos” (sticks) from the “monte” (forest), iron, nails, anvils and other objects.  It has great spiritual force and is the basis of all that it is done in African witchcraft.

To “feed” this amulet (to energize it), it’s necessary to have the caldron, but this caldron too must be charged.

In a ceremony, believers come together to give food to the “alta” (or caldron), amulets and the African saints (Orichas) that are supposedly concentrated in the caldron.  In addition, they include the amulets of those who want to feed these same talisman or amulets.

They sacrifice roosters, chickens, rams, and goats in order to feed the altar and amulets.

From these animals are taken only a little blood and some of their body parts, which may include the head, feet, and their organs (in the case of the male goat).

They are left for seventy-two hours, until the gods have eaten, then they take everything away and wash.

Everyone is then given their charged amulet, and new ones are prepared at this time.

Many of those secrets have not been revealed up to now, and I don’t know them.