Presided over by Cuban High Priest Angel Custodio Padron, Ifa priests from the island’s families attended the ceremony, as well as descendants from all over the world.
HAVANA TIMES – Pay close attention to your health and hygiene and have respect within the family and for the law. These are some of the recommendations included in the Reading of the Year, the traditional forecast by Cuban priests from the Yoruba religion, which is announced every January 1st.
Also known as the Ifa forecast (or Letter of the Year), it was issued by both the Yoruba Cultural Association in Cuba and the Council of High Priests in Cuba for the sixth time running, the main prophecy of the Reading of the Year for 2021 is “A blessing of sound health and safety on Earth from Orula.”
This time, Olokun will be the ruling orisha (deity), who is considered to be one of the most respected deities in the Yoruba Pantheon, accompanied by Ochun, queen of love and fertility, which is syncretized in Cuba with Our Lady of Charity, Cuba’s Patron Saint
In terms of signs, Ika fun is the ruling oddun. Meanwhile, Odi leke and Irete ogbe are its witnesses.
The Reading was made public by a group of Cuban Yoruba priests in the early hours of January 1st, after a ceremony brought together followers, who have been devout to the Ifa cult for a long time. The Ifa religion is one of the most deeply-rooted for believers.
Inside the Reading
Predictions for Cuba and the world include warnings about diseases that may increase in infections, events of social interest and recommendations for society and individuals:
– Contagious diseases, gastrointestinal and nervous system disorders.
– From the list of social events, those of political, social and religious tension particularly stand out, which could lead to conflict.
– Some events related to the law and crime, from an increase in contempt for authority; regional, legal and sexual violations; scams, theft, attacks and criminal acts, as well as greater alcohol consumption.
– Other warnings are linked to an increase in natural disasters, with material losses and the loss of human lives, an increase in mother and infant mortality rates due to malpractice and food poisoning, which is the result of tampering with food and drinks.
– The forecast is also interesting in what it says about a greater stream of emigrants and the loss of human lives resulting from illegal immigration.
– A group is related to agreements that haven’t been kept, an increase in moral distortion, fake consecrations and religious profanities.
What is recommended?
Recommendations in the Reading, which were read by the youngest priest (which is a tradition) were also grouped by issue, for example, respecting health and hygiene regulations that have been established, regular health check-ups, more careful personal hygiene and washing hands.
Some have to do with the family: respect in a marriage to prevent a breakdown, fighting off promiscuity in the home; instilling respect, education and a love for work, boosting family planning efforts to prevent losing money and racking up debt.
In the meantime, a call was made to the global community to investigate the high level of corruption in every sphere; to abide by and respect laws in every country to prevent legal problems, as well as others linked to religious practices and their relationship with the Saint’s godfathers.
Around two months ago, the Yoruba Cultural Association explained that the ceremony would only be attended by invited priests due to health regulations established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it also made it clear that all necessary precautions would be taken.
According to the association’s announcement, preparations began on December 1st, while preliminary ceremonies were held in every province on December 30th.
A reading with history
The Reading started being issued in the late 19th century, and records show that babalawo Remigio Herrera (with African origins) was the first one to do this in Cuba. If traditional branches were led by Africans in the beginning, Cubans soon succeeded them.
“Two readings were issued up until six years ago, one from the Miguel Febles Organizing Committee for the Reading of the Year, and the other, from the Yoruba Cultural Association in Cuba.
“The idea of bringing them together was based on the relevance of giving guidance to the religious and non-religious.”