I have several friends who are in La Regla De Ocha, but not crowned. We are Aborishas, devotees and practitioners with our own gifts and specialties. We’ve worked hard to get to where we are, regardless of why we got into this religion, we all got here the same way. Ceremonies, dedication, faith, and the desire to help others.
One other thing we have in common is that we’ve come across godparents who we thought would love us and guide us until our crowning ceremony only to betray us for the most common thing in this world: money.
Godparents who love-bomb their godchildren, filling their heads and hearts with false love and respect. Giving gifts of low monetary value demanding more expensive ones in return. Things like a $600 bottle of cologne. Or a $500 air purifier.
Godparents who charge fees for various reasons such as:
being late to a ceremony or Misa (attending) penalty for disrespecting the godparents (by asking questions)
penalty for “disappearing” or being “secretive” or what we recognize as working various hours, overtime, and not calling everyday and pouring ourselves out to them doubling the cost of a ceremony as a penalty for not paying everything in full, months in advance penalty for not understanding the difference between “giving” and “loaning” money to their godchildren
Money is an obvious necessity in this religion; some call it the “rich man’s religion.” The prices for each ceremony vary from $150 to as high as $20,000 for a crowning. It’s understood that godchildren don’t get to be crowned quickly, unless they’re rich, because in between ceremonies we are supposed to learn. We read books, we learn the language, we practice our craft, we practice what we are good at – reading cards, candle work, etc. We work for what we have received and what we will receive.
Back in my mom’s day (she was not crowned) she earned everything. Godparents had godchildren who would run errands, picking up animals, cleaning and preparing the space for ceremony, welcoming visitors, serving light food and drinks after ceremony or Misa’s. Basically, serving their godparent and most importantly the Orisha’s. They would see this as being a dedicated godchild; one who wanted to earn every ceremony or every blessed moment among the Orisha’s.
Unfortunately, we don’t have that in big cities like NY, it’s all about money now.
Not to mention the inevitable mental illness that appears after years of hearing the Orisha’s in one ear, and the Muerto in the other. The voices are 24/7 and we must learn how to balance them out over the course of our day. Some of us have jobs, children, spouses / partners, but with all that we still must listen to them. They guide us, they help discern who’s being honest or not, or who is trying to take advantage of us. Just imagine you’re at an event, standing on one side of a closed door and inside the room there’s a large cocktail party going on. You can’t make out full conversations, it sounds like a bunch of flamingos cawing with intermittent clanging of glassware. It can drive you crazy.
My paternal grandmother’s erratic and abusive behavior started when my mother was pregnant with my brother. She even tried to kill me when I was 5, but that’s a whole other story.
My former godfather was seeing a psychiatrist for over 20 years. I’m older than him by two years. One of the many red flags was that he had initiated his psychiatrist. So, she is his godchild, he’s in a position of power over her. She prescribes drugs for his anxiety, sleep issues, among other issues. This isn’t right, ethically. But our falling out came over $100 that he claimed I owed him. It was ten months from when he “gave” me the money to help me get something out of pawn. Never saying it was a loan, just saying over and over how he was here to help. How I was his godchild and it’s a godparents responsibility to help in any way they can. I didn’t realize that meant he lent me the money. I’m one who specifies verbiage so that there’s no misunderstanding. He didn’t care. He just wanted his money.
He accused me of giving this money to another reader. He accused me of abusing him and his wife.
The final straw came when his wife called me at work asking for the $100. I spoke to her briefly, after asking permission to actually speak. The entire time he was in the background spiraling out of control, yelling and screaming.
He called me a bitch, a liar, a secretive person, and he didn’t like the way I “moved.” Slang for how I live my life. Which really meant, he didn’t like that I hadn’t become dependent on him for my everyday life like another godchild had. She had money and constantly bought him things, got Botox from him (he is certified), took them out to eat anywhere they wanted.
My last question which he wasn’t mature enough to answer was “do you still want me as a godchild?” Of course, he didn’t respond. He simply stated he couldn’t kick me out of the (spiritual) house. So, I asked his wife. She also hemmed and hawed responding. I did what I knew would get an answer, I cut her off and asked for a definitive answer. Yes or No, no ambiguity. She finally said no that I was out of the house. The call then ended quickly with him still yelling and screaming in the background.
That was three weeks ago. It cost me $100 to get rid of two narcissist grifters. He kept one of my elekes, but that’s easy enough to replace under these circumstances.
I walked into his house with gifts, he didn’t give me anything other than being the person who performed the ceremonies I needed. I paid in full even though I lost two jobs during this time and owed rent arrears after covid made its appearance.
Now I spend my time reading the books he and other practitioners suggested. Waiting for the next godparent who will appear. Will they do the same thing? Maybe. Will I end up with another set of godparents after that? Probably. One of my friends is on his 4th set of godparents.
So, for those of you interested, get into this knowing full well that the godparents who bring you into this won’t be the ones you end up being crowned by. Don’t let red flags slide by. I saw some red flags early on, but I needed my elekes and warriors to save my life. But again, a story for another day.