14ymedio, Havana, January 2, 2018 — Cuban babalawos [Yoruba spiritual title for a Santeria priest] have again predicted a year of difficulties, especially in the agricultural sector, but also for natural phenomenons, venereal diseases, and migratory conflicts, according to the Letter of the Year published by the Yoruba Cultural Association of the Island (ACYC).
The prediction, which since 2016 the ACYC has made jointly with the independent Commission of the Letter of the Year, was shared this Tuesday after a foretaste was announced at the end of the year, and afterwards the babalawos met for the opening ceremony of 2019 that was presided over by the priest of Ifá Ángel Custodio Padrón.
The Letter of the Year, the series of predictions that priests of the Yoruba religion make every January, is much anticipated by practitioners of Santeria and by the population in general. This year it explains that the orisha Oshún–syncretized in the Catholic religion with the patron saint of Cuba, the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre–will reign. The deity will be accompanied by Oggún, who represents blacksmiths, wars, technology, and surgeons.
In the recommendations included in the text, the babalawos call for respecting elders and seeking religious training; avoiding problems with the law; making better use of agricultural resources; and avoiding confrontations and quarrels.
The Letter predicts an increase of sexually transmitted diseases, along with malignant diseases of the colon, and rectum, among others.
In January of last year an intense controversy was sparked after the publication of the Letter of the Year of 2018, for its calls to “not conspire” and to respect authority, something that various babalawos branded as taking the side of the Government.
The Free Yorubas Association, an independent group made up of priests of this religion, classified that Letter as “totally manipulated and keeping with the interests of atheist materialist tyranny” and labeled the babalawos who wrote it as lacking “moral religious authority to speak in the name of Yorubas and publish predictions that affect the present and future” of the country.
Letter of the Year 2019
Ruling Sign: Oshe Ogunda
First Witness: Ika Ogunda
Second Witness: Osa Kuleya
Prophetic Prayer: Osorbu Iku Intori Ogu.
Orula Onire: Adimu (a yam cut into two halves and rubbed with red palm oil, along with a coconut split in two and two candles)
Otan Onishe Ara: Sarayeye with a chicken and it is given to Oggun, with the other ingredients and it is bathed with herbs of Paraldo.
Otan deity that rules: Oshun
Accompanying deity: Oggun Otan
Flag: Yellow with green borders
Ebbo: 1 kid (for Elegba), 5 small gourds, to which is added indigo, honey, palm oil, bone breaking stick, and blood of the goat, and it is hung on the door, and the other ingredients.
Other ingredents: (Later bathe with ewe still alive)
Governing divinity: OCHUN.
Accompanying deity: OGGUN.
Flag of the year: Yellow with green borders
Sayings of the Sign:
– It is not finished with the same knife.
– The arrow is not let fly without first going to the battlefield.
– What is left is not returned to and collected.
Illnesses which increase in rate:
-Illnesses of the stomach and intestines
-Increase of the rate of sexually transmitted diseases
-Impotence at a young age, as a consequence of prostate problems in men
-Malignant diseases of the colon and rectum.
Events of Social Interest:
-Problems will continue in the agricultural sector fundamentally in the production of food, produce, and vegetables as a consequence of the poor fertilization of the soil.
-Incursions of seawater that can produce floods and landslides. Increase of migratory conflicts.
-The danger and threats of natural catastrophes of all types will continue.
-Sign that warns of the danger that wastefulness can cause.
-It is recommended to avoid the poor utilization of chemical products in agricultural production.
– Caution with epidemics and illnesses.
– Avoid confrontations and quarrels.
– It is recommended to maintain an adequate religious ethic.
– It’s necessary to seek cooperation and help one another to achieve the outlined objectives.
– Respect elders and seek religious training.
– Avoid problems with the law.
– Increase of venereal diseases as a product of sexual debauchery.
– Make better use of agricultural resources.
– An equilibrium is recommended in all spheres.
– It is recommended to strengthen oggun. (look to godparents for this).
– It’s necessary to be careful with excessive consent of parents with their children.
– Parents must pay careful attention to the care and education of children.
– Self medication is prohibited.
Translated by: Sheilagh Carey
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