@kate@twitter Thanks & Congratulations to your partner- I hope he has a wonderful iyaworaje! The not-having-sex thing (like many iyawo rules) can vary slightly from lineage to lineage so I'm not sure I can be much help for specific questions. He could have very different expectations than I did, so might not hurt to ask him directly. Some of my best memories of being a iyawo were the questions from and dialogue with people I love who are not involved in the tradition. Maybe your perspectives and questions will inspire him as he goes through this process :)
@Oyalenu Bendicion & I'm so glad you liked it! I wasn't sure about how other Santer@s would respond to the piece. Hmm, I'm not sure I can speak directly to white peoples' experience in the tradition... though I'm mixed no one sees me as white (including myself.) And I definitely don't have the right to speak for Black folks in the tradition. I will say though, that the white practitioners I know who have done a significant amount of learning and reflecting about colonization, slavery, cultural appropriation and their own white privilege seem to be much better received than white people who just roll up in the spot tryna run shit ;) But that kinda holds true in most situations, huh?
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose And even though I'm an unwashed heathen who never took communion, I would imagine fried chicken and stewed goat are way more delicious than symbolic Jesus bones?
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose You're totally right, and there are a ton of people who convert as adults. The belief is, if Orisha or your spirit guardians want you in the tradition, and call you during divination or ceremony, human beings don't get to overrule that. So, especially in the US, there are increasing numbers of incredibly diverse spiritual houses. Every now and then though, someone might be drawn to Lucumi and they go get a divination, and odu basically says, "This isn't for you. Your path in this life is to follow the ways of your blood ancestors." There's even an odu that some people interpret as telling the adherent to convert to Islam. :)
@Mariajoseh Thanks! People had all kinds of reactions to me during the year in white after initiation. I got a lot of straight up rude stares, and one time these store clerks completely ignored me and refused to let me buy something I wanted. But compared to other folks I know, whose families stopped speaking to them, or who went through hell at work, I was lucky. In most interactions people were either curious, ("Oh, are you like, a...fancy nurse?") or supportive. Strangers (not familiar with the tradition) would tell me I looked really pure or clean. It was interesting because it was the first time in my life men I didn't know complimented me in a non-lecherous, non-street-harassy way. My coworkers/employers were all incredibly respectful and random kids LOVED it. Part of what we wear during that time is a buncha brass, silver and copper bangles a whole neckful of these sacred beaded necklaces- you can kinda see them peeking out of the collars on the gorgeous ladies pictured above. All the white plus all the jewelry totally fit into little kids' over-the-top aesthetic of what looks pretty. I got asked if I was a princess by children on the regular. :)
Oops, I realize I should clarify that refraining from eating crab or other prohibitions we get from odu is super symbolic, but not purely symbolic... it's also cuz the fundamental energy ("ashe") might be spiritually toxic for us. But more importantly, thanks to Jia so much for talking with me! The Hairpin is The Bidness!!! :)