Ceremony of the Necklaces or Elekes

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Known as the half-seat of the saint, the ceremony of placing the Elekes or Santeria necklaces is important because it is considered as the coronation ceremony of the Guardian Angel in the Osha.

In this ceremony of the necklaces, the initiate will receive from his godmother or godfather, five Santeria necklaces of foundation belonging to the major Orishas of the Yoruba pantheon.

This ceremony of the Santeria necklaces is so important that its main objective is to give balance and union between the spiritual and physical plane to the initiate. The Elekes represent in a direct way one of the material manifestations of the Orishas that rule over the human body and its spirituality.

Five elekes are given to the religious which are:

  • The first one represents the owner of the Eleggua roads, his necklace made of red and black beads.
  • The second one corresponds to Oshún, the owner of honey and happiness of people, her necklace is made of 5 yellow and 5 transparent amber beads.
  • The third would be that of Kawo Silé the king of the Shangó lightning, his necklace of red and white beads.
  • The fourth necklace concerns the ocean goddess and mother of the world Yemayá, her eleke of 7 blue and 7 transparent beads.
  • And last but not least, the necklace of white-only beads representative of the Orisha owner of all heads and major saint Obatalá.
santeria or elekes necklace ceremony
Santeria or elekes necklace ceremony

Start of the elekes ceremony

In order to start one of the most important ceremonies, it is necessary to have a calm and favourable atmosphere, so that the spiritualities settle in the right way and the astral of the person is not strained.

The initiate kneels on a mat and with the help of the agogó (bell) of Obatalá, one by one they are presented to him on his body.

Devotees cling to the faith of the elekes in order to get through illness, loss and bad phases of daily life, just as they have taken the help of the Necklaces in order to give a new direction to their lives.

The rules to be observed in the use of Santeria necklaces after the Santeria necklace ceremony

  1. Kiss the collar every time you are going to take it off or put it on.
  2. Collars cannot get wet, they must be removed when you go swimming or bathing.
  3. You should take them off when partying or drinking alcohol.
  4. Collars should be removed at the time of any sexual intercourse.
  5. Elekes should never be touched by anyone other than your sponsor or yourself.
  6. Before going to bed the Collars must be removed, an exception may be made if the religious is ill and if the sponsor so indicates.
  7. When the elekes are removed, they should be placed on a clean white cloth. 

At the end of the ceremony of the Necklaces or Elekes, consider yourself initiated in the Yoruba religion or Santeria, thus taking an important step in this religion full of culture, love and a lot of faith towards the Yoruba Orishas.

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