Culture

These Santería Stories From Miami Took Sad And Dark Turns For Everyone Involved

Miami is famous for its beaches with crystal clear water, partying nightlife—and an active Santería religious community. The religion has its origins in the Caribbean as a religion that was brought over by the enslaved Yoruba people.

Once in Cuba, enslaved people kept aspects of the Santeria and also mixed it in with some elements of Roman Catholicism. It is practiced throughout parts of Latin America and in the United States as well, specifically in the Cuban-influenced city of Miami.

Like any religion, there are some bad apples that ruin the meaning of the Santeria for some people. Here are some stories about how some folks in Miami took Santería to disturbing places.

1. Injured chicken found by Parks Department employee in South Beach.

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In 2013, a Parks Department employee was walking in South Miami Dade and found a chicken in an injured state. The Miami New Times got ahold of the email that was sent to the city’s parks department that details a family photo was pulled out of the live chicken as well as artifacts that were sewn onto the chicken. Someone or some family cut into a live chicken and stuffed artifacts inside and sewed him shut.

2. Dead chickens in the streets.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoREB0QAM-X/?hl=en&tagged=petchicken

In a recent article from the Miami Herald, Miamians are seen as the second-most annoying neighbors in the country out of 24 cities. Miamians voted so themselves.

One of the main reasons Miamians have issue with their neighbors is because of the mess left behind from some Santería rituals. Miamians have reported seeing the bodies of dead chickens littering the streets and sidewalks after such rituals.

3. Looking to adopt a pet in Miami? Try rescuing a rooster.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Boxf2CigXJC/?hl=en&tagged=petrooster

Payo the rooster got a second chance at life with the help of a caring Miami family who persuaded a Santería priest to sacrifice another animal instead of him. However the neighbors aren’t feeling like they’re lucky and are starting to hate Payo.

His name with his neighbors? El terrorista (the terrorist) because he sticks his chest out to demand for food, attacks dogs, cats and even people, and also crows very loudly very early in the morning. Payo might be shipped off to a neighboring farm if his owner doesn’t get him to be a more considerate rooster.

4. Murder, Santería and fleeing to Argentina.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BY-HiaEDs1a/?hl=en&tagged=argentinaflag

In one of the most Miami-esque stories, a jeweler named Hugo Quesada was determined to be a Santero. He claimed he asked for the help of a father and daughter duo of Santería followers, but when they refused, he strangled them and stuffed the father’s body in a shed.

He also pleaded guilty to the murder of the man’s wife as well. Quesada fled to Argentina until he was found by Argentine agents and extradited to Florida.

5. Slaughtered horses are “not uncommon” in the area.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo2Ss_rHwbm/?hl=en&tagged=horses

In January of this year, a woman was walking around Northwest Miami-Dade and found the body parts of 20 slaughtered horses. The crazier part? Rachel Taylor of the Animal Recovery Mission said “It’s not uncommon in this area.”

Investigators are having a hard time figuring out who committed the heinous act and why. Taylor said the horses could have been slaughtered for horse meat or also for Santería rituals, which complicates the search for answers.


READ: 10 Folk Religions You Didn’t Know Existed In Latin America And The Caribbean

Are you a Miami native that has heard of some chilling Santeria rituals? Let us know in the comments below and share this article with your friends.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Things That Matter

A Florida Doctor Is Being Charged with a Hate Crime After Assaulting a Latino Man at a Supermarket

Photos via MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS, Getty Images

It’s an unfortunate reality that Latinos face immense amounts of racism in America. Case in point: a Florida doctor is facing hate crime charges after assaulting a Latino man at a supermarket.

According to police, a 58-year-old woman followed a Latino man out to the parking lot, keyed his car, smashed his phone, and punched him–all the while hurling racially-charged insults at him.

The altercation happened on Jan. 20th at a Publix supermarket in Hialeah, Florida–a town with a large Latino population. It all started when the victim, an unnamed Latino man, asked Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright to maintain social distancing in Spanish. After she ignored him, the man repeated the question in English.

It was at this point that Dr. Wright, who is an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, became incensed and began muttering curse words under her breath. After the man left the grocery store, Dr. Wright followed him out to the parking lot.

She began to verbally berate him, calling him a “spic” and telling him “we should have gotten rid of you when we could.”

According to the police report, she also said: “This is not going to be Biden’s America, this is my America.” The woman then took her keys out an began to “stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys” while telling him to “go back to his country”.

The man took out his phone to call 911 and the woman allegedly punched him, causing him to drop his phone. When he bent over to pick his phone up, she allegedly kicked him and tried to stomp on his phone.

The woman fled before the police came, but she was arrested on Feb 12th at her home in Miami Springs.

The woman was initially charged with tampering with a victim, criminal mischief and battery with prejudice. The “hate crime” charge was later added, elevating the crime to a felony.

According to reports, Wright posted her $1000 bail and is now awaiting trial. Mount Sinai Medical Center released a statement saying that Dr. Wright is “no longer responsible for patient care” after assaulting a Latino man.

According to the Miami Herald, neighbors know Dr. Jennifer Wright as an ardent Trump supporter. Her social media pages are riddled with far-right, Pro-Trump memes and photos of her posing in a MAGA hat. She even uploaded a post that read: “It’s Okay To Be White.”

We can all agree that it’s “okay” to be white. It’s okay to be any race. We cannot, however, all agree that it’s okay to be a violent, racist bigot. We hope the victim has recovered and we hope Jennifer Wright will face justice.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

2020 Has Been A Mess: Here Are The Best New Year’s Limpias According To Your Sign

Culture

2020 Has Been A Mess: Here Are The Best New Year’s Limpias According To Your Sign

Each culture has their own traditions to celebrate the start of the new year and growing up Latinx, we know that there’s nothing quite like a spiritual cleanse or ‘Limpia’ for those who want to revive their energy after being exposed to negative energy. So keep reading to find limpias and rituals curated for each Zodiac sign.

Let’s face it: this year has been an emotional and physical rollercoaster. It’s left so many of us completely dazed and confused and wondering what our future could look like.

Now, more than ever, we need to create a space for personal reflection and get in touch with our powerful inner witch. Plus, spending time, energy, and intention on your goals through ritual work adds a little bit of an extra sparkle to them that may just inspire you to follow through.

Aries

limpias
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The first sign of the zodiac is competitive, courageous, with a ‘winner’ mindset. As a fire sign, Aries can be very emotionally charged —and as 2020 continues to throw some curve balls, we need a ritual with an opposing element like water, to help balance and flush out those high temps.

Here’s a simple ritual:

Fill a glass with purified water and find a place of solitude with no distractions (cell phone off).

Create an intention of what you learned in 2019 that you want to continue growing and learning in 2020.

Visualize that intention being poured into the glass of water. Visualize the element of water cleansing and purifying the negative thoughts.

After taking a moment of gratitude to connect and visualize your intention, release the intention back into the earth by pouring the water on the ground.

Taurus

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Taurus are some of the most loyal elements of the zodiac. They are reliable, consistent and calm. You’ve probably had a less tumultuous year than most – either financially or work-wise. But keep those good, prosperous vibes going with this simple limpia:

Recite a personal prayer to connect you with your source (the higher power you believe most in)

Open windows or doors so that dense energies can flow out.

Light a dried lavender flower bundle like you would palo santo or sage and move the extinguished bundle around your space to cleanse away the negative energetic residue of 2020.

Gemini

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Geminis are full of curiosity, and inquisitive knowledge. But it‘s this mindfulness and curiosity what causes that tendency towards indecision. Being indecisive probably led you down some interesting lessons this past year.

Recite a personal prayer to connect you with your source (the higher power you believe most in)

Open windows or doors so that dense energies can flow out.

In a fire-proof bowl or cauldron, light a piece of charcoal like you would sage or palo santo. Place fennel seeds on the smoking charcoal and pour a small amount of cedar oil on the fennel to increase the burn.

Fan the smoke around you and your space to cleanse away the negative energetic residue of 2020.

Close the ritual with a prayer of affirmation and love.

Cancer

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With the moon as your ruling planet, you are one of the most intuitive signs. You are loved for being attentive and nurturing and this can be draining your energy. Self-care should be an important topic for you going at all times but especially now thanks to everything going on in our world. Here’s a ritual for a spiritual baño to help you cleanse from negative vibes and ease into more chill ones.

Run warm water and fill tub to your liking.

Add sea salt and chamomile allowing the properties to expel in the water.

Place healong crystals of your choosing around the tub, or inside if they don’t have a negative reaction to water.

Light some candles to help you relax, and soak in the warm bath.

Visualize the chamomile and salts working their magic, releasing dense energy from your aura.

Enjoy for as long as you need and close with a prayer of gratitude.

Leo

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You shine bright like the sun. Leo is one of the most charismatic signs of the Zodiac. You live passionately and are usually center stage or the life of the party. For so many, especially Leos, 2020 has been a powerful check against ego and self-identity. A year full of highs and lows helped both make you humble and proud of who you are. Here’s a spiritual bath to help soothe your inner fire.

Run warm water and fill tub to your liking.

Add a handful of dried lavender allowing the properties to expand in the water.

Add a tablespoon of Florida water to the bath —or as much as you feel guided to pour.

Soak in the warm water and envision yourself connecting with the lavender to help you soothe and cool down the overuse of fire within you. Ask for guidance toward a more balanced temperament.

Enjoy for as long as you need and close with a prayer of gratitude.

Virgo

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This sign is known for it’s meticulous attention to detail and impeccable work. Your grounded nature allows you to be practical and get things done —which is something many other signs lack. 2020 is likely throwing you off of your stable nature which has left you feeling frazzled at times. Enjoy the following cleanse to assist you in cleaning yourself of dense negative energy and freeing new space to allow new opportunities into your life.

Make bundles of fresh rosemary (one for each room with a bed and another for a small altar)

Spray or sprinkle Florida water onto bundles.

Pray over the rosemary bundles and connect with the higher power you believe in, and ask for assistance in welcoming in fresh energy before the year ends.

Place a bundle under every bed in your place and another in an altar.

Keep the bundles in place until they’ve dried out completely.

Once they’ve dried out (2 weeks approximately) throw them away in a dumpster at least 2 miles away from your home.

The rosemary will clear out dense energy and will allow a clear mind for your analytical brain.

Libra

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Balance is your safe haven. Structure and diplomacy are ideal for a Libra to thrive. Spending so much time with your head in the clouds requires some time for you to feel more grounded —and that’s exactly what this limpia will help you do.

Set a bowl full of water and salt in the middle of the room you wish to cleanse.

Light an ethically sourced bundle of sage and state a protection intention

Work the smoke from your sage, from the North corner of the room, to the east, south and western corners.

Direct the energy you’re clearing, into the bowl with salt. The saltwater will soak up all the energy you need to release –from anger, to confusion.

Once done with the sage, place it safely somewhere it can extinguish itself until the smoke goes out.

Center yourself in the middle of the room with a black crystal or tourmaline (make sure you sage the tourmaline too), and ask Mother Earth in gratitude, to help you feel more grounded as an air sign.

Scorpio

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This year you were focused and you dedicated a lot of time to areas where you feel that you are in a position of power: work, relationships, etc. If you worked hard, you experience positive karma paying you back in return. You might have had some harsh realizations that triggered you emotionally though. So cut yourself some slack with this limpia to help you revive the energy of your space.

Place purified water in a pot to boil

Once boiling, add fresh basil.

Squeeze 2 fresh lemons into the boiling water.

Allow the water to cool down and place it in a spray bottle. This will be your purification water.

Spray it in rooms, use it to clean desks or mop your floors.

You can use it all year round.

Sagittarius

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2020 has tested your ways of communication. The latest mercury retrograde might have affected some of your friendships or relationships. You learned how to express yourself but also how to not lash out. Here’s a fire limpia to help release any personal, professional or romantic blockages that have been created in 2020.

Pray over fennel seeds to seek for the release from any blockages created in the year.

Light a charcoal block until it sparks and place inside a cauldron or fire-proof pot.

Place copal carefully onto the charcoal and the fennel seeds on top while the charcoal is lit and heated. Pour some ‘road opener’ oil (find it at your local botanica or or spiritual shop) on it and let it smoke.

Perform a self limpia —use the smoke to wash over your head.

Scoop the smoke over your head and down every chakra point up to the soles of your feet.

Work the cauldron in circles over your arms and legs until the smoke goes out.

Remaining smoke can be used to cleanse your room.

Capricorn

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You’re naturally driven and ambitious, but this year’s unprecedented drama and some recent retrogrades might have felt like you were being pulled backward which made you feel anxious. This ritual will help get rid of that left-over anxiety and return you to your usual tenacious self.

Connect with your higher power of love and protection.

Cleanse a smokey quartz stone

Meditate your intention over a dark brown candle. Cut the wick before lighting and pour patchouli oil over the candle for added protection and spiritual grounding.

Write your intention and goals for the rest of the year and propose them to planet Saturn for added discipline and assistance.

Light the candle and place the crystal on top of your paper of intention. Connect and meditate with the crystal for 5 minutes.

Keep the candle lit for the next 8 days or as long as it burns.

Aquarius

The Best New Year’s Limpias
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The innovative ones. Working through and shattering old patterns was a big behavior for Aquarius in 2019 – but then came 2020. Leave all the clutter of the mind and our world behind and make way for the greatness to come. This simple spiritual bath will help you come back to center and focus your mind.

Light a white candle

Pray over a bundle of eucalyptus and the candle, stating your purpose for the new year.

Place the white candle in the bathroom with you.

Run a warm bath with epsom salt (2 tb spoons) and place the eucalyptus around the showerhead so that the stream of wafter runs through the properties of the plant.

Drop some essential oil into the bath and soak for as long as you need. Pour the bath water over your head (chakra) and let it touch every part of your body.

Keep the bundle on your shower head until you no longer feel the properties of the plant in the water, then dispose of it 2 miles away from your home.

Pisces

The Best New Year’s Limpias
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The most emotional and sensitive sign of the Zodiac. You spend a lot of time dealing between what is real and what isn’t —with your innate ability to tap into other realms. Here’s a simple water cleanse —your natural habitat!— to help connect you with your intention and wishes for the new year.

Fill a glass with purified water and find a place of solitude with no distractions (cell phone off).

Create an intention of what this year has taught you – about who you are, what you value, what you yearn for – for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Visualize that intention being poured into the glass of water. Visualize the element of water cleansing and purifying the negative thoughts.

After taking a moment of gratitude to connect and visualize your intention, release the intention back into the earth by pouring the water on the ground.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com