Elekes are sacred beaded necklaces acting as a linkage between wearers and the Santeria spirits.
The religion is commonly spread in some African and Afro-Caribbean communities where participants wear necklaces for protection and spiritual provisions.
To keep the necklaces functional, they need blessings and consecration periodically.
Practitioners are advised to consecrate and bless Elekes for several reasons, including:
- Protection: Elekes wearers enjoy spiritual protection from harmful spirits and influences. The necklaces act as a charm that fights off negative energies, allowing practitioners to achieve peace and serenity.
- Spiritual Nourishment: Those wearing Elekes gain access to the spiritual realm, connecting to particular deities who grant their prayers.
- Blessings: The deities represented by the necklaces fulfill the wishes of the wearers through blessings, abundance, and prosperity.
- Wisdom: Wearers of elekes receive knowledge and wisdom from the supernatural Orishas, enabling them to navigate different aspects of their lives smoothly.
- Tradition Preservation: Blessing and consecrating elekes is part and parcel of the Santeria/Lukumi tradition. Consecrating them pays homage to the Santeria tradition, ensuring it stays operational for future generations.
Now that you know the importance of consecrating elekes, how about learning to how do it?
Remember that blessing and consecration procedures may differ in Santeria traditions, so it’s critical to consult with your godmother or godfather on your tradition’s precise guidelines.
Before commencing the consecration or blessing of the elekes, you must gather several items for the ritual. These include:
- Elekes: These are necklaces representing different Orishas. They are mostly made of beads with different colors to distinguish them.
- Offerings: These are the gifts offered to the Orishas. Each Orisha has a specific set of gifts, such as flowers, seashells, fruits, etc.
- Drums: Some traditions include drums in the consecration ritual, accompanied by music to create a holy atmosphere.
- Altar and altar clothing: When blessing elekes, they are placed on the altar, which is covered with a clean white altar cloth. The offerings are also placed on the altar.
- Incense: This is also used to facilitate a sacred atmosphere by producing purifying smoke all over the consecration altar.
- Candles: Candles are lit to produce light, presenting a holy space for prayers and offerings.
- Water: Purified water is also essential to the blessing or consecrating elekes. It is used to cleanse the necklaces and additional uses as outlined in different traditions.
With the blessing items, you are ready to commence the consecration process.
These are the steps for consecrating and blessing the elekes, which, if you remember, may vary in different Santeria religion setups;
1. Cleanse Yourself and the Altar
Before consecrating the elekes, you must be pure.
You need to cleanse yourself by bathing with purified water.
You should also cleanse the altar or where you will perform the consecration.
Doing so eliminates terrible spirits and energies that may interfere with the consecration.
2. Altar Preparation
Gathering the consecration items, such as candles and Orisha gifts, and preparing the altar with pure clothing comes next.
A table can serve as an altar or flat ground away from distractions.
Place a water bowl with purified water for cleansing the elekes.
You may also place symbols or images on the altar. This creates the perfect spiritual atmosphere for prayers, offerings, and dancing.
3. Candle Lighting and Incense Burning
After preparing the altar, elekes wearers should light candles and burn incense to provide the perfect ambiance for the Orisha.
Besides incense, some traditions burn herbs like sage, frankincense, and myrrh to serve the same purpose as incense.
Other items burnt in other practices include sacred woods like cedar and sandalwood.
What follows is seeking a connection to the Orishas and making your consecration intention known to them.
You can also communicate your gratitude and heart desires during meditation.
View the altar as a holy place where the Orisha can hear and grant your desires.
5. Blessing and Consecrating the Elekes
Holding elekes in your hands, call out the Orisha represented by the necklace.
Request their spiritual presence and recite your tradition’s prayers or invocations.
Give your offerings to signify gratitude and consecrate the necklaces by requesting blessings and the spirit’s guidance and protection.
6. Cleanse Elekes
Pour purified water over the elekes for additional cleansing.
This step may not apply in some traditions, but some do it to add more positive energies into the elekes.
Besides cleansing, other rituals may also apply to some traditions.
Also Read: How to Feed Elekes
7. Closing the Consecration
You can end the session if you have satisfied the elekes with the consecration.
If unsatisfied, you can liaise with your traditional leader to determine what you may have done wrong.
8. Wear the Elekes Back
Carefully and respectfully wear back your elekes.
The consecration renders them powerful after the reconnection with Orisha.
Use your elekes until the following consecration process.
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