Santeria and Lucumi are forms of witchcraft that merge the spiritual practices of people from Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic (who were also Roman Catholics) and tribes from West Africa.
Many, many years ago, slaves who were brought to America were forced to convert religions, but in order to hold on to some of their own religious traditions and customs, including divination or calling to spirits of the dead, animal sacrifice, sacred drumming and dance, they incorporated their native West African traditions into the Catholic icons and renamed them. They still referred to them as ‘saints’.
It became a mixture of witchcraft practices, which is of a perverse spirit. This produces spiritual error and carries a curse. Santeria and Lucumi have many rituals and ceremonies that are held in a house temple, or what is called a ‘house of Saints.’ The meetings are conducted by Priests or Priestesses. There is a display of ‘thrones’ that represents the kings, queens and deified warriors who are invoked for guidance and blessing.
The ‘disciples,’ of Santeria, if you want to call them that, are given prayer beads as a sacred point of contact with the spirits called upon in these witchcraft ceremonies. After many rituals are performed, the person is ‘born again’ into the faith. Not the faith of God, mind you, but of the occult.
I know not everyone makes a practice of these sort of things. There are many sincere, God loving Christians in the Catholic church and in a variety of churches. It’s not my intent to be critical but to open people’s eyes to certain religious practices and traditions that they may not understand can be quite harmful spiritually. The enemy takes advantage of our lack of knowledge and then it gives him opportunity to destroy, kill, and rob from people, which is something I hope to prevent by teaching on this subject.
These are things that have been introduced by man at some point in history and ‘added to’ the Word of God as though it came from God, but we are never to alter the scriptures. The perverse spirit makes everything else unclean, no matter how many rituals are performed. It is an abomination to God and the persons affected may never realize that an unbroken curse exists.
“I testify to anyone that adds to the prophecy in this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to them the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book…” Revelation 22:18-19.
“Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar,” Proverbs 30:8.
“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons,” 1 Timothy 4:1.
Those who are true teachers of the faith will point back to scripture that has not been altered to deviate from God’s word. Words that have been change to serve man’s religious traditions, release bondage and a curse. Just because one has been taught something from their youth, or relied on the teachings of others they trusted to tell them the truth, doesn’t necessarily mean that what has been accepted is actually the truth as God intended it to be understood. It’s always best to check it for yourself.
Many years ago, when I was very young, I used prayer candles. I had no idea that they were used as a point of contact to invoke demonic spirits. At the time I was driven by desperation and completely unaware of how my actions affected me spiritually. It’s a form of witchcraft and idolatry to call out in prayer to anyone, or any spirit, other than Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father or Holy Spirit.
The Bible never instructs us to pray to Mary or other saints, because it is written in John 10:9, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
Jesus alone is the door to the Father, to salvation, and to answered prayer. It is also written in Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Therefore, praying to any other name, person, spirit or saint is a form of conjuring occult spirits to try to obtain wisdom, protection or get a need or desire answered through illegitimate means.
Now, I hate to give the devil any glory, but I did get an answered prayer from that first candle, but it was only to hook me into wanting to be more involved with the occult practices. WHAT A TRAP! Don’t do it! My life became such a horrible mess. What may seem innocent is not. It’s an open invitation for devils to rob, steal and plunder.
Calling on ANY OTHER spirit for help is idolatrous and in effect, summoning that spirit, giving them permission to intervene in our lives. Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say to pray to the virgin Mary, other saints, or call out to other names for assistance.
Those in the Catholic church may stand upon the verse in Revelation 5:8-14 as a means of justifying praying to Mary or others that have passed on and are now in heaven. The problem is, nowhere in scripture does it say that praying to those in heaven is permitted, and nowhere in scripture does it indicate that they are to receive our prayers.
Jesus instructed His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9 to pray to “Our Father.” Jesus also instructed on the matter of whose name to ask when petitioning the Heavenly Father. HIS.
Jesus said in John 14:13-14: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that My Father will be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name I will do it.”
Again in John 16:23 Jesus said, “In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. Very truly I tell you, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” Here again we clearly see the intent of scripture is to ask our Heavenly Father (direct our prayers to Him) in the name of Jesus.
As a further matter of dispelling the doctrinal error of praying to Mary or other ‘saints,’ we can see the intent of scripture is also carried out in Acts 10:25,26. Cornelius threw himself at the Apostle Peter’s feet in a display of worship. “But Peter raised him up saying, ‘Stand up; I too am just a man.’ ”
The same thought is repeated in Acts 14:15 with Paul and Barnabas. The people of the city thought they were gods and began to worship them. “But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”
In Revelation 19:10, the Apostle John had an encounter with an angel and wanted to honor the angel by bowing to him. “At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.” As you can see, the intent of scripture is very clear. We do not seek angels, pray to them or petition anyone except God.
Luke 24:1-8 asks a powerful question. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here!”
The dead, even the dead who are now in heaven, have no ability or power granted to them to answer prayer. Only God answers prayer. There are many other scriptures that state that only JESUS CHRIST has been given the power of salvation and deliverance to those who call on His name.
No one else has that right to be called upon for help because no one else suffered for our sin or gave their life in our place. No other name, no other ‘god’ has the power to forgive sin. Therefore, NO OTHER spirit rightfully has the power to become a god in anyone’s life whether they call upon the name of a saint or not!!
Saints or angels are not gods and although God may use an angel to send an answer to prayer, we must pray only to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus to ask Him for our need. Salvation is always our first need, for God has no obligation to answer the needs, desires or prayers of those that are spiritually estranged and do not recognize Him as Father.
Friend, it was not demonic power that resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead; it was the power of the Holy Spirit. Calling upon the wrong names for help is an abomination to God and must be recognized as such. There are many more scriptures that support this truth. Whether a person does it innocently or not, it still brings a curse into their home and gives demons access to everything, including all family members.
I live in Escondido, a city that has a long history in Native American history as well as the Catholic traditions. Many people here are struggling with poverty. Poverty is a result of a curse.
It is the result of the spirit of chaos that resists God’s authority, order and dominion. So, there is a curse operating in the earthly realm that needs to be broken, and brass heavens that prevents prayers from being answered; no one is happy with the effects of unbroken curses operating in their lives except for the evil powers that try to keep things that way.
Poverty is more than just finances; it affects a person’s whole belief system. It affects self esteem, self image, how people view finances and much more. A poverty spirit is fear based. Even frugality, when taken to an extreme, is a poverty mindset also because there is a spirit of fear motivating a person’s actions to hoard and be miserly rather than the principles of generosity that are taught in the Bible.
Poverty doesn’t always mean being homeless or on the streets, but it can definitely affect a person and make them struggle financially. It can produce hardship in all sorts of things that affect health, emotions, mental health and family relationships. People struggle to the degree that they are in bondage.
Struggle is a sign of captivity. People go into captivity because of disobedience, and obedience can get them out. Isn’t that good news?!? Now, captivity is the devil’s plan; not God’s.
God’s word tells us “Beloved I pray that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers,” 3 John 1:2. So, if we are not prospering in our soul, our health, our emotions, relationally, in our finances, then there is a block somewhere to our being able to prosper and we need to find it so that it can be removed. Some people are definitely struggling because of demonic attachments in their life and perhaps unbroken generational curses.
Those things will always unravel a person’s progress and hinder their ability to be free, healed, and to prosper. Let me ask you, “Are you in a place where you could stand to benefit from some spiritual wisdom? Would you like a breakthrough to come to your home, family and finances? Would you like to be delivered out of your trouble?”
You don’t have to stay stuck. You can get the help you need today! Repentance opens the heavens and allows your prayers to be answered by God! Repentance releases the kind of blessings that God wants you to have.
Regardless of how people approach life’s challenges, if we are driven by our needs, insecurities, and a desire to utilize worldly wisdom to achieve our goals, then according to James 3:13-15 we are tapping into a natural wisdom that is given to us by the prince of the power of the air (Satan), and that the Bible says is demonic.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need the wisdom of demons. They are all liars, just like their father, Satan, who is known as the father of lies, (John 8:44). Demonic wisdom will tempt us to use worldly wisdom for good things (achieving goals, a desire for a better future, even serving God, for instance), but that is the hook the enemy uses to then cause us to be driven by a lust for success and other desirable things.
A spirit of Lust will speak to a person in what sounds like ‘good ideas’ and even our own thoughts, but it causes us to live by self-will and in agreement with demonic spirits rather than being submitted to God and led by the Holy Spirit. The things people are ‘in agreement with’ has every bit to do with whether or not they are in agreement with God and submitted to Him, or in agreement with other spirits that are active in their life.
(The spirit realm sees it as being in a covenant partnership, which is a whole other teaching, but WHAT we are in covenant with has everything to do with whether or not we are either blessed or struggling to receive blessing.)
Scripture tells us that a spirit of lust is never satisfied. Some versions of the scripture in Proverbs 27:20 state it like this:
“Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the place of destruction) are never satisfied; so [the lust of] the eyes of man is never satisfied,” AMP.
“Human desires are like the world of the dead — there is always room for more,” GNT.
“Ambition and death are alike in this: neither is ever satisfied,” TLB.
James 3:16 shows us the relationship between lust, ambition and confusion, which I mentioned in the beginning of the article. “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
Confusion causes disorder, distraction, and a great deal of demonic activity in the spirit realm. Where confusion is present, everything withstands God’s divine order and His authority. It brings in strife, jealousy, arguments, blaming others, anger, offense, and a whole lot more. Because idolatry is also in play, that opens people up to the curses of illness, poverty, ruin and the list goes on.
When a curse is in effect, sometimes it is obvious and at other times it just seems like plans are continuously frustrated. It’s a feeling of your purse or wallet has holes in it where money just slips out of your hands, a lot of unexplained sickness, cars break down, you can’t find a job, things get robbed from you, and life just seems a whole lot harder than it needs to be. Of course, there are times when unfortunate things happen. But, if it feels like everything is set against you and hinders your ability to prosper or find success, then ask yourself some important questions.
Is there any place in my life where I feel impatient, frustrated and irritated?
Am I allowing my frustrations and impatience to drive me to decisions, or am I being led by a spirit of peace and God’s wisdom?
Do I fight constant distractions, confusion and disorder?
Am I driven by a sense of needing to fulfill certain ambitions, goals or aspirations, leaning on my own understanding to try to get results? Is it possible that you have idols in your life?
An idol is anything that is sacred to a person. It defines self-worth, becomes the controlling center of life and takes priority over all other priorities. What is an idol to you? Is there something in your life that you would never let go of? Something that defines you, or is so at the center of your life that it controls all the other aspects of your time, energy, desires or takes precedence over all your other relationships? What has your loyalty over everything else? If it’s not God, then it’s possible you have an idol.
Friend, our own hearts will deceive us into thinking we’re in right standing with God when we really need to repent. That’s how the enemy gets us in our blind spot. We really have no justifiable defense if we have turned back from following God and somehow started following a different spirit. When we indulge our flesh we put our affections on worldly things, and follow the lusts of the flesh. Those things are opposed to following and serving God.
People, good people, desperate for a breakthrough, often do things they shouldn’t. Like buying prayer candles and praying to various other spirits, powers, and saints.
Good people can get so desperate that they will try just about anything to try to find relief from their situation. I know, because I used to do it too, but it’s called witchcraft, idolatry, and rebellion towards God. I know there are a lot of people who might be upset with what I’m writing here, but I tell you this with all love and compassion, not judgment.
I tell you this, because I truly want you to understand the root cause of why you may have some of the problems that are hindering your blessings from coming forth. God will hold them back until you repent and confess your sin so that you may be cleansed. He doesn’t want to hold back your blessings, but He is bound by His law. He cannot bless sin, even if we might tend to protest that we didn’t know we had done anything wrong. It’s okay, just take a breath and tell the Lord you’re sorry and you won’t do it again.
Ask for Him to forgive your sin and the sin of your ancestors for knowingly or unknowingly participating in idolatry, witchcraft and calling on occult powers.
Ask Him to forgive the generational rebellion that has been so dominant in this land, and let the blood of Jesus cover the sin so that the land, the families and YOUR family can receive more of His wisdom, leadership and blessings.
God is just waiting for you to call on His name so that He can bless you and release restoration to your life! If you really want to see the devil defeated where you and your family are concerned, get the whole family involved in this and pray together as a family to renounce the sins of your ancestors. I can tell you from experience, this sort of prayer is powerful and effective, and it works!
Please forgive me and my family for generational rebellion, allowing fear to try to meet our needs outside of Your will, idolatry and disobedience.
Forgive me and my ancestors for any way that we may have knowingly or unknowingly called on occult powers or participated in any form of witchcraft.
Please cleanse us from all unrighteousness and allow us to be adopted as Your children.
Please let the blood of Jesus cover every doorway from those sins so that the enemy cannot have access to us any longer.
I renounce and divorce the enemy, Satan, and any evil spirit that may have been called into my life.
I renounce the spirits of Santeria, Lucumi, African gods and all familiar spirits associated with those rituals, prayers, customs and traditions.
I renounce the seven African spirits known as Papa Legba, Obtala, Oya, Oshun, Chango, Ogun and Yemmaya, in the name of Jesus Christ.
I renounce all Loas, mediums and familiar spirits, ungodly priests, priestesses, sorcerers and wizards that are syncretized with Catholic saints, and any other names which they may be called.
I bind any and all inanimate objects from being used in any sort of witchcraft, voodoo, hoodoo or other form of demonic practices and loose all evil spirits off of individuals, objects, and evil altars.
I command them to go to the abyss that was created for them in Jesus name.
I renounce death, hell and poverty.
I renounce fear, self-will, lust, control and confusion.
I break every ungodly covenant, oath and vow that may have been spoken by myself or any of my ancestors, knowing that this is forbidden by Your word.
I ask that You forgive all covenants made by my ancestors that led us into bondage as indentured servants, slaves or other forms of spiritual slavery, addiction and bondage.
Lord Jesus, please let me be released from any ungodly alliances, covenants, or legally binding treaties that were enacted between me, my family, and demonic spirits.
Let the curse over my home, myself and my family, and all that pertains to us be broken now, in Jesus name.
I thank You, Father, for allowing us to receive Your restoration and the blessings that have been held back.
I ask that Your Holy Spirit fill me with love, truth, wisdom, might, a spirit of understanding and enable me to live according to Your commands.
In Jesus name, amen.
For a very thorough prayer renouncing generational sin that breaks occult power and demonic attachments, please see our Breakthrough Prayer. There is also a prayer specifically dealing with African Witchcraft Curses and Healing and Deliverance for Native Americans. Look for the links to the pages in the upper right corner of the home page. Prayers are at the end of the articles.
~ Laura Gagnon
Laura Gagnon is a woman who has been blessed with the gift of understanding God’s restorative work through her own personal experience. Through her insights and revelation, God has led her to influence many individuals into a restored relationship with Jesus Christ. She is a woman who stands on the promises of God, encouraging others in an elevated expectation of the miraculous and declares the gift of His life. Laura is the author of Healing the Heart of a Woman and writes for her blog, Beyond the Barriers.