The World of Espiritu

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to participate in a sacred ritual in which you gain understanding into deeper levels of consciousness? writer Sheila Mary Koch explores the world of Espiritu Practice in her article Smoking Spirit: Sharing a Woman’s Espiritu Practice in Cuba.

“Tobacco fog filled the Old Havana apartment where I waited with three generations of Cuban women for my first Espiritu ceremony to begin. The five of us sat in a semicircle facing an altar covered with glasses of water, flowers, cigars and a single candle.

Two cloth dolls on a tiny chairs and a metal pail filled with swords and sticks completed our circle. I felt grateful to my new friend, Indina, for inviting me to this intimate gathering.

Indina had explained that her mother practices Espiritu, which isn’t Santeria yet incorporates similar African rituals along with Catholicism and clairvoyance, then had asked if I wanted to experience it myself.

Indina’s mother turned out to be the leader of the ceremony. She took her cigar and put the lit end inside her mouth, puffed out her cheeks and exhaled billows of smoke until her cigar was almost gone. Meanwhile, Indina and the oldest woman lit up filterless Cuban cigarettes.”