Botanicas are stores that
stock herbs, roots, beads, oils, scents, sprays,
powders, potions, etc., used in Santería
and other ritual practices such as Espiritismo.
Exciting collection of books, herbs and candles,
traditional unique New Orleans Voodoo Hoodoo
items, Vodou, Santeria and much more.
African, Caribbean, Iberian, Cuban, Hatian
and American Voodoo lore, you can find more
than 6,000 products and religious articles.
From waters and oils to candles and washes.
with its vast selections of sacred roots,
holy cards, religious statues, talismans,
blessing sprays, Tarot card, incense, and
voodoo curios F&F botanica is a very
interesting stop on your next visit to New
Commonly, F&F interior space is separated
into what you might call “front”
and “back” regions. The former
“sales” area contains display
shelves and glass cases filled with colored
beads, cauldrons, tureens, perfumes, oils,
candles, herbs and other ritual materials
for sale. The “back” region
is used for private religious consultations
(using one of many divinatory techniques,
including cowry shells, tarot cards, Spanish
cards, and more, depending on the specific
faith of the diviner).
The consultations performed here allow
customers to participate in the religion
without initiation or allegiance to a particular
community of worshippers.
F&F carry a nice selection of religious
articles from Cuba and Latin America. In
the Santeria & Lucumi section you can
locate products used in Santeria, Palo,
Ifa and Espiritismo. The Hoodoo items frequently
used for spells or spiritual workings based
on Rootwork, African American folk and Southern
Catholic Supplies section includes holy
cards, larger images of Saints, Statuary
& Rosaries. Holy Medals for patron saints
in pewter. Wear as jewelry or add to charms
and mojo bags. Holy Cards with both English
and Spanish prayers. Imported Statuary from
Italy, Mexico and other parts of Latin America.
Laminated highest quality Italian made holy
cards from the original art house known
as CromoNB. The gold gilding and professional
laminating make them amazing. Double Sided
with an English Prayer on the back. Italian
Holy Cards in Spanish Language. Double Sided
with Spanish Prayer on the back. Small,
glossy wallet sized cards with a small insert
that has been touched to the relics of the
F&F ship anywhere in the Country,
as well as overseas.
Qualified and experienced staff members
are always available to answer your Hoodoo
voodoo questions, about products and/or
services. Consultations and readings are
also part of the services offered.
The largest and oldest Botanica in New
Orleans. Serving the public with anything
and everything you want to order in the
Afro Cuban religion of Santeria, Voodoo,
Hoodoo, Condonble, Spritual, and Palo products
all at your service now Please call or email
us for a catalog.
The botanica is open daily
Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-6pm
Payment Methods: Cash, Visa, Master Card,
NEW ORLEANS SANTERIA
Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean religion which
is becoming more widely practiced in North
American as immigration continues from Latin
America and specifically Cuba. The rituals
of this religion are bizarre by conventional
western standards and often result in reports
of criminal activity or lead police to presume
that a criminal act has been committed.
Police Officers investigating alleged criminal
actions by practitioners of these religions
and in New Orleans are more familiar with
the meaning and potential relevance of religious
artifacts and Voodoo hooodoo cult practices.
Origins of Santeria
Santeria is a religion popular among Hispanics
in general and Cuban-Americans in particular.
Like other Afro-Caribbean cults practiced
in Miami, such as Haitian Voodoo, Obeah
and Brazilian Candomble, it blends African
religion with some aspects of Christianity.
The Spanish, French and Portuguese introduced
African slaves to Christianity and, partly
as a compromise to ensure cultural survival,
the slaves depicted the various African
deities with facsimiles of Roman Catholic
saints (a phenomenon known as syncretism).
The gods and goddesses of Santeria are of
West African origin, specifically of the
Yoruba culture of southwestern Nigeria.
The beliefs and rituals of Santeria
According to the beliefs of Santeria, each
person is born under a particular guardian
saint (Orsha) that must be worshipped [worshiped]
throughout life. The guardian saint is central
to all rites and magic performed in Santeria.
An essential part of those rituals involves
the use of herbs, roots, flowers and plants.
Most of these and other religious paraphernalia
may be purchased from stores called "botanicas"
which are found throughout Dade county.
Most formal Santeria rituals also require
the use of sacrificial birds and animals.
Each of the saints is ‘fed' his or
her favorite food or sacrifice. The blood
of roosters, turtles and goats is the most
common offering. Birds such as pigeons,
canaries and hens are used in rubbing rituals
where the practitioner is cleansed-the evil
supposedly passing from the victim to the
Santeria practices or magic are most often
used as a strategy to resolve conflicts
both within and between persons. Through
a set of symbolic rituals, practitioners
are believed to achieve relief from various
forms of emotional, social and physical
disabilities. Practiced within the bounds
of non-medical and psychic healing, which
is generally the case, Santeria is a neutral
or benevolent magic religion. Santeria does
not promote malevolent or criminal activities,
but it does have a component of malevolent
sorcery that is often used by criminal individuals
for their own purposes. Santeria does not
have a specific moral code such as found
in Judeo-Christian religion and, as such,
is amenable to enhancing the criminal enterprises
of those who may use its magic for personal
protection and good fortune. Drug dealers,
for example, are often found with elaborate
statues and other depiction of Santeria
in their homes or hideaways. The god of
hunting and owner of traps (Ochosi), for
example, is often honored by Latin criminals
in order to avoid incarceration or to obtain
release from jail, or ward off the police.
Ritual Sites and Houses or Worship
Ritual sites of Santeria practices reflect
the objects of worship and purpose of the
ritual-essential information for police
investigators who suspect criminal activities.
A general overview of the organizational
structure and beliefs of these practitioners
is essential to an understanding of these
Priests and priestesses in the Santerial
religion are known as "santeros"
or "santeras" and high priests
are known as "babalawos". Both
men and women can become initiated into
this religion. The order of the high priest
or "babalawo" is only reserved
for males. These practitioners specialize
in divination to predict the future and
interpret significant omens in the consultant's
The Santeria practitioners organize themselves
under what is known as "casa de santo"
or literally ‘house of saint'. Each
new initiative in the religion is sponsored
by a "padrino" or "madrina
(‘godfather' or ‘godmother')
who is responsible for teaching the newcomer
the "secrets" of the religion.
This same godfather/godmother has numerous
other individuals that have become full-fledged
practitioners under his/her guidance as
well as individuals who have consulted them
once or twice for minor problems (such as
love magic, prosperity, minor health problems,
The estimate of how many individuals practice
Santeria in the United States varies. Authors
such as Migene Gonzalez-Wipler (1973, p.10)
have placed this number at over one hundred
million practitioners in the Americas. Other
more conservative estimates place this number
in the hundreds of thousands in the United
States. Conservative estimates for the South
Florida area point to about 10 to 15 percent
of the Hispanics being either full-fledge
practitioners or "dabblers" in
Santeria rituals. It must be mentioned that
many followers of this religion maintain
strict secrecy regarding their religious
involvement. A good index of the popularity
of Santeria is the number of botanica stores
found throughout Dade county. Currently,
there are approximately 60 botanicas catering
to the needs of Santeria followers in the
greater Miami area.
Afro-Cuban Santeria (Yoruba) Mythology
To the Santeria practitioners, religious
mythology plays a major role in adding logic
and depth to the symbolic nature of their
Understanding the myths and legends of
each god or goddess is essential in determining
what animals or foods are offered, what
colors are associated with the deities,
what ceremonies are conducted on particular
days of the week, the specific dances performed,
and a host of other details pertinent to
the religion. It is important to point out
that these myths and legends are real and
meaningful to the members of this religion.
The following is a description of the most
Also known as Echu, is the guardian of the
crossroads. All rituals are first begun
by invoking Eleggua. He is known to punish
those who do not respect him. He is a restless
god, and for his own amusement causes much
annoyance to mortals. It seems that even
among the other deities, he is a bit of
a practical joker, though at times not very
funny. The colors of Eleggua are red and
black. His numbers are 3 and 21.
He is considered the creator of the world.
The father of all the Orishas and the god
of peace. His color is white and the numbers
are 8 and 16.
Queen of the seas and goddess of motherhood.
She is depicted as a virtuous mother, prudent,
intelligent, and at the same time warm,
human and happy. Her colors are blue and
white and the number is 7.
Goddess of love and lust. She is depicted
as being sensuous, witty and wicked. She
is also the goddess of rivers, lagoons and
gold. Oshun represents all things sweet,
beautiful and voluptuous. Her colors are
yellow and gold and the number is 5.
God of virility and strength, also of thunder
and lightning. Above all he is representative
of unbridled sexuality. There is no deity
more vehement nor energetic. His color is
red and white and the numbers are 4 and
The god of all things made of iron and mineral.
A warlike god. He is symbolized by machetes,
picks, shovels, hammers, and any object
made of steel or iron. His colors are green
and black and the number is 7.
God of illnesses and seer who can look into
the future. His colors are purple and brown
or purple and yellow and the number is 17.
He is the god of hunters and spell casters.
He is also known as a god of justice. He
is frequently associated with the police,
the jails, and the legal system. His color
brown and beige and the number is 3.
Santeria is a religion readily encountered
among Hispanic populations in the United
States. It is important for police officers
to remember that this religion by itself
does not foster overt criminal activity.
However, the religion is often used by criminals
to foster and further their criminal enterprises.
Also devotees often feel they are protected
by the deities and may therefore act in
rash and unexpected ways that could endanger
the safety or life of a police officer.
Police officers often encounter ceremonial
sites in homes in the course of serving
warrants or conducting other unrelated investigations.
Depending on local ordinances, there may
be violations related to animal cruelty
due to ritual animal sacrifice. Recent U.S.
Supreme Court (reference case) ruling has
allowed for the ritual sacrifice of animals
that does not involved animal torture or
"Santeria: A Magico-Religious System
of Afro-Cuban Origin", Martinez, Rafael,
MA, and Wetli, Charles V., MD, The American
Journal of Social Psychiatry, Volume II,
Number 3, Brunner/Mazel, Inc., New York,
Santeria: African Magic in Latin America.
Wippler-Gonzalez, Migene, New York: Anchor