When a Santería believer takes the step to become an olosha, the transformation is a delicate one. It literally involves being born again, and not in the Christian sense of the word. Our re-birth is one that carries a transformation of spiritual symbiotic nature. In other words, a spiritual force other than ours is aligned to our force during the kariosha or crowning ceremony and from that moment on, initiate and orisha coexist in a mutual codependent relationship. However, this is my very own point of view and I have yet to hear it being articulated in these particular terms by any other oloshas. Frankly, I am not sure that the scientific/spiritual approach would be one readily accepted by many who have no inclination to study or observation of natural sciences as they apply to religion.
Iyawós enter a period of learning and repose for 12 months, this is known as “The Year in White” and most commonly as “Iyaworaje.” This period is marked by a set of rules and restrictions that are imposed to protect the iyawó. Rules are not arbitrary they are established because they are meant to protect the iyawó from any harm, after all they are the future of our religious community and must be cherished and revered. When an iyawó follows the rules it shows commitment, maturity, responsibility and respect for their new rank, to their godparents and most important, the head orisha. The way in which an iyawó chooses to carry on during this year can and will determine the nature of the relationship with the tutelary orisha for life. Take it from someone who has been there and done that.
Editors Note: This article is an excerpt of a post that can be found on the following link.