Awonifa

Study the Teachings of Ifa

Animal sacrifice is central to Santeria. The animal is sacrificed as food, rather than for any obscure mystical purpose. Followers of an Orisha will offer them food and sacrifice animals to them in order to build and maintain a personal relationship with the spirit. The process not only brings the worshipper closer to their Orisha, but makes them more aware of the presence of the Orisha within them.

This is a mutual process; the food is essential for the Orishas, who will die without being fed, and in return the Orishas are able to help the worshippers. Orishas are also nourished by other forms of worship and praise.

The animals are killed by cutting the carotid arteries with a single knife stroke in a similar way to other religious methods of slaughter.

Animals are cooked and eaten following all Santeria rituals (except healing and death rites, where the sickness is believed to pass into the dead animal). Eating the sacrificed animal is considered a sharing with the Orisha, who only consumes the animal's blood, while the worshippers eat the meat.