I am in an unusual situation - help

topic posted Mon, September 3, 2007 - 4:27 PM by  Victoria
I work as a psychiatric social worker in a maximum security prison. I have been approached by a prisoner who claims to be a Santeria high priest. He wants me to study under him. I want very much to begin to learn about Santeria, however I do not wish to break any prison rules or lose my job.

I need to find a Babalawo in upstate NY who is not a prisoner, so I can pursue my study legitimately...

Anyone able to point me in the correct direction? I live close to Ithaca, but could travel to Rochester or Syracuse...

posted by:
New York
  • Unsu...

    Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

    Tue, September 4, 2007 - 6:10 AM

    Under no circumstances should you begin an apprenticeship with a man who is incarcerated in the prison where you work. That's crazy.

    Take your time and a way will open up for you. I don't know anyone that far upstate but wait and keep looking around. There is no rush.
    • Unsu...

      Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

      Wed, September 5, 2007 - 8:22 AM
      Jason is correct. That inmate may be legit, but his incarceration would keep him from performing rituals and such that you would need from a Omo Orisha (santero). If Ocha is your path, it will find a way of making itself available to you. I'm in the Boston area and don't know anyone in your area, but I could ask my padrino who he knows in your area. He seems to know people everywhere. It would be helpful to know if you can speak Spanish, as that was a barrier for me in the first Ile Orisha (house of worship) that I tried to join.
      • Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

        Sun, September 9, 2007 - 5:14 PM

        Were you able to find out anything about someone who could help me who lives near me??

        • Unsu...

          Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

          Sun, September 9, 2007 - 6:07 PM
          Vicki, I spoke with my padrino today. He doesn't personally know anyone in upstate NY. He said he will make a couple of calls tomorrow and see if he can track anyone down. It will probably be easier to track down someone in Ithica or Syracuse, being larger cities, but on the map, they both look like a bit of a hike for you.. Is there any concentrations of Latinos in your area that we can look into?

          I always feel recommendations and referals work best in these situations, but if my padrino cannot help, you can also try posting something on . I know (in passing) the oriate who runs that site, and he and his sons are really good, and good people.
          • Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

            Tue, September 11, 2007 - 4:38 AM
            Ithaca and Syracuse look far, but really are not. Ithaca is 20 mins from my house, and Syracuse is 1 hr. and 15 mins from my house. I already know I must travel for this and am prepared to do so. I called a Latino friend of mine in Ithaca and asked, and he said he had not seen any Santeria community up here since he came here from NYC. Interlaken isa bastion of white middle class farm folk, so I know I must travel....It is OK. Even Rochester is not that far.....

          • Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

            Sun, September 16, 2007 - 6:05 AM
            thank you for any and all assistance. You are right, the link was down. I thank everyone for thier time and assistance on this matter. My surgery is Tuesday, and any prayers would be greatly appreciated.

            Blessigs to all,

    • Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

      Wed, September 5, 2007 - 8:59 PM
      Thank you so much......There has been more than one circumstance that has occurred lately which leads me to believe I am being led to this path. I just have not been able to find anyone up here to mentor me...

      I am open to any and all suggestions.

      I will NOT pursue anything with the prisoner, however he scared me a little by how much he seemed to know about me without my ever having met him before....
  • Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

    Wed, September 5, 2007 - 12:29 PM
    only one note: why would on earth do a santeiro approach u and claim ownership of ur future studies... if u have been working in prisons for a while u know what that means... either to gain power control on the outside or gaining avantage and using u for his own purposes and goals...

    I have been working as a nurse in Coxsackie Max prison and seen it all...
    • Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

      Wed, September 5, 2007 - 5:32 PM
      I had a friend whose path was Ellegua and he worked in a prison. He would never tell people his personal stuff. That's the rule. For the reasons Gamo mentioned.

      Devon, if your padrino knows anyone in Colorado, please let me know. Thank you in advance.
  • Re: I am in an unusual situation - help

    Tue, September 11, 2007 - 12:39 PM
    I agree with Jason .. You should not purse the study with this prisoner. There are so many things that can be potential harmful to you.

    I think professionally , there will also be aspects of your life that you should not be sharing with an inmate. You will need to be in a situation that you can openly discuss things. If you have a good relationship with this inmate, you can also make it clear that it is unprofessional for you to engage on such a deep level.

    • Before even coming to Tribe and posting, I had made up my mind to NOT pursue any study with the inmate. I have NEVER revealed ANY personal information to him. I kept redirecting the conversation back to him. However, he had never had any contact with my agency, self initiated a referral, and twenty minutes into the first time meeting him told me I had a severe physical condition that required healing. I was shocked as I had just completed a round of CAT scans, MRI's and bloodwork for (at the time) an unknown uterine condition. I knew that there was no way he could've possibly known about any of that, and I told him nothing. He continued on, saying that my next test would be negative for cancer, but I would require surgery. (The next test was two days later - an endometrial biopsy) - it was negative - a week later I had another MRi determining admynosis and the need for surgery. I stress to everyone who have read my posts...I TOLD HIM NOTHING and maintained a professional demeanor, but I will say, the whole experience left me deeply impressed, and I chose to try and find a legit mentor, WHICH IS WHY I CAME HERE......Trust me, I have told him I cannot study with him or any prisoner and thanks for the offer, but no thanks....

      However, the synchronicity, and the impression, left me with feeling I am in some way being called to this path. So I am in search of guidance.....

      V icki
      • Vicky sorry if u feel attacked i think we are all leary of these kind of predators... thats all...
        the fact that he may have seen ur condition should not unsettle u this means nothing ???? he saw it ok maybe ... why did he disclose it? to unsettle u.. and it almost worked... if not wht would u come here for advice?common practice in order to gain power..

        get a reading to see wether u r for Orixa.. feeling atrracted does mean a thing...


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