As a child of the Mysteries and a long-time spiritual worker it still amazes me to witness the disrespect some people display towards the spirits.

I am not talking about accidental disrespect from those who don’t know better, either. We all make mistakes, and when a person is new to the tradition the spirits will often educate them as to the proper way to behave – though it depends on the Misterio in question how that lesson will be conducted!

Now, what amazes me is the disrespect so many people show to the spirits on purpose or through negligence, usually when they don’t think they need anything at that time, don’t want to be advised or simply consider themselves the most important person in the room.

Honor and Respect is CRUCIAL in this tradition , but this can clash with certain individuals’preconceived thoughts and expectations.

No one comes to a ceremony without needing to be there and no one works the spirits for no reason. This is not a tradition for people with enlarged egos, and if that is why you are here you will soon be put in your place (there are some spirits I know who absolutely love to break a big head).

If you watch the highest ranking Houngans, Papa bokos, Mama Mambos and Mambos you will notice that they always treat the spirits in a certain way. If your spiritual elders can’t do this after all those years of initiations and training then you certainly can’t, no matter how important you may believe yourself to be!

Some people disrespect certain spirits or groups of spirits (the Petwo, for example, are often treated badly). Others make promises but don’t keep them, or ask one spirit for advice, then go to several others hoping for a different answer as if other people don’t also need to consult.

I have even seen members of the congregation being deliberately rude to the Misterios in possession: they talk over the spirits, turn their backs on them or walk out of the room while they are there! These people put their own arrogant selves above everyone else in the room, as sooner or later that spirit may refuse to return.

The Misterios are “old-school”, they are our spiritual elders and expect to be treated in a certain way no matter how special we think we are. They also expect us to show respect to God, other spirits, our godparents and our lineage, all of which are connected and serve to make us who we are.

The Misterios are not here to please you. They are here to help us and guide us on our spiritual journey. If they offer their help or advice, accept it with gratitude and show appreciation; but even if they don’t, you never know when you might need them, so don’t wait until later to put on a show of respect. You will already have shown your true colors by that point.

Always remember they know what’s best for us

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