Reviews & Interviews

Interview & Book Review – Espiritismo: Puerto Rican Mediumship and Magic by Hector Salva

Interview & Book Review
Espiritismo: Puerto Rican Mediumship and Magic
by Hector Salva
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC.
242 Pages
Publication date: February 1, 2022

 

 

Bright Blessings, Readers!

I would like to share an exciting new book with you that was written by Hector Salva, and he also goes by Papa Hector. It’s called Espiritismo: Puerto Rican Mediumship and Magic and was published this year, 2022 by Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. The book is a substantial 242 pages and is well written. First, a little about Papa Hector. The book says about him, “Born and raised in a family lineage of brujos (witchdoctors, healers, sorcerers), HECTOR SALVA was raised by his grandmother, Dona Juana Acevedo, a bruja and espiritista. He is the author of The 21 Divisions: Mysteries and Magic of Dominican Voodoo, and his writing has been featured in a number of publications. Find him on Instagram at @houganhector.” He offers readings, spells, teaching, and “Spiritual Services to improve your life, Increase Your Luck, Attract Romance, Resolve Your
Issues, Draw Success and Abundance.”

Now, about the book! It’s organized into twelve generous chapters exploring things like the roots of Puerto Rican spirituality, communication with the spirit world, and getting started on the path. I will pick out some selections from the chapters, and let the work speak for itself. Let me say the book is lovingly presented to preserve Espiritismo, and share it with anybody called to learn or even join. He shares things that usually only people who participate in this faith get to know, and both instructs in technique and educates the readers about Espiritismo in general. I recommend the book and won’t bore you bragging about it. Read on to see what I think is so good.

In Chapter 1, The Roots of Puerto Rican Spirituality, Papa Hector very fairly explores the awful things that happened to the native Taino people when the Spanish came to their shores. Some people don’t want to discuss such things, but colonization was not good for the natives of the Americas, and Christianization sought to wipe away their traditional religion and beliefs. Papa Hector writes,

“According to the history books, the Taino were completely wiped out, eradicated by the Europeans. Yet members of my family claim this is untrue. And indeed, recent studies have shown that Puerto Ricans have over 60 percent Taino DNA, with the rest made up of varying amounts of Spanish and West African heritage—more than any other part of the Caribbean (see https://wearemitu.com). The Taino DNA that is carried by Puerto Ricans today comes from the maternal line, indicating that we received it from the Taino women taken as wives by the Spanish. It has also recently been discovered that the reason the Tainos were thought to have “disappeared” was that the Spanish dropped the classification on the census in 1800. In 1899, however, when the United States acquired the island, they did a new census that showed that over 80 percent of the people in the interior of the island appeared to be of native blood or native blood mixed with either European or African blood. So the Taino did not really disappear; they were assimilated.”

These indigenous beliefs have not been forgotten by people like Papa Hector, and Espiritismo is one of the traditions keeping these beliefs and practices alive. He writes about the African and Catholic influence, and the next chapter titled “ The Birth of Espiritismo” talks about the spiritism movement of the 1800’s, and then reminds us that Spain lost Puerto Rico to America in the Treaty of Paris and in 1917, and Puerto Ricans were American citizens and could travel to all the States. After this, Puerto Ricans set up spiritual supply shops called botanicas around the States, for people following what he calls Afro-Caribbean spirituality. Due to Christian discrimination and suppression of the traditional beliefs, a fusion with Catholicism arose, and veneration of the saints disguised deeper folk roots. More history and development of Espiritismo is given that you can read, so I won’t spoil it for you.

It is refreshing to read an author truthfully state exactly what suppression of the indigenous faith happened and read about how gradually, people dug their way out of that, surviving the bad times, and emerging with their traditions anyways.

Papa Hector doesn’t just beautifully share history, but also writes about how Espiritismo is structured. For example, in the chapter 6, “Los Guias, Spiritual Guides”, he writes,

“The spiritual guides are divided into groups known as commissiones, or commissions. These groups are also called cadenas, or chains, and sometimes courts. Each of these chains is led by a viejo or proteccion and contains both viejos and guias personales, personal guides. The guia principal, which is a person’s most important guide, belongs to one of these courts, but is not one of the viejos. Other guides and courts of guides may come into a person’s life for a particular reason or for a limited period of time to help that person with a particular issue or challenge. These guides are transient and do not form a permanent part of the person’s cuadro. Espiritistas, however, generally have connections to many more guides than most, because their spiritual frames can sustain these connections. This allows them to work with many people in ways that others cannot.”

This chapter then explains and defines different types of spiritual guides and the jobs they have and the roles they fill for the believers. These guides range from the Nannies, or special mother figures to Pirates, who help people find things that are hidden or buried! Another chapter I’d like to share with you is chapter 8, “Reuniones Y Velades”. In it, Papa Hector discusses a primary ritual of Espiritismo which is a gathering where people can share and receive messages from spirits. He writes about different rituals of this type including veladas, and then shares about what happened at one reunion he remembers. He writes,

“ One woman got up and told of how her son had gotten work after listening to the spirits’ messages. She had been told at a previous reunion to work with the president on a trabajo (spiritual work) with Santa Marta to help her son “get ahead.” She testified that, in the week after the trabajo, her son got a call for a job interview. The week after that, he had the interview and got the job on the spot.”

Wow! What a powerful testament to the importance of these gatherings and listening to the voices of the spirits!

In conclusion, Papa Hector beautifully writes,

“Con Dios venimos y con Dios nos vamos
(With God we came and with God we’ll go).
— Puerto Rican Proverb

Here God comes along again. Many lose sight of him while walking on the spiritual path. Espiritismo is a big and beautiful tradition, with many interesting spirits, tools, and workings. Thus it can be quite easy to lose sight of its main focus. But if you lose sight of God, you lose your way… God is what our spiritual practice is all about. Above and beyond the spirits, the rituals, the tools, and everything else, it is God for whom we work. It is God’s will with which we align. It is God we seek and, if he is willing, it is God we will find. The spirits and the work are all just tools to help us get closer and closer to God… So, I leave you with a message from one of my guides, Don Nico: Con Dios delante y Dios atras, nunca moriras. (With God before you and God behind you, you will never die.)”

And now for an interview I was lucky enough to get to do with Papa Hector himself!


PaganPagesOrg (Saoirse): First, tell me a bit about yourself that you would like to share with readers. Talk about your path, what it is you do?

Papa Hector: I am a realized Mystic, Spiritist and Priest of the 21 Divisions and Sanse Espiritismo.  I’ve been on the Mystical Spiritual Path since 1989 and have trained with well respect Spiritual Elders from my lineage.  My path is about helping people achieve enlightenment, personal freedom, success and love using Ancient Spiritual Wisdom and technology. It is about the practices of the development of the human spirit which lead to mental, emotional, physical and relationship well-being.

Next, what got you into writing? And what made you decide to write this book specifically? What were your goals with this book and what would you like to see people take away from it?

I would say that I was always into writing from a young age.  In fact, I was in my late teens when I had started my first website on my spiritual practices, writing feverishly along. That website still continues to exist till this day. Since then I have written over a dozen other websites, blogs, articles etc.
There were a number of reasons that I wanted to write this book.  Firstly, people had been asking me to write such a book for two decades now.  So it was long overdue.  Secondly, the tradition has been steadily and heavily fading away.  I wanted to bring awareness to this beautiful tradition which applies to all people in all cultures.  It is the science of the spirit which leads to well being.  Thirdly I wanted to honor my own ancestors, spirits and teachers on the path.
I would like people to have a foundation in understanding what is Espiritsimo. I want people to understand that there is a solution, practical solution, to resolve suffering and achieve a life of happiness, love and enjoyment.

Next, what are the best things about Espiritismo, and what brought you specifically to that as opposed to other spiritual paths?

It was practiced by my family, specifically my grandmother who raised me.  One of the best things about Espiritismo is that it gives a framework that applies to all other religious and spiritual traditions.  It also gives an understanding of the spiritual world which is likewise universally applicable.

Are there any elders or people who especially influenced you that you would like to talk about?

My Grandmother, Dona Juana, my Great Aunt Ides, Tonio, there are many elders who helped me and influenced me on this path.  However out of everyone, my grandmother was the most significant as she mentored me and taught me a great deal of Espiritismo. She was a exemplary model of a human being and a beautiful role model that helped shape me.

What does Espiritismo have to offer today’s people? What one thing especially would you like to see people draw from it, even people from other religions?

It offers the science of achieving happiness and well-being.  I would like to see people be able to draw off the wealth of this tradition to live happy, peaceful and personally fulfilling lives.

Where would you like to see Espiritismo going in the future? What changes would you like to see it create for the world?

I don’t have any particular desires for it or its evolution, other than that it continues to survive and help those that need it.

What is the link to that page you still maintain, and what would you like to say about it? What other links should be included in the article and what would you like to say about those?

There are various sites that I maintain: www.hectorsalva.com and www.sansereligion.com

Do you have a chapter in this book you would like especially highlighted for this article? What would you like to say about it?

Yes, the chapter on Causas. This is probably one of the best chapters to help people understand what they are going through.

What other things have you published you would like to have info about included?

I am also the author of “The 21 Divisions: Mysteries and Magic of Dominican Voodoo” and “Dona Juana: Journeys of a Bruja Espiritista and Healer”

Where would you recommend people buy this book, or other products or services you offer?

Amazon and everywhere books are sold.  My services can be reached at www.hectorsalva.com


There you have it. Papa Hector is working hard to make sure the public knows about the blessings of Espiritismo, and he’s put out the perfect book for you to learn from. It’s informative, well written and comes straight form the heart. Get your copy today!

Blessed Be!

 

Would You Like to Enter to Win A Copy of Author Hector Salva’s Exciting New Book, “Espiritismo: Puerto Rican Mediumship and Magic?” Then Click Here to Comment on Our FaceBook Post. On Summer Solstice at Noon, Our Wonderful Saoirse Will Be on FB Live to Draw & Announce the Winner Live. Luck Be With You!!!

 

 

Espiritismo: Puerto Rican Mediumship and Magic by Hector Salva on Amazon
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About the Author:

Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.

A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.

Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!

Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.

All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, and is still studying for Third Degree, making it to Second Degree thus far.

She is a gifted tarot reader, spellworker, teacher, and was even a resident Witch at a Westerville place dubbed The Parlor for a time.

Aside from her magical practice, she is a crocheter, beader, painter, and a good cook. She has been a clown and children’s entertainer, a Nursing Home Activities Professional, a Cavern Tour Guide, a Retail Cashier, and a reader in local shops. Her college degree is a BA in English Writing. She tried her hand at both singing and playing bagpipes, and…well…let’s just say her gifts lie elsewhere! She loves gardening, reading, antiques, time with friends and soul kin, and lots and lots of glorious color bedecking her small home!

On the encouragement of a loved one several years back, she searched for a publication to write for, and is right at home at PaganPagesOrg.

She is currently residing in Central Ohio with her husband, and furbabies.

Saoirse can be contacted at [email protected].