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Mesa Blanca ~ Misa Espiritual

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Autumn Misa with Priestess Shoshana

October 28th 6:00-9:00

Misa will include

  • A mass to the spirits and lighting of candles
  • An alter for offerings to your loved ones
  • An ancestral potluck

Bring white candles, an dish to share from your ancestry, an offering to the spirits from your heart for the altar.

RSVP – We will send you our address when you do.


Professional Mediums in Service to the Community

856-379-8510

Welcome to our Centro, a center for mediums to develop their gifts. If you are interested in mediumship skills or attending a Misa, please contact us.

What a Misa is

A Misa is a collaboration of Spiritual Guides, mediums and participants. Within the Sanse tradition one of our central public ceremonies is a Misa, or Mesa Blanca. A Misa is a spiritual mass designed to allow the spirits to give messages and guidance to the public for progression and healing. They are usually held within someone’s home or in a small temple. they are non-denominational as the focus is to assist and support the community.

For us, as Sansistas, it is important to give to the communities we are connected with. Offering a Misa is one of the many ways we serve our community.

What you will see in a Misa

You will see a table set up with white cloth. On the table are ceremonial items we use to clear and elevate the space. We do this to offer a strong sacred space for messages to come through the mediums. Three or more mediums are always present. Most Misas are free because they are a public service. You will see a donation basket and it is common for people to donate money for the cause.

Sacred items that are used frequently like waters, candles and incense are donated by the participants, or paid for by the donations. Although most people who attend a Misa are people familiar with Caribbean mysticism, we invite ALL people to join in the fun. For us, Sanse is a diverse tradition comprised of many cultures, therefore Misa gatherings tend to be refreshing and supportive for everyone who attends.

There is no agenda in a Misa except for the mediums to share messages.

You also will see tables and offerings set up for various holidays, the changing of seasons, or particular spirits we may be honoring that day. Often you will also see spiritual cleansing and washes given out. Beautiful prayers will be read. I like the prayers we use because they are from all over the world and, yet, unusual and difficult to find outside of the tradition.

At the table the mediums will sit and they will call up people to give the messages quietly for privacy. Often, messages from ancestors or loved ones will come through. The participants may receive messages from a guide or Mystery / Lwa, and on rare occasions, a possession may take place by one of the mediums if there is a serious need for the visitation.

Sanse has been a private tradition

Sanse has held many secret teachings safe. Much like the Tarot, designed to hold important mysteries safe within an image, the Sanse tradition has protected spiritual laws from disappearing. Even today most Sansistas do not know the roots of some of the work they provide. In our temple, we strive to embody the tradition, the history and the meaning behind the work.

Sansistas have many different types of ceremonies that we conduct for both the public and in private.

Common Questions

1. What should I wear when attending?

Dress in light colors and a white top. In our tradition, faith, hope, and charity are important, we gather together to encourage hope, to give through charity, and to call forward people’s faith. We are a non-denominational temple. When we say faith we do not intend any church, religion or spirituality to be praised. In our culture faith resides within us and develops a person’s sense of safety and power. Faith in god for us, means a belief and trust in the great spirit and the universe. For some this may mean a god, to others a pervasive force. Ether way we are gathering for this reason, to bring forward people’s faith. The colors need to be light to represent the purity of this purpose.

2. I think I am an Espiritista, how do I know?

If you are an Espiritista you will have had a history with hearing, seeing and sensing what most other’s cannot. If you are gifted, you will remain in training until you are ready to join in on the Mesa Blanca. In some houses, mediums are allowed to join the table with no teachings. I believe this is wrong. We, at our temple provide the best teachings, the safest environment, and good mediumship. This requires you to go beyond your current level of mediumship with classes. We do not allow people to give messages unless we know they are clean – spirituality clear. This is our way. If you have the gift and want to develop your gift, we will see you for classes and teach you how to be on the Misa table. We recognize that anyone can be an Espiritista. Some have a natural knack for it. If you can already see, hear or feel the Spirits, you may find that you do well.

3. I am a Medium, can I be on the Misa table?

Yes, if you are an advanced medium or developing medium we welcome you to our ceremonies. As  we stated above, we do want people to train up to be on our tables, however, we encourage people from all traditions and backgrounds to join us. This is one of our traditions, to have people from various spiritual paths gather together at the table. This makes the Misa more powerful. If you want to join our group all you need to do is contact us.

4. What are typical donations? What should I bring?

Flowers, Florida Water, Money, Incense, Anil balls (blue ball), Sabbath candles, Seven Day candles. Anything from your heart.

5. What do I need to know?

Belief in God, the Great Spirit, or Universal power is important. You should also know how to pray. This is a sacred space for people to come and receive sometimes difficult news, guidance or healing. So, we ask everyone to respect the Misa the same way they would respect a temple. In our tradition, we do not have fancy temples. This is how Sanse developed, in a hut, at a table, by the beach, in the woods, hidden and far away from people who would otherwise have destroyed the gathering. This is our time for connecting with spiritual guides. We ask everyone to be respectful to the mediums and the other participants at the gathering. Be on time, bring a donation. Come ready to have fun – this is important to us because a Misa is also a celebration.

6. When do you perform services open to the public?

We have a monthly gathering in Half Moon Bay, California. Sign up for our email list and you will be invited.

Day: Third Saturday of each month

Time: 2-4pm

Location: 111 Vassar Ave. Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

A History

Espiritismo shares many of its fundamental concepts with 19th century Spiritualism as was practiced in the United States. During this period, several books on mediumship and spiritual practices became available in the Caribbean and Latin America. As many Native Americans and people of African descent had long standing traditions of ancestor worship and trance possession, Spiritualism was readily absorbed into and adapted to these pre-existing belief systems.[2]

Many espiritistas (Espiritismo practitioners) communicate with spirits in a gathering of like-minded believers. Called misas, these sessions are somewhat akin to the séances of American-style Spiritualism of the 19th to the present. Many Espiritistas’ practices, however, have elements of magic ritual which are not traditionally found in mainstream Spiritualist denomimations,[2] but are often found in Spiritualist denominations associated with the spiritual church movement.

A tenet of Espiritismo is the a belief in a supreme God who is the omnipotent creator of the universe. There is also a belief in a spirit world inhabited by discarnate entities that can gradually evolve intellectually and morally. Espiritistas believe these beings can influence the corporeal world in various ways and that the espiritistas, in turn, can also influence the actions of the spirits.[2]

Espiritismo has never had a single leader nor center of practice, and as such its practice varies greatly between individuals and groups. In all cases, Espiritismo has absorbed various practices from other religious and spiritual practices endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean, such as Roman CatholicismCuranderismo, Afro-Brazilian MacumbaSantería, and Vodou.

An example of this syncretism is a magical spell that involves asking Saint Martha to exert one’s will over that of another person by burning a specially prepared lamp, saying certain prayers, and wearing an amulet tied with a red ribbon around one’s waist.[3]

In other cases, the goals and methods of the Espiritista are less obviously in the realm of magic and might be considered a form of folk medicine or alternative medicine. Whatever the desired effect, the equipment and materials used for Espiritismo may often be purchased at a botánica within the practitioners’ community.[4]

The Espiritismo differs from the Spiritism as the first consist of the syncretic religious practices described above while the second is the established religion-doutrine itself, directly based coding Allan Kardec’s and other mediums’ books, such as those from Francisco Xavier and Divaldo Franco.

In Cuba

During Cuba‘s first war of independence (1868–1878), certain Cubans began to prefer the Espiritismo to the conservative style of Catholicism. Those who suffered the greatest in the war, particularly those living in the east, abandoned their belief system and turned to Espiritismo. As a result, Cuban Catholicism was criticized and discarded by many Cubans. The straightforward rituals and the possibility of a connection with the spirits of the deceased appealed to many Cubans during this period of hardships and social discontent.

Scientific/Table Espiritismo

This form of Espiritismo was largely contained to the urban areas of Cuba. Its followers would study the writings and concepts of Kardec.[5] During the rituals, its members are seated around a white linen covered table in an attempt to connect with spirits within a séance. The spirit usually enters the body of the medium that is present at the table. At this time, those individuals seated around the table have the ability to ask questions to spirits who have entered the world through the mediums.[5] Furthermore, the spirit(s) is seen as a source to possible solutions to problems that are plaguing people. In addition, the spirit will manifest itself in a variety of ways dependent on the level of intensity of the spirit.

Those participating in the rituals have certain duties they must fulfill prior to and during the ritual. They must remain in a mediated position and will most likely use prayers, hymns and music from Kardec’s works.[5] Many times, these rituals involve a small group of people, but private rituals do exist.[5]

Espiritismo de Cordon

The origin of this branch of Espiritismo is derived from its ritual.[5] The ritual associated with Espiritismo de Cordon is physically, mentally and emotionally difficult. Those participating in the ritual stand in a circle holding hands while walking in a counterclockwise fashion.[5] At the same time, they are chanting and beating the floor with their feet and swinging their arms forcefully until they fall into a trance.[6] The heavy breathing and stamping serve one specific purpose.[7] The noises that are made create a hypnotic noise that leads the medium into a trance. Upon reaching this particular state of mind, the medium can contact the spirits for solutions to problems or aliments.[8]

The main focus for this particular branch of Espiritismo is healing. The ranking of the mediums that are required in the rituals is rather simple. Their achievements to solve problems and heal people will allow them to have a higher ranking.[9] There is no clergy found within Espiritismo de Cordon. The Head Medium is generally in charge of the ritual space, but does not always participate in the ritual chain itself.[9] Instead, the Head Medium acts as the guide during the actual ritual. The altar, which is used in Espiritismo de Cordon, takes up a rather large area. The space is usually purified to drive out any evil spirits and welcome good spirits. The entrance is protected by a large bowl of water and all who enter must wash their hands to prevent the spread of evil spirits.[7] Espiritismo de Cordon is different from other religions in the sense that it does not have a set doctrine of beliefs. The religion is open to everyone and does not require new participants to partake in an initiation process.[9]

Some have said that Espiritismo de Cordon has three influences on its practices and doctrines: folk Catholicism, Kardecian Spiritism and African creeds, but the most recent investigations have determined that what was thought to be African roots are in fact the remaining of Taíno religious rituals and dances called “areítos”.[10]

In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Espiritismo shares many similarities in its origins to Cuban Espiritismo. The religious movement encountered many setbacks in its early years in Puerto Rico. Those who were caught practicing it were punished by the government and ostracized by the Catholic Church.[11] Allan Kardec’s books made their way into the country and were received well by the educated class.[11] The movement did not despite all the roadblocks, which had been set up to prevent its spread in the country. There were two divisions within Puerto Rican Espiritismo. The first division was a middle class movement, which utilized the Kardecian methods in an attempt to enhance the development of the country.[11] The other division applied towards to lower classes in both the rural and urban settings. This division is known as “Indigenous Espiritismo” and is synonymous to Puerto Rico and is the most popular in the country.[12]

Puerto Rican White Table Espiritismo follows the same ritual practices as found in Cuba. The attempt to achieve spiritual communication through a medium was widely practiced all over the island.

Santerismo

This religious practice is a result of the merging of both Espiritismo and Santería. There are distinct African influences found within this religion though the orishas that are used to communicate to the spirit world. During the rituals, the mediums have the ability to communicate with spirits but are possessed by the orishas.[13]

In Santerismo, the leader is known as the Godfather (padrino) or Godmother (madrina) as seen in the Santería religious practices.[13] The leader prays at the altar before taking his or her place beside the medium at the table. The leader is present when the possession takes place while religious music or Afro-Cuban chants are played to praise the orishas.[13] Before to the ceremony, there is a religious cleansing of the area to remove any evil spirits. A prayer is said to Elegua to protect the entranceways from any unwelcome or evil spirits.[14] Shortly after, prayers are recited to attract good spirits for the ritual. The ritual may end with an exorcism which can be acquired a number of ways. One way to achieve purification is through a sahumerio. A sahumerio requires the burning of charcoal, garlic, incense and herbs to extract evil spirits from the place as well as a washing with holy water.[13

Here you will find some of the more common ceremonies:

The following is written by Houngan Hector

Misa Espiritual-

“This is a Spiritual Mass. This is a public ceremony, where Sansistas, calling upon their guides and Misterios give important spiritual messages to different members of the Congregation.

This is the most commonly done public ceremony. This is also sometimes referred to as a Sanse itself.

Unlike Cuban practitioners of Misas, in Sanse, just like in Espiritsmo, a Misa is an open forum for any and all Spirits. These Misas help the congregants and the Sansistas alike. By doing the Misa (or working the Misa as it is known), Sansistas do charity and thus elevate and further unravel their spiritual abilities.

And the public benefit by receiving the prophesizes, getting healed, being cleansed spiritually, etc.

Fiesta Espiritual-

Similair to the Misa, but this is done without a table. This is also a public ceremony. In this ceremony, it is common to have music (either by drums or some other source) and the Sansistas gather, dance and call upon their Cuadros to give messages, prophesize, cleanse, heal, and resolve issues for the congregants.

Velacion-

This is a public ceremony. It is a prayer ceremony and a ceremony of elevation. In this ceremony many candles are lit. As above, predictions and spiritual messages are given to the public.

There are various types of velaciones as well.

As you can see, something that is very important in all Sanse Ceremonies is prophesizing, giving spiritual messages, and helping people resolve their problems.

Unlike other ATRs, whose public ceremonies mostly focus on Spiritual Possession of it’s initiates, Sanse encourages the development of all one’s faculties. During public ceremonies, messages and prophesizes are passed by Sansistas possessed or not (using their other spiritual faculties)

In Sanse, the name of a Spirit is not so much important as the message it gives. Does the message assist, help or guide the person in some positive way? Is it true? Does it reveal something?

We are not interested in people who get “possessed” and just dance around shaking people’s hands. I am not saying this doesn’t have it’s place, but “In Sanse we are focusing on the positive development of one’s Spiritual Abilities, Practices, Cuadro, and Spirits so that they can truly assist the individual in some concrete way.”

About Espiritismo

Espiritismo is built upon three virtues, they are Faith, Hope and Charity. Sansistas demonstrate and implement those virtues by opening a Centro. A Centro is a location where Espiritistas get together and hold a Misa (Spanish for Mass, and the name of an Espiritismo ceremony within the context of this essay) in order to both develop their spiritual abilities and perform charity by helping other individuals with those God Given Gifts.

Individuals who wish to grow spiritually, enhance their faculties, and improve spiritual connections can join.

The only requirements for joining are:

Respect, Devotion to Spiritual Growth and Development, Regular Attendance, and the Ability to work in Harmony and Unity with a group of like minded individuals.

We hold a meeting once a month. The first half of the meeting is for a Misa De Caridad (Charity Mass) and as the name implies, we do not charge for attendance, and it is open to the public. The second half is for the core group of developing mediums to learn and further develop in a closed circle.

In order to truly develop your mediumship, before joining you should be aware that regular attendance is essential. You cannot truly develop while coming only once in a while or on an on again off again basis. We are as devoted to teaching the core group of mediums as the core group is devoted to learning and developing.

If you are interested in being a part of the core group, you can contact us. Masses will be held in English. According to tradition, there will be no charge to attend or to join the Mass. Donations of flowers, Florida water, candles, and cash are welcome.

Ancestors are so essential to our Spiritual Growth and Development that it’s sometimes hard to believe that many individuals skip honoring Ancestors (by serving them) when trying to start upon the path of Vodou. Others forget about them once they start connecting with Lwa. Ancestors are often the cause of blockages, bad luck in love and finances, sicknesses and ill fortune all around. Sometimes the problems are so severe that they can be difficult to overturn. A Misa serves this purpose.

The tenets of Espiritismo, are to display and encourage the Three Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. What is a Charity Session or Charity Mass (Misa De Caridad in Spanish)? A Misa De Caridad, or what is called a Charity Session or Charity Mass, is a beautiful Espiritismo ceremony. People who practice Espiritismo can be known as Espiritistas, sometimes also referred to as Mediums. Everyone in attendance benefits from this beautiful service.

Thank you for your interest.