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Why Latinos are Turning to Brujería

Dr. Miguelina Rodriguez, co-founder of Brujas of Brooklyn, explains how brujería dates back to the time of Jesus and why you can’t trust anyone who calls themselves a witch on the Internet.
Show transcript
00:00
So brother, did you go to Misa yesterday?
00:02
I haven't got a visa in years.
00:06
Oh, shit. Well,
00:08
no judgment there because I have not gone to Misa in quite
00:12
a bit, you know.
00:13
But so fun Snapple fact,
00:16
15 years ago, two out of three Latinos were Catholic now
00:20
It's less than half.
00:22
I believe that. I believe that too.
00:23
There's a lot of stuff I question but Latinos are in search
00:27
of connecting with spirituality through Brujeria.
00:30
Yep. I believe that as well.
00:32
Yep. So to talk to us about how Brujeria has
00:35
changed over the last few years,
00:38
we invited Miina of the Brujas of Brooklyn to join us,
00:42
Miguelina. Hi, Mina.
00:46
But yeah, like Jenny mentioned,
00:46
we're gonna ask you a few questions about Ruia has been
00:49
becoming more mainstream and you know,
00:51
get your whole POV experience.
00:53
And yeah, so,
00:55
first off, we want to ask you what's the most common
00:57
reason people look for a bruja.
01:00
That's a very good question.
01:03
Very loaded. And I think it depends whoever you ask,
01:07
you're going to get a different answer,
01:09
right? People textbook case,
01:14
people search for Brujeria to find answers usually around love and money
01:19
Those are the two reasons people search,
01:22
you know, my sister and I created this platform to demonstrate
01:26
a different side of that coin,
01:28
right? Where Brujeria is readings and oracles and seers.
01:34
But Griselda and I created a platform that was more sociopolitical,
01:39
right? Like a reclamation of sorts.
01:42
So people still seek the same level of healing with love and
01:46
money. But we present a different method,
01:49
a different medicine if you will.
01:51
But yeah, love and money.
01:54
We get emails all the time about casting spells,
01:57
which is a big misconception.
01:59
And we're like,
02:01
no, we don't do that,
02:02
but we offer other things and I guess more on the just
02:05
the realm of Brujeria and why they reach out to you,
02:07
where does Brujeria come from?
02:08
Like what's kind of the origin story or how it came to
02:11
you know, be in the mainstream?
02:13
It's been around Brujeria mysticism,
02:15
magic. It's been around as long as human beings have been
02:18
around, right? I heard you all talking about Misa and
02:22
Catholicism within the Latinx community.
02:24
I mean, Jesus,
02:25
the Christ was one of the biggest Brujo that existed.
02:28
He was this magician,
02:30
this alchemist. I know my mom is like,
02:35
I know somebody's probably towing the screen with holy water.
02:44
Yeah, he's, he was a wizard,
02:45
he was a witch,
02:46
he was a warlock,
02:47
he was so powerful.
02:49
And he was as his teachings show he was no different
02:53
from us. Like we all have that magic,
02:55
we just have to tap into it.
02:57
So Brujeria is old,
02:58
it's old. But because of Catholicism,
03:01
because of colonialism, it was the low lying fruit that could
03:05
be demonized. Like you're either Catholic and you're like us and
03:09
you survive or you're not and you will be persecuted.
03:14
So we were forced to convert.
03:16
And I guess more on that,
03:17
like you mentioned, it's been kind of there's a negative stigma
03:20
to it. Has social media changed again.
03:23
The actual like how people think of it,
03:25
like seeing a more positive light stuff like that social media Instagram
03:30
in particular, that's the medium that we decided to use more
03:34
It really created a space for us,
03:37
my sister and I to bring like what we were teaching in
03:39
these small classrooms, we're both professors in the city university and
03:44
now we have this larger platform to speak on and present our
03:48
research. So social media has not only created an opportunity for
03:52
people like Griselda and I to have this platform,
03:55
but those that are seeking to have opportunities to access this medicine
04:00
without having to enter O Botanica,
04:03
without having to go see a medium.
04:06
And they can access like a meditation that we offer.
04:10
they can access Abano that one of our aunts used to
04:14
prepare for us. And now we share the recipe with our
04:17
followers. But there is another side to it where people are
04:21
taking advantage of it,
04:23
right? Like my sister and I,
04:24
for example, there's a bunch of fake pages out there pretending
04:27
to be us soliciting people for readings like,
04:30
hey, you came to my heart,
04:33
which is bullshit. You came to my heart.
04:35
You were in my dream.
04:36
If you send me $55.55 I'll do a reading for you.
04:41
And Ca El Gancho Dominicano,
04:44
they fall for that.
04:45
Okie Doke. And it's really sad to see how there are
04:49
people preying on this beautiful opportunity that's been created in social media
04:56
But the biggest part of it is that there is now
04:58
this sense of community and this ability to demystify something that in
05:02
the Latinx community has been really,
05:04
really demonized. How can you tell a real Bruja from a
05:07
fake bruja? Like what are some like red flags to,
05:10
you know, look out for,
05:11
there are some Charlot sos out there that you know,
05:15
go out and take a weekend.
05:18
I don't know,
05:20
training a master tonight.
05:25
We don't offer master classes and no shape to people that do
05:28
but that's just something we don't offer.
05:30
But some people take a master class on Reiki.
05:32
And you know, speaking of Jesus the Christ,
05:35
right? He was a Reiki master and he laid hands and
05:38
he prayed on people.
05:39
That's what Reiki is.
05:41
They do this weekend intensive and then the following Wednesday,
05:45
they're charging $500 to lay hands on you.
05:49
You know, I think people need to be a little bit
05:51
more discriminated. Yeah.
05:55
Honestly. And I think,
05:56
because it's lucrative, I mean,
05:57
it's like now, like a multimillion dollar industry,
06:00
the wellness spirituality yoga industry is people,
06:04
they're pimping it and they take opportunities to start charging people for
06:09
healing and then people are desperate.
06:10
Like my sister and I have been in the past and they
06:15
see someone and maybe that person looks like you,
06:18
maybe they're Latina, maybe they're Latino,
06:20
maybe they're from Brooklyn and you're connected and you're like,
06:24
yes, this is my person if,
06:27
is a persona, but ask people to be discerning,
06:32
really look into the people that you're following,
06:35
you're seeking healing from how are they living their lives,
06:38
not just what they're saying and follow your gut.
06:42
Exactly. And we really appreciate you being on the show,
06:46
Milia. Thank you so much.
06:48
You answered all our questions perfectly.
06:50
Like I have more insight now and how can people find you
06:54
You can find us at across all social media platform
06:58
Brujas of Brooklyn,
06:59
brujas, Brujas of Brooklyn.
07:03
We have a website Brujas of brooklyn.com and we also have on
07:08
in person classes. If you're ever in the trans area there
07:12
we have it.
07:14
Thank you so much.
07:15
I really appreciate it.
07:18
Take care. That's insightful.
07:21
Jesus was a BD.
07:23
He would do Reiki and that's how he would heal people.
07:26
That's, yeah, that's what I heard in general was a
07:30
BR, that's what I'm wizard.