Written by Papa Houngan Hector Salva
“So lets go further into answering that question, what is Sanse?
Well, that answer can truly vary. Some practitioners consider it a religion, but the overall majority consider it a practice. Many Sansistas (initiates of Sanse) tend to consider themselves religiously Catholic, Christian, or Espiritismo (which again by many is considered another Practice), but they can be of any religious background.
But one thing that everyone can agree upon is that Sanse improves and enhances the lives of everyone it touches. And that it works!
The Sanse Tradition is a very large and complex one, and within this site, I am going to give you some further understanding of Sanse and maybe you might just find it is for you!
What is Sanse spiritually speaking? What are you dealing with, what types of spirits?
To put it simply, Sanse is a beautiful blend of Espiritismo, 21 Divisiones Practices, Taino Practices, Puerto Rican Espiritismo, and Brujeria,. Depending on the Sansista and his or her cuadro (we’ll get to that later), other practices will be added and blended in.
Sanse teaches us that there are Spirits all over the world. That your ancestors are important to your spiritual development. That development of your character is also important to you development. (We’ll go into that further later on as well) That spiritual balance promotes all the good things in life and makes life smoother for us and gives us what we want.
Are you a person who dreams of all kinds of Spirits? Orichas, Nkisis, Lwas, Dead Spirits, Egyptian Spirits, Indian Spirits, Etc all come to you? Then Sanse is more than likely your home! Welcome Home!
My aunt Nancy (name changed to protect her identity) who initiated me into Sanse, always said
“Sanse is the practice of the whole world. It is for everyone. It truly accepts anyone and everyone. Everyone has Spirits, and Sanse acknowledges and respects not some, BUT ALL of a person’s Spirits and their Cuadro . . . Esto es una luz tan linda (this is such a beautiful spiritual light (for the world)”
This is a very beautiful path to achieve Spiritual Balance, Peace, Harmony and True Spiritual Enlightenment, Power, and Success for you and your household. And as my Tia (aunt) said, this path is open to anyone and everyone.”
Sanse Beliefs written by Houngan Hector
“The most basic Tenets and basic beliefs of all Sansistas are for the most part the same/similar to that of popular Spiritist (Espiritismo) basic Beliefs.
God exists. God is the beginning and the end, the Supreme Intelligence and Primary Cause and Creator of All Things.
There are Spirits. All are created equal, but all have the power to gradually elevate and perfect themselves.
Problems, trials and tribulations are all opportunities given to the Spirits in which to elevate and perfect themselves.
Man is but a Spirit incarnated in a material body.
Beyond the physical world, the Spiritual world exists.
Man has the capacity to contact and communicate with the Spiritual World, as he is but a Spirit. Cats speak to cats, dogs speak to dogs, and Spirits can speak to Spirits.
The Spirits have the capacity to affect/influence the material/physical world.
Good and Evil exist
Just as good and evil exist in the Physical world, so does it exist in the Spiritual World. Good Spirits affect & influence in a positive way, and negative spirits do so in a negative way.
Negative spirits can cause us harm and positive ones can help us and do us good.
God has created an army of GOOD and POWERFUL Spirits and Guides to help us face whatever situation we may need.
Every effect has a Cause and every Cause has an Effect (recognize that one? It’s a natural (scientific) law as well. Well, they figured it out after Sansistas had already been told this long time ago ; ) )
There are many spiritual gifts and abilities. The important thing is to develop them.
Every person in the world is born with a “Cuadro Espiritual” or “Corte Espiritual” (Spiritual Frame or Court)
Through the development of this Cuadro, one can assist himself and others in life to resolve many different types of problems.
Faith, Hope and Charity. One should have Faith, one should have and encourage Hope in others, and one should know how to give and receive Charity.
What you put out, you get back. In some way shape or form. This is not so much karma, as Cause and Effect. If you do A, B will happen.
History of Sanse
In this map, you can see how close Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic actually are.
I have been asked this question time and time again. While this is an oral tradition, and most of everything is not documented, I will teach you as I learned myself.
How did Sanse come about? How did it end up in Puerto Rico?
Some time, long ago, there was a man who came over from the Dominican Republic who was a Papa Boko of Las 21 Divisiones (Dominican Vodou) to Puerto Rico. He settled, lived and made his life there.
Along with him, came two (some say three) other practitioners of Las 21 Divisiones.
Now, when they came to Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans already had the practice of Espiritismo going. And when the Papa Boko lived for awhile in Puerto Rico, he started to be contacted by the Spirits already served on the Island.
Little by little, he started serving them as well. His Misterios had told him to do so, and to add them to his practice that it would help many people. So he went to study Espirtismo with a Puerto Rican Espiritista.
Well, Papa Boko realized that what Espiritismo taught was true indeed. It is the same out look he had. And likewise the Puerto Rican Espiritista (being how we are ; ) ) learned plenty from the Papa Boko and his assistants as well. So they started working together, and through their collaboration, Sanse was born. A perfect mix of Espiritismo, 21 Divisiones, Brujeria and other practices. They helped many and each had baptized many and thus Sanse quickly reached far and wide over the country.
That is why, you will hear Sancistas trace their lineages back to “Papa Boko”. Although many don’t know his name, there are those of us who do.
Other lineages say it was the other way around, and an Espiritista went to DR. Could be! Either way, this is the way Sanse came about.
But Sanse is a direct reflection of our Puerto Rican Culture!
Besides the original Tainos on the island, and the Africans that were brought over, many other people came and made Puerto Rico their home. The people of Puerto Rico represent a racial and cultural mix. In the early 1800s, French families and Haitians (fleeing Haiti) made Puerto Rico their home. Likewise the Irish fleed to Puerto Rico from revolutions and upheavals in their own country.
Romany gypsies came to the island even long before that. Puerto Rico was also known to have epsiodes of piracy quite frequently. As the name implies, Rich Port, pirates were a natural by product. Chinese labor was later brought to Puerto Rico as well.
Cuadro cuadro, what is this cuadro?
A cuadro espiritual (lit. spiritual frame) simply speaking of one’s personal spiritual power. Every being in the world has a Cuadro. It has been given to us by God to assist us in our development. Now what comprises one is quite large.
A cuadro is composed of all of a person’s spiritual abilities (sp. Dones), guardian angel, Spirits, Ancestors, Guides, and spiritual baggage. It is the Spiritual Power given by God and the Spirits. The cuadro must be developed and nutured thoughout one’s life in order to continue the process of elevation.
Having a good, strong, clean caudro can promote and also be a sign of having success, luck, prosperity, honor, respect and love. Throughout one’s life, Sansista constantly work at promoting and elevating their cuadros and by doing so attain the same elevation and prosperity in life.
Many Sansistas (as well as Espiritistas) often consider their gifts to be inherited, and although this is common, we all truly recognize that it has been given to us by God. These gifts may be inherited by other family members, activated by being around someone who has their own gifts, or in some other way awakened. Once awakened, the individual has truly tapped into the spiritual core of their personal power.
A Cuadro can be elevated, nutured, grown in a positive way, but it can also be ruined or misused. It can be neglected, diminished and grow weak. Sanse teaches the elevation, strengthening, alignment and beneficial use of your Cuadro.
Spiritual balance and alignment is always one of the main goals of Sanse and Sansistas. We know that by attaining spiritual balance, physical balance will come. Thus living a life with prosperity, luck, and love. And by living in alignment with God’s will, we get all those things that belong to us and become who we were meant to be!
Initiation into Sanse aligns, activates, cleanses, strengthens and seals one’s Cuadro Espiritual (we’ll speak about that on another page) But one’s Cuadro may also do many of these things itself, and many beginning on this path is due to their Cuadro opening up, becoming active and pushing them to this direction.
Cuadros often described in many ways. Cuadro de Luz (Cuadro of Spiritual Light) refers to a clean, positive and spiritually balanced Cuadro. A Cuadro may also be referred to as Positivo (lit Positive), Limpio (Clean), Fuertes (Strong), or Preciosos (Precious). They can also be described negatively as Sucios (dirty), Atrasado (dragging), Destruido (Destroyed), Debil (weak). Quite naturally, there are reasons for each condition.
Many Sansistas (though not all) also believe in Reincarnation. Ever wonder why, even though you are a good person, bad things always happen to you? Why you just can’t seem to get ahead no matter how hard you try? Why you just can’t seem to be happy or fulfilled even though, technically speaking, you have everything you want? Why there is always one area of your life lacking or having a black hole?
It just might be your Cuadro. It might need to be elevated or cleansed.
A Cuadro can gather up negative attachments just as easily as good ones. There are a variety of situations that you could be under, but in one way or another, it has something to do with your Cuadro and a Spiritual Imbalance.
There is much more to learn about the Cuadro Espiritual . . . . .
Los 7 Jefes de Sanse
The Seven Chiefs of Sanse
AKA ~ Las 7 Divisiones
This is the basic principle and framework of Sanse. And one important thing, before we go into this, is the following explanation:
There are many lineages of Sanse and many ways it is practiced. That is why this is known as a true Mystery Tradition. Why? Because every individual’s Cuadro and Spirits are different, and thus everyone works differently. Once you are initiated, your Cuadro unravels (develops) within you naturally and IT WILL TEACH YOU. You will have a direct line to your Spirits and how you are supposed to do your thing. Sanse gives us the basis, the foundation and the framework to develop further and work with whatever it is we need to.
Therefore, different lineages and practices may call things by different names but they all basically have the same foundation. For example, what I refer to as Division Del Cementerio (Division of the Cemetary) others may refer to as Division Gede (Gede’s Division), Division de Baron (Baron’s Division), etc and so on. But the foundation remains the same.
Likewise, some Sansistas refer the groups as Divisions, others as Familias, others use both terms as well as others.
We know, for a fact, that there are many ways to do any job and get it completed. Thus Sanse teaches us, as the saying goes “there are many ways to skin a cat” Thus, you will find that there are different practices from place to place, but they are all different roads the in the end lead to the same.
The main Guides and teachers of the Sanse Tradition are known as Misterios. We have other Spirits, which we will cover later, but the Misterios are what compromise Las 7 Divisiones. We also refer to them as Lwases (Lwas), Santos (Saints) and Angeles (Angels). Many of these same Law (or other Paths of the Same Lwa) can be found in other Traditions, such as Las 21 Divisiones (Dominican Vodou) or Haitian Vodou. However, in each system/tradition, they are approached and worked with differently.”
These beliefs are offered by Papa Hector Salva