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'104 Santerı´a: Correcting the Myths and Uncovering the Realities of a Growing Religion agitation and bring on feelings of tranquility. Other ingredients might be used to invoke other Orisha and to encourage other emotional and spiritual states. ROMPIMIENTO (TEARING AWAY) Sometimes, negative energies, often described as ‘‘dark spirits,’’ can’t be simply washed off, but must torn away from the client. In these cases, the priest may perform the ritual known as rompimiento (Sp. breaking). In this ritual, the clothing of the clients is cut and torn from their bodies by the pre- siding priest(s) in an effort to break the connection between the client and the negativity that is afflicting them. Often, rompimiento is performed as a preliminary ritual before initiations and other major rituals. Because of pri- vacy and modesty issues, at least one of the priests performing a rompimiento must be the same sex as the client. At the beginning of the ritual, all of the priests in attendance cut or tear a small piece from the client’s clothing. Then priests of the opposite sex leave the room and the remainder of the ritual is performed by priest of the same sex, tearing away the rest of the client’s clothing. After all of their clothes have been removed, the client’s body is washed with omiero or another herbal mixture, and they are dressed in clean white clothing and presented to the remaining priests for any other rituals that may be required. Since this is a more intense ritual than the limpieza, it requires at least one priest in attendance (two if the primary priest is not of the same gender as the client). Perhaps it is important at this juncture to mention that Orisha worshipers in general are very conventional in their atti- tudes toward nudity and sexual propriety, and a newcomer should be suspi- cious of anyone claiming that one should engage in sexual activity with them as part of any kind of ritual. ROGACIO´N (PETITION) The head is the most ritually important part of the human body, since it is the outward manifestation of the ori, the inner head (ori-inu) or destiny. In Cuba and the United States, devotees make offerings directly to their inner heads through the small ritual called the rogacio´n (rogation in English). The word rogacio´n comes from the Latin root rogare, to ask or to beg, which refers to a type of prayer of supplication. By blessing the outer head, the roga- cio´n cools and strengthens the inner head, bringing the person into balance with their destiny. During the rogation, a mixture of coconut meat and other ingredients is placed on strategic points of the client’s body as well as on the top of his or her head. After divination determines that the Orisha are satis- fied with the ritual, the client’s head, still topped with coconut, is wrapped in white cloths. Although the rogacio´n might be introductory to other rituals, the client is often asked to leave the coconut mixture in place overnight, ' US