When we think how life was formed from nothing came something out of the darkness and the shadows into the light. The shadow in birth has always walked with us in essence it is a sentient being that makes up one half of our soul which is made of 2 parts. Physical and the Spiritual. Many people understand many views and how the soul and the spirit work in many aspects of a persons transition between different spiritual practices and beliefs. The focus of this article is to open the idea that your shadow though born with you can pick up from other people and be shaped and reshaped good and bad. When in a munanso you are brought to the foot of the nganga or nkisi and are your journey begins to take shape from the moment you walk in to the time you leave the reading. The process of the shadow casts down into the firma and or firmas that are drawn on the floor to vibrate that energy into a state of being. The shadow picks up this vibration and in turn walks with you throughout your life and follows you wherever you go. The practitioner and priest or priestess then should be able to determine in the reading how your shadow has walked with you Past,Present and how you should push it forward into the future.
“Every shadow that has cast on to you from the moment of birth effects your spiritual growth.”
Ancestors that have long past are part of this cycle in the shadow who live in this world cast their shadow on to you (Buen sombra buen ensenansa) Good shadow good teachings and so the shadow of a Patimpemba lives with us as well. The shadow that casts from the sun and the moon walk with us. As many houses of palo mayombe know that Casa Nsambi(house of nsambi) is the Sun(Ntangu). The shadow that casts from it flourishes us with good and strong spiritual binds to the realm of the ancestors. Mposi(moon) also casts a shadow as you can see on the featured pictured from a solar eclipse on 2006. The Moon casts its own shadow which live in the realm of kalunga also another aspect of the ancestral link or bind to all living things.
There is this concept that is misinformed(kongo tiene mana de su padrino/madrina) the kongo picks up the habits of his godfather/mother.
In bantu culture it is said that ceremonial practices are to uplift a person and they concentrate on making one’s life better through the actual ceremony and the people around them(kanda) community. In palo mayombe this is also true but what happens is that the shadow of your godparent is attached also to this ritual as in ceremonial practices in bantu practices.
The community at large who participated in that ritual their firma,(patimpemba) is attached to that ritual and their shadow is also casts on the new initiate. The problem you see with this type of situation that people pick up the Rastro(trace of the persons shadow) . This in turn is added on to yours and if you are not spiritually sound and this person is on drugs guess what. Most likely you will end up in drugs, If this person was cut by a murderer, Most likely you will end up a murderer. Well you say to this well “I am my own person and I do not follow this type of behavior”. Your spiritual path at this point will and can be compromised. Illnesses can become prevalent, Financial difficulties, all other aspects of physical and spiritual problems. Our shadow has to be strong and well fed with libations and all sorts of offerings so it can fend off all types of spiritual and physical situations.
One way of making sure your spiritual path is clean and moving forward is making sure which house you practice with, Who are they truly and you do not learn this by rumors or gossip. You learn by sharing a table with them, getting to know the house of worship you are involved in. How they keep their home, What is their relationship with their family? do they work? Are they living off the misery of others? etc.
You can never be truly guaranteed that situations in your life will not arise if that were the case then we would not need of this practice to resolve. We would be in a world of Green Acres. But life is just not cut out that way we are all warriors and we come in this world fighting to survive. The shadow even lives on after death so that shows you how the potentiality of how we must try to rule over our lives and destiny. “Many elders have been led astray by money and the evils of ownership over godchildren.”
Many of their godchildren have followed in the footsteps of these elders and have created a bad concept of palo mayombe and this trend seems to get worst and worst. But our goal here is to bring an understanding to palo mayombe. Initiatory rites are made to put you in the path of palo mayombe, the shadow can create obstacles until free choice and will and spiritual strength make you seek out the truth and a better fulfillment in life and in learning. So that future generations stop the misinformation coming out of the mouth’s of these would be practitioners. Learn from people who truly respect and love this religion, not those that are seeking a profit margin from the community who is already hurting and in need.
The shadow is a double-edged sword and so learn from someone with an understanding of this sentient being, he is not a mpungu, or a nkisi, he is us in our spiritual form an extension of us. Learn who you are so you can give good sombra to others. Buen Sombra Buen Lumbo to all.. Tata Musitu