Lucero, Sombra and his bevy of spirits

Buena nsala,

When learning about Lucero, we read often in the literature and hear in the songs that Lucero leads a stream of spirits; he is the road-opener, he is first, Lucero Prima,  Lucero madrugada. This isn’t allegory; it is quite literally the case, and I’ve found in my experience that each completed Lucero Nkisi will gather about it an entourage of spirits to work.

Recently I had occasion to build a Lucero Ndoki for myself; my  Lucero fundamento is a guardiero, and with his mpaka can see very far. There are certain things that I needed done that required a Lucero with a different path.

Each Lucero will gather different entities depending upon the ngandos within and the environment it is born to; when pacting with my primary Lucero, the nfumbe within that my Padrino placed was the only one to come forward. He came forward in such a way that his purpose of union and protection was clear. This happened while he was receiving sombra from my padrino’s Nganga. The period after creation, when the nkisi is receiving sombra from the nganga, is the time when the spirits are gathered to the fundamento and pressed into service.

It is not only human nfumbe that appear to the Tata while this process happens. There are bilongo that bring together the virtue of multiple things and animal spirits…. wonders live inside of the nkisi. These spirits will appear before the Tata as well.

I have a particular bilongo involving the Lion within my Lucero Ndoki. The first night of his Sombra the nkisi appeared to me in a dream / meditation. Two nfumbe came from outside, in some distress, and stood before it, and then disappeared, one male and one female. I received “gnosis” of what their lives had been like, and what their current minds where like. Lucero would put them to work. Then, immediately after those nfumbe left, a huge lion arose from *within* the fundamento to be acknowledged as well.

I came fully aware and catalogued the experience. For me, this has become a sure sign that an nkisi is growing correctly, and is also a reason why sombra is so necessary. The period of sombra is an incubation, after which an nkisi becomes fully ‘seated’ and ready to work.

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