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Consistency in Palo

Consistency in Palo

Sala Malongo, Have you done anything to learn a little more about Palo today? This week? ….this month? It’s very, very easy to get into the routine of giving nsunga & malafo, mpembe, and singing your favorite mambos when interacting with nkisi….and then leaving it at that. Staying comfortable. Only stretching out to work some malongo when someone falls ill, or when someone has run they mouth a little too hard. But Palo...

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Nganga no hay Sentimiento…but our ancestors Do!

Nganga no hay Sentimiento…but our ancestors Do!

Sala malongo, There is an old saying in our community, ‘nganga no hay sentimiento’…the Nganga has no feeling. Often said with some bluster, letting you know that the nganga doesn’t have feelings, and will do what needs to be done. ….and it’s true. The nganga isn’t a *person* in the same way you and I are. It doesn’t share the same feelings or motivations, necessarily. It is a powerful entity,...

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Basimbi part 2

Basimbi part 2

Malembe, In a previous post about Basimbi we spoke about some of the classes of Basimbi and some practical interactions with them. We’ll continue to do that here, and discuss some ritual possibilities for interacting with Basimbi when working malongo.   Sîmbi Nzonzi These are the Simbi of philosophy and leadership; when we consider our role as Paleros we have to remember that our root culture is Bantu, and in the Bantu worldview...

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Basimbi part 1

Basimbi part 1

Sala maleco,   The Basimbi are an incredibly important part of Palo Mayombe and our practice; oftentimes, with the serious over-emphasis on the Nganga and it’s work, the Basimbi are neglected in receiving offerings and practical works. The Basimbi are often spirits of place. They are spirits that vivify the natural elements around us. They also are spirits that empower social constructs and opportunities. To understand the...

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Lucero, Sombra and his bevy of spirits

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...

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