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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, ┬áLucero 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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Hoodoo and Spiritual Waters

Hoodoo and Spiritual Waters

Sala Malongo, Hoodoo as a diasporic Congo-rooted magical system is practical and simple in it’s implementation of natural forces for accomplishing change. The most indispensable of those natural things is, of course, Water. Understanding how our Congo ancestors understood and worked with Water and it’s Spirits will enable a deeper understanding of Why we work with water–as both Hoodoos and Paleros–in the way and...

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Palo, Spiritual Grace, and Tongo Sekue

Palo, Spiritual Grace, and Tongo Sekue

Nsala malongo, There are particular times in Palo when the nature of one’s spirit becomes important in practical workings. I had one of those times working with my nkisi a couple of nights ago, and thought I’d share what I learned. In my own experience, the mpungo that my nature is most closely attuned to is Tongo Sekue . This was revealed, as is tradition, during my first pact with Nature and Spirit during my rayamiento....

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Trance, Tobacco, and Palo Mayombe

Trance, Tobacco, and Palo Mayombe

The trance is an essential component of work in Palo; it would be impossible to accomplish healing or true communication with spirit without it. Let’s take a look at the different methods of gaining the spiritual trance we work with in Palo; perhaps through a close and thorough examination of method and technique involving trance we can improve our personal work and gain deeper understanding of the mysteries of our religion. Sounds...

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Education and Palo Mayombe

Education and Palo Mayombe

Nsala malongo, There is no avoiding the fact that learning and research are a key part to growing in wisdom in any tradition; Palo Mayombe is no exception. As a primarily oral tradition, the key way to obtain necessary lore about our religion has always been connecting with our elders and learning through observation and experience. That will remain a wonderful and excellent method for learning, but making it the only way to learn about our...

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