Has anyone been initiated into Palo Mayombe?

Do you have an nganga? If yes, were you able to get all the listed items above?

Every house is different. Everybody walks a somewhat different path, a Nganga is a technology that needs to be handled by someone who has a deep understanding of that technology. I am a Tata Nkisi Malongo and I will divulge this truth, no real Palero would ever share a real list of items used in a Nganga as that literally breaks the treaty of our initiation. I am going to divulge a second secret about Palo Mayombe, while many Tatas will wage war upon one another from house to house not all Paleros work based off of such machismo and the puffing of chest feathers, some are quiet and its the quiet one you have to be careful of and in this truth I will break my silence and share with you that in the true Mayombe community Carlos Montenegro is pretty much the biggest laughing stock of the community of Reglas de Congo.


Nsala Malecum!
I love how you explained this PaterOctavius888.


At my Rayamiento there were several other godbrothers and sisters that also got cut. One thing I’ll always remember is that one person got really freaked out and refused to come back into the room outside. There was a very large headless black rooster that was lying next to the Tata’s Nganga that STOOD UP AND WALKED TO THE DOOR of the shed and waited for the initiate to come back to the ceremony. As soon as the person came back into room (he had to walk by the rooster at the door too) that rooster WALKED back over to the pot and laid back down. Because the spirit of the Nganga had animated that rooster’s carcass looking for the run away 1/2 done initiate.


Your completely right.
We have no short cuts, often people will say I’ll do it like this or in my house. It’s not like that traditions are traditions and even if they are varied from house to house, there are always basics that need to be followed.
If you are not scratched then you shouldn’t be dealing with things you dont comprehend.
My godfather had a saying knock on the door before you come in. And learn to walk before you run.
It can be very dangerous if you start messing with things you dont understand or know about.

Find a good house a good tata become part of the family and in time when you prove your self to be a good god child the knowledge will come.

I will not give a prenda or nganga to any one who hasn’t been scratched for at least a year and even then a prenda takes a very very long time to make at least a couple of months if done right.
You are missing alot of stuff on that list and also have alot of stuff that a prenda doesn’t take.
This is a beautiful tradition a way of life but when done wrong or halfway it can have the opposite effect you are looking for.


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What is to be expected when getting rayamiento as a pino nuevo? I know a lot of it is not alowed to be disclosed but u dont have to get naked as part of the ceramony do u?

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@Viramundo2112 Ntondelé Mpangui Y Nsala Maleko!
@chris_garcia I would recommend that you ask that question to your Tata. Furthermore as an initiate into this beautiful tradition do what you can to let your initiation be a surprise, many will go online to try to obtain information on the initiation ceremony, just keep studying congo tradition but watch and listen to how your elders do things and do things their way to preserve this tradition in its beautiful and natural state.


As a practicioner of traditional and newer forms of Palo. I can tell you there is a saying in the palo comunity that gose like this “cada casa tiene su mana” and “la unica regla es qu no hay regla”. It means each house of palo has is unique way of doing things and that the only rule in palo is that there are no ruels. Why? because palo is largely shamanic and the way of famike a “prenda” is dictated by the specific nfumbe and mpungo at the momen of the creation of the prenda. The initiation in palo only grants you protection under the prenda off your godfather and access to that house and their way of duing things. Theere is even a new mode of self initiation known as “la regla del buey suelto” and palo Kindoki. which focuses on the adquisition of power and down plays the religious aspect. Montenegros ngangas have the sameb basic composition of a Sarabanda nganga but he misses in the fact that the ingredients vary, each nganga is unique since is fitted for a specific person. This means that some sarabandas have as an example 21 palos and others have 29 and others have 13. depending on the spirit. Another common misconception is the idea that all ngangas must have human bones. that is not the case the human bone and specially the skull is an addition of the briyumba rule mayombe originally have small prendas since bakongo culture where nomads and had to move their fetishes from place to place. the huge ngangas we see online are modern creations during the growth of the religion in cuba. so can someone practice authentic palo magick without initiation sure! but there are steps to be taken first to open oneself to the current. One must first make connection with ancestors and ones spiritual guides. then make work with Lucero nkuyo who serves a similar funtion as papa legba in voudon. After is to present one self to the spiritual guardians of the cememntary, the woods (monte), the cross roads and the ocean or river. There are other places one must present one self like a mountain, railroad tracks, hospital, police station or court. This granst the palero the favor of the beings that controls those sites and their power to influence those areas of human existance. after the palero must seek power since power in palo comes with spirits. These are the powers of the woods represented by ngurunfinda, the power of the dead represented by centella ndoki the power of the waters represented by Mama Kalunga, the power of the air by cuatro vientos or Four winds and the power of the fire which is taken during a violent tunderstorm. from elements taken in each presentation and with knowledge of which Mpoungo is your father and mother in the religion the individual next have to find an Nfumbe a dark shade of the dead and then he is ready to make his own lucero and nkisi.


no there is a part called rompimiento. is kind of a ritual cleansing where your old clothes are torn and new ones of color white put on. but the resto fo the ceremony one is clothed. althougt this can vary from munsano to munsano. Hope this helps.

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Ok thank u all

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Respectfully, I can’t buy the idea of a Palo Self-Initiation.


I can understand. These regulars are modern. Some developed in Cuba and Puerto Rico is a direct response of a emigration crisis Puerto Rico is facing. As a practitioner of traditional palo I have seen these “self initiated” practitioners and some are a joke but some are serious and their nkiso nfuiri and their prendas caminan bacheche, they do all they are supposed. But is very hard and arduous. I know of one that made sacrifices and presentation in the cementary and the monte for six months every day to be accepted by the spirits. Now that’s a lot of money and time invested. But here in Puerto Rico there are almost none paleros left and the few that are left are not trust worthy. So many padrinos have put together a schedule of practice for those who have stayed. In original Kongo religions initiations happen after being taught and chosen by the spirits. The munsanos of today have been developed in Cuba after the slave trade to protect their members against prosecution. But change has been around in the religion. Like originally the nfumbe used to be a direct ancestor today they take a random dead from a cementary. There used to be in mayombe two types of lucero, but sincretism with Santeria gave palo 21 ways of lucero just like Eleggua. Then came briyumba with the incistence on the rule that every prenda must have a skull, then came Kimbisa which developed the modern model for a munsano based on free masonry and sincretised a lot of Catholic belief into palo practice. There is now talks of a new Kimbisa movement in Cuba (this told to me by a Tata from Cuba but I have no idea how to verify) that includes practices from ceremonial European magick into their mix. You can’t keep a practice from changing. For better or worst, the need is the mother of inventions. For me is about how the spirits answer to a person that lets me know if the person has been initiated.


That’s deep and given those circumstances, I could see how a method of self-initiation could arise out of desperate attempt to maintain the tradition.

This stuff is all so fascinating.

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Wow thank you for the explanation

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I was initiated into vodou by the Loa. So maybe if your feeling pulled to you it will be the same way. Just got to open that line of communication.

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This Is a recurrent event specially in African derived traditions. In Africa this is recognized as legitimate. In this side of the world where initiation by human hands is give. So much enphasis not so much. I began my journey into these traditions after in a dream, a man that claimed to be Lucero and gurunfinda kneeled me before an altar of mama chola washed me with water and ceiba tree leaves and gave me spicy rum to drink. Later I came to realized that this was some form of spiritual initiation. Mind you that before all these I saw African traditions as “primitive” compared to my ceremonial magick were all is so clean and sanitized. Now of course I don’t see it that way and the ngang aid one of the most ingenious magical devices where a non local entity empowers a local entity which produces results incredibly fast and quick due to the dead spirits proximity to our plane.

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I never so much as looked in the direction of the ATR’s until a year and a half ago for the very same reason you pointed out. I thought ceremonial and Golden Dawn style magic was the end all, be all of magic. I am still an initiate of the Western Mysteries and still very much engaged in that kind of work but it’s a completely different ball game. It’s kind of a shame that the Western Mysteries kind of get portrayed that way when in actuality they can be quite inferior to the more indigenous traditions.

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You live in the United States? contact tata butako on facebook, his name is efrain medina. he lives in boston, he practices pure malongo, not like most houses or munanzos that practice a mixture of palo and osha he will guide you