Self iniation in Palo Mayombe website

Thats all Im saying. Im not trying to debate if its right or wrong. Honsetly being in the religion and knowing how it works. I think its delusional to self iniatiate but its up to u

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The Gods don’t make or reveal religion, the loa, the Orishas and such didn’t create the religion at all, people did and over the years people complicated it. Using symbolism and special ceremonies and adopting them later on as social traditions, eventually becoming sacred.

Yet communion with the gods is spiritual not religious, as religion is merely a specific set of organised beliefs and practices, shared by a group or a community. Spirituality however is more of an much more broader spectrum of the nature of spirit and the gods.

Spirituality needs no master, priest or someone who initiates you, these traditions work so well because if you really dissect it, the religious practices and over the top ceremonies, stimulate the mind and uses many subtle triggers which can give you access to “the spiritual” or “divine” whatever you want to call it.

Yet a individual can merely do this by closing ones eyes and meditating, sometimes actually surpassing a huge group ritual, by doing less they achieve more. The reason you wouldn’t suggest self initiation is cause you have a religious view, while many of us here have a spiritual view. Not bashing your beliefs either, I mean no disrespect yet it religion is restricting whilst spirituality is virtually limitless and has no boundaries, no limits, no restrictions.

Spirituality by many is seen as dark and blasphemous because the spiritual individual surpasses certain feats which are deemed wrong or impossible by the religious. Just like many who say you can’t self initiate yet, it must be possible how else would the first practitioner have entered.

I choose to go directly to the gods and bring them directly to me, instead of going to priests or priestesses or whatever fancy title they use these days. Cutting out the middle man and going directly to the source of all of it, this is the nature of a black magician no matter what path, paradigm, pantheon or system we enter.


Im all about tradition. So im the wrong one to talk to. We can agree to disagree and leave it at that.


I think we’re looking at the difference between the religion, the lineage-based human tradition, and the practice of magick, which works with some of those spirits on a less formal basis, and without the lifelong commitment.

I don’t equate my work with Hathor to that of an Egyptian priest back in the day, he would be residing on temple property, living her service 24/7, I’m devoted to her but there’s no major commitment in the same way. :thinking:

Both have their place and value but the moment someone starts claiming titles that are earned within a living tradition, I think that’s when fur flies, and honestly it’s silly. I work with Lwa, that does NOT make me a Mambo and nor would, or should, I ever start to claim that title.

And I’ve seen magick start to slide the long-established qualities and attributes of spirits, often incorporating lazy pop-culture depictions, and usually towards fluff-bunny and reductionist outcomes where all beings are “masks of” one another, or protect the very animals they used to require as blood sacrifices, so keeping as many distinct original lineages alive as possible seems, to me, to be useful: it takes nothing from the practice of magick, but does preserve information in its original form, which has been peer-tested over a longer period.

It’s also notable that the Abrahamic religions attacked honouring ones own spiritual traditions, and one’s own ancestors, as the earliest part of their power grab.

So anything which seeks to reduce and attack those inheritances in similar ways, may be an unwitting cultural programme being brought within the practice of magick, and towards that same “One True™ Way” goal, which uproots people and slowly begins to pare away their spiritual roots and connections. I did a post about that process previously, here. :thinking:

So we have two different streams, the traditional religious, and the magickal non-conformist, both useful and both valid, no need to collapse that and reduce everything down to a “One True™ Way” IMO. :man_shrugging:


Hello, new here so, by way of introduction, I am a white male in my fifties from Irish/ Scandinavian / Native Americam ancestry, and a Tata Nkisi Malongo from Palo Monte and an Olorisha from traditional houses in both. In response to the self initiation question; in Palo you are scratched over the pot you are born from and in Ocha your pot is born from the pot of the one who births yours. Without the proper ritual structure, you will not be recognized as legit by either the community, and all ATR’s are all about community, or the spirits. If you have ever been in front of a real nganga in the nso or Orisha at a tambor, you know the recognition I mean. Or better yet, having the proper divinations after higher initiations and have the consejos tell you things that later come true…uniquely life altering things.
Can non-initistes propitiate spirits, orisha, loa…sure, at their place in nature and with simple prayers and offerings, but nothing more. If you do not have license, you cannot do it.
Can you try to? Sure. Can you have some success? sure. Can you be misled, attract spirits not good for you? oh yeah. Can you literally jack your life, or someone elses life up? Damn straight. There is no shortcut, apology given or concern for moral acceptance in any non African based way of being…sorry. Say what you want, those are facts you can’t get around.


Welcome @Imjaded It is a rule of this forum for all new members to properly introduce themselves, so please click the link below and tell us about yourself and any experience you have in magick, such as what you practice, how long you have practiced, areas of interest, etc:


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Well I don’t accept that, I don’t believe that, spirituality isn’t set in stone, it’s malleable what you are talking about Is a religious approach which is quite limited and dogmatic in its approach.

Anything can be evoked and called, any god, goddess, demon, angel, elemental, planetary spirit and so forth can be conjured in a beholdable form and speak in a understandable voice. Channel usable and applicable information from them and then send them out into the world, to manifest a desire that I have in my mind.

So I could do that even with a Orisha, Loa and so forth using specific things from the culture that they originate from, only the usable methods. Not the religious and restricted methods, so what you are essentially saying is you walk a religious path, you are religious.

Yet I am not religious, I am not talking about religion, I am talking about practical spirituality which is actually beneficial and usable.


I knw a old white guy who study a year tis in 1 year he learn santeria and autentic voodos stuff from Haitians. It works, also s. Rob a uk guy has a few voodos stuff mix. And dnt forget the broswky guy who mix gods know wat and call palo magik which peopls say its a mix of results. And peopls here who do papa legba leggua, ochun and work for them whutout iniciacion… Me i stick whit capoeira.

C. Kendall,
As others have mentioned, we can agree to disagree on that. I do not view it as practicing a religion, it is living a way of life. These practices have aspects of religion, spirituality, practical advice, magic, cognitive behavioral therapy, community involvement, you name it.
The biggest fallacy with your logic is that it comes from a priveleged western civilization background. I am pushing 60 and this has been my life longer than it has not. In my experience, you aren’t anything until you have been humbled, at rock bottom, and walked through the fires of transformation to be born anew, both Palo and Ocha were like that.
The idea that you can just whip ‘em up & send them out to manifest what you want or have in your head without proper pact and initiation is arrogant, uneducated and offensive to those of us who have and do.
Again, that’s just the way it is.
I do agree that spirituality is, can be, and should be accessable, within the specific framework…and in our way of thinking, it is the first step in real develooment. A persons’ ancestor and guiding spirits are yours and always there for you, free to access, and your best defense.


Excuse me, this is not the right place to post your intro sir. Please follow the link DarkestKnight gave you and post your intro in that thread.

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I understand and did post it there. Thank you.

I feel the same way. As a white man in Palo Mayombe Im the only one in My Munanso, In my Ifa house I’m the only White guy. I respect the rules and traditions infact thats what I love about it so much. rules and codes you have to live by. That privledged attitude really rubs me the worng way too, Im glad to see I’m not the only one that feels that way.


Kiambote and Nsala Malekum Mpangui,
You know how it is, always the struggle. But the spirits test you and the community accepts you. Thankfully, that is based on your character in the end and nothing else.

C Kendall, I understand your position and the concept you put forth, but would offer a counterpoint. First, I find no issue being spiritual and religious. I used to only be spiritual, now that I am a priest I try to be religious. Of course, my paths are warrior paths so, turning the other cheek and unduly concerning myself with good vs bad/ pos vs Neg/ right hand vs left hand, which I am noticing gets alot of attention on here, is not in my mindset- you have to have both. You have to work with both- kindoki.
Let me drop a bomb on you. I have noticed in muliple areas you have questioned the originators, and who originated them? My practices come from ancient roots, well before any of the “World Religions” or concepts like God vs Devil. Thousands of years before man knew of a Lucifer or there were any Lucifereans in cool purple robes. So, noone can say for certain, but what I can say is that these rites snd iniatic practices were dictated to us by the spirits. In Orisha worship and specifically Lukumi, the Orisha were consulted by the leading priests of the land and asked what, how, with what and how long, etc. they wanted the ceremonies to be performed. Orisha were consulted using their consecrated oracles, confirmed, peer reviewed and communally adopted. Not made up by a bunch of dudes experimenting with inspiration. Everything we do is guided by spirit and confirmed through proper divination…and that ain’t Tarot cards.
Yes- all ATR’s, and most indigenous systems, are initiatic in nature. The mysteries are conferred and the secrets are orally transmitted. The ancestors, both familial and religious lineage-wise, are petitioned at the beginning of any process…how you gonna ask for their ache and not honor the ways that they sacrificed to maintain? Counter-productive and nullifying.
Hope that helps to put some context around the possible differences between an ideation of a human construct and a legitimately birthed religious system of ordination.


Maelcum Sala
Somos Yes I know how it is. Im lucky My Padrino in Palo is like my father. Same in Ifa. My whole Munanso My godbrothers are litterally my brothers, My Grandfather in Palo is one of my closest friends too.I know I can call them any where any time and theyll come through. Because thats the way My Grandfather taught us all. The Muerto tests me alot. But I always know when hes testing me. Im a good godson and I always put the religion first. The Muerto has come down and told me through other people That My Father Sarabanda is very proud of me because I always do what I have to do in the religion. The Muerto has always come through for me. I can just go in front of my pots and think about something I want and it happens. Thats what alot of people dont understand these spirits are litterally your parents they guide and protect you. give you the best life they can. Thats why a stranger that didnt go through any ceremonies isnt going to have that kind of access to them. Like for example you have to do ebbo or a trabajo with Chango and the odu says give Chango Bananas, Do you think Chango cant get Bananas if he wanted them? Its Chango, Its the energy he needs to make it happen for you. Its not like oh Chango wants bananas for the work. its not like working with Demons. its not at all. Unless your part of it for awhile that’s something you’ll never understand.

It’s terrible what’s being done but at the same time, it’s 2020. There are too many real (and accessible) leaders from the community present on different platforms to NOT know something as basic as the fact that you can’t just simply self-initiate in Palo, Ifa, Lucumi, etc.

I follow a few on IG and they’re constantly warning people about this very thing.


The truth is exclusivity is not the same as prejudice.
The lineage of the Palero hands down customs and tools of discernment, we don’t let just anybody join our houses because when they join the house they become a part of its foundation that it is built upon, and a house built on weak soil will not endure seasons.
If a plague wiped out every Palero tomorrow, our tradition would remain as much a mystery as any dead tongue or tradition, for example like Sumerian and ancient priesthood of Zoroasterianism.


You do not self-initiate into any of the African Traditional Religions. You have to be accepted by the spirits of those traditions. And you need a priest with the requisite authority to conduct the proper rituals and the rites that allow for a meeting between the person seeking initiation and the spirits of that traditions. The spirits have the say, not the people. I recognize that in your view this a matter of what came first the chicken or the egg. You won’t get that answer from us. You will have to accept that.


I heard that if you can communicate directly with the spirits, then you don’t need initiation. Initiation is meant as a safety barrier when dealing with hostile energies

First off, If you have never been presented / saluted a Nganga, are not a member of a munanso, and eventually, if needed, gone through rayamiento, then no matter what you are doing- it is not Palo.
Trust me, where Palo is concerned, you need all the safety barriers you can muster.