So, about Palo Mayombe?

So the practise of Palo Mayombe has popped up couple of times intensively, here is my question though; What kind of system is it?Is it similiar to voudoun in the sense that you really use things that are in your environment? Gakeepers?initiation?Key figures?What´s the deal?I suppose I have these same questions about Santeria too. Also, any books about Palo Mayombe or Santeria?

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By any chance do you speak Spanish.
This is a brilliant video on Palo Monte that gives a great overview on these religions.


Thanks, unfortenetely I don´t speak spanish but I somewhat got the jist of it,

Hey there H.L. initiated priest of Palo here, Palo is a beautiful tradition that has its roots in the Kongo empire through unbroken lineages that can be traced over five hundred years.
Palo Mayombe was born in the Caribbean and is deeply tied to historical events that took place in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico.

The structure of Palo varies from house to house, some houses would explain Palo as a system while others might provide evidence that Palo is a strict discipline, thus a complete religion within itself.

Part of the reason why these answers vary so much has to do with its dispersement in practice, or what some refer to as diaspora although that term is slightly incorrect as to the true nature of the difference in the sects or “branches” of Palo.

There are four main branches of Palo. Mayombe, Monte, Briyumba, and Kimbisa. The word Palo itself is spanish for stick, part of the belief here is in the symbol of the dead branch as being a metaphysical metaphore for bones of the dead.

Palo Mayombe also has a multitude of spirits and methods in which to discern the type as well as the nature of the spirit. For example there are Ndoki, Nfuri, Ndundu, Basimbi, Kimpungulu, Nfumbé, and God almighty who is Nzambi.

Essentially Palo is a nature based religion that venerates ancestors, as well as works with the spiritual forces of the dead of nature, ancestral, animal, plant, and mineral. We believe in one God and we keep the stories and secrets of our ancestors, in which we protectively guard them until the time is appropriate for our God children.

There is a spirit that some would regard as a gatekeeper. He is the spirit of the roads of Palo he is Lucero, the gatekeeper concept is more relevant to the LHP in reality Paleros refer to Lucero as the first guardian.

Some books I would recommend would be “In the Garden of Blood and Bones” by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, “Society of the Dead” by Todd R. Ochoa, “Reglas de Congo” by Lydia Cabrera, “Flash of the Spirit” by Robert Farris Thompson, “Kongo Graphic writing and other narratives of the sign” by Barbaro Ruiz, and “Tying the spiritual knot” by Dr. Bunseki Fu Kiau.

Palo Mayombe is really initiation only and there are no “backroads” to it. Same with “Santeria” but if you are serious about Lukumi also I would recommend any book written by Ocha’ni Lele.


So, who are the ones that iniatiate into Palo Mayombe? Can Lucero come to you out of thin air and just say``knock, knock. I have a proposition to make, how about you iniate yourself into Palo through me, through a ritual?´´.

No it cant be done that way, it is all done through rites that can only be accessed through a priest who has gone through the initiations, this deals with scarification and particular sacred medicines in concert with Kikongo lengua.

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Alright, so what would be the first step if somebody has heard the call of Lucero?

Lol Step one call a Palero.

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How would you know “the call” of Lucero?

Hiya OP! I don’t know about initiation lines, but those are generally for access to the structured patterns of interaction for otherwise wild or unknown spirits- it doesn’t stop you from direct contact! IME beings that are supposedly bound by initiation aren’t, so either they rule the patterns or were improperly bound; they manifest physically when they want your attention! :slight_smile:

It´s a sense of somekind that has opened up while ago, I can sense it as clearly as day and it´s been bothering me intensely.

I guess you have a point.

Not so with Palo

Talk to your ancestors and ask that a road to the right Tata and munanso be opened up if you have a path in Palo. Then, find and talk to several Nganguleros if you can. Even better if you can visit multiple munansos and sit with the Nganga because ultimately, should you become initiated, you are making a blood pact with the spirit of the Nganga of the munanso you will be entering.

If you get that far, ask to be presented in front of the Nganga to determine if you have a path in Palo and if the Nganga will accept you.

Don’t let anyone try to make you believe you have something wrong and in order to fix it you either need to a cleansing or an initiation. There are lot of people that try turn honest aspirants into clientele for money.

If you get presented in front of the Nganga, the tata will use chamalongos to talk to the Nganga. Test the Tata by asking them if they can show you how to read the answers along with them so there is no confusion about what the Nganga is saying. If they refuse, that should register as a red flag. If they show you, then you are most likely dealing with a serious and honest Tata that
Is most likely not going to try to screw to you over for money.

If it’s for you, a way will be made and you’ll be steered to the right people.


I agree. There is no self-initiation in Palo. The initiation are intense and necessary. It’s a secret oral tradition passed down from person to person.

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