The initiations of the Palo Mayombe religion

Have you heard about the Palo Mayombe?

Are you wondering how you can be a member?

Initiation into the Palo Mayombe is a very easy one. The Palo Mayombe is a religion that is done in secrecy so it’s difficult to locate their places of worship and the people that partake in the religion. The Palo Mayombe is very sacred and they try to avoid false information being made by people who have misunderstood the ways of the Palo religion.

The initiation process is called Rayamiento. It is a Spanish word which means “being scratched” it’s a ceremony whereby special marks are scratched on your skin and to undergo this ceremony, you have to swear an oath or a pact that displays your courage, boldness and loyalty to the Palo Mayombe. A self-initiation can also be done.

This self-initiation is commonly done because of the difficulty in finding their places of worship and a Palo Mayombe priest. In this self-initiation, some ingredients would be given to you to collect or to buy them. After these ingredients have been given to you, you will be given some sets of instructions to be followed to guide you on doing it properly.

You’re probably wondering if it would work or not or how you know if you have been initiated or not. Well, a set of simple instructions would be given to you to help you channel or summon your ancestor who would lead you and guide you during your initiation process. Some of the ingredients needed are:

  • Iron cauldron
  • Palo Jina
  • Palo namo
  • Palo guramo
  • Palo jabon
  • A bottle of rum
  • Palo pino
  • Palo santo
  • Palo camito
  • Palo cocuyo
  • Black candles
  • Palo Diablo
  • Palo de ceiba
  • Padlock

If you are being initiated by a Palero, you have to be extremely careful and make sure the Palero is a legitimate one and also has a very good reputation. If the initiation is not done properly, it may cost the individual his/her health, success or even spiritual success.

In order to be initiated into the Palo Mayombe religion, you have to know the traditions, history, origins and beliefs of the Palo Mayombe so you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into. Not everyone can be a part of the Palo Mayombe. You have to be bold in heart and strong physically to be a member.

The Palo Mayombe originated during the time of the slave trade era in Cuba. It is widely practiced in Brazil as Quinbanda and Mexico. The Palo Mayombe have a special and strong believe in spirits and supernatural or natural powers. They believe that all earthly materials contain the power of the spirits in them.

Their gods are called Nkisi while their spirits are called Mpungu. They hold their gods and spirits very dearly and build special altars for them. These altars are called Nganga or Prenda. Each of the gods have their own special Nganga. Only the Paleros are given the power to channel a spirit or summon a god.