The Palo Mayombe and its hidden traditions and beliefs

The Palo Mayombe is one of the many black magic religions to have been for quite a number of years. It has been in existence for over 200 years and is still counting. This Palo religion is still in existence because of the way it has been kept sacred and secrets for a number of years. Their places of worships and number of worshippers aren’t dated. This is done to avoid various false informations spreading around. The Palo Mayombe is a very powerful black magic religion and it is practiced majorly in Cuba.

The origin, traditions and beliefs of the Palo Mayombe religion

The Palo Mayombe originated as at the time of slave era in Cuba in the 1500s. It consists of a combination of the religions and beliefs of different slaves’ religions that were captured and taken to Cuba. Another name for Palo Mayombe is las Reglas de Congo. The term Palo is a Spanish word that means stick. This is because in the Palo mayombe religion, they make use of sticks to prepare their altars and this altar is known as the Nganga.  The priests of the Palo Mayombe are called Paleros. Their priests can either be male or female. The members or the initiated of the Palo mayombe are called Ngaeyo.

The Palo Mayombe have a special and strong belief in spirits. They believe in the:

  • Veneration of spirits
  • Use of supernatural powers and earthly materials

They believe that these spirits which are spirits of the dead are living among us and also inside of us. They believe that these earthly materials are infused with the spirits which make them very powerful. The Mpungu (spirits) of the dead are said to be very powerful and each deity has a special Nganga built for them and can only be summoned by an ordained Palero. These spirits have different and special powers assigned to them. They are mostly called upon during rituals such as initiation or when the members need guidance and protection. Some of these spirits are the Zarabanda, El Christo Rey, El Christo Negro, Madre Agua and some others.

The ritual of the Palo Mayombe religion is done with music and also dancing is involved. The sounds and music are made by wooden instruments and drums. The Palo mayombe do not pay special attention and detail to colors unlike the Santería which is commonly compared to the Palo Mayombe. The Santería is a black magic religion that was originated from the remnants of a Yoruba religion practiced in Nigeria. The initiation process of the Palo mayombe is simple. You can be initiated as a member or as a Palero. The initiation process is called the Rayamiento which means being scratched. An oath of confidence, courage and loyalty is sworn to prove yourself to the Palo Mayombe. If you undergo an initiation as a Palero, after the ritual you have to follow som guidelines such as eating meals on the floor, wearing white always, not staying out after dark and avoiding contact with non-initiates for a year and seven months.