Palo Mayombe is an African tradition that has developed over the years especially in diaspora. It originated in Cuba during the slave trade era and its Spanish term is Las Reglas de Congo. The Palo mayombe is widely practiced in the African diaspora in various names and forms especially in the Spanish speaking countries like the Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Columbia. The Palo mayombe has also been widespread to areas such as Brazil and also Haiti. The Palo Mayombe can also be identified as Palo Monte, Brillumba and The Kimbisa. The origin of the Palo Mayombe can be traced to the regions of the Congo basin in Africa. It came through slavery. The incantations, liturgies and spells of the Palo mayombe is greatly depended on the Kikongo language. These spells and rituals of the Palo Mayombe often includes the use of herbs, roots and also special sticks found in the roots of the Congo basin. In Spanish, the name Palo means stick. The Pali mayombe makes use of priests called Paleros and the priests can be male or female. The male priests are called Tata while the female priest is called Yaya. Their members are called Pino Nuevo or Ngueyos.
The spells and initiations of the Palo Mayombe.
The Palo Mayombe makes use of two different spiritual forces. They are the power of the dead and the power of the African spirits. These two spiritual forces are called upon in all the rituals of the Palo Mayombe. The spirit of the deceased which is known as Muertos in Spanish can be linked to the Nganga or an artifact that is claimed to be magical. This Nganga is the main point of the Palero. The strength of the spells made on this Nganga depends on the strength of the deceased spirit.
The Palo Mayombe is often said to be very evil and that they bring about misfortune and different forms of curses or illness. All over, it is acknowledged that the spiritual powers of the palo mayombe are the strongest among other spiritual community or religions. Most times, priests from the Yoruba religion, the voodoo priests and the Santería Babalawo come over to seek the powers of the Palo Mayombe if powerful curses are needed. These powers act really fast and it can be very deadly. Asides the dark side being mentioned, the Palo Mayombe also has the exact power to heal. These same spirits that are summoned to lay curses can also be called give healing to sicknesses and other ailments. The powers they possess to heal is just as powerful as the power they possess to lay a curse.
A spirit is often linked to the Nganga and it is this spirit that determines the power of the spells being used. Due to this, the Palero makes use of more than one Nganga in different rituals. Becoming an initiate of the Palo mayombe is not as easy as it seems. You undergo a ritual known as the Rayamiento.