I thought I’d be a little introspective and share my relationship between my spirituality and myself. I have discussed this at length before, but I thought that I’d give it an update because my feelings have changed this year.
But – my feelings have deepened. My love for my spirituality has grown even more than I thought it could. I’m actually enamored with my religion. It’s not a crazy feeling. It’s a natural feeling of progression on my path.
We (those of my religion) see the beauty in the things we practice. Everyday things like tending to our ancestor shrines. A white candle is always burning on mine and the glasses are always full of water. 🙂
The beauty is of honoring your ancestors, elevating them into a place of peace, becoming at peace with yourself and your surroundings, doing rituals to get what you need, helping and healing others, cleansing, and passing wisdom down generations of people. It’s not “devil worship.” There is really no worship at all. There is a god. Nsambi. He is revered but not worshiped. Palo is not a pagan religion either. I got drawn to this path because it deals with the Dead. I am a natural medium/clairvoyant. I have many gifts. Palo comes natural to me. And it chose me for some reason. I did not choose it.
I quite accidentally met a Palero. He tutored me for awhile, but I had to move on to another Priest.
I have gotten one “rite of passage” in Palo so far. I received my Lucero in January this year. A Lucero is a handmade “statue” representation of the mpungo Lucero. Read my blog further to figure out what a mpungo is, or look it up on google. Lucero is the Crossroads, the gatekeeper between the worlds. He is honored every Monday with a special ritual. This ritual is very important, and I like performing it.
Palo has become a large part of my life. It’s the same as any other religion may have an effect on you. Christians are very verbal about their religion and how important it is to them. I’m the same way about my religion. But Palo does not evangelize.
The thing about this religion is it is controversial. There are some things about it that shock and scare people. The main thing is the sacrifice of animals and using human remains, such as bones and skulls. We do not sacrifice humans. The sacrifice of animals is food animals such as chickens/roosters, goats, pigeons (some people eat them), ducks, and deer. There are all kinds of insects that Palero/as use in ceremonies as well. We have no fear of working with all sorts of creatures and we are not squeamish. Every animal that is sacrificed in a ceremony has a song sung to it before the Priest kills it. And it is killed in the easiest way possible with the least pain for the animal.
Some people think we rob graves. There have been stupid people in the past who have done some unspeakable things but they were never real Palo practitioners. They were sensationalists that make our religion look dark and sinister. When it clearly is not the case. Most Palero/as are nice respectable people who are kind hearted and devoted. It is a extremely secret religion as well. The books that available on it in English aren’t very good. The Wiki article online is not terrible, but most articles and books in English do not sum up Palo that well. The religion is based in the Congo and moved throughout Africa and also Cuba, Mexico, and now we have American munansos (houses). Much Palo is in Spanish and in Spanish speaking countries. The word ‘Palo’ means stick in Spanish.
I’m glad that I found my Tata (Palo Priest). He is only an hour flight away from me. It’s so cool I do not have to go East or South to be initiated. I just need money to be initiated. That is a kind of bummer, but the ceremonies are long, require a lot of work. There are cleansings, the ceremony itself lasts 3 days, there are animals for the ritual and the feasting. Much of it is celebratory, and transformational.
I admit, I do not know a lot about Palo, just the outside face of it. When initiated, I should know a lot more. Looking forward to it.
I just wrote this little post for people who don’t know much about me and Palo. Blessings!