Saturday, March 16, 2013
The other day, I was listening to Candelo Kimbisa’s March 11th program of Candelo’s Corner (on KDCL Internet Radio) where Candelo was really honked off and on a terrific rant. While on vacation he said he wanted to check out some of the Net’s other Occult talk shows and one of them was by a bunch of uneducated types who were making all sorts of wild, goofy claims about Palo that simply are not true. I think Palo is experiencing what the rest of us in the Occult have or are still experiencing which is people talking out of their proverbial ass on subjects they know next to nothing about.
According to the broadcast, some of the people on the misinformed talk show panel were targeting Palo with downright stupid assertions about how it is a black eye of Santeria and other ridiculous claims. I guess someone on that show made the claim that Palo is actually from Brazil. LoL Only someone who is truly ill educated would make that sort of mistake! Is not this the norm in the Occult? Wannabes who get airplay or a book are automatically relegated to being an authority simply because they’re on the air or have a book out with a sheeple publisher. Ugh!
When you’re passionate about something you truly love, you tend to be protective of it as well as ready to fight for it at the drop of a hat. Candelo has been involved in Palo for decades and has devoted a large portion of his life to Palo thus it really upsets him when ill-informed folks say nasty & wholly untrue things about his chosen Spiritual system. Would you expect someone like Laurie Cabot to stand by and allow some ignorant fluffy bunnies call Witchcraft, “Satanic, Evil and full of perverse people”? And yet we have people out there who don’t know their own ass from a hole in the ground telling others what Palo, Witchcraft, Vdou, Hoodoo and other systems are. That’s like an auto mechanic trying to explain aeronautical engineering without any training.
Another topic Candelo was truly irate over was the plethora of so-called ‘Spirit Pots’ being sold on line by amateurs to the unwary. What’s happening here is the Nganga of Palo is being fraudulently and poorly copied by folks who are neither involved in Palo let alone the ATR. These wannabe pots are simply black cast iron cauldrons with some dirt, 21 Palo sticks and Gods know what else. I think he said there was someone in South America who had photos of one on a site and the guy had a ‘rubber snake’ in the pot. I get the symbolism but this sort of thing is not the same.
At best such Spirit Pots are dangerous to screw around with. You have no idea what the Palero has to go through to receive his Nganga from his Tata. It is far more involved than you can imagine and a Nganga is not made over night. The process takes quite a bit of time to construct and then the Spirit has to agree to live in the microcosmic world of the Nganga that the Tata has made.
What’s happening is someone wants to get in on the Spirit trade by trying to make and sell a copy of a sacred Spiritual item like a Nganga or Prenda. All you’re getting is some dirt, sticks and a cast iron cauldron that does nothing. Is this any different than the haunted jewelry sold on eBay. People who read a book and then decide they’re going to do a ritual over a ring and presto-chango! the ring is enchanted with a Spirit. LoL Not so easy Mandrake, it doesn’t work like that.
Initiatory systems are important because initiation itself
changes you and your life. They’re also important because it separates the wheat from the chaff where priestly caste is concerned. One should not call oneself a Priest/ess of any Magical religion unless has gone through the proper training and received the go ahead from their teacher.
One of the big important points of initiatory systems is that you have a guide/teacher right there for you who should allow you to grow and make mistakes and do their best to keep your heinie out of any serious trouble. You have support in the form of Spirit Guardians who have been with the House for many generations as well as folks who have been there, done that before and made the same mistakes who can and will walk you through it.
This is not to say that non-initiatory systems aren’t supported or watched over but rather that Palo, Vodu, Santeria and other neo-African traditions have a much longer history and lineage that can be traced. There are some Witches claiming lineage going back to the 1800's but it’s very difficult to know if any of these claims are true or not.
Initiatory systems like Palo have a dollar cost factor involved and it’s not simply to make money but rather to pay the costs for the assistance of the Palero/a’s needed as well as for the drummers, dancers, food, rental space for the ritual, liquors used and so on. Neo-African systems such as Palo have Spirits that require money to be made for services rendered because the Spirit Itself wants to be able to buy Its own food, liquor and whatever else It wants. You don’t find this in Wicca, CM and other new age neo-religions.
Remember something folks, when Gerald Gardner was bringing out his Witchcraft to the world, Palo was already out and going strong. In fact, all of the African diasporic traditions were going full tilt in countries like Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Belize, Trinidad and so on. Even American Hoodoo is older than Wicca - IF we go by Gardnerian time tables of when Ray Buckland brought that belief system over to the US from England.
Like any belief system, the ATR (African Traditional Religions), has its pro’s and cons as well as its good and bad folks. You simply cannot look at one Palero who may be a bastard and use him as your poster boy for why Palo is bad. Doing that is no different than when born-again Xians do the exact same thing to Wiccans.
Want to have your own Nganga? Go talk to a bona fide Palero. Want to work with Spirits without being initiated? Go practice Goetia Sorcery.