Ngo Speaks - Why do you want to be part of the Society of the Dead?
There are many layers, dimensions, time presence reality to Palo with much being hard to comprehend without firsthand experience. The Living Dead, The Munanso existing in its own layer of real reality unable to be seen even by many initiates. They take their place at a Temple in the Sacred Grove. Inviting you to step inside. Hearing the drums though all is silent. Dropping in and out of possession while trying to hold on to some level of presence within the body. Seeing through the eyes of the Dead Man. Knowing if it tastes like deliciously sweet raining sunshine with the heavens opening up above your mind only means you are headed into loosing control and succumbing to their presence within you. Or maybe all flavor is lost but the result is the same. Can you hold it off? If you are lucky the conversation will continue in your head as your arms and body constrict. The harder it gets the easier it is. That is the Palo Way.
Palo will test you before it reveals to you, whether in Nkimba or the months or years that follow. You start off as prey only to discover you are the predator, Ngo Batalla. That is, if you are fortunate, skilled, blessed or just lucky enough to get that far. The Price for Power, what will you do for it? Sacrifice your soul because the only true way is immersion. There is no separateness if you are destined to The Path of the Priest.
How will you hold up when those that have gone before (died) refuse to let go? Many in Palo succumb because, better to have you under bilongo out of balance so they can ride the wind on your back. Intentionally causing conflict so they can feed and sustain themselves at the price of your mortal existence. Many think they are the All Powerful Tata or Yaya though they are not the one running the show. Palo goes as you go. Where’s your head at??? What is born from you will only open the door to another, none-the-wiser victim if you are caught up in The Spin. Palo does not die with you though the unlucky may be born at the time of their death. Realizing the true reality of their mortal now extinguished life. Wake up and stop sleeping while you are awake.
Keep your mind strong. Do your shadow work least it play out in your reality. Keep your body healthy. Keep your integrity. Palo can be ever so subtle yet explosive before you are aware. Pause, listen, ask the right questions. Ask the hard questions. Get out of your own way. Your existence really is minute in the greater Palo Cosmos. Create the way to extend your existence through elevation and not depravity. When you think you are fighting the good fight ask yourself, are you only being spun to generate the wind? Who’s on your back? Sooner or later all waters run clean. How far up shit creek will you be if you’re caught up in fighting the good fight. Even those Tata’s that try to hide their existence, How and What is the reality of your existence? The answer is only for you.
For those that are seeking Palo the choice is not yours. You must be presented and ask if you have a path in Palo. Those that find themselves at the foot of the Nganga through life circumstance, I feel for you. Know that it does get better. Take charge of your life. The Nganga is there to protect you but your Godfather or Godmother may not be. Do your research and seek the help of your benevolent ancestors in making the right choice for you. Your life should vastly improve once you have been made. If it doesn’t, ask your Muerto to show and guide you to the best path forward for you. Palo always seeks to elevate itself so let your Muerto do the work.
These are the books I recommend. Knowledge is power over self, prepare yourself.
Crossing the Water, a photographic path of the Afro-Cuban spirit world, By: Claire Garoutte and Anneke Wambaugh
Palo Mayombe The Garden of Blood and Bones, By: Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold
Society of the Dead, By: Todd Ramon Ochoa
Kongo Graphic Writing and Other Narratives of the Sign, By: Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz
Religion and Society in Central Africa the BaKongo of Lower Zaire, By: Wyatt MacGaffey
Flash of the Spirit, By: Robert Farris Thompson
African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo Principles of Life and Living,
By: Kimbwandende K. B. Fu-Kiau, Ph.D.
Self-Healing Power and Therapy Old Teachings from Afrika, By: Fu-Kiau Ph.D.
And anything written By: Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau Fu-Kiau Ph.D. Keep in mind that his biases are not a reflection of you but a reflection of his closed mindedness.
May the Light of Nzambi Shine Blessings Upon Your Path,
Yaya Nganga Mama Fionke
Shelley Circe Griswold