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Some Changes


The vast majority of my work of late--well, the entirety of it--has been in the Palo tradition. I took initiation into the tradition a little while ago, and have found it perfect for me as something I can alchemical knowledge and hoodoo all mesh into existing understanding in Palo. Which makes sense; hoodoo is rooted in the Congo, and I've found that the wisdom of roots and herbs is applied in extremely similar fashion between the two traditions. Instead of a red flannel bag, we wrap our works in corn husk (which we have a tratado, a pact with). The importance of different earths and powders is the same, as is the relationship with Spirit. I feel that studying hoodoo is especially useful for American Paleros, as it adds wisdom about herbs and palos local to the land we currently live in, as opposed to Africa and Cuba. As for alchemy, I've already posted about the depths of the alchemical knowledge available in Palo here. Tremendously interesting stuff.

I've taken to doing most of my recent posting on tumblr, at I find it is easier and more natural to post up daily, picture based posts using that blog than this one, in which I'll continue to post broader alchemico-magical thoughts and the like. I tend to write long-ass essays here, and do pictures and quick words there. So, if you are interested at all in that sort of practical work go ahead and giv'er a look.




  1. Oh, this is wonderful news. Congratulations on your initiation into Palo. Your munanso is blessed to have you. I forsee that you will bring honor into your house and that you'll become a Palero to remember.

  2. I second Ali! Congrats, brother. May your path deepen leading you to ever deepening stability, wisdom and empowerment.

  3. Thank you kindly, brothers! I'm deeply in love with Palo, and blessed with a vibrant munanso, wise padrino, and many mpangui. I'm a lucky fellow.

  4. Care VH Fr,

    I confess I have not had much time to read many blogs recently and missed a lot of this - now gone back and read. Bloody hell, this seems wonderful! Congratulations on your initiation and wot all. The Palo Mayombe tumblr is great! I will be adding it to my list. I love this from the previous post:

    "Much of the problem comes from Western cultures failure to deal with death. It's externalized, othered, and pushed away into the graveyard. The dead are either inert, a ghostly nothing-ness, or a malignant threat. This attitude leaks into our own expressions of necromantic understanding--just take a look at how the spirits of our own traditions have been demonized, at how necromancy has come to be perceived as evil. Our own beloved dead as things to be feared; looking at a cultural religious practice that actively venerates and works with the dead is bound to result in negative association from that perspective."

    Could not have said it better myself.

    When I have time, I would love a discussion on similarities and differences between Palo and the traditional British Cunning Craft I am part of - the alliance and pacts with plants, work with the dead and ancestors, the spirits and darlings - it all seems very similar in some ways.

    Look forward to more - thanks :)

  5. I would love to have that discussion as well, VH Fra Peregrin! Was just reading Owen Davies' work on the Cunning-folk, and it's a fascinating tradition ya'll have.

  6. Care VH Fr,

    Yes, I liked Davie's book. There is so much diversity in these things, some of his ideas clicked and a few did not. Anyway, have you read Emma Wilby, "Cunning folk and familiar spirits: shamanistic visionary traditions in early modern British witchcraft and magic" ? She hits a lot things right for me.

    So first discussion point - the trads I know are really insistent that the foundation for all work and the tradition itself is the relationship between the Cunning and the various spirits, darlings, familiars or however we call them. Without this relationship there is no tradition, and no point in doing anything.

    I assume this is the same with Palo?

    thanks :)

  7. How did I miss your reply? =) Terrible! Anyway, yes brother, it is much the same.


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