Rayamiento en Palo: The initiation to the cult of Palo Mayombe


The Rayamiento en Palo or the Nkimba as it is also known, is the ceremony through which the Ngueyo or initiates become part of the Palo mayombe cult.. This ritual must be performed with the approval of the Nganga. Anyone who is in need or interested in getting started in Palo Mayombe should go to a consultation with a Tata at the foot of the dead.

This will carry out an investigation of the person and his astral, there the Nganga will approve if he should carry out the scratching ceremony or not. Since many times the spirits reject a person because they consider that they are not prepared to handle or understand the responsibilities of being Palero / a.

Striking in Palo without the prior authorization of the Nganga will bring bad consequences for the initiates, since if their spirituality, their astral, and their own destiny are not compatible with the energetic forces that govern the Palo Mayombe, it can cause delays in general aspects. of their life.

Scratching Ceremony in Palo Mayombe

The scratching is a complicated process, and of course secret, little can be said about it since the Palo Monte liturgy is protected by a code of secrecy reserved for its priests and transmitted generationally from godfather to godson.

The Ngueyo or initiate is presented to these powers in such a way that they help him in his evolution and development, remaining under the protection and help of the foundation of his godfather, becoming part of the Munanzo (religious house) as Ngueyo. The initiate should gradually begin a training process by his godfather (Tata), this will allow him to know the various aspects of religion and the different techniques and rituals.

From the initiation or Rayning in Paleria or Palo Mayombe, the only work of the initiate will be to learn everything related to this religion, its main Npungos (Deities), prayers, songs, herbs, among other things. This teaching process will help you build and build your training and evolve within religion, as well as strengthening your daily and spiritual life.

Scratching Procedure in Palo Mayombe

  • Before the ceremony set by the Tata or Yaya, the person must abstain from sexual intercourse for 7 days before the scheduled day for the scratching.
  • On the day of the ceremony, the initiate must make a spiritual offering to his ancestors who will give the authorization to proceed with the ceremony.
  • A ceremony prior to the initiate must be performed in a place linked to his guardian angel, this is done in order to ratify and clear the way before he enters the scratching room. This place can be a river, a beach, a ceiba, a carob tree, in short, this place must have been chosen in advance, since all the necessary questions that the sponsor deems appropriate will be asked there until they are satisfied with the answers given by the Npungo.
  • The initiate will be given a bath with a herbal preparation (omiero).
  • The initiate must undergo a penance whose duration or end will be dictated by the Tata who is initiating it, at the end of said penance the neophyte will be asked if he wishes to continue with the ceremony or wishes to withdraw from it.
  • The scratching ceremony can be a long or short process depending on some factors such as the number of people to be scratched and the number of draperies present.
  • There will come a point in the ceremony in which the initiate will become kneeling and bandaged since he cannot see anything that is happening around him. At that precise moment he will ask himself if everything is going well in the ceremony or if something else needs to be done, all these questions to the deceased will be made with the divinatory system of the Chamalongo.
  • Prayers and activities will be carried out that will give way to the next stage of the ceremony in which some dry blows will be given with charm to the initiate, these must be expected very firmly. Small incisions will also be made in the forehead, hands, chest, back, and legs, letting a little (the initiate's blood) run in order to strip away all the ills that afflict that body.
  • And finally, the due oath will be made by supporting on his head the cauldron of his guardian angel, thus proceeding to remove the blindfold from the initiate's eyes and make a special greeting in front of the foundation. This may vary depending on the branch to which you belong or the customs of your munanzo.

Benefits of Scratching or Scratching on Stick.

It should be noted that after performing this initiation ceremony the initiate or initiates will begin to experience a series of benefits in their daily life, since the Nfumbes and different deities belonging to the Palo mayombe will allow them to evolve in a spiritual way, thus achieving a great development in the love, health, money, work, fortune and other aspects of his life.

It will also allow the initiate to develop within the cult of the Palería through daily work, he acquires different teachings instilled by his godfather, this with the passing of time will allow him to become a priest or priestess (tata or yaya) and serve as a guide for Anyone who wants to start their religious journey in Palo Mayombe.

Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • The initiate accesses a powerful protection in the different areas of his life, and his godparents will protect him in his growth within the spiritual field.
  • The person feels purified after performing the Raying ceremony.
  • Oath: When scratching in Palo an oath is made concrete with the powers of nature and the world of the dead. Coming to see said oath as a great protection that will accompany her until the day of her eternal rest.
  • Guide: since it begins to form part of a fraternity guided by a godfather or godmother who serve as guides at all times.
  • This ceremony begins the search for a religious world in which full happiness can be achieved.

Prohibitions and Taboos that are acquired after Scratching in Palo

After the Rayation ceremony, the initiate must be attentive and respect the different prohibitions that are indicated to him. These taboos can be temporary or permanent.

Transitory bans:

  • The initiate must not bathe for three days after the end of the ceremony, if for any reason he must do so, he will not be able to rinse or carve the places where the marks or cuts typical of the scratching were made.
  • Not looking in the mirror for three days.
  • Do not drink alcohol or smoke for three days.
  • You cannot have sex within three days.

Definitive bans (Lifetime):

  • You must not reveal under any circumstances the ceremony that was performed, since you will run the dangers that your father let you know.
  • It is forbidden to eat sesame, peanuts or peanuts, the entrails of any animal, to feed on animals that walk backwards, this is because they are the preferred foods of the Nganga.

After the Raying, what follows?

Once the scratching ceremony is finished, the new initiate has made a pact or alliance with God (Nzambia), the living beings and the spirits that inhabit the Munanzo to which he belongs from now on, since he made oaths that he must fulfill to May Nzambia and the great mysteries of the universe always protect you.

These oaths made are based on brotherhood, loyalty and fraternity where you will seek and find mutual help among all members of the munanzo. By belonging to a house in Palo Mayombe, the person becomes part of a large religious family creating ties even with the same garment or dead.

From now on he will have the blessing and protection of his Mpungo, the Nkisi that governs the Nganga and his Tata, in addition to having new brothers with whom he will begin a deeper process of teachings and secrets that will be learned with the passing time, in addition to going deeper and deeper into the Mayombe cult.

How much does it cost to get scratched in Palo?

Most of the ceremonies in Afro-Cuban traditions have a monetary cost, sometimes symbolic and other times the priests or priestesses will give them a budget in which all the expenses involved in carrying out a ceremony are reflected. In the case of the Rayamiento, the Tata or Yaya will contemplate all the necessary expenses for the accomplishment of the ceremony, from costs of the utensils, necessities and necessary animals, as the payment of all the priests who are present in the same, which is calls it the right.

Striking a stick has a value that varies between 300 USD and 500 USD, it all depends on the religion which is going to perform the ceremony. We obtain these prices thanks to a survey carried out by our team.

You can learn more about the Palo Mayombe:

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