Palo Mayombe: The Garden of Blood & Bones

Limitation  639 standard hardback 63 hand-bound exemplars
Dimensions  234 × 156 mm
Extent  240 pp
Illustrations  4 colour plates and the firmas/signatures of the principle spirits rendered in pen and ink
Bindings  Fine ‘Mayimbe’ edition quarter bound in straight grained goatskin and marbled boards, red edges, ribboned and presented in a slipcase with a handcrafted bilongo/telesmata: Sold out

Standard edition bound in grey cloth, with the firma of Centella blocked in bone-white on the front: Sold out

Bibliothèque Rouge  paperback edition
isbn 978-0-9567203-9-9
£16 plus postage

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Palo Mayombe Palo Mayombe fine edition

 Palo Mayombe: The Garden of Blood and Bones is an initiate’s account of this much maligned cult whose central nigromantic mystery is the prenda, the cauldron containing the human skull or bones, re-animated by living spirit.
    Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold traces the roots of Palo Mayombe back to Kongolese sorcery, the warrior and leopard societies, and the impact of the Portugese Mission. The original African faith is carried in chains across the abysmal waters of Kalunga and it flowers in Cuba as a New World Creole religion and cult. Yet Palo Mayombe can only be truly understood in the light of a highly developed African cosmology. In drawing parallels with both the ancient Greek practices of Necromancy and Nigromancy, and the grimoire tradition, Nicholaj also illuminates the Western tradition, showing what we have lost in our denial of the dead and the cult of the ancestors. The magical head of Palo Mayombe in its three-legged iron cauldron has implications for understanding our own histories, whether Odin, Baphomet, Bran, John the Baptist or Orpheus. The Misa Espiritual suggests one way in which we can reforge that vital connection and resurrect both our dead and ourselves. In Palo Mayombe the golden vein of fire still transmits the ancestral wisdom and transforms the Paleros into true spiritual warriors who are the walking dead.
    The Garden of Blood and Bones gives explicit detail of the workings of Palo Mayombe for good and ill, the method of divination, the herbs, animals, trees and plants, powders, baths and waters, the songs and chants. It presents a complete living system one which embraces both the arts of healing and resurrection, and those that remove life. This is a serious study which confronts the sinister and violent aspects of the cult, but rather than purveying lurid sensationalism expresses the deep dignity and integrity of its nature.This is a book written from within the cult, and will serve as a guide for practising Paleros and those seeking initiation, not simply a Western audience. With access to rare materials, pamphlets, booklets and unpublished field notes, this is the most comprehensive study of Palo Mayombe to date. Santeros and practitioners of Vodou will also find much to ponder within these pages.

Contents

Part One · Kalunga
The Visible and Invisible History
Heathen Christianity and African Tradition
Kongo Cosmology and Heraclitus’ Flux & Fire Philosophy
The Roots of Palo Mayombe
Palo Mayombe Cosmology
On the Possession of Spirit
The Vibrant Boneyard
The Retinue of Nzambi
The Lineages of Palo Mayombe

Part Two · Nganga Nkisi
Resurrection Mortuorum
Necromancy and God Making
De Arcana Mortis
The Mystery of Golgotha
The Fundamento and its Secrets
The Origin of the Prenda
The Mysteries of Lucero
The Mysteries of Zarabanda
The Mysteries of Vence Bataya
The Mysteries of Nsasi/Siete Rayos
The Mysteries of Tiembla Tierra
The Mysteries of Mama Chola
The Mysteries of Centella
The Mysteries of Baluande
The Mysteries of Cobayende
The Mysteries of Gurunfinda
The Mysteries of Lukankazi
The Mysteries of the Nganga Kissi

Part Three · Nzo Ntoto
Nzo Ntoto: The Temple of Land, Star and Earth
Vititi: The Art of Seeing
Jura! The Pact and the Road

Part Four · Nfinda
Gurunfinda’s Kingdom
The Herbarium of Palo Mayombe

Glossary
Appendix: The Misa Espiritual