Helpful Guide for the Urban Palero

The Laurel tree. Paleros must learn to find resources in suburbia.
The roots of Palo are not in cities, and are definitely not rooted in urban North America. We are removed from the ability to gather many of the sacred plants and woods that grow freely in Palo’s homeland – rural Cuba. This can provide some interesting challenges. Yes, there are botánicas – online and brick and mortar, but for some things the visceral experience of going into Nfinda to gather medicines for nsalas is much more gratifying. In the first part of this series, I want to give some pointers and tricks I have learned from being a Palero in a city. This applies to more than just Palo too.

1. Know what you are looking at!

While we can’t go and find everything in the natural areas within and around our cities, we can always find some of them. For example, lets take the Laurel (for those of you who get the reference, this is where i buried my secret 😉 ). There are many varieties of Laurel in North America, and many of them have something in common. However, if you are used to buying palos in small dried up bits, you may not recognize it. You new best friend is Google Images. Bookstores will often have field guides based on regions as well, and these are pretty cheap.

2. Tools!

Gathering raw materials can’t be done solely with hands. I have a number of useful and inconspicuous things in the trunk of my car just in case i see something. Plastic bags, empty water bottles, an exacto knife (with a pull saw attachment), a very small gardening shovel, tissue paper (for wrapping fresh plants in), and a Swiss army knife, complete with scissors. Having a collection of useful tools can make cutting, digging, loosening much easier…especially when you need to be quick and sneaky.

3. Be mindful of your neighbors – especially…

Being as how Palo is a religion that practices animal sacrifice, it is important to keep this out of the eyes and ears of our neighbors – especially when no one else around us understands what we are doing. Noise complaints, police, evictions, ostracism, scared looks – nobody needs that. Just be quiet, clean, and courteous. Also, the first track of Midnight Marauders by a Tribe Called Quest has some great parts for hiding certain kinds of sounds. This works very well if you live in an apartment.

Stay tuned, there is more to come…

Tata Nkisi Lucero Vira Mundo

Planning a Working for Love? Give Venus in Taurus a Chance in 2011.

The Beauty and the Bull
Astrology is the first system I had studied full time when I began with Haitian Vodou I have found it to be a limitless source of wealth when it comes to solving issues. Ironically it took many years to appreciate it as more than just a horoscope forecast. I began to embrace the essence of astrology when I began to conduct certain rituals, according to the position of a particular star.

One particular I would like to take the time to discuss is the famous star known as Venus. It is the second planet from the sun and it is named after the Greek goddess of love and romance. Her energies also represent femininity, motherhood, and marriage. The metal that corresponds with her energy is copper and bronze. Copper was also used to make a mirror for Venusian entities. Her elemental energy is Fire; her gemstones are emerald, malachite, jade, coral and amber.

No matter the African traditional religion we practice everyone receive a positive or negative affect from planetary energies. This is why it is very important to know the basic transition of planets if you going to do a serious ceremony spiritually.

Often we have heard of the term zodiac signs, zodiac come from the Latin word zodiacus which mean circle of animals. It is also a coordination of stars and there position within the galaxy. The characteristics of the zodiac are studied more in depth by astrological chart which is divided into twelve houses. Each house is ruled by a planet and a Zodiac sign. The second house is rule by the zodiac sign Taurus, according to Wikipedia “In Greek mythology, Taurus was identified with Zeus, who assumed the form of a magnificent white bull to protect Europa, a legendary Phoenician princess. In illustrations, only the front portion of this constellation are depicted; in Greek mythology this was sometimes explained as Taurus being partly submerged as he carried Europa out to sea.[29] Greek mythographer Acusilaus marks the bull Taurus as the same that formed the myth of the Cretan Bull, one of The Twelve Labors of Heracles.[30]”

The zodiac sign Taurus is rule by the planet Venus making it among the most feminine sign. The second house in an astrological chart is called the house of possession. In the second house it talks about an individual personal resources, talents, personal strength, wealth, emotional state, and what is valuable to an individual.

Venus in Taurus is the best time to do spiritual work for love, finance, marriage, to strengthen harmony within a family or home, employment, to achieve success in your life, to gain property, to work on self-love, and to remove negative romantic patterns in your life.

In 2011 Venus will be in Taurus on June 12, 2011 if you have the time you can plan a ritual that need attention in your life.

Good luck, let me know how it goes for you.

Ginea Jacmel