Palo isn't a him, but perhaps this was just a mistype.
Palo (Palo Mayombe) is an Afro-Cuban religion. Many people consider it to be the "darker side" of Santeria (Lucumi) They are similar and related, but not the same tradition. The best way to look at it is Santeria is the light whereas Palo is the dark.
To be honest, most people are terrified and turned off when they are allowed to see pictures of the work, dedications, etc. that Palo practitioners have. They tend to be behind a lot of controversy due to their animal sacrifices and how they are performed.
It's something that needs to be initiated into, the information on the tradition is limited and often paints them as these "evil people". Having said that..despite what it looks like, it's just a culture that serves their spirits differently than most would.
doesn't this practice call for the creation of a personal boveda? the boveda altar is used to commune with eguns in palo...is that right?
A small table
A white cloth
7 or 9 clear glasses
you can start with one big glass for God and then develop up to 9 for other eguns?
or am i mixed up with a another practice, i was pretty sure it is palo mayombe?
It is part of Palo, Lucumi and Espiritismo *to my knowledge*.
Best way to explain that is that they are altars for spirits of the dead, be it you ancestors or spirits that God has decided need to walk with you.
You always want to be careful with spirits of another tradition (in this case either egun or orisha). It's not like making an altar to Isis where the worst thing that happens is she doesn't answer you. These spirits tend to slap the snot out of people who have not been called to work with them.
Thank you conjurelady and thor for explaining. Im not interested in follwing that path but i want to respect all paths and peopl so i need to learn about them. For instance, last week i learned that legba is the gatekeeper to the other spirits in the voodon spirit world. After meeting him you can be guided to meet other spirits is that right? And also that erzulie are female spirits but i didnt understand if she was one spirit or many.
With all due respect, ConjureLady. Let me correct you as I myself apart from Santeria, have works in Palo. Palo is not the "darker" side of Santeria and the religion itself has nothing to do with Santeria. Palo being named "The Darker Side of Santeria" is a clear misconception from ignorance and/or poor resources of study. Palo, clearly, is not a him but a religion; with various initiations and a clear belief system. Now why do so many people consider Palo to be "dark"? Simply because there is more free will, for example Nganga(The Cauldron that holds the deity)can be used either for good or for bad. Let's take a police officer with a gun, he can use it for the good of others OR he can use it for bad. It is the "Free will" of the person whether he/she uses it for good or bad. This has nothing to do with dark or light, it simply is.
Now that we got that out of the way, lets move forward. Many people can notice similarities between Palo and Santeria due to a similar belief system as well as the deities themselves. Are they the same? No, They are not. For example, Chango and Siete Rayos have many similarities due to their attitude and how they are viewed but they are not the same deity. You will notice these days that there are many Santero/a's crowned that are also scratched(initiated) in Palo for many reasons. Sometimes due to the fact they are requested by a Eggun(Spirit) in their spiritual court as well as they may be marked for it. Vice-versa for those that go into Palo as well may get crowned(initiated) in Santeria.
Palo is simply a deeper and more misunderstood religion due to many misconceptions Hollywood has put on it. Those that are interested in knowing about Palo, I recommend not to go to any website online and believe everything it tells you. Books? Good but no the best way. My opinion is the best way to learn about Palo is through those that are already initiated as they have more experience through the religion apart from those that have 0 experience in the religion and are learning from things they read online. Learn from those that are already initiated into the religion rather than those who learn off the internet.
The only way to learn about Palo is to seek out a Palero and ask. Otherwise who knows what you are reading. It can be anyones speculation on what Palo is, even some wiccans have 'made their own nganga' and told others the process. Does that mean it has ANY spirit at all in that nganga? No absolutely not. Seek out a Palero and learn from them not some silly books and websites