One of my favorite divination tools when doing spell work for clients are my chamalongos.

The chamalongos come from the Congo-Cuban religion of Palo and are used as the primary method of divination with the spirits and powers. They consist of round pieces of coconut husk (flesh removed) sanded prepared and consecrated in a Palo ceremony. ! use four pieces of coconut husk in my chamalongo readings. Only an initiated priest or priestess in Palo can use the chamalongos as they draw upon the spiritual pacts made with the spirits of the dead and the powers with which we work in order to communicate properly. How Chamalongos Work Chamalongos answer yes"no #uestions very effectively and as such can be used to check whether spells have been set up properly to check whether something has been overlooked or whether the spirits are in accordance with the work being done. ! typically use them to make sure my spirits give me permission to proceed with the work to find out if the timing is correct to find out what spell needs to be done and to confirm the messages my spirits are giving me. Channeled and intuitive messages are the cornerstone of any Palero$s spell work. The %fumbes (spirits of the dead) and his %ikisis (powers of the religion) inspire the mind of the initiated priest directing him to prepare his spells symbols ingredients and workings accordingly. !t is for this reason that the Palero needs to confirm that he is interpreting the messages clearly. &dditionally the Palero can ask the pot in which his primary power resides whether the message is right or if it is an intruding message from a mischievous spirit. (%ot all spirits are helpful') The chamalongos answer the Palero$s #uestions when they are tossed on the floor. The orientation of the pieces (concave-side up or concave-side down) gives a yes or no answer. There are ( different orientations or )letters* that can come up in the +-piece system ! use. The 5 Letters of a Chamalongo Reading The chamalongos speak in ( primary )letters* or answers. These letters are similar to the ones used in the ,ukum- system of Ob- and with the recent common trend of many Paleros also being initiated in ,ukum- practice the names of the ,ukum- letters have been adopted within Palo although this is not orthodo.. /ere is a listing of the ( letters and how they are interpreted. !n the diagrams below the white circles (0) indicate concave-side up while the dark circles (O) indicate concave-side down.

++++ (Alafia) &nswer1 2es. Peace and success in your efforts.

O+++ (Etawa) &nswer1 3aybe"Tenuous. 2ou need to throw the chamalongos a second time to determine if the answer is yes or no. !f you get 0000 or 00OO on the second throw the answer is yes. !f you get 0OOO or OOOO on the second throw the answer is no. !f you get another O000 the answer is yes but a weak and tenuous yes. Try another option or #uestion to see if you can get a firmer response.

!f the answer is affirmative then ! proceed with presenting the idea ! have for the spell and ask if it is )%cheche bacheche6* (firm"solid"good) followed by a toss of the chamalongos. The first #uestion is always )&re you willing to assist me with this6* followed by an opening toss of the chamalongos. !t is usually a good idea to side-track your #uestions to see if there is a spirit of the dead that is demanding some kind of payment or offering ascertain who the spirit is what they want then do it before continuing back with your original line of #uestions. !f ! ever get a )no* answer then ! usually begin a line of #uestioning where ! listen to recommendation from my spirits and ask if ! should alter my spell or working by adding something or removing something. This is a very dark omen and indicates not only complete failure but that death or the spirits of the dead are lurking in the area and demanding attention. &nyone can toss coconut shells but not everyone can take a yes"no line of #uestioning in the right direction to flesh out all of the details you need for a spell.planation of what you are seeking to do magically. OOO+ (O ana) &nswer1 %o. Once everything is fine then !$ll do the spell. OOOO (O ana !ek"n) &nswer1 %o. 4alance success and complete affirmation. This is a clear no answer. The prayer is finished with an identification of yourself by your initiatory name and a simple e. The praying begins with invoking the authority of 5od the Creator (%sambimpungo) the supreme force of nature that created everything then proceeds on to invoking the authority of your initiator your initiatory mother your initiator$s spirits your initiatory mother$s spirits your spirits the power to which you are initiated and then to the spirits or powers you are addressing.OO++ (Eyeife) &nswer1 2es. & firm and hearty yes. Closing a Chamalongo Reading One of the final steps ! do with the chamalongos is to close out the reading"working by asking my . This will result in failure. !f ! receive a positive response ! thank them set up the spell and then ask )!s all of this ncheche bacheche6* (!s this all set up properly6) and if ! get an affirmative ! pray over it light up the candles and the magic begins. How to Cond" t a Chamalongo Reading The most important parts of a chamalongo reading are the prayer before hand and the openness of mind to receive guidance from your spirits to take the right line of #uestioning.

Once they give an affirmative answer the reading is closed and the work is complete... 9. &pril . . 9. Thanks for sharing this 8r...B :=.. 5eomante1 !n regards to the Chamalongos if you are an initiated priest in Palo then there is no risk of trickster spirits getting involved because the spirits to which you are speaking are directly in control of the oracle. !t is a sacred oracle of a religion and it always speaks the truth... at +1:.: at . P3 .? :=. ! understand 8r. :=. 9.= at +1(: P3 geomante said.1@A P3 8r. ! really en<oyed the parts in which you describe how the spirits assist you in your work. 7ometimes spirits will insist that you need to take a bath or be cleaned with a special symbol other times they$ll ask for you to do spiritual work or perhaps offer prayers to elevate your spirits.. Posted by 8r. >egarding the possibility of being deceived by some trickster spirit ! guess this can happen with any oracle as long as you want to see a spirit is that correct6 7o the best thing for those who have no way to ascertain or to protect from the intervention of any spirit cheat is not to involve any spirit during a reading. but ! wanted to know is whether it is possible that a trickster spirit manipulate an oracle (such as tarot) although not re#uested assistance to any spirit for a reading. said..1=A P3 geomante said.: at .spirits"powers )!s everything ncheche bacheche with me6* This is their opportunity to speak up and let me know if ! need to cleanse myself or do something or perhaps attend to a shrine that !$ve been neglecting etc...abels1 divination palo reading spirits # omments$ Carolina 8ean said. 9 ! feel like ! have a better understanding of how this system works.. 8ecember . &nd chamalongos is <ust one of those cool words you like saying. This is not like tarot cards. &m ! right6 or is that one spirit can sabotage a reading even if one does not involve them6 &pril .. ! mean a common oracle not one consecrated.

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