Updated: Oct 15, 2018
Kimbanda and Kimban-Don't
The other day I decided to take a virtual stroll through Etsy. On a whim, I typed in Exu. I was curious. And quite frankly as an initiate I was appalled at the mess I saw for sale. I wish I hadn’t looked. There’s a tremendous amount of garbage floating around the internets. It seems Kimbanda (or Quimbanda) has become “in” and commercial operators of shops are working hard to cash in on it.
I want to set a few things straight. Like Palo Mayombe, real Kimbanda is an initiatory closed tradition. You cannot work with the entities from it unless you are part of a tradition or House (Nzo) that recognizes and can create the pact that is required. Umbanda, Candomble Angola, Kimbanda, and Batuque are a few of those traditions that recognize Exu. New Orleans “Voodoo”, Conjure/Hoodoo, Chaos Magic, Luciferianism, and Wicca are not. Oh sure, they will claim they are but that’s basically an invento. A person cannot give what they don’t have. Working with an Exu or Pomba Gira for real is not something that can just be made up.
A real Kimbanda initiation has to come at the hand of someone who already “has” Exu. On a basic level it involves being baptised in a special herbal bath, being presented to Exu, a pact being made, and a catalugem or clipping along with being cut and medicines inserted under the skin in a manner similar to Palo. Also the initiator's Exu has to eat, and that means a chicken.
If you didn’t have those things done you are not initiated. Which means working with Exu or Pomba Gira is not going to work. If you happen to get lucky and does on a one in a thousand chance you are going to be in serious trouble since you don’t have the pact. It won't be safe. Exus and Pomba Giras are a lot like a gang. You are either "in" or you are not. If you are not you are likely to piss them off by trying.
Traditions like Kimbanda have guardians. I was discussing this subject with a friend who is an authentic Haitian-trained Houngan. They have guardians too in his tradition. Trying to force your way in without obeying the rules or “reglemen” catches the notice of those guardians. They can cause all kinds of havoc in one’s life if you get on the wrong side of them. Obsession, addiction, mental instability, illness, and more are things I have seen and been told of.
There are no real “Pomba Gira oils” being made by anyone other than actual initiates. And there is so much wrong with a generic “Pomba Gira oil.” For one, which Pomba Gira is being referred to? There are thousands. A lot of them are straight up killers and their energy is harsh and majestic. Even if it was real why would you want that energy around? It would be as likely to destroy your chances at love or obsess you as it would be to help. Fortunately most of the stuff out there is not real and only powerful at taking money out of your wallet.
One thing I want to address is this "Pomba Gira Paket" I saw online some time back. It's from someone who calls herself a "Hoodoo Momma" but I won't name her. Anyway there is so much wrong with this. For one, a Paket is from Vodou, not Kimbanda. Pomba Giras are Kimbanda. Wrong tradition. My Houngan friend was highly amused. He says real Pakets are not wrapped in fancy paper and tied with string.
The person is not an initiate. She claims she can make a Paket "for any deity or Saint." Well, Pomba Giras are neither of those. There was no mention of any specific Pomba Gira. As there are thousands of them, which one is it? They all have different tastes and personalities. It's claimed to be filled with the appropriate powder. I highly doubt this woman has either the knowledge or the recipe for a real Pomba Gira type powder. It just boggles the mind. Basically it's a 34 dollar wrapped up pile of junk.
Of course this is the same person that was selling Palo firmas drawn on pieces of cardboard as "road opener" items. Which won't work if you are not an initiate and weren't drawn properly or consecrated properly anyhow. The same uninitiated person was selling "river clay Ellegua heads" and claiming they had power. Also very wrong. I guess some people will sell anything for money. Money has no morals. Caveat Emptor indeed.
Then there are the dumb dolls, statues, and necklaces. To my knowledge dolls are not part of the tradition. The statues and necklaces have no power unless properly consecrated at the hands of an initiate. Otherwise they are just art or novelties. Pretty perhaps but they are not going to do anything spiritual for you except lighten your wallet and give a false sense of empowerment. The candles and powders are just as bad.
In short, there’s a big mess floating around out there. True there are a very few things here and there that might be real. The real stuff also tends to be expensive. That being said if they are real and you don’t know how to handle them or have the right to (initiation) it’s like being given a ferrari when you just got your license. Look out, trouble ahead!