When the Kongo People were forcibly brought to my Caribbean Homeland, there was a profound exchange that went on between Taino Traditions and Knowledge and Kongo Traditions and Knowledge. In our Monanso we continue to honor that exchange, and continue to practice both Traditions with love and respect.
This particular Ceremony of the Lava stones is a very powerful Ceremony which is done to address intense negativity and injustice, and is done to bring about justice and truth and responsibility to the situation at hand. It is not a Ceremony to be undertaken lightly, and I will only share a brief description at this point concerning this Ceremony. Part 1 shows the preparation process.
We begin with Lava Stones, which are Volcanic, embodying the Misterio of the Volcano whose manifestation is very important in Taino traditions and representing the Misterio of Nsasi in Kongo tradition. The Volcanic Stones are able to withstand intense heat and of course have a history of coming forth from the heat of the Volcanic eruption.
The Lava Stones are heated in a fire, which burns for a long time, heating up the stones to become red hot. Care and respect must be taken in handling these stones.
A Firma is drawn connecting the Fire to a shallow hollow in the ground. Note the various Misterios that can be seen in the Fire.
The Fire and Firma is seen from various angles. Note that this is just the preparation for this Ceremony.
Misterios in the Fire!
A Taino Medicine of Today is placed. (Note: I am not indicating here that this is a replica of what my Ancestors used, and I have emphasized the "today" since it is in the here and now that we are expressing our Spirits).
Another view of the the Medicine.
More wood is added to the Fire.
Note the Misterios is the Flames of the Fire.
Look also at the Misterios in the heat of the Fire.
The Preparations Continue....
As Evening Approaches we see some transformations....
From another angle, as Evening approaches.
From the side view...
To this point preparations have been made, part 2 will continue to follow the process of the Lava Stone Ceremony! This particular Ceremony takes 6 days and 6 nights with invocations and feeding of the fire, and adding the multiple ingredients.