This is a very basic description of the making of a Bilongo. There are steps and materials that I am not describing during this process, since I hold the tradition and principle that certain things are for those who have been initiated into the tradition only. However the basic process is one that can be discussed and that already has been discussed elsewhere on the internet.
A Caution: It is not wise to attempt to duplicate this process without the knowledge of the process, because to try to duplicate what you see in these pictures is to lead you nowhere or to somewhere that you do not understand.
First Soils are gathered:
White Clay (Mpembe)- The white clay representing the world of the Ancestors, very important!
Soil from a hollow in the base of a tree by the Edge of the River.
Special Soil from Ceremony
Special Soil from a Specific Camino
Soil from 21 Tombs
A firma is drawn on black cloth and placed on Cotton. Red Clay from North Carolina is placed on the firma with certain ingredients which will not be detailed.
In the Pilon all the soils are mixed together.
And are paced on top of the red clay along with a carga of other ingredients.
Special Herbs are also included, as well as Ache.
The Bilongo is then wrapped around the tree trunk that is being used. The tree trunk has a firma on the top and on the bottom. Certain bones, shells, palos and mirrors are tied to the Bilongo.
The Bilongo is painted with Red Clay Dye made with special water.
There is a hole in the trunk which receives another carga and gets sealed.
It gets sealed with a special palo
Once the carga is sealed with the Palo the whole thing is sealed with Copper sheet.
The copper sheet gets a firma as well and the top is placed upon it and later on gets sealed on top of the copper sheet.
The figure (etc) that is a four faced figure is also painted with the Red Clay. This is a Kulusu (4 Winds).
Here are the 4 Eshus who will accompany the Bilongo on the outside.
The vessel that will receive the Bilongo is first washed with plants. A carga (whose exact ingredients will not be mentioned) is placed within the vessel on top of a firma, and they are sealed with beeswax. And a large Black Eshu is also placed in the Vessel and sealed with Beeswax. This Eshu has been in the Munanso a long time and has been through many processes.
I know that many people use candles to seal the Bilongos and Fundamentos, however I shifted to using beeswax in order to use a cleaner, healthier and more spiritually powerful material within the medicines. Most candles that are purchased in botanicas and supermarkets are made from paraffin wax which releases harmful chemicals as it burns, and some candles (imported) even have lead wicks.
A second layer of ingredients is again sealed with beeswax.
Soils are added to the vessel to just cover the Eshu.
The Bilongo fits easily into the Vessel. This is actually up to this point three different Bilongos working as one. One is in the Vessel, One is in the wrap around the log, and one is within the log that got sealed with the palo and copper. Once this is complete there will be even more.
From this point on this gets buried as the moon is waning and is brought back out 21 days later on the full moon.
It then begins another process and further development.
21 days later in the cycle of the Full Moon the Bilongo is removed from the Earth where it was entombed.
Yet another process of divination takes place to determine the energies that it is moving with now it has been through a 21 day cycle within the Earth. Offerings and things to refreshen the Bilongo are made.
Additional aspects still need to be completed and once these are done, there begins a process of testing of the Bilongo to ensure that it is active and intelligent!