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What the Hell is Quimbanda Doing Here?
Quimbanda is an Afro-Brazilian religio-magical tradition that is openly practiced primarily in the urban centers of Brazil. It’s a pretty big deal, in Brazil. There are many interesting features of Quimbanda, especially to the Western mind.
For example it is a relatively mainstream religion that is flat-out Satanic. Or at least Luciferian and demonic. The principle deities of the religion are called Exu (pronounced Eh-Shew), their female counter-parts are called Pomba-Gira.
Each Exu and Pomba Gira specializes in one or more areas of expertise where they are most effective. For example Exu Morcego (Exu Bat), specializes in breaking addictions and dealing with vampirism. Whereas Exu Meia Noite is a master of healing and cursing, ritual magic, alchemy and Left-Hand Path initiation. Another very interesting point is that most of the Exus have European names. Names that you might recognize. For example a chief deity Exu Mor, is in fact Beelzebub! Above Exu Mor is Exu Lucifer! From there the hierarchy continues like a traditional grimoire demonology. The Exu and Pomba Gira are sorted into different kingdoms (7 to be exact), but the whole gang from traditional demonology is represented!
In the West, Afro-Caribbean traditions are represented largely as primitive superstitions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Quimbanda in particular is an incredibly sophisticated daemonic initiatory tradition that offers practitioners real power and spiritual evolution.
Quick History of My Relationship with Exu
My own exposure to and eventual practice of Quimbanda came about very organically through a chance meeting with a local leader (called a Tata or Father) of a clandestine temple (called a terreiro).
Before my first real encounter with Quimbanda, I never gave any of the Afro-carribean traditions the slightest bit of attention. I had no interest in Quimbanda, Santeria, Palo, Voudon, etc. So when it smacked me in the face so to speak, it was rather a shock to my delicate American magical sensibilities.
I got over it, the rest is history, and today I frequently work with some of the most complex and powerful daemonic entities ever catalogued: Exu.
These entities seem to operate very closely to the objective universe, and delight in earthly matters and pleasures. They communicate and participate. I feed them spicy foods, special baked cakes and even rooster blood on occasion. When I go shopping, I have thoughts like: “Oh shit, EMN would love that!” And I make the fucking purchase! (EMN is my abbreviated name for Exu Meia Noite.) I talk to them (and they talk back!), I seek advice; they oblige.
My family invites them for feasts prepared in their honor (Bembe). They watch over my children, readily dealing out unimaginable cruelty to anyone foolish enough to move against them. They are very much a part of my home and my magical practice. I can’t imagine (and don’t care to remember), a life without Exu walking with me. In this magical home, of all the legions of Exu class spirits one can work with, there is one who sits at the head of the table. My personal daemonic initiator and great mentor; Exu Meia Noite.
Exu Meia Noite
The Midnight Exu, He who Lights the Fires of the Inferno, is the Supreme Daemonic Initiator. Powerful across the lands of the dead and the living. Old and wise, a fountain of infernal and empyrean knowledge.
Also not to be fucked around with. Dangerous situations arise when Western magicians “dabble” with the Exu.
Origin of Exu Midnight
I have learned of several stories that tell of the birth of Exu Meia Noite. Most of them identify him as a human nobleman of the distant path. A great magician and astrologer, he finds his true love in a young beautiful girl. On their wedding night he suspects that she may not be a virgin and becomes enraged, banishing his new bride from his estate and murdering her family. Some time later he finds his estranged wife and is shocked to see that she is pregnant with his child. They reconcile but the infant dies right after birth. This happens a second time however his wife dies as well during labor. Grief stricken and burdened by his own terrible sins, dark supernatural forces begin to torment him and eventually cause his death. As he gives up his body he is reborn as the Midnight Exu.
Saint Cyprian of Antioch
San Cypriano is an interesting personality that is closely tied to Exu Meia Noite. This Catholic priest (bishop) endured much controversy in his day as he was also a powerful necromancer. Eventually he was executed by the emperor for his Christian faith, but not before leaving The Grimoire of Saint Cyprian. A book of magic that has appeared with wildly varying content at different times. The grimoire which is attributed to St. Cyprian is said to have been inspired by Exu Meia Noite, who was his Daemonic tutor. Sometimes Exu Meia Noite is fully syncretized with St. Cyprian.
European Magical Influence
Exu Meia Noite is often associated with tarot, the kabballa, and astrological magic. He is described by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold as the force in the world that inclines magicians towards medieval magic, and furthermore this force is the reason that Quimbanda is strongly influenced by the ideas of medieval High magic (Exu and the Quimbanda of Night and Fire, Frisvold).
The Demon Hael
Nearly all Quimbanda Exu are equated with grimoire tradition European demons. The classical demon identified with Exu Meia Noite is Hael. Hael is said to be a master of language, revelation and the written word.
The image below is the sigil of Hael.
There are several common appearances of the Midnight Exu. The most common features are his trademark black and red fedora with matching cape. He has one goat foot and one human foot. Sometimes he is seen as a red-skinned, pitchfork carrying, horned devil with black hair and goatee. Other times he appears an an albino youth.
Working with Exu Meia Noite requires at least a basic familiarity with Quimbanda philosophy and practice, which I strongly encourage the reader seek out. The list of resources at the end of this article can help you out with gaining some familiarity with this fascinating tradition.
Exu Meia Noite as I know him does bear some of the qualities that are traditionally attributed to him. He has always appeared to me and worked in my life as a sophisticated Daemonic initiator. In 2013, a few days after an important initiatory milestone, I received a series of communications from Midnight Exu. In those revelations, he identifies himself as “an agent of Your Father, The Devil who is called Satan.” He further bade me formulate “My Law” and had some specific advice about how that should look. He has been with me since that night.
Working with The Midnight Power
The Black Magician can attract the assistance of Exu Meia Noite and the legions of Exu that he commands for any magical goal that is within his realm of influence.
In the Quimbanda tradition, the Exu and Pomba Gira have seals or sigils (Pontos Riscados) and invocations (Pontos Cantados) that are used to establish contact. Below you will find the ponto riscado and ponto cantado that can be used to work with Exu Meia Noite. Following that I have devised a simple working to have Midnight Exu reveal a black magic secret to you in your dreams.
Here then is the primary sacred ponto riscado for contacting Exu Meia Noite. Ideally it is drawn on the ground in front of the altar using cascarilla (a powdered egg-shell chalk sold at botanicas) or red pemba (ritual chalk). It can also be used in talismans, etched in sympathetic materials, etc.
Below is a general invocation for summoning Exu Meia Noite. This is a modern ponto, of my own creation using various traditional sources for inspiration. It contains key elements of some of his traditional pontos cantados.
Most Potent and Honored Exu Meia Noite, I call you here at this time and place to receive these gifts I have prepared in your honor.
Powerful Spirit Exu Meia Noite I call you from the sacred cross.
Blessed and Potent Lord of Black Magic Exu Meia Noite I beseech you; be with me at this time and place.
Exu Meia Noite, who lights the Infernal Fires, I speak your names and honor your 9-fold Mysteries:
EXU MEIA NOITE DA KALUNGA
EXU MEIA NOITE DAS ALMAS
EXU MEIA NOITE DA PRAIA
EXU MEIA NOITE DO MAR
EXU MEIA NOITE DO ORIENTE
EXU MEIA NOITE DAS 7 ENCRUZILHADAS
EXU MEIA NOITE DA CAPELA
EXU MEIA NOITE DOS CRUZEIROS
EXU MEIA NOITE DAS MATAS
Great Master of the Left Hand Path Exu Meia Noite I speak the names of your 7-fold legion in your honor and theirs; seeking their protection and power:
EXU DAS MONTANHAS
Exu Meia Noite I call you now!
There he is back at the crossroads.
Without Exu nothing becomes.
Request a Black Magic Secret from Exu Meia Noite
In this working you will petition the Midnight Exu to reveal one of his many precious magical secrets to you. It has been my experience that you can receive the communication in real time if you are sensitive to spirit communication. Failing that you can receive your answer in a dream.
The ritual is performed at midnight in your ritual space. A temporary altar can be constructed. It should be low to the ground, black, and clearly display the ponto riscado of Exu Meia Noite. If that is impractical, then you don’t deserve a magical secret. Just kidding, kinda. If you can’t construct an altar, you can lay down a black cloth and draw the ponto with cascarilla (eggshell chalk found in botanicas) on top of the cloth. Either way, the altar should be arranged near the center of your space so that you have room to walk completely around the altar space.
You will want to gather all of the offering items together and place them on a square plate, next to the altar just before the ritual.
Make sure that you have a safe ashtray to hold the burning cigar, as well as safety candle holders.
- 9 black candles
- 1 red candle
- 1 Bottle of Kraken Spiced Rum or Captain Morgan Black
- 2 Decent cigars
- An incense associated with black magic
- 9 pennies
- 1 black bandana
- 1 red bandana
- 1 bottle of Florida Water
- 1 shot glass filled with water
- 1 good steak
- olive oil
Prior to the working take a shower with cold water. During the shower, concentrate on energetically cleansing yourself.
Setup the altar, draw the ponto of Exu Meia Noite if your haven’t already.
Wash your hands and the top of your head with Florida Water while observing a white cleansing light enveloping you.
Dress in clean, black clothing and tie the red bandana around your head.
Arrange the candles around the altar. The shot glass full of water is now placed on top of the altar.
You will now prepare the ebbo or offering for Exu Meia Noite. Fry the steak in olive oil. Cover the square plate with the black bandana. On top of that place the following:
- 1 good cigar
- The Steak
Return to the altar area and place the offering near the ponto.
Again wash yourself with Florida Water.
Using your left hand knock on the altar 3 times.
Ignite incense charcoals and heap the incense thereon.
Light the 9 altar candles while chanting:
Ago Exu Meia Noite
Once again, you are to draw the ponto of Exu Meia Noite, on the ground in front of the altar. As you do chant:
Ago Exu Meia Noite
Place the offering on the ponto.
While gazing into the ponto, conjure Exu Meia Noite using the invocation above.
Light the cigar and blow smoke on to the ponto of Exu Meia Noite on the altar. Do this 9 times.
Spray rum from your mouth 3 times on the ponto on the altar.
Powerful spirit Exu Meia Noite, come and see these offerings I have prepared for you.
O wise spirit Exu Meia Noite, I ask that you share with me a secret of black magic to empower my work and expand my wisdom. I honor you by learning your secrets and using them for my good and your good name.
Be seated on the floor in front of the altar and continue to focus on your desired outcome while gazing into the ponto riscado.
In your own words give thanks to Exu Meia Noite, ask him to accept the offerings and ask that he share a magical secret with you.
If possible allow the candles to burn themselves out (only under direct supervision).
End of Rite.
The offering is left in place until the following night. At that time you will draw together the corners of the black bandana making a bundle with the offering inside. The bundle is taken to a local cemetery or if that’s not possible a crossroads will suffice. State out loud that you are leaving the bundle as an offering for Exu Meia Noite, and leave it near the entrance. Leave the bottle of rum as an offering for the spirits of the cemetery. Turn around to face away from the entrance. Walk away and don’t look back. If you left the offerings at the crossroads, leave the 9 pennies on the ground near the offering.