A NY Times profile of Angel Silva, practicer of Palo Mayombe, an African-Caribbean religion

Each morning, to summon the spiritual energy to activate the crystals and heal another wave of New Yorkers, he prays to spirits of nature and of his ancestors. On Wednesday morning, he swigged from a gallon jug of gin and spewed a mouthful of it in a sputtering mist over the shrine as an offering.

“They love gin ”” it revives them,” he said, and then he lighted candles, rang bells and chanted prayers in Spanish to the spirits.

“I just told them I’m going to heal in Union Square today, and I asked the spirits to enter this stone so they could come with me,” he said, putting the stone in his pocket. Then the self-described witch doctor grabbed his skateboard and headed to the N train to reach Union Square in time for the lunch crowd.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Caribbean, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues