In Quimbanda,Exu and Pomba Gira are organized into Kingdoms and Lines. The Kingdoms represent physical places in nature where Exu and Pomba Gira are found and manifest. The connection between Exu and Pomba Gira and the Kingdoms demonstrates the role of these spirits as guardians of the liminal and points of power.
While there are some slight variations from house to house on the Kingdoms, generally there are seven accepted Kingdoms, with none being lesser or greater than the other. Indeed, the idea of a greater or lesser Kingdom is contradictory to the very idea of Kingdoms each being sacred places of power.
Each Kingdom gathers to it spirits who share similar proclivities and traits and who represent certain spheres of human activity. Each of these sites of power has a direct relationship to the various experiences of life and death. When the Quimbandiero seeks to influence or effect some part of his or her life (or that of another) he would seek out the appropriate Kingdom that corresponds to that aspect of life and work with the Exu therein to accomplish the aims. One could say that the Exu are the forces underpinning and behind what the Kingdoms represent. In this way the Kingdom is both a physical place as well as a link to something larger in the spiritual, physical, and emotional world.
Each Kingdom is organized under a king and queen who preside over generals who in turn rule over legions of spirits. Some Exu and Pomba Gira appear in more than one Kingdom and where they appear will determine the quality that they present.
There are 7 Kingdoms of Quimbanda and they are:
1. Kingdom of Encruzilhadas (The Crossroads)
Here we find all crossroads, where roads meet, cross, and move on. This Kingdom is deeply related to the Line of Malei and here are found spirits who stand at all intersections. These spirits can open opportunities, or close them, they generate movement and change both on a spiritual and physical level. Both the 4 way crossroads of the “X” and the 3 way crossroads of the “T” are found here. Both literal and metaphorical crossroads are found within this Kingdom. These spirits rule all moments when people must choose between this and that. This is the Kingdom that opens ways to all Kingdoms of Quimbanda. They are called upon to pave the way during difficult times, assist when there seems to be no options, for unions and join together as well as dissolve and tear apart. They are tied strongly with destiny and so are good at prophecy. They can be called upon for advice when all seems blocked, and can undo the blockages that hold back a situation, or block your enemies from all areas of life. Magic in all its roads is worked here.
This Kingdom is ruled by Exu Rei das Sete Encruzilhadas and Pomba Gira Rainha das Sete Encruzilhadas. They preside over: Exu Tranca Rua, Exu Sete Encruzilhadas, Exu das Almas, Exu Marabo, Exu Tiriri, Exu Veludo, Exu Morcego, Exu das Sete Gargalhadas, Exu Mirim, as well as Pomba Gira Encruzilhadas.
2. The Kingdom of Cruzeiro (The Cross)
This Kingdom is found at the central cross of the cemetery. In cemeteries without central crosses this can be found on the gravestone with a cross or, the largest or oldest gravestone with a cross. This is the Kingdom of crossing from one state to another, from life to death, and the turning point of all life. Because of this some refer to this Kingdom as that of Crossings which implies that while the central cross is the ultimate manifestation of this Kingdom, that it can be found anywhere there is a crossing from this to that. Found at the central Cross is Omolu the Bone Lord, ruler of the dead, the cemetery, the seal of souls, who is represented by the cross planted into the dirt of the grave. These spirits are called upon to heal and harm the spirit, either heal the bonds of an oath, or shatter them. They can elevate your spirit or cast it in shackles.
This Kingdom is ruled by Exu Rei dos Sete Cruzieros and Pomba Gira Rainha dos Sete Cruzeiros. Pomba Gira Rainha dos Sete Cruzerios is the sister of Pomba Gira Rainha das Calunga and pays respect to Rainha das Sete Encruzilhadas. They preside over: Exu Tranca Tudo, Exu Quirombo, Exu Sete Cruzeiros, Exu Mangueira, Exu Kaminaloa, Exu Sete Cruzes, Exu Sete Portas, Exu Meia Noite, and Exu Calunga.
3. The Kingdom of Matas (Woods/Fields)
This is the Kingdom of wilderness, where the fields grow wild and where the woods grow untamed. Here is the forest, the jungle, and even the open plains. This is the places of power found in nature where the secrets of herb, root, bone, and poison are collected and stored. This is the point of power where the cultivated city life ends and the unknown wilderness begins. It is one of the few Kingdoms where upon the arrival of night, falls under total darkness. Here there are no city lamps, only the night come to life. Here are the primal spirits that reflect our natural selves, our untamed darkness, but also the side of us that is most attuned to nature. Within this Kingdom is found the wisdom of animal, tree, and plant. The greatest healers are found here, but also the natural witches. This line usually contains the Caboclos or Native Indians and the spirits of hunters of all kind. These spirits are called upon to hunt enemies or send out your own spirit on a hunt, to heal wounds with natural cures, and to craft poisons.
This Kingdom is ruled by Exu Rei das Matas and Pomba Gira Rainha das Matas. The King has a strong relationship with Exu Pantera Negra and the Queen has a strong relationship with Exu das Matas. They preside over: Exu Quebra Galho, Exu Sete Sombras, Exu das Matas, Exu das Campinas, Exu Serra Negra, Exu das Sete Pedras, Exu Sete Cobras, Exu do Cheiro, and Exu Arranca Tudo.
4. The Kingdom of Calunga (The Cemetery)
Some refer to this Kingdom as Calunga Pequena or Small Calunga, often in reference to the big Calunga being the ocean. The Kingdom of Calunga is the realm of the dead, the ancestral sea represented by the Cemetery. Like the Kingdom of Cruziero, Calunga is close to Omolu. Here is the realm of the dead in all its manifestations from the fresh grave and sepulcher, to living skeletons. This is the Kingdom where life is snuffed out and brought back in its next stage. If Cruzeiro is the transition of death, Calunga is the end result. These spirits can be serene manifestations of death, or the restless shadows that roam the boneyard. They bring the dead to life and the living to death. These spirits are called upon for works of divorce, break up, for decay, and necromancy.
This Kingdom is ruled by Exu Rei das Sete Calungas and Pomba Gira Rainha das Sete Calungas alternatively known as Pomba Gira Rainha das Calunga. Both are stern, serene, and somber. They preside over: Exu Porteira, Exu Sete Tumbas, Exu Sete Catacumbas, Exu Brasa, Exu Caveira, Exu do Cemeterio, Exu Corcunda, Exu Sete Covas, and Exu Capa Preta.
5. The Kingdom of Almas (Souls)
This is the Kingdom of all souls and is where we find the spirits who are the psychopomps and guides of the dead. They are the guides through suffering, confusion, and help make death understandable. Where as Cruzeiro is about the point between life and death, and Calunga is death, Almas is how the living relate to death. Included in this Kingdom are hospitals, morgues, and wakes. Wherever people gather to mourn, is the Kingdom of Almas. It retains the memories of life and is the balm applied to loss, or it can be the torment of loss that stirs the soul. This Kingdom elevates the spirits of the dead and illuminates the living’s understanding. This is the Kingdom where death is communed with through mediumship. These spirits are called upon to heal the spirit, to guide the dead, to cleanse away darkness and pain, and also to bring the sorrow and despair of the soul to others.
This Kingdom is ruled by Exu Rei das Almas or Omolu directly with Pomba Gira Rinha das Almas. They preside over: Exu Sete Lombras, Exu Pemba, Exu Maraba, Exu Curador, Exu Gira Mundo, Exu Nove Luzes, Exu das Sete Montanhas, Exu Tata Caveira, Exu Sete Poeiras.
6. The Kingdom of Lira (The Lyre, or Harp)
Here is the Kingdom of the city full of life. Physically represented by taverns, bars, brothels, cabarets, nightclubs, and the marketplace. It is the bustle of life found in the city with its ebb and flow, seething with life, and with the struggle to keep on living. It is the pulsating nightlife that is filled with excitement, but also with danger. It is where inspiration, wit, and cunning meet. It oversees the activities of the city at night, especially that of the scoundrel, the gambler, the prostitute, the dancers, the merchants, the bartenders, the ladies men, bohemians, and party-goers. This is the most inviting of the Kingdoms, but also highly dangerous for both music and poetry can be found here as well as the brawl and knife fight. This is about life and its constant struggle with all the beauty it has to offer, but a beauty that is tinged with harshness. The spirits in the Kingdom of Lira are called upon in business transactions, to bring in money, for fortune-telling, for success, sex, love, and art.
This Kingdom is ruled by Exu Rei das Sete Liras or Exu Lucifer and Pomba Gira Maria Padilha. They preside over Exu dos Infernos, Exu do Cabare, Exu Sete Liras, Exu Cigano, Exu Pagao, Exu Ze Pelintra, Exu Ganga, Exu Male`, Exu Chama Dinheiro, Pomba Gira Cigana, and sometimes Maria Mulambo.
7. The Kingdom of Praia (The Beach or Ocean shore)
This Kingdom is the meeting place between the unfathomable sea with its tides and depths with the oceanshore and beach. It rules over the mysterious creatures of the deep, especially those that are poisonous as well as those who travel by the seas like mariners. While its physical manifestation is the beach, it can also represents the tides of passion, the depths of memory, and their meeting in mind and soul. The spirits found in this Kingdom have a strong lunar and venusian connection. This Kingdom is also found on the shores of fresh water as much as salt water and so the lake and river can be seen as extensions of this Kingdom. These spirits are called upon for matters of purification, for love, inciting passion, lust, and erotic thoughts, for attraction, bounty, and healing emotional wounds.
This Kingdom is ruled by Exu Rei das Praias and Pomba Gira Rainha das Praias. They preside over Exu dos Rios, Exu Sete Cachoeiras, Exu Sete Pedras, Exu Marinheiro, Exu Mare, Exu do Lodo, Exu Bahiano, Exu Gerere, Exu dos Ventos, Exu do Coco, and Pomba Gira Calunga Pequena has a relationship to this Kingdom.
These are the seven Kingdoms found in Quimbanda, and while there are some slight variations they are the Kingdoms recognized by the traditional houses. Many of the major Pomba Gira fall under these different realms, but under the rulership of their Queen, though the Queendoms tend to be more fluid. In addition the Lines, the Kingdoms are the best way to see the hierarchy of the spirits and how they relate to one another, and more importantly how they relate to the world of magic and life.