Salve Brazil!: From Spiritism to Umbanda, Candomble, Quimbanda

Delve into a fascinating cultural force and deeply spiritual tradition that comprises the axe--power--of Brazilian magickal religions. Followers of all paths will find something unique to incorporate into their lives.

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Sarava students and practitioners of Brazilian Magick!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Since this is my first post, I thought it a good idea to introduce myself. I'm Caroline, but have written books under the names Carolina da Silva, Morwyn, and Carol. 

My Brazilian mother, though happy to pass along family traditions, never evinced much interest in Brazilian magickal traditions. When reading novels and essays while studying for my doctorate in Luso-Brazilian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I ran across my first references to these traditions, both in literature, music, and in the general culture. This tantalizing information was mostly glossed over by my professors, so it wasn't until I went to Brazil on a Fulbright Dissertation Research Grant to research 19th century Brazilian literature for my thesis that I came to appreciate how magickal traditions and spirituality in general permeates the entire society, no matter the individual's background.

I soon realized that in order to really be able to communicate to others as a professor the  splendor and beauty of this society, one really must understand and gain an appreciation of  Brazilian spiritual life.

The purpose of this blog is to share some of this knowledge. And as I hope that I will never cease to be a student myself, I am counting on you to communicate your knowledge and wisdom to me by posting comments on my blog.

"When speaking of the Brazilian magickal mystery tradition, you are not talking about a single religion. Many variations exist and there are differences between them as small as between a Methodists and a Presbyterian, or as large as between Catholicism and Judaism.

The first tradition I'll mention is Spiritsm (Espiritismo). It is the most "European" of the traditions and was in fact, founded back in the nineteenth century by a French doctor and philosopher, Allan Kardec. Spiritist services are plain and simple, and practitioners dress in white. They center their practice around the belief that spirits from the world beyond are constantly endeavoring to bring terrestial beings messages of solace and enlightenment. This is why mediumship is very important in this tradition.

I've gone on long enough for a first post, as I like to keep posts fairly short. More about Spiritism, beliefs and practices in my next post.

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Caroline Dow holds a Ph.D. in Luso-Brazilian Studies, is a former Fulbright Fellow to Brazil, professor at Brown and Pittsburgh universities, and current intercultural trainer and assessor. She has authored 15 books on Wicca, Magick, Brazilian traditions, and mystery novels. As a Wiccan High Priestess and Ceremonial Magician, she brings an unique perspective to the study of Brazilian folk traditions.

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Comments

  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance Friday, 14 September 2012

    Welcoem to PaganSquare! I look forward to your posts :)

  • Caroline Dow
    Caroline Dow Saturday, 20 October 2012

    Thank you Elani. I'm just feeling my way around the site and find it to be awesome.

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