Brazil Weird News

The strange at Brazil


Fortean Journalism




A bit of Anthropology

and Sociology

of the Spiritism in Brazil
by Lygia Cabus


Brazil is the largest nation in the world Spiritist. Is the country of the world with the major number of adepts of this religion. Imported from France, the spiritist school of Alan Kardec grew quickly at brazilian lands and in the brazilian minds incorporating elements of the local culture.


In this country always conducive to different aspects of the process of mixing of ethnicities and customs, the Spiritualism is divided in two conceptions of the Beyond's World: the popular and scholarly.


They differ among them in theology e liturgies. These two ways can be distinguished considering their culture, their aesthetic, folklore, and even their ethical aspects.


There's the Orthodox Spiritism, a classical conception, with the base, essentially, in the teachings of Alan Kardec.


The other is a syncretic conception. It is a point of view that mixes elements: the africans, the European, the indigenous and ideas more exotic, of most recent origin. It's a tipical conception of Brazil but has its similars, among religions of Mexico and Caribe.


This last configuration, regarded as a syncretic solution, instructs the religous thinking of the afro-brazilian cults. They are: the Candomblé, the Umbanda and the Quimbanda. At this universe inhabit saints, angels, spirits, africans gods. A pantheon of entities.



Sociology and Antropholohy of Brazilian Spirits


Just as there is the Human Geography, exists a Spiritist Geography, too. The Spiritual World also have its archetypes. These archetypes are configured, according its cultural enviroment. They represent human types which are inspired in the real life.


By this way, cults locals of the afro-brazilian are visited for popular entities that have their behavior, their manner of to be, defined in a folk personage. Personages that are related to a complex whole of a social factors. However, all of them, the human types, are portraits of economic dinamic of the place.



The "Terreiros" are the spaces where the rituals adepts make their practices of the afro-brasilians religious ceremonies. These places are, generally, large sheds or large squares. These squares and instalations, are frequented by the spirits of mestizos known as "The Caboclo", "The Cabocla".


This human type is understood as the result of miscegenation between the natives of Brazil, amerabas, with white Europeans, portugueses, frenchs, dutch and black Africans. So, are common, especially in Umbanda and Quimbanda, figures like the "Caciques" [leaders], "Pajés" ─ shamans, healers and indigenous warriors. 


At the squares and sheds of the Umbanda and the Kimbanda also appear the traditionals "Blacks old" and "black Moms". These, many times are spirits of former slaves. The archetypes quoted above belong to the historical period of Brazil-Cologne and to the first decades of the Brazil-Empire. When the land left to be cologne and obtained the political condition of United-Kingdom to Portugal.



The Trickster



In the Spiritist seances of the afro-Brazilians cults, with the evolution of customs, appeared other profiles, reflections of the emergence of new social roles.


They are urban types because they are inhabitants the urban landscape. The trickster knows all about the more suspect zone of the city but is also a friend of the sofisticated ambients where the money changes quickly between the handbags. He has much pessoal charm and many tricks into his hat. Often, he plays a guitar and sings with a good voice.



The Pomba-Gira [something like spinning Dove]



Some of tipical entities are female spirits, souls of those that have been women. The most famous these female archetypal is the Pomba-gira. These entities were young women that suffered a tragic death.The Pomba-gira profile is, generaly, scandalous. They were women that missed the way on the life.


She is the woman Seduced and abandonned that lost her honor. She was left alone, often, in pregnant state. The society rejects these women. Their place is the streets, where they search a man to pay their bread of each day.

For the lost women, the unique place are the streets of ill repute, where it can drown consciousness in the bottom of the glasses, in the poor's drinks, in drugs, in the frenetic dance and without none sense. In still others cases, the Pomba-gira were a young women who had an unhappy a life in a suffocating marriage.


For the lost women, the place are the streets of ill repute, where it can drown consciousness in the bottom of the glasses, in the poor's drinks, in drugs, in the frenetic dance and without none sense. Still in others cases, the Pomba-gira were a woman who had an unhappy a life in a suffocating marriage.


All of them died in a state of inconformism.Many women were abandoned by their families. Many women succumbed to poverty, hunger, weakness. Many women were dead of evil of the lungs: tuberculosis.



Penitents Souls


For all we know about tormented souls, these women, the lives of suffering of the slaves, the humiliated native on his land, all of these spirits have motivation to remain in this planet haunting the esoteric reunions.


They are trapped and irresistibly attracted by their affections and disaffected cultivated in this world. The supposed powers of the Pombas-giras are searched for men and women to who don't know how to process and to control their emotions.


Their goals are:


1. They generaly want hold the loved one. Want forcing situations by use from witchcraft,


2. vengeance, when they feel their pride wounded. They are were rejected persons or persons who are never happy with what have. They are always wanting something ou all the life of others persons. Invariably, the clients of the Pombas-Giras are individuals dissatisfied who has much revolt without any utility, without any reasons.


The same process, of attachment to persons and earthly experiencies of a life, occurs with the other popular types, too.


The Trickster, ever envolved with shady dealings. He is a out of the law, immersed in drinks, cheats, lies and lust.


Even the "Blacks old" and "black Moms": they drink and smoke during their demonstrations, when displaying the wisdom forged in the fires of suffering of past lives.


In the context of Spiritism these social and behavioral characteristics are important because they are clear signs of the kind of mind-spirit related to each one of the religions african-americans.


These folk characters, these spirits, that are archetypical of ordinary people, of certain historical epoch, slaves, workers, foremen, cowboys, seduced women, indigenous and mestizos are ghosts, haunts like any ghost.


These entities are the masters and guides tipical of the shed [Terreiro], house or tent [Tenda] of Umbanda and Kimbanda. In these cults, the mythology of the Africa emerges without force, with its identity distorced by European and indigenous influences, and by their peculiar circunstances of formation of their doctrines.




The African most important legate to the religious thinking the Quimbanda and the Umbanda is the Exú [Eshu]. In the Pantheon of Africa, Eshu is a prominent deity. It is a kind of correlative African of the greek Hermes.


Eshu is the messenger, intermediary between men and gods; in Umbanda e Quimbanda intermediary between the livings and the deads. But, while in the Candomblé eshu is a son of a god, in the context od the umbanda and the Kimbanda, there are many Eshus. But, while in the Candomblé Eshu is a son of a god, in the context of the Umbanda and the Kimbanda, there are many Eshus. All of them, messengers that serve to the proposes of the priests and of the adepts of the cults.



The religious thinking of the Africans is found more preserved in the Candomblé. In the doctrine and liturgies of the Candomblé, the forces of the entities remain still transcendentals.


They are gods because they are the forces of the Creation and of the transformation of All of the things. In Candomblé, the entities are not simple spirits. They are great Spirits!


Some are representations of powers of the Nature. Others, are ancestrals noble and legendary. Others, are ancestrals noble and legendary. They are patriarchs, matriarchs, kings, queens, warriors, heroes.


 They embody the better and the worst of the human being. Their virtues and their vices. They are the Orishas. Thus, the Candomblé stays itself far from the Spiritism and stays most near of the Theology more elaborated of great religions of the world.



The Kardecism


Chico Xavier

Spiritism found a place in Brazilian society through the doctrine Kardecist. The systematization of the ideas in a correct language, consistent with Christianity, opened the doors of all social classes to the public acceptance of the belief in reincarnation.


At Brazil, the kardecists Spiritist sessions are not visited for folkloric types, not! There, appear ghosts of the History! Spirits of notable personages, of many epochs, of many places of the world.


The Kardecists receive spirits of celebrities. It's wonderful! They are philosophers, writters, priests and popes, nuns, saints, angels, doctors, artists in generaly, and others. Spirits of people like Plato, Socrates.


Recently, spiritists mediums have made contact with the spirit of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Like is fashion, other singers are speaking, from Beyond to the world, using the internet. Things of The Now... of Post-modernity. Let's meditate.


Since that the religion Spiritist kardecist arrived at Brazil with its french origin, a part of the christian intellectual became adepts the ideia. This opened the field to the advent and growth of the Brazilian spiritist literature in its most curious genre: the psychographics also called Written Automatic. The authors of the books are disembodied.


They are spirits that use the body of a medium to speak or write. The titles of this type of literature are very numerous in Brazil. Just Chico Xavier [1910-2002], the most famous medium of the country, wrote hundreds of these books.






november, 2009
The occult sciences at the internet