Friday, July 08, 2005

Principles of Umbanda

Like in any dogma, Umbanda also has its own specific principles. In Umbanda the principles are voluntary abstinence, which benefits the positive or negative side of each individual.There are three groups of principles:

Primordial
Optional
Occasional


PRIMORDIAL

It is the indispensable principle to all mediums with no exception. These principles are the preparation every medium needs to go through before the work in the terreiro begins.

They are 7 basic principles:

1. Refrain from having sex at least 8 hours before the spiritual works begin.
2. Refrain from eating any animal product with its origin based on the animal’s sacrifice, including fish, at least 24 hours before the spiritual works begin.
3. Refrain from having bad thoughts (hate, anger, envy, jealousy, etc) at least 12 hours before the spiritual works begin.
4. Wear appropriate clothes during the spiritual work.
5. Discharge bath, as previously determined to each medium.
6. Punctuality, so the spiritual work can start on time.
7. Devote yourself completely to the spiritual work, without the worry of how long it will take.

Notes: The idea of not having bad thoughts, although for some people could sound like a very hard one to control, exists in order to call the attention of the medium to not let himself/herself be driven by emotion only. Keep a good humor, serenity and your heart open.

With few exceptions, during the Umbanda rituals all mediums wear white (white shirt, white pants, no shoes or socks). The people who go to ask for advice is also requested to wear clear color clothing. The exceptions happen during festivities and Exu sessions, where red, black and, sometimes, purple are required.

The discharge bath is a specific bath designed for each individual. This is usually requested by an entity such as a preto-velho. Take the discharge bath the same day the spiritual work will take place.

OPTIONAL

The optional principles are the ones determined by the Spiritual Guider or by the Chief of Terreiro, for some mediums:

1. Refrain from eating animal products, even if those do not depend on animal sacrifice (i.e.: butter, cheese, eggs, milk, etc).
2. Very specific discharge baths.
3. Extraordinary energy (firmeza) to your Guard Angel.

OCCASIONAL

It is the emergency principle, which is only practiced during an emergency, whenever needed to complete a spiritual work, outside of the fraternal spiritual chain.

1. To energize (to firm) the guard angels, both yours and the person who is in need.
2. Demand absolute silence and concentration.
3. Ask for permission and salute the orisha Time (I will give more details about this part on a later post).
4. Concentrate on Jesus Christ, asking Him for His permission for the spiritual works to begin.

Independently of all these principles, all mediums should never wear personal objects such as jewelry, makeup, necklaces, as well as money or metallic objects. All mediums should be as natural as possible in order to better work with its entities.

The days we celebrate the Orishas in Umbanda


I don't know the names of the Orishas in English (although I will do some research to figure them out). In the meantime I will use their brazilian names.
In any case, if you ever start attending to Umbanda rituals you will probably use the names we use in Brazil.

Below you will find the dates of the year we celebrate our Orishas. We usually have big festivities in our "terreiros" (terreiro is a Umbanda temple, where the mediums work with their entities to help other people).

They are as follows:

January 20th - Oxossi
February 13th - Omulu
March 20th - Oxaguian
April 23 - Ogum
May 13th - Preto-Velhos (Old Blacks)
June 13th - Xango/Exus
July 26th - Nana
August 15th - Yemanja
September 27th - Ibeijada (children)
November 22nd - Caboclos
December 4th - Iansa
December 8th - Oxum
December 25th - Oxala

Oxala's image in Umbanda is represented by Jesus Christ. So that's why the celebration occurs on the same day.

I just love going to the parties thrown for Ogum (April 23) and Preto-Velho (May 13th). It is beautiful and full of energy!

Ibeijada - Spirits of Children

I will elaborate more on Ibeijada on a later post. For now, I would like to introduce to you this beautiful, fun to be around, but extremely powerful phalanx of Umbanda: Ibeijada.

The Ibeijada are the spirits of children who are working for Umbanda. Because of their lack of malice, they are considered to be one of the most powerful entities in Umbanda; if they decide on something, no other entity can break the spell.

Usually during a session where the Ibeijada is working, there are also the Preto-Velhos working. The Preto-Velhos act as their grandfathers and grandmothers, keeping the children "under control". Hey, after all, that's what they are, children. They want to play, to eat candy and soda. They love toys (very basic and inexpensive ones are the best).

It is required a Preto-Velho to make them focus on the work that is taking place. But after they have their fun, they are gracious to be around and they are always very helpful.

Below you will see the photo of two mediums incorporated with Ibeijada. And some mediums working with their Preto-Velhos during the same session:

The Revelation of the Hexagramatic Cross

The Cosmic Tradition, although lost for mankind, has always been present and active within the Superior Astral Planes. In these spiritual spheres the beings are in syntony with the divine purposes. Their understanding about the Laws that rule spirits development in the Astral Universe is such that their activity naturally reflect the most superior volitive emanations, a process called Whole-Consciousness.

Through the Whole-Consciousness one can establish a bi directional communication, in which the Superior Hierarchies become aware of the facts taken place at the lower levels and, on the other hand, the minor examples of Law enforcement receive instructions to spin the Wheel of Life. The scope of this mechanism is such and at the same time so natural and harmonious that the spirits, having already reached this development degree, although keeping their individuality, exempt any feeling or thought of belon ging even related to their ideas. They are not considered more than a result of the reflection of the Divine Light, emanating source of all thinking and united with God.

Consequently it is noted that insubmission does not exist in higher planes of the Spiritual Life, not even the desire for temporal power, and any attitude taken by a Spiritual Being aims at benefiting everybody at proper place and time. Indeed because they value the right time and place the Spirits of the Cosmic Brotherhood of Umbanda from time to time promote the disclosure of certain knowledge living in the Astral Plane aiming at improving the terrestrial community development march. To do so they wai t for the sufficient maturity of the communities in order to sow the seeds of the new times.
One of these revelations happened to master W. W. da Matta e Silva called the Three-cornered Cross disclosed to the public in the book "Doutrina Secreta de Umbanda". In this occasion Master Matta taught the making of the cabalistic guide with the Three-cornered Cross capable of giving to that one who would subject to it a direct link with the Guardian Saint Souls of the Divine Cross rendering to the disciple a powerful shield and protection against the Inferior Armies during the medium activity. The meaning of these signals was not disclosed, falling to its disciple Master Rivas Neto, to do it on his book "Fundamentos Herméticos de Umbanda" to be launched at the Bienal do Livro (Books Fair) in São Paulo in 1996.

Still in this book Master Rivas Neto bestows to the reader the second important revelation of the Cosmic Brotherhood of Umbanda the so called Hexagramatic Cross that differs from the first revelation because it means, in its most direct meaning, more than a shield and spiritual protection, but a responsibility before a commitment assumed before the Masters of Karma to work for charity following the Doctrine of the Three Paths. Finally it means dedication with no precedent to the Law and devotion to the principles that direct the spiritual development march.

We consider the mentioned signals as two great revelations because they are in fact the expression of the ancestral tradition shaped in the memory of the whole Astral Universe. Indeed they are bi-dimensional translations of celestial maths equations responsible for the Cosmos formation and that end in themselves a synthesis adapted to the Law expressed in the Divine (Word), the Cosmic Tradition itself.

The signals of the Hexagramatic Cross, disclosed by Master Rivas Neto, its faithful trustee follows the plan of the Occult Government of the Planet translating the Larger Spheres of Aruanda the meaning of the Whole-Consciencie expressed in balance of the Active and Passive Pinciples of the Law and the Cosmic Tradition.









Cabalistic Guide with the Three-cornered Cross revealed to master W. W. da Matta e Silva.

The Magic of Umbanda

The magic of Umbanda consists of the practical utilisation of the foundations from the Mantric, Yantic and Tantric Doctrines. These doctrines can be applied to several levels of density according to the magic movement being developed and the proposed objective. We also find Psycurgy and Teurgy under the generic name of Magic apart from the movement of the subtle forces of Nature.

The Mantric Doctrine is the Doctrine of the Word, in the dense plane it’s practise include sounds emission related to Nature or in its purest aspect the vocalisation of special sounds of a cosmic alphabet that whenever emitted atract similar vibratory currents shaped in the Astral field.

The Yantric Doctrine has its most profound presence in Umbanda through scratched signals that translate into forms, the characteristics of cosmic codes set in the Astral Level, since the Creation of the Universe and that vibrate constantly in the rhythm and specific cycles of the divine spirits, or Oxalá. Through this sacred writing the rare initiated, aware of this mystery, having the grant from the Superior Astral, can manage the forces of Nature, invoke as a request the astral presence of the Superior Entities and still, if necessary, to order certain spirits to carry out certain works.

The Tantric Doctrine, whenever considered in its superior foundations, does not resemble at all the practise of the vulgarised sexual tantrism that requires copulation in order to obtain the desired effects. Fortunately even the secret of these sexual practises has been lost as many believe they are capable of managing these forces and only contribute for moral exile in which we find ourselves today.

The Tantric Doctrine is the Doctrine of the Spiritual Light that relive the process of Creation and the emergence of the Spirit in the Kingdom of the Matter. The practise related to the Tantric Doctrine acts directly on the process of manifestation of the Spiritual conscience through a human body during the physical life. Therefore they touch the most essential part of the individual with all his karmic experience gathered since the Fall of the Natural Kingdom.

Master Matta e his follower Master Rivas writing the signals of the Umbanda Sacred Writing.