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No precise igures exist on the number of Brazilian Wiccans. The s was the decade when these adherents became organized into local traditions and civil associations. Today, Wicca is a fast- growing religion in Brazil, well suited to the urban life of middle- class people seeking a religion free of dogmas and moral codes for behavior. They take part in councils hosted by the Brazilian government where they discuss religious diversity.
Some of their leaders have already published Wiccan books. In this ield report, I present some of the indings from my research among Brazilian Wiccans, in particular those attending the Abra- wicca events. In particular, I focus on how indigenous and Afro- Brazilian gods have been appropriated by Brazilian Wiccans in their search to create a local identity for their practices.
The main method- ology used was participant observation within a comprehensive and interpretative approach. Analyzing the rituals and the workshops performed during these meetings enables a discus- sion on how Brazilian gods are worshipped in Brazilian Wicca. While the main promoters of those gatherings are priests and priestesses 2.
I myself have not been initiated into any Wicca tradition, and all my contacts with the group were as a researcher. During my research, I explained my objectives to the organizers of the meet- ings, and they felt comfortable with my presence. I tried to inter- act and join in with all activities without reservation. As well as the gatherings, which comprise the focal point of this ield report, my research included visits to public rituals organized by Abrawicca in the city of Belem, Brazil, where I live.
During these events, my main strategy was to take part in the activities and absorb the experience. At this point in the research, my focus is on the ritualistic and theological aspects of the cult that I was able to understand by par- ticipating in the workshops and reading books written by Brazilian Wiccans.
In a next phase of my research, I plan to conduct more in- depth interviews with these priestesses and priests. Over the course of a weekend, from Friday night to Sunday evening, about eighty participants engaged in a busy agenda of workshops, practices, meditations, and rituals.
The struc- ture of the meeting is similar to those described by Sara Pike in her book Earthy Bodies, Magical Selves:5 the main daytime activities are the workshops, while collective rituals are held at night. Brazilian Wicca possesses an eclectic pantheon, combining gods from many different Pagan religions, including Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Siberian, and Indian. Recently some Wicca traditions have begun to incorporate the worship of native Brazilian gods into their celebrations.
This movement has been headed by the priests and priestesses of the Brazilian Dianic Tradition. The goddess chosen to be celebrated at the meeting was Cy, the moon goddess of the Tupi. The Tupian groups were some of those most quickly decimated by European wars and diseases. In contemporary Brazil, few Tupian groups remain: those still existing today have been heav- ily inluenced by Christian religions, both Catholic and Protestant.
Photo no. Their search for indigenous roots has little to do with real Brazilian Indi- ans alive today. Most of the information on the indigenous gods used by Brazilian Wiccans is taken from books and historical data produced by academic research. Many of the workshops held at the Encontro concerned the wor- ship of Brazilian gods. The dance was held in a green ield, and, fortunately, the day was sunny.
Peo- ple danced and sang songs in Portuguese, composed especially for the occasion, to the sound of shamanic drums. These workshops were run in pairs, allowing partici- pants to choose which they wanted to join. During the workshops, the public was therefore split into two groups according to the topic that most interested them.
A shamanic journey was performed, a North American indigenous technique in which the participants were instructed to listen to the drums and connect with their shamanic animal.
After this moment, late into the night, the most keenly awaited moment of the meeting began, the Magic Journey. All participants were instructed to move one-by-one around the green ield and stop for a few moments to talk with the person in the trance.
The gods and goddesses transmitted short and enig- matic messages to the participants; many of the participants cried after hearing the messages. It was around three in the morning when the last participant in- ished conversing with the gods.
By then everyone was very tired, but the program was not yet over. They began to celebrate an esbat in homage of Cy. This was a dark moon esbat, the time when there is no moon in the sky. The ritual consisted of a dance, performed in a circle, during which people sang traditional Wicca songs. A symbol of the goddess was drawn in the middle of the circle. Nearby the organizers placed a table laden with nuts, vegetables and fruits.
During the dance, people would walk over to the table and pick up small portions of nuts to place inside the outline of the goddess. By the end of the ritual, it was possible to identify the goddess illed with nuts, symbolizing her living nature.
The Tembe are an indige- nous people from the Macro-Tupi linguistic family. Despite these continuities with traditional culture, there is a strong missionary presence in the Tembe villages that inluences their reli- gious practices. Puyr Tembe is herself a Christian. At the meeting, she talked about her culture and its rituals, and painted the bodies of participants with traditional designs.
After this workshop, the meeting was nearly over. All the par- ticipants were invited to listen to a presentation by a group of TDB priests and priestesses who had written a book about the worship of Brazilian gods in Wicca. However, according to themselves, the primary source for the data was unusual. They reported that they had used meditation and mag- ical techniques to connect directly with the Brazilian gods and dis- cover the best ways of performing rituals in their honor.
Other books written by Wiccan leaders can be found. The Tembe people are one of the surviving indigenous groups from the Tupi linguistic family.
Today their population numbers approximately 1, individuals, living in an indigenous reserve protected by the Brazilian government. Mavesper Cy Ceridwen, ed. The farm, named Templo da Deusa the goddess temple , is located just ifteen miles from the center of Brasilia, the national capital. Around ten priests and priestesses live there fol- lowing a communal lifestyle and the Wicca traditions concerning love, family, and child education.
The event has the same structure as the Encontro. Lasting an entire weekend, it starts on Friday night and inishes on Sunday evening, always on the third weekend of July. Oshun is the Yoruban goddess of beauty and fertility. She also is associated with freshwater rivers and lakes. Many of the workshops were about symbols and elements relating to this Orisha10 and to the Afro-Brazilian religious pantheon in general.
One of the workshops was about magic using mirrors, but the coordinator of the workshop talked about Wiccan magical techniques with mirrors, not referring to Oshun or traditional Yoruban culture. He too had previously been a 9. Claudiney Prieto, Wicca para todos. Available at www.
Orisha is the collective name for gods and goddess in the Yoruban language. Slaves shipped to Salvador, in the Brazilian Northeast, brought the religion to Brazil during the nineteenth century. Today this religion is practiced in all parts of Brazil. Most of the participants at the event were unfamiliar with Afro- Brazilian religious symbols and practices.
For this public, all the information transmitted by the workshop coordinators was new and useful. The information on these religious techniques is added to those relating to other Pagan gods and pantheons.
And the term "mana" which I learned is what's referred to as the fifth element spirit. And it goes into the tools that we see that aren't just "tv fiction" such as grimoires', athemes, wands, etc. I learned personal things about myself. Such as I learned that we all have a power element and a personality element. My power element is fire. No surprise there. I love warm settings!
As for my personality element it said reading and writing for Air people. But the rest of the descriptions didn't fit me. I was more drawn to "Water Person" and I think I took a quiz once that described me as such.
So that's what I'll go with. Talk about opposites hunh. A fire power element and a water personality. Towards the end I felt like it repeated itself a little.
Such as there were more than one chapter and mentions of sacred spaces. Some of it I read through quickly the lists and charts. Towards the end because of its warm invitation reaching out for us even as non-witches to join different covens I actually did look into a Wiccan Society and have considered studying it more. As after this I feel a certain interest and connection. It also opened my mind to what magik is.
Before I read this I was skeptical about magik. While you'll never find a bigger love of fantasy than me, I seriously doubted that people real people could do magik.
Magik was something that existed in books and on television. There was wand waving and sparks flying and effects out of the ordinary. While I liked to dip in the pool of fantasy for some hours I knew the truth.
But I'm starting to see the possibility and that maybe the magic that I thought was magik was simply an illusion. And that maybe real magik had is more than that.
Real magik I'm seeing has more to do with belief and intention. And now I find myself wanting to believe in it. And actually wanting to see results of "white magic" manifesting and a casting and a ritual ceremony. I got so much from this book!
It was interesting, informative, and easy to understand. Aug 26, Alexia Moon rated it it was ok Shelves: The information included is useful, but the format is annoying.
All the little green blurb boxes distract from the main dialogue. The facts don't add much to the book. And I found the order of the information presented to be a little backwards and the style of writing felt rushed. This book isn't very useful.
The book was very interesting.
I think the Skye Alexander edition is better. Very Basic. Carol rated it it was ok Jan 15, Benjamin Barnes rated it really liked it Aug 12, Kelly rated it it was amazing Nov 17, Ana Pacheco rated it it was amazing Dec 02, Sherry King rated it liked it Jun 17, Christina rated it really liked it Aug 30, H A rated it liked it Jul 29, Shantel rated it really liked it Jun 20, Daryl rated it it was amazing Apr 07, Jackie Winget rated it liked it Mar 07, William rated it it was amazing Jul 01, Rob rated it liked it Mar 13, Alex Tinoco rated it liked it Jan 26, Niva rated it it was ok Oct 17, Cassie rated it really liked it Mar 20, Sheila rated it it was ok Aug 13, Kat Case rated it did not like it Oct 04, Bunnyhugger rated it really liked it Jan 07, Dantenumara Rosenberg rated it it was amazing Aug 30, Anna rated it it was ok Jul 28, Wendy Medeiros rated it it was amazing Jun 18, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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