Wednesday, March 19, 2008

São José at Reino do Sol

16 March 2008
São Paulo

When the Luiz Mendes comitiva traveled back home to Acre in early March, I remained in São Paulo in order to be with a fast Internet connection for uploading all the photos and videos that had been collected. It's hard to be so far from home but I'm really grateful for my friends in this metropolis -- the largest in South America -- who make me feel comfortable in their homes and spiritual centers and who share many "city adventures". With many Daime groups in the larger São Paulo region, I'm never too far from home.

Last Sunday I got to celebrate the festival of São José at Reino do Sol (Kingdom of the Sun)

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This Dahlia in the garden of Reino do Sol looks like the blazing sun and fits perfectly with the energies of this marvelous Daime center.

What a celebration it was

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with baptisms

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and initiations

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For the festival of São José we sang the hymns of Padrinho Alfredo. The strong connection to Mapia and the CEFLURIS line produced many vivas for Padrinho Sebastião, for Padrinhos Alfredo and Valdete and for Madrinha Rita.

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Reino do Sol also has a very strong relationship with the Afro-Brazilian religion of Umbanda which offers connection with many spiritual entities and energies organized into phalanxes under the Orixas. I don't know much about Umbanda and I was surprised to see an American Indian represented on the altar.

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Águia Dourada (Golden Eagle) and São Miguel (Saint Michael) on the altar at Reino do Sol.

I asked Gê Marquez for a teaching and he said that Umbanda makes contact with many spiritual energies that appear at different times in different cultures and in different forms. He said that the American Indian is Águia Dourada (Golden Eagle) and is the spirit guide for this church. "Wow," I thought, "I'm home again."

The seeming universality of the Santo Daime with its ability to embrace and connect spiritually with many traditions never ceases to amaze me. Here I was in São Paulo, Brazil feeling a deep connection with the Lakota tradition of the American Plains Indians -- the people of "All My Relations" who had given me the gift of tobacco prayers and some of the deepest friendships I have ever known.

Later, I walked around the church admiring the wonderful paintings and art depicting many spiritual energies and I was tremendously moved while looking at this print of a painting by the American (non-native) visionary artist Charles Frizzell

Frank Frizzell - Shaman's Last Journey
"Shaman's Last Journey" by Charles Frizzell

Some themes are so universal. I don't know of Frizzell's intention here but, perhaps due to the moon (or the power of the Daime I had drunk), I saw a great Queen depicted. I thought of the common Santo Daime image of a Universal Goddess or the Virgem da Conceição arriving in a little boat and I recalled a beautiful hymn by José Rosa...

It's coming, it's coming
The little boat is coming

It's the Love, the light
The little boat is coming

It's opening the path
Of God our Lord

The Virgin Mother is guiding
The little boat that's coming

I surrender, I surrender
To the will of the Eternal Father

In my heart
I am the Kingdom of Love

and I felt the power of Mituke Oyasin, of All My Relations.

More photos here.

5 comments:

fios da terra said...

The flower at the top which you don;tknow is a dalia.
Good to see all your nice pictures.
Nina

Lou Gold said...

thanks nina

nina knows flowers for sure.

check out this night-blooming cactus

Anonymous said...

Hey my brother, good to see your happy, smiling face. Love and blessings - yogesh

Anonymous said...

Hi Lou-- I love getting yur posts up here in Bend-- and it was wonderful to see a picture of you and our friend Suely!! Thanks- Signy

Richard said...

Hi Lou!

Thank you so much for sharing these photos. I had a great time at Reino do Sol, and you really captured the event. Great blog!!