Candomble and Umbanda Declared Not Religions by Brazilian Judge!

Caminhada dos Terreiros de Pernambuco photo by Nathalia Verony. Edited for this article. Licensed under CC 2.0

 According to a decision by a Brazilian judge on April 28, 2014 Candomble and Umbanda are not to be legally considered religions in Brazil anymore. We have entered the 21st century but prejudice and oppression are as alive as they ever were.Candomble and Umbanda are Afro-Brazilian religions that have been practiced for centuries. In my book Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism I mention that one of the earliest records of related practices date to 1618 when “an informant named S … [Read more...]

Pomba Gira and Mary Magdalene: Sacred Whores for the Holiday!

The Penitent Magdalen painting by de la Tour. Photo by schizoform. Licensed under CC 2.0

Happy Ostara, Everybody! Happy Easter, as you may be used to calling the day! Nothing like a sacred whore to celebrate the holy season, so today I'm writing about two of the most famous ever, Pomba Gira and Mary Magdalene. Neo-Pagans in general seem to have a special affinity for both of these women, probably because they are real, they have sex, they help people, they don't make excuses. There are some differences, however. I'm not proposing a celebrity death match between the two, but they are … [Read more...]

Yemaya Shines Her Beauty on New Year’s Eve!

Festa de Iemanja 2013 by Clarissa Pacheco licensed under CC 2.0

 New Year's Eve is a time for parties in this world and the next. In Santeria (Lukumi) the goddess Yemaya is often honored on September 7, the feast for Our Lady of Regla. In Bahia she is known as Iemanja, honored on August 15 or February 2, and is frequently associated with Nossa Senhora da Gloria. While in Rio de Janeiro she shines her radiant beauty on New Years Eve. New Year's is a time for huge ceremonies in the Brazilian traditions of Umbanda and Candomble. It is a time for p … [Read more...]


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