The Path of Spiritual and Mediumship Development

Course I - Starting January 7th, 2018

An Introduction to Umbanda - The Kingdom of the Heart

The first 10 week course in a 6 part - 2 Year Course of Study on Mediumship Development in the Tradition of Umbanda


Umbanda is a Brazilian Spiritual Tradition that combines Indigenous Beliefs, Spiritism, Catholicism and Candomblé.   In Umbanda the Heavens come down to the Earth.  The Caboclos and Pretos Velhos, the beings of light and healing, the beings of nature, arrive on the sacred ground of the Terreiro carrying with them the presence of the Orixás - the pure forces of nature.

It is an open tradition, accepting of everyone, from every walk of life, no matter their beliefs, culture or tradition. Umbanda is a non-dogmatic tradition based on practice and experience rather than a set of structured beliefs. The Umbandistas develop their connection to the inward spiritual dimensions through the practice of mediumship development.  Through drumming, singing and dancing, the practitioners call on the illuminated beings that arrive in the spiritual works to heal, to counsel and to teach.

In Umbanda we hold the credence that before we were born the illuminated Beings, the Caboclos and Pretos Velhos were with us.  According to Umbanda, these gracious beings carefully prepared us for our birth and sent us to Earth with the purest hope and prayers for our success. Like patient gardeners watching over their nursery, the Caboclos and Pretos Velhos watch over us now and many of them know us better than even we know ourselves.

According to Umbanda, each person of the Earth carries in their heart a purpose that is the very essence of their nature and the very reason they were born.  Each person has a purpose to complete their life mission and to fully realize and express their purest nature, sharing with others the gifts they have brought into the world. However, because of past karmas and the darkness of the world, there are myriad obstacles that stand in the way of completing their life mission.

In Umbanda we teach that each person must battle to redeem their karma, to overcome the darkness and to give the gifts they carry within them to the world.  Each person, when they are able to fully and completely be the pure nature of their unique self and overcome the obstacles, are able to create tremendous joy and great healing for themselves, for their family, for the community and for the world.



The Path of Spiritual and Mediumship Development

Course I - An Introduction to Umbanda - The Kingdom of the Heart


Instructor - Ialorixá Mãe Morderecí

Contact info - Cell: 415-910-7359



This course is an introduction to the Brazilian Spiritual Tradition of Umbanda.  We will explore the diverse religious and cultural traditions that gave birth to Umbanda in Brazil, learn the cosmology of Umbanda, the ways it is practiced and the many kinds of beings that arrive in the spiritual works to heal and to teach.  This course is designed to accompany the study of spiritual and mediumship development in the tradition of Umbanda.  It is meant as both an experiential journey and a scholarly study.  The role of Mãe Morderecí as an Ialorixá is to assist each participant with their Mediumship Development and understanding of Umbanda, as well as, their spiritual growth on the path of their own healing.  

This course is OPEN TO ALL! This course, just as in the tradition of Umbanda itself, is open to all regardless of beliefs or lifestyle of any kind. It is a path that teaches communication with spiritual guides it is also a path of healing and self-discovery.  Umbanda is a school open to all and at the service of all who come to study regardless of whether they are a formal adherent or not.  You not have to be a formal member take this course or participate in the tradition of Umbanda.  Many practitioners of Umbanda also are also members of other traditions and practices. As it is an open tradition and all are welcome.  Umbanda is designed to support the practitioners in their Journey and to assist them on their path. Participants are not required to formally initiate within the tradition to study and practice it.  Adherents join and become initiates according their own spiritual calling.  Just as Umbanda is an open tradition this course is open to all interested in a formal study of this tradition.

This is the first course in a 6 part 2 year Course of Study in the Tradition of Umbanda.  It is made up of 6 online courses and each course will be 10 weeks long.  Each course will be made up of weekly live Webinars with Ialorixá Mãe Morderecí meeting once a week with additional online coursework.  It will be accompanied by monthly Giras (large spiritual works), bi-weekly works of Umbanda na Mesa and optional workshops meeting at the end of each 10 week course. The course is designed to be accessible to all who have a desire to learn about the tradition of Umbanda.  Only those who complete all 6 courses will receive a Certificate of Completion.  If a student is unable to complete each course consecutively they can pick up where they left off with a future cohort as we will be starting new cohorts every 4 months.  Those who complete all six courses will receive a certificate of completion, a specialized pin to wear on their lapel or Umbanda uniform and will be recognized as having a high level of expertise on the subject of Umbanda and mediumship development.


•        To provide an in depth introduction to the tradition of Umbanda, its Practices, Cosmology, Structure and Beliefs

•        To learn how to relate with one's own Orixas and learn how to relate with and identify one's own Spiritual Guides

•        To become familiar with mission of Umbanda in the world and its importance in the lives of each participant

•        To be able to discuss with discernment the basic History, Philosophy, and Practice of Umbanda

•        To clarify misunderstandings about Umbanda and the process of Mediumship Development


O CAMINHO DO SOL - THE WAY OF THE SUN - The Path of Spiritual and Mediumship Development

Course I - An Introduction to Umbanda - The Kingdom of the Heart - Introduction to Umbanda


Week 1 (1/7/18)            

In the first class we will cover an overview of the history of Umbanda, as well as, an overview of the history of Spiritism. We will go over important perspectives on the tradition and practice of Umbanda, especially as it relates to the path of mediumship development. We will explore the four pillars of spiritual and mediumship development - Love, Humility and Truth to be able to give Charity.



Week 2  (1/14/18)

In the second class we will explore the cosmology of Umbanda beginning with the the Orixas, the creation of the world, and understanding the Orixas as the forces of nature. We will cover an overview of all the Guides of Umbanda, including the lines and phalanxes of the Caboclos, the importance of the Caboclos and Pretos Velhos in Umbanda, as well as, all the forms of Spiritual Guides and entities that arrive to work in Umbanda.  We will also cover the unseen world, spiritual Self Defense and the role of each person in the world. We will be studying some of the most important Pontos of Umbanda.



Week 3 (1/21/18 )

In the third class, we will cover how to understand your relationship to your Orixas.  We will cover how to relate to and communicate with your guides.  We will cover the definitions and differences of conscious, semiconscious and unconscious mediumship.   We will have an overview of all the forms of Mediumship.  A great challenge to developing mediums is working with your ego we will discuss various  techniques and perspectives.  An essential part of progress for many developing mediums is learning to love yourself,letting go of inhibitions and learning to trust your intuition.  Lastly we will discuss how to listen to and follow the guidance of your guides.



Week 4 (1/28/18)

In the fourth class we will explore how to identify your Spiritual Guide.   We will cover an overview of the stages of mediumship development and how to identify what stage you are in. We will discuss the challenges on the path of heart centered mediumship development.  We will explore the use of plants in  Umbanda for Defumação (smudging), herbal showers, spiritual cleansing, Amacy, spiritual protection, and spiritual self defense.



Week 5 (2/4/18)

In our fifth class, we will explore some of the main practices of the tradition of Candomblé and perspectives on the importance of this tradition.  We will cover the influence and connection of Candomblé to the tradition of Umbanda.  



Week 6 (2/11/17)

In our sixth class we will begin the first in a series of explorations that we will conduct over the 2 year course into the nature of each of the Orixás.  In this class we will begin an in-depth consideration of the nature and significance of Oxalá and Yemanjá.



Week 7 (2/18/18)

In our seventh class we will explore the relationship between Umbanda and Kardecist Spiritism and the vital importance that each tradition holds for the other.



Week 8 (2/25/18)   

In the eighth week we will explore how Initiation in Umbanda Works and what it means for the practitioner.  What is Amacy.  What are guias de conta.  What are the roles of Initiates in the tradition and practice of Umbanda.



Week 9 (3/4/18)

In the ninth class we will  drive straight into  the second  level of  mediumship and participation in the spiritual works - the Banco (the bench) what is the role of the Banco in the Spiritual Works. Other topics will include what is a discharge medium, what is disobsession, what is a spiritual and energetic Posse and how do we understand spiritual cleansing within the works of Umbanda.



Week 10 (3/11/18)

The discipline of Walking with your Guides, Relating to, Respecting and Serving you Guides. The four pillars of spiritual and mediumship development Love, Humility and truth, to be able to give charity. And lastly what does it mean to Umbanda as a Spiritual Path.





Participants will be asked to keep a journal during the time of the course.  The purpose of this journal will be to record thoughts, feelings and questions that come up in the process of exploring the tradition of Umbanda.  In addition the participants may receive communications with their Spiritual Guides and Orixas in the form of dreams, visions or other kinds of communications.

During the course Mãe Morderecí will be giving the participants assignments of various kinds.  The process and result of these assignments

Ialorixá Mãe Morderecí will want to know how each participant is each week on their journey with their understanding of Umbanda and relationship with their Orixas and their Guides.




Upon completion of the 2 year Course of Studystudents will receive -

  • Letter of Completion containing hrs. and course topics
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Specialized Lapel Pin



The Poet's Obligation Pablo Neruda

Poets Obligation

To whoever is not listening to the sea

this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up

in house or office, factory or woman

or street or mine or harsh prison cell;

to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,

I arrive and open the door of his prison,

and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,

a great fragment of thunder sets in motion

the rumble of the planet and the foam,

the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,

the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,

and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,

I ceaselessly must listen to and keep

the sea's lamenting in my awareness,

I must feel the crash of the hard water

and gather it up in a perpetual cup

so that, wherever those in prison may be,

wherever they suffer the autumn's castigation,

I may be there with an errant wave,

I may move, passing through windows,

and hearing me, eyes will glance upward

saying 'How can I reach the sea?'

And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,

the starry echoes of the wave,

a breaking up of foam and quicksand,

a rustling of salt withdrawing,

the grey cry of the sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea

will make their answer to the shuttered heart.

by Pablo Neruda




For the Yoruba, time is cyclical, everything that happens is a repetition and nothing is new. What happens to us today and what is about to happen in the near future has been experienced before by another human being, by an ancestor, by the orishas themselves. The Yoruba oracle, practised by the babalawos, who are the priests of Ifá or Orunmilá, the god of divining, is based on knowledge of a large repertoire of myths that speak of all kinds of events from the remote past and that happen again, involving personages from the present. It is always the past that sheds light on the present and the immediate future. 

To know the past is to have the formulas for control over events in the life of the living. This mythical past, which is remade at every moment in the present, is narrated by the odus of the Ifá oracle. Each odu is a collection of myths, and the babalawo must find out which one tells the story of what is happening, or is going to happen, in the present life of the consulter who seeks him looking for a solution for his afflictions. When the diviner identifies the myth related to the consulter’s present, which he does by using his magical objects of divination, he knows which ritual procedures (such as sacrifices, retreat and purification) should be used to heal the client’s afflictions. The prescribed formula is the same one applied in the past, when it was used with success according to the myth. Nothing is new, everything is remade. It is also up to the babalawo to identify, when a child is born, the reincarnation of a beloved person. One cannot name a child without knowing where it comes from, for a birth is not a tabula rasa. It is a return. The babalawo is also the guardian of the past and the decoder of the present. He uses the past to decode the present. His long and arduous training obliges him to learn thousands of verses by heart, the poems of Ifá which narrate the mythical past of his people, its gods and its heroes (Prandi 1996: chap. 3). 

There are no more babalawos in Brazil, but the iyalorishas and babalorishas operate the ancient oracular techniques. They do not learn the poems of Ifá as did the ancient babalawos, but their magic still consists in finding out the odu that applies to each present situation, as a way of revealing in the present the same causes of events in the past. And of healing them with the same prescriptions.


It is not unusual to find new followers of Candomblé or another traditional Afro-Brazilian religion who have been born and raised outside this religion and have joined it by personal choice (Prandi 2000a). Ever since Candomblé was transformed into a religion open to everyone, regardless of racial, ethnic, geographical or social origin, many followers, and even the majority in many regions of Brazil, have joined recently without any previous personal or family contact with its characteristic values and ways of behaving. In most cases, joining a religion also means changing many concepts of the world, life, and death. The recent Candomblé participant, going to the terreiro (the temple) and taking part in numerous collective activities indispensable to worship, is soon confronted with a new way of regarding time. He will have to undergo resocialisation in order to live with things which at first seem strange and uncomfortable. He will have to learn that everything has its time, but a time not determined by the clock but by the fulfillment of certain tasks, which may come before or after others, depending on the circumstances (some unforeseeable), which may accelerate or set back the whole chain of activities. But the terms “accelerate” and “set back” are out of place, because in Candomblé everything has its own time, and each activity lasts as long as necessary. The activity defines the time taken, and not the other way round.

In a Candomblé terreiro, practically all the members of the house take part in the praparations, with many of them doing specifically priestly tasks. Everybody eats, bathes and gets dressed in the terreiro. Sometimes people sleep in the terreiros many nights in a row, with many of the women bringing their small children. There are so many things to do and so many people doing them. There are guidelines to be followed and fixed times for each activity, such as “at sunrise”, “after lunch”, “in the afternoon”, “when the sun is cooling off”, “in the late afternoon”, “in the evening”. It is not customary to refer to or to respect clock time and many unexpected things can happen. In fact, it is common to take watches off in the terreiros, since they have no function. While slaughtering animals, the orishas are consulted through oracles to find out if they are satisfied with the offerings, and they may ask for more. So it might be necessary to stop everything and go out to get another kid or chicken or more fruit or whatever. The orishas can manifest themselves at any time, and then it will be necessary to sing for them or even dance with them. In trance the orishas may even alter the ritual. They may stay for hours “on earth” while everybody present pays attention to them and everything else has to wait. During the toque, the big public ceremony, the unexpected presence of orishas in trance means extending the cerimonial time, as they too must be dressed and must dance. The arrival of dignitaries from other terreiros, with their followers, means additional greetings and song and dance sequences. Although there is a minimum script, the festival does not have a fixed time to end. No-one knows exactly what is going to happen the very next minute, since all planning is upset by the intervention of the gods.

When going to the terreiro, it is better not to have other commitments on the same day, because no-one knows when one can leave and how long the visit, the obligations and the festival will last. In fact, Candomblé does not have a fixed time to start either. It starts when everything is “ready”. The guests and sympathisers arrive at a more or less expected time, but can wait for hours on end sitting down. So many prefer to arrive late, which may mean more delays. And one cannot complain, because then someone will say, “Candomblé doesn’t have a fixed time”. Once, after a long wait, I asked what time the candomblé would actually start. The answer was: “After the mãezinha (the mãe-de-santo, the high priestess) changes her clothes.” In short, time is always defined by the tasks which the group considers necessary, according to the formula: “when things are ready”.

This idea that time depends on events and on fulfilling necessary tasks can be seen also in the daily life of the terreiros outside the festivals. Researchers starting field work are surprised at the “lack of punctuality” of the mães-de-santo (iyalorishas, high priestesses of Candomblé) and pais-de-santo (babalorishas, high priests), having to wait hours, if not days, to do an interview they thought was scheduled for a fixed time. Clients who go to a terreiro for the jogo de búzios (divination with cowuries) or other magical services may also feel bothered by the way the povo-de-santo, the followers of Candomblé, use their time.