WHAT IS 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.
TENDA ESPIRITA MIRIM AND THE LEGACY OF BENJAMIN FIGUEIREDO
When writing about Benjamin Gonçalves Figueiredo it is difficult to separate the man and the medium, because his life mixes with the message and the work of his spiritual mentor, one of the most important spiritual leaders of Umbanda: the magnificent Caboclo Mirim. Both will forever be an edifying example of love for others and the fight for the dignity of the tradition of Umbanda.
In a time when practitioners of Umbanda were being persecuted, Benjamin was one of the leading exponents in the evolution of the Umbanda movement and the recognition of Umbanda houses with the authorities of his time, ranking alongside some of tireless warriors of the early years of our dear Umbanda, such as Zélio de Moraes, Domingos dos Santos, João de Freitas, Cavalcanti Bandeira, W. W. Matta e Silva and Omolubá
THE FOUNDING OF UMBANDA
Umbanda is a Brazilian religion. Umbanda was founded in Brazil by the spirits of indigenous Brazilians. These Brazilian indigenous warriors who fought against the conquistadors have now returned to the earth to teach and guide the present people of the earth and to help shape modern culture to develop a better world and a better future for our children. Umbanda was born in Brazil and formed within the Brazilian religious culture that sincretizes several traditions, including Catholicism, Spiritism, Afro-Brazilian traditions and Indigenous religion.
Umbanda is built on the principles of love, charity, truth, humility, respect for others, faith and devotion to the living relationship with God, the Orixas, the Spiritual Guides and all of nature.