Today is Umbanda Day
Today, November 15th, Umbanda completes 115 years of the art of healing, carrying within it all the wisdom and joy of the Brazilian people and our ancestors. The light of candles to the sound of drums, the story told by those who have already passed away, but who swear to return, guide us and direct us along a new path. Therefore, I would like to start this text in a different way – not just saluting the Caboclos, the Pretos Velhos and all the Guides and Orixás who bless and heal us, but I would like to remember and highlight someone special in this Umbanda Day.
Umbanda Day and the new beginning
If I started this text with the famous phrase “Exu killed a bird yesterday with a stone he only threw today” would be very cliché. That’s why I say that between the paper and the pen there is a crossroads, between this text and you there is a crossroads, just as it also exists between the stage and the audience, lovers, on the street, in religions and knowledge that intersect all the time.
So let us clap our hands and salute, not only the one who lives at the crossroads, but who reigns there. He who protects us from the shadow, from the gaze of everything we cannot see or do not want to see. He who speaks all languages and is present in all contradictions. The chaos that orders, the mouth of the world that brings us Axé and applies the science of peace. I salute: Laroyê Exu, watch over us today and always.
Exu takes a walk outside
On Umbanda Day, this November 15th, we celebrate with the one who represents the resistance, strength, courage and wisdom of Brazilian Afro-indigenous religions and who at the beginning of everything there was an attempt to leave him out. Exu – Yoruba deity that means “sphere” – has had his name demonized throughout history not only by other religions, but by Umbanda practitioners themselves with the attempt to whiten it – that is, to make it an arm of Kardecism and Christianity, thus segregating it from African practices such as Quimbanda, Cabula, Omoloko, among others.
Works such as “Exu”, written by Aluizio Fontenelle, in 1951, where the author pioneered the syncretization of Exu entities with the names of “demons” from Goetia; and “Umbanda de Todos Nós”, written by Matta e Silva, help to highlight this thought and ideology of whitening. Little did they know that the outside world was their home and today there is no shortage of it and there is nothing missing for us, guarding and protecting us at the crossroads of the night of our soul.
Greetings to the people of the street!
Exu is odara (wonderful)! I salute Orixá Exu and all the people on the left: Seu Tranca-Ruas, Marabô, Sete Encruzilhadas, Tiriri and all the Exus for not letting our beloved Umbanda fall. For being here today, celebrating another year, even with so much violence, intolerance and ignorance, in a world where terreiros are still vandalized and burned. However, faith in them does not let us fall, as they are the ones who support us with their tridents (instruments that represent strength, vitality, energy and power). Among so many battles, the first victory is overcoming our own prejudice and ignorance.
Axé along the way
Therefore, on this Umbanda Day, I ask Exu to bring his Axé and peace, not only to readers, but to the whole world. May the crossroads show us the paths and lead us to the answers – whatever they are we are looking for, may we allow ourselves to be faced by these words, because, as is said in the point: “Here in Umbanda, without Exu nothing can be done” .
The post first appeared on www.terra.com.br