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Chapter 4
The Santo Daime Rituals

The Santo Daime doctrine made its initial appearance and began to develop at a time when the decadence of the rubber based Amazonian economy forced many of the old rubber tappers to migrate to the urban areas. The basic aspects of the doctrine reflect the Northeastern Brazilian peasant customs and the South-American-Indian traditions which formed the basis of their original culture .In this context, experiences with Daime, were unusual states of conscience and perception, which led to the social construction of a reality of its own, pertaining to a transition between two different forms of civilization.
Monteiro da Silva considers that the individual or collective trances and shamanic flights, should not be taken as simply a liberation of tensions or a sublimation of libidinous pulsation, as suggested by some more superficial analysts of the subject. He considers it more appropriate to think of these psychic phenomena in the context of the migration from forest to town, considering the Santo Daime religion to be a collective rite of passage. It would be a way of attempting to account for the ambiguities of the new project of order. The capitalist expansion disorganizes the old way of life, but on having to live with this new disorder, it reencounters the dionisiac nature lost by the positivism and utilitarianism of Western civilization (1).
The Santo Daime religion is a result of a syncretic process involving elements of both peasant and urban social formations. Thus, one can detect traces of South American Indian culture alongside concentration techniques taken from Western popular religiosity. There is also a close relation between the rituals and the day-to-day activities of the followers of this doctrine. The syncretic process by which the religion developed is a reflection of the needs and pressures present in the context in which it occurred. The consumption of ayahuasca during the rituals, cannot, therefore, be described as a simple manifestation of a pathological individual or collective delirium.
Following this reasoning, Monteiro da Silva considers that the rituals are of great importance for the permanent creation and legitimatization of the doctrinal discourse of this religious group. He ends by considering that there is a correlation between the central idea of cleanliness /search for order and harmony, that runs through all the rituals of the group taking on the shape of a great ritual of transcendence and cleansing; and the "plausibility structures" of the religion - understood as "expedients through which human groups try to render empirical reality acceptable." (2)
Similar conclusions are possible when one uses the concept developed by Victor Turner, the anthropologist who believed there was a permanent tension in society between the tendencies to structure or order those that pushed towards anti-structure or "communitas". Turner considered that there was a human necessity to participate in both and people who are starved of one of them in their daily activities, search for it in liminal rituals. So, while individuals holding inferior positions in the social structures aspire for a symbolic superiority, those in superior positions might aspire for the symbolic universal fraternity of the "communitas", and even submit themselves to penance's in order to attain it. From this point of view, one might consider the Santo Daime rituals to be actions that tend to move social life and, consequently, society, towards structure and order.
This is Couto's argument and he considers that the Santo Daime ceremonies are different from inversion rituals (carnival, for instance) or from the Southeast African rituals of rebellion , studied by Turner, where the balance is shifted in the direction of the "communitas" pole. This is because Daimista rituals push the system towards structure, reinforcing the cosmological order which is lived intensely , being brought out of its customary latent , unconscious status and made to manifest itself during the rituals. The internal order is constantly reaffirmed by the individual effort of each participant, during his ritual "performance", when he submits himself to the demands of the Juramidam Empire. It is through this praxis that the faithful feel they receive the "teachings", and, especially, the symbolical order, believed to be efficacious. In this symbolical reordering, the invisible channels, that connect the new members to the cosmic order, are perceived as being cleared , leading the whole system to an ascesis or to a structure (3).
This reinforcement of order was perceived by the Federal Narcotics Council work groups who were convinced that the daimistas were even more orderly than the rest of the population. They also noted that they often claimed that their compliance to the Santo Daime doctrines had led to a positive reorganization of their lives and given them added tranquillity and happiness (4).
One should also remember Dobkin de Rios' ideas on the importance of the interaction of variables, preceding or following the ingestion of psychoactive substances in determining the perceived effects. (see "Introduction"). Of special relevance here is the shared symbolic system and the expectations of the visionary content which are part of the "cultural" variables. Alongside the biological and social aspects, they are important in leading a great number of daimistas to have similarly perceived experiences with the entheogens. As they base their interpretations of these experiences on a common symbolic repertoire presented by the hymns, the daimistas perceive their doctrinal values as being reinforced and confirmed. The main types of daimista rituals or "works" are the "hymnaries", the "concentrations", the "masses", the "healing works" and the "making of the Daime".

The Santo Daime Rituals As Performed By The Followers of Padrinho Sebastiao

As happens in many spiritualist centers and among the vegetalistas, the daimista rituals are called "works" and often presuppose an intense and tiring psychic activity , even though those taking part may be in an apparently relaxed and restful position such as happens during the sessions of concentration.
It is believed that taking ayahuasca leads to a perception of the "spiritual" or "astral" world and to the possibility of carrying out a series of activities in this realm.. Accordingly there are different types of rituals for different purposes, and their form is invariably attributed to Mestre Irineu who is supposed to have learned about them from the Queen of the Forest, or the Virgin of the Conception, source of all daimista knowledge.
Thus, great emphas is given to the need to follow closely the ritual forms inherited from Mestre Irineu. As has frequently been observed by the Federal Narcotics Council work-group and other researchers, there is great uniformity in most of the rituals performed by the CEFLURIS nuclei, which is all the more remarkable, when one takes into account their geographic diversity. Yet the constant insistence on the observation of apparently unimportant details often causes a certain irritation among newcomers to the doctrine who frequently suggest altering the ritual. But the importance attributed to the conservation of the ritual form has lead to a series of official measures such as the elaboration of statutes and the setting up of a body of guardians to ensure the correct performance of the rituals. As specified in item 24 of the statutes:
"We consider, as part of our body of rituals, all those inherited directly from Mestre Irineu, and the additions made by Padrinho Sebastiao and by Padrinho Alfredo Gregorio de Melo. They are the only ones empowered by this statute to legislate and regulate on doctrinal matters pertaining to ritual.
Any other type of suggestion or proposal for changes in the ritual must be appreciated by the Commission on Ritual and Healing of the Supreme Church Council), the main steering and executive collegiate organism of the bodies affiliated to the CEFLURIS.

The Hymnaries

Hymnaries are considered commemorative festivities for certain religious holidays, birthdays of the leaders or simply the celebration of communion and fraternity. There is a calendar of "official hymnaries", which is supposed to be observed by all the Santo Daime churches. On such occasions, those taking part wear special clothes, called "farda branca" (white uniform), predominantly white in color and of sober cut, decorated with many colored ribbons. On their heads the women wear tinsel crowns. On other occasions, simpler "hymnaries" may be held and the plainer "farad azalea" (blue uniform) is worn, consisting of white shirts or blouses and navy blue trousers or skirts.
There are different hymnaries which are sung according to the occasion. There are the, so called, "official hymnaries" which are those "received" by some of the main "padrinhos" such as Mestre Irineu, Padrinho Sebastiao or Padrinho Alfredo or some of Mestre Irineu's closest followers and which are sung on some of the most important holidays. But there are also hymns "received" by other followers of the doctrine and which may be sung on other, less formal occasions. During the "hymnary" the participants stand around a central table usually in the form of a six pointed star, on which there is a double armed "Cross of Caravacca", a rosary and other symbols of the doctrine. The men and women line up according to height on opposite sides of the room. According to the shape of the table, and the number of participants, they may be form four or six groups: men, young men, boys, women, young women and girls (see figures 2 and 3).
Many play "maracas" or rattles, accompanying the singing and marking the rhythm of the dancing. The steps are simple and vary according to the rhythm of the hymn. The singing is often accompanied by musicians playing seated around the table. This orchestra is normally composed of guitars, flutes and percussion instruments, but any other instrument may be added. The ritual begins at a predetermined time, generally at sunset. To mark its beginning, the catholic rosary may be said or, on less formal occasions, simply three Lord's Prayers and three Hail Mary's. At the end of the ceremony these prayers are repeated alongside other Catholic, Esoteric or specifically daimista ones.
After the opening prayers the Daime is then served; a small cup is handed to the adults, and a smaller amount to the children. This happens several times during the work, at approximately two-hourly intervals.
Depending on the occasion and on the hymnary being sung, the ritual may last between six or twelve hours. During this period, the participants must keep to their place in the line, refraining from talking or from any other kind of behavior that might hinder other people in their efforts to concentrate.

Halfway through the ritual there is usually an intermission lasting for about one hour, the only time allowed for conversation. Sometimes, still under the influence of the beverage, people may opt to remain silent and in a state of introspection.
During the intermission the participants are given permission to leave the room and may eat something light or drink a little water. Smoking is also permitted, but at a distance, so that the tobacco smoke does not reach the place where the ceremony is being held.
At the end of the ritual, a few catholic prayers are recited again and the leader pronounces a last invocation to God the Father, The Virgin Queen Mother, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Patriarch Saint Joseph and to all the spiritual beings of the celestial court. At the end of the session, and every time they take the brew, those taking part in the session cross themselves, thus emphasizing their commitment to Christian principles during their astral work.
Alex Polari explains the meaning of this ritual:
"The hymns are a mirror of the life and of the human relations within the community. It's the great opportunity for cleansing and transformation, where all, in brotherhood, standing shoulder to shoulder in the current of energy, spend up to twelve hours singing and voyaging internally under the guidance of the hymns and the Daime experience. During this period one sings and dances to the hymns evoking the remembrance of the origin of everything. We worship God, rendering Him all homage and during that night as it becomes day, we make new commitments to Love, Truth and Charity. We feel part of the Whole, ready to understand our faults and to reconcile ourselves with our brethren. We are stimulated to change and improve ourselves, with more Faith, so as not to deny our way and with more firmness to keep to it. At the end, happiness, the Sun rising, an embrace, the blessing, the hand shake, many questions answered.
During the ritual, some of the participants, moved by their visions or going through difficulties in their process of introspection, may show signs of unrest, and, maybe, even loss of control over their movements. Others go through physiological reactions to their the ingestion of ayahuasca, feeling nausea and occasionally vomiting or suffering from diarrhea.
To deal with such cases, to maintain order in the room and enforce the ritual norms, some of the more experienced daimistas are nominated "guardians". It is their duty to determine where the participants must place themselves in the lines and to make sure everyone keeps to his place. They must also oversee the flow of the dancing, resolving any kind of disruption, helping those going through difficulties, controlling the entrance and the exit, etc.
The danced hymnaries are supposed to be occasions of happiness and brotherly feelings. They are therefore open to all who wish to take part, regardless of whether they wear the uniform or not, the only requirement being the compliance to the rules demanding an abstinence of sex and alcohol during the three preceding days and during the following three. Any other restriction should be simply due to practical questions such as the need to avoid over crowding or a disproportional number of newcomers in comparison to the number of more experienced daimistas in uniform.
The Concentration

Other rituals are usually closed to those who do not wear the uniform. Such is the case of the "concentration works", performed by uniformed daimistas on the 15th and 30th of every month. Lasting for between two to four hours, this ritual which aims to promote spiritual development is largely performed in silence , while those taking part remain seated keeping their backs straight. Initially, they must try to focus their minds in one direction leading to a gradual quieting of the stream of thought. Once this has been accomplished, they enter into a state of meditation and identification with the "Internal and Higher Self", and with the "Divine Power", transcending all ideas, names and forms. This ceremony, which may also include reading from the Gospels and from the sacred scriptures of other great religions or instructions and sermons by the commander of the works, usually ends with all those present standing and singing Mestre Irineu's last eleven hymns which are considered to be a summary of his doctrine.
Latecomers are not usually allowed in during these sessions and the Daime is only served at given moments. The point of these rules is to avoid any disturbance of the atmosphere of tranquillity and complete silence, essential for meditation

The Mass

The most solemn Daime ritual is the mass for the dead. During such an occasion, ten hymns are sung which deal with the subject of death .The work begins with the saying of the Catholic rosary and between each hymn there are three repetitions of the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary. Marking the solemnity of the proceedings, there is no dancing and the singing is not accompanied by instruments.

The Healing Works

As discussed above, ayahuasca is frequently used by shamans and vegetalistas to fight physical and spiritual illness. It is through healing episodes attributed to their shamanic abilities that ayahuasquero masters become respected and influential in their communities. So healing is probably the field in which variations in ritual occur most often, since the gift of healing is considered and individual attribute. Therefore, those who distinguish themselves as healers, tend to develop their own way of doing things, adopting the practices that best fit their specific powers and personal idiosyncrasies. In the case of the Peruvian "mestizo" vegetalistas, for example, in spite of their common ideas about the nature of illnesses and about the principles of healing, each shaman has his own songs, allied spirits and specific methods of healing .
Among the daimistas Mestre Irineu was known, above all, as a powerful healer, as was Padrinho Sebastiao and a few other of their followers. The daimista healers' repertoire of religious conceptions is much more restricted than that of the "mestizo" healers, familiar with elements of many Indian, European and African cultures, borrowing and adapting them in the way they find most suitable. But, even feeling a need to remain faithful to their doctrine, the followers of Padrinho Sebastiao , consider their center to be free and eclectic, allowing for other influences in their work and this also gives them a certain degree of flexibility in their rituals.
So, alongside the traditional ceremonies taught by Mestre Irineu, the followers of his doctrine resort to a wide range of other healing techniques.
Although all the rituals involving the taking of the brew are considered to be potentially healing(8), traditionally two of them have been considered to be specially effective. The basic principle is the search for salvation of all those taking part through the indoctrination of spirits and the offering of charity to suffering souls.
a. The opening of the table, prayer work , table work or work with crosses. Monteiro da Silva(1985) considers this to be a ritual which aims to diagnose the causes of disturbances and provide spiritual first aid. Froes, Couto and the official
CEFLURIS book of ritual norms, on the other hand consider that they aim to deliver the patient from "obsession" and "from negative fluids". This ceremony may be held in the patient's presence, but may also be held in his absence when the simple invocation of his name will be sufficient.
In order to hold this ceremony there must be an odd number of participants, which may range from three to nine. Each one must hold a cross in his left hand and a candle in his right one (regardless of the number of people taking part, there must be nine crosses, and if there are not as many people present, those that are left without someone to hold them may be placed on the central table). This is a relatively short ceremony, and should be repeated on three consecutive days. All those taking part must be in observance of the Daime interdictions of sec and alcoholic drinks, and must strive for a state of harmony and interior cleanliness. Only a small amount of Daime is served on these occasions and not necessarily to all those present. Apart from a concentration, there is a recitation of the Roman Catholic prayer Hail Queen and of another against evil and dark spirits. A few predetermined hymns are sung, which seem to be taking the place of the "healing calls", that used to be made during the early days when the doctrine was still being developed, in order to invoke certain healing spirits like Tupequapa, a forest spirit who detains great knowledge on herbs(9).
b.Concentration works with healing hymns. These ceremonies are considered to be a kind of intensive therapy, and demand cleanliness of body and mind. To attain this larger amounts of the brew are served, frequently leading to strong bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, which certain scholars have considered to be cathartic and ab-reactive(10).
The ceremony consists in the recitation of the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Hail Queen and a consecration of the room. After an hour long concentration, a specific selection of hymns is sung.
In their basic form, these two "works" keep very closely to Mestre Irineu's original instructions, although in the CEFLURIS groups they also sing a few hymns received by Padrinho Sebastiao and some of his followers. In the centers following his guidance these ceremonies are commonly called "star works", owing to the shape of the table around which they are held. It is usually placed in the middle of a hexagonal room built specially for this purpose and known as the "Star House".
But there is also another type of work, which was developed more recently and which shows strong umbandista influence. They are known as "banca"(bench) or "Saint Michael in the woods" works, and aim at the "indoctrination of suffering spirits", "deobssessions" and other activities of "spiritual charity". During these ceremonies there are frequent episodes of spiritual communications or incorporations. These works consist of prayers, concentrations, hymns and drinking Daime. Many of those taking part may be "acted upon"(possessed) by spiritual beings, and the development of the session becomes less predictable. But even in these cases the person in charge of the session is in control and the mediums under possession must have his permission to make itself manifest, and it is also he who controls the singing of hymns and the making of calls.
This kind of work with possession episodes has recently become more frequent and accepted, after a special area was specially set aside, in Ceu do Mapia, for umbanda ceremonies, a few other centers followed suit. For a time there was even an attempt on the part of a leader from Sao Paulo to hold joint Daime and Candomble sessions. But, although umbanda is acceptable to many daimistas, due to its Catholic syncretism which is very reminiscent of the Santo Daime doctrine, Candomble, with its greater esteem for purity of its pagan African roots, is harder to assimilate, and many are loath to mix it with Daime. Nevertheless there seems to be a marked tendency to diminish the distance that Mestre Irineu is said to have tried to keep between his doctrine and the Afro-Brazilian possession religions(11).
Some writers make a distinction between different methods used by daimista healers, calling one type "direct therapeutic techniques" ( making use of medicinal plants, poultices, massages etc.) and the "indirect" ones (using dreams, visions, "astral work" etc.). But, the basic instrument is the Daime and its main allies: the spirits of the water, of the forest and of the astral plane; certain collections of hymns, the feeling of brotherhood (in the dancing, in the help offered during healing works, etc.); other allies are the medicinal plants and different types of diets - " by the mouth", " in the bed" and "from the surroundings" (12).
The techniques employed by healers, during the works may be classified as follows: (13)

"Miracoes"(Visions): when the healer receives detailed information, from divine beings, to be transmitted to the patients.
Autoscopy: journeying inside the patient's body with the help of a spiritual guide, who diagnoses its physical and mental condition.
Co-autoscopy: when more than one participant journey inside someone's body, a room or an open place . They feel they are having visions in common.
Ecstatic Flight: A journey through different places in the world with a specific mission.
Possession: Identical phenomenon to the mediumnic incorporation in Afro-Brazilian cults.

Alongside these techniques, the daimista healers may resort to others, drawn from different spiritual traditions or from their own inspiration. So, it is common for them to resort to prayer-sayers, either in Ceu do Mapia or in Colonia 5.000 and Padrinho Sebastiao, himself, at the end of his life, did not hesitate in consulting with shamans from other traditions, in his search for relief from illness. It is said that one of them, in the Boca do Acre area, extracted objects and insects from his body. Later this material was put in a jar an shown to whoever might have been interested. Padrinho Sebastiao died shortly after a work, that took place in the daimista center, Rainha do Mar (Sea Queen) in Pedra de Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro, during which he underwent treatment by an Umbandista healer.
Another story is told of a young man said to be "suffering from mental and emotional disorder and whose personality who was taken in chains to Padrinho Sebastiao, in Ceu do Mapia. He was asked to look after the boy "whose personality had been shattered and who was visibly under great mental and emotional distress". Padrinho Sebastiao held a sequence of three sessions of St. Michael's works, on consecutive days. On the third day, in place of the traditional work, he ordered the young boy to help slaughter and quarter an ox, using a large, dangerous looking knife and getting himself heavily splattered with blood. On the following day the traditional work cycle was resumed and in the end the young man showed signs of marked improvement and became capable once more of maintaining normal conversation. He then reported having received a threat of death from a friend and this was them considered to be the cause of his ailment (14).
Among the most recent techniques, incorporated to the daimista healing repertoire , is the use of crystals to reestablish the " balance of energy" of those undergoing difficulties during the works. In Sao Paulo, for instance, the godmother of Flor das Aguas church had already developed a healing technique using different types of crystals, even before affiliating herself to the doctrine. Under her guidance, this practice acquired considerable importance, among daimistas in Sao Paulo.

The "Feitio" or Preparation of the Daime

The making of the brew involves a complex ritual procedure which is frequently considered to be the most important of the daimista ceremonies since all the other rituals depend on the brew produced on these occasions. The manufacture of the beverage follows detailed ritual prescriptions and must be correctly executed, in order to assure the efficacy of the sacrament. Since the brew is considered to be a divine being, akin to the consecrated host in the Roman Catholic Church, the "feitio" is, an act of magic and consecration, demanding from that those taking part undergo a rigorous physical and spiritual preparation.
The process is extremely laborious and physically demanding. Those who go into the forest, in search of the ingredients commonly undergo all kinds of privations and discomforts and those who are directly involved in the manufacture must carry out tasks involving great physical effort such as hammering the vine to reduce it to fiber chopping wood and cleaning the oven. But this ritual is also considered to be a moment allowing great spiritual purification and interior development, demanding silence and great concentration. It is, also, the only ritual during which the Daime supply is free available for all to take as much as they wish.
During this ritual, the exhaustion and the effect of the brew bring the participants face to face with their weakness and personal difficulties and more than ever those taking part are led to understand the importance of the basic spiritual qualities emphasized by the doctrine: firmness, purity of heart, humility, discipline, harmony, love, justice and truth. The work is carried out in a "feitio" house, specially built for the purpose, where a Caravaca cross and an image of the Virgin are always present. Other daimista symbols are also to be seen such as the sun, the moon and stars .
In the same way as in other rites, the "feitio" has a commander directing the works, generally the local "padrinho". In certain cases, he might be another highly experienced specialist, called in from other churches.
As in other rituals, men and women are kept separate, and engaged in activities considered appropriate to their gender. The usual recommendations of abstinence from sex and alcoholic beverages apply and no food may be consumed in the "feitio house". Men are given the heavy work, like collecting, transporting, cleaning and hammering the liana, besides preparing the brew, which involves handling big cauldrons with boiling liquid and keeping the fire. When the church has its own plantation, the women gather the Psychotria viridis leaves and clean them one by one. Otherwise they are gathered by the men in the forest, and brought to the village to be cleaned by the women.
The search and harvesting of the liana and the leaves is probably the most difficult part of the "feitio", requiring great experience and knowledge of the forest. Nowadays this stage tends to be reserved for specialized groups of "mateiros", or woodsmen, who have a great knowledge of the forest. Some churches now have their own plantations, which makes the work much easier and all can join in and help. Maybe, because daimistas tend to prepare large quantities of the brew at a time(somewhere between one hundred and five hundred litres ) Their harvesting methods are much simpler than those used by the vegetalistas studied by Luna and Dobkin de Rios. In place of the ceremonious procedures of the Peruvians, daimistas simply pull the liana from the trees, cutting it into pieces 20 cms. long on the spot and then, packing them into bags that may come to weigh up to fifty kilos.
The next stage happens in the "feitio" house, where men clean the pieces of liana, peeling off the skin and removing dirt and imperfect bits. During this work participants must remain in concentration and strive for their own inner cleansing. Next comes the "beating ", the ceremonial pounding of the liana, usually set to begin at 2:00 am and carried out by groups of twelve, who alternate in two hours shifts. The liana or "jagube" pieces are placed on tree stumps fixed to the ground and beaten with hard wooden hammers. Hymns are sung to help keep the rhythm of the pounding.
The next step involves the cooking of the brew. This is generally done using three sixty litre cauldrons placed over a big furnace with three openings, one for each pan and using wood for fuel. In the cauldrons the liana fibers and the leaves are placed in alternating layers , up to the brim. It is estimated that for every bag of "jagube" half a bag of leaves must be used. The important balance between the "power" and "light" of the brew depends on the right dosing of the ingredients.
The cauldrons are then filled with crystalline water and left on the fire for several hours until the liquid has been boiled down to a third of its original volume. This is the most delicate stage of the procedure and as Froes says: "One must avoid talking to the person in charge, because he must concentrate on the boiling brew and be aware of the moment when a Santo Daime being, present in the astral plane, manifests itself to indicate the exact moment when the boiling is done and the cauldron must be removed from the fire".

Once this point is reached the cauldrons are taken off the fire and the liquid, now called "cozimento" is strained and set aside. The cauldrons are once again filled with liana and leaves, and the "cozimento" is then poured back in. Once again, the sixty litres are boiled down to twenty, and the, so called, "First Degree Daime" is obtained. Boiling the same liana and leaves with fresh "cozimento", one gets the "Second Degree Daime" and, repeating the procedure, "Third Degree Daime".
Once ready, the brew is cooled and aired by continuous transferring from the cauldron to bowls and jars and then back again to the cauldron. The Daime is then poured into big bottles which have been previously carefully cleaned and dried and which are filled to the brim so as to ensure that no air remains , to avoid fermentation .They are then closed with wooden or cork stoppers and the quality of the brew is insured for many years,
Since this is a magic procedure to produce a sacred drink certain taboos must be observed. Just as care must be taken over the observation of dietary and sexual rules, so must there be care that none of the women taking part in the procedures be having their period. The handling the drink also requires special attention; no water may be added to the "cozimento", and Daime must not be lost or spilt on the floor. Certain times are considered to be more appropriate for the preparation of Daime, such as during the new moon . There are also times which, for a mixture of practical and doctrinal reasons, are considered to be ideal to begin certain tasks, generally in the early morning.
Depending on these various factors, on the quantity and quality of the ingredients, and on the degree of harmony and spiritual perfection among the participants, each batch of the brew, will have its specific characteristics.
Therefore each bottle must be labeled with the date of the manufacture, the phase of the moon and the "degree" of the brew.
Although there are many different ways of preparing ayahuasca and many possible variations of the basic ingredients, the followers of the Santo Daime doctrine try to keep to the strict indications left by Mestre Irineu on the subject. The process must be always the same and, besides the liana, the "chacrona" leaf and the water, no other ingredient may be added. The vegetalistas and the rubber tappers who were Mestre Irineu's original followers, lived in close contact with the forest, from which they extracted almost everything they needed for their daily life, including "jagube" and the "chacrona" leaf. Today, even those who still know the forest and its secrets, have great difficulty in finding "reinados", areas where the liana abounds. Owing to generalized deforestation and to an overharvesting of the liana, experienced woodsmen must now spend weeks in the woods, in order to get enough for one "feitio"
Besides, this religious movement has now spread to various parts of Brazil, where the necessary ingredients for preparing Daime do not exist, and where the new daimistas, usually middle-class, have neither the strength nor the necessary know-how to carry out a "feitio". So, these groups must rely supplies prepared by specialists working full time, in Colonia 5.000 and in Ceu do Mapia.
Due to the importance of this ritual, in the spiritual development of daimistas, "feitios" are occasionally held in churches of the Southeast. The process then becomes even more laborious, requiring shipments of the liana "in natura" being sent from the Amazon as well as the presence of Amazonian specialists to act as supervisors. This makes it difficult to envisage the setting up of a genuinely autonomous production in these regions in the near future, which would be able to produce enough of the brew to attend fully to the needs of the extra-Amazonian churches. Of course, this also means that, at the doctrinal level, these groups will also continue to be governed by the Amazonians, who will keep their power to punish deviations from orthodox practices by cutting the supplies of the sacred beverage.


1. Monteiro da Silva, 1988:37.
2. Monteiro da Silva, 1985:1 and 2
3. Couto, 1989:132 and 133
4. Items IV and IX state:
IV - Moral and ethical standards of behavior, in every way, resembling those existing and recommended in our society are observed in the various communities, sometimes even in a rather rigid manner. Obedience to the law always seems to have been specially stressed.
IX - After the ceremonies, everyone goes home in an apparently normal and orderly way.
The followers of the religion seem to be tranquil and happy people. Many consider the religion and the brew to be responsible for a reorganization of their families, for a renewal in their interest in work, and for their encounter with themselves and with God. (Final report on the activities carried out by the work-group assigned by The Federal Narcotics Council to examine the question of production and consumption of vegetable species, pg. 7).
5. Although all branches of the Santo Daime Doctrine maintain great uniformity in their rituals, we are dealing here with the followers of the branch led by Padrinho Sebastiao, the only one active at a nationwide level, and counting with numerous affiliated churches outside the Amazon region.
6. Two examples are the "Prayer to Caritas", borrowed from the spiritist repertoire and the prayer which invokes harmony, love, truth and justice, taken from the group known as " The Esoteric Circle of the Communion of Thought".

The Prayer of Caritas

God, Our Father, who art all Power and Kindness, Give strength to those suffering probation. Give light to those who search for the truth. Put in the heart of man compassion and charity.
God, give to the traveler his leading star, to the afflicted consolation, to the sick rest.
Father, give to the guilty repentance, to the spirit Truth. to the child a guide, to the orphan a father.
Lord, that Thy kindness be spread over all that you created.
Lord, bring pity on those who do not know You, hope for those who suffer.
Let Thy kindness allow the consoling spirits to pour Peace, Hope and Faith everywhere.
God, a ray, a spark of Thy love can set the world aflame. Allow it to drink from the source of this, Fecund and Infinite kindness and all tears will be dry and all pain Will be assuaged.
As one heart, on the mountain, we await Thee with open arms.
O! Power! O! Kindness! O! Beauty! O Perfection! and we desire to deserve Thy Mercy somehow.
God! Give us Strength to help us progress and reach up to Thee.
Give us pure Charity. Give us Faith and Reason.
Give us simplicity that will make our souls the mirror wherein Thy Image should be reflected. Amen.


I thank Thee, O God! because this place is full of Thy Presence.
I thank Thee, because I live in Thy life, Truth, Health, Prosperity, Peace, Wisdom, Happiness and Love.
I thank Thee, because all who enter here shall feel Thy Presence.
I thank Thee because I am in Harmony, Love, Truth and Justice with all beings.

7. Polari de Alverga,undated:6.
8. Couto 1989:158.
9. Couto 1989:154.
10. See note 2, chapter 2.
11. Walter Dias Junior 1990.
12. Monteiro da Silva 1985.
13. Monteiro da Silva 1985.
14. Walter Dias Jr. 1990.
15. Froes 1986:69.

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