Santo Daime

Doctrines The cult of Santo Daime is centered around a drink called Daime, also known as ayahuasca, yagé, vegetal, or even holy tea. This drink is an hallucinogen made out of two plants: The "liane Banisteriopsis caapi" and the leaves of the "psychotria viridis" found in the Amazon region. This drink is prepared and taken in their rituals. The ritual of preparation recalls the idea of complementarity of male and female forces.
The daime is taken in a ritual that happens every Wednesday or on special occasions such as a saint's day. This ritual has a duration of 12 hours; it starts between six and eight o'clock in the evening and ends between six and eight o'clock in the morning. During the ritual, at almost every two hours they form two lines - one for the men and the other for the women, in order to drink a new glass of the holy tea. the drink is followed by dancing and the singing of hymns that actually direct the ritual. These hymns are considered to be the second bible; they talk about their beliefs and are considered to come from heaven. Taking the daime without the hymns is of no help. The leader of the group, called godfather is the one who chooses the hymns and therefore directs the ritual.
The aim of the ritual and of the cult of Santo daime is to be able to participate in the celestial universe. Through the ritual, one can have a "miração" that are trips of learning and of spiritual perfectioning.
Although they live in community, the idea of equality does not really exist. Because of the this the achievement of "miração" depends on each person. Somehow opposing the miração, there is the "peia", that is a sort of uneasiness, with sometimes vomiting and various other unpleasant sensations. the peia does not happens to everybody, but to those that are unbalanced, or took the daime without really surrendering themselves to the tea and to the ritual. Being part of the ritual, the peia is also dealt with by the group that will help the ones who had it to go through it.
The "mirações" enables one to attain the heavenly realm in which divine beings dwelt. The most important of these divine beings is juramidan - who phisically resambles the image of Jesus Christ. Next to him comes the virgin Mary - who is actually believe to exist inside the marijuana, also taken sometimes by the group. A part from them there are also the saints of the catholic church, elementary forces of nature, spirits of ancestors and "desencarnados" (desembodied wandering human souls).
The sense of hierarchy, discipline and centralization is very strong in the community that has the godfather as the leader, his wife generally working with him in the leadership. After the godfather comes those who have been initiated and therefore wear special clothes with the colours of Santo Daime which are blue and white. Last there are the ones that have not yet being initiated. They have a very strict moral: they practice monogamy, and sex is related to the act of procreation (this, however, is not shared by all daimists). The women have the role of creating an harmonious home, and the men are the authority in the family.
The santodaimists, are also concerned with the cure of people. For them illness is a result of bad spirits in the body.
From the Daimist it is hoped that he will follow the preceptions given by juramidan, that is also present in the tea itself. The tea "works as an oracle and the "mirações" as a revelation of the immanent reality."
The miraçðes are a kind of rite of passage. There is always the idea of death and rebirth.
They believe in the sacrifice as a condition to share the sacred universe. The sacrifices are not to redeem the sins, but as an offering so as to get something from heaven. It is a way of giving things to the divine entities so that they can receive from them as well.
They do believe in a duality of good and evil that is reflected also in their view of the cosmos. On one side there is a crystal palace with golden, violet, green lights, and on the other side there is darkness and evil beings.

History Santo Daime (Saint Daime) was founded by Raimundo Serra (also called "Mestre Irineu" (Master Irineu), who went to Acre - a state in the amazon region, north of Brazil - in the twenties, coming from the north east of Brazil, to work as a rubber extractor. In Acre he got in contact with indigenous shamans that where using the ayahuasca and who introduced him to the tee. Although he started using it in 1930, it was no until 1945 that he founded the first spiritual center at "Alto Santo" - north of Brazil. He then took on the role of paternal head of the movement and was seen as the avatar of Christ.
His doctrine was very strongly based in the shamanistic thought of autochthonous people, as well as in popular Catholicism, and also on Spiritism, Hinduism, Afro-Brazilian religions, and esoteric religions.
After Master Irineu's death in 1971, Sebastião Mota Melo assumed the leadership at the Alto Santo community, but due to disputes of leadership in the community, he left that one and founded the "Colonia Cinco Mil" (colony five thousand )
Here, a different group of people start joining the community. Santo Daime that was previously formed mostly by peasants and rubber latex workers (seringueiros) from the Amazon region, began to receive middle class people (intellectuals, artists). Since then Santo Daime spread to other regions of Brazil, as well as to other countries such as USA, Germany, and Switzerland.
Today there are three main groups. The first is the one that comes from the founder, Irineu, the second is led by Sebastião Mota Melo, who was a disciple of Irineu. The third is a more syncretic tendency combining elements of Umbanda Quinbanda and Candomblé.
Symbols The Caravaca cross that is a cross with two horizontal arms symbolizes the second return of Jesus Christ in the form of Irineu to earth.

Adherents 5000

Main Centre
 Acre - Brazil.