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The History of the Santo Daime Doctrine

Raimundo Irineu Serra was born on December 15, 1892, in São Vicente de Ferre in Maranhao State, Brazil. Irineu, who was a very strong and tall Brazilian descendant of African slaves (his height was 6.5 feet and he wore size 15.5 shoes), got married four times and had only one child, by the name of Walcirio.

His initiation in the misteries of the Ayahuasca brew occurred under the orientation of Our Lady of Conception, from whom he received the foundations of a Faith that would eventually be known worldwide. This period of initial development lasted from 1935 to 1940, according to Jose Das Neves, who was a resident of the city of Xapuri in the State of Acre and who was Irineu's work colleague for 40 years.

Irineu arrived in the state of Acre in 1912 at the age of 20 as a Northeastern migrant worker seeking to make a livelihood in the rubber extraction industry, as was the case with many other Northeasterners at the time.

At the beginning, Irineu resided two years in Xapuri and then worked for three years as a rubber-tapper in Brasileia. In addition, Irineu also worked for a federal government commission which was responsible for the demarcation of the borderline between the state of Acre and the countries of Bolivia and Peru.

While working in the Amazon rainforest, Irineu met Peruvian and Brazilian indigenous peoples. He was introduced to the Ayahausca brew through his Antonio Costa, who was also a black man from Irineu's city. Antonio Costa told Irineu about some caboclos who drank the brew to induce the visions of demons. Irineu decided to try the brew.

After Irineu drank the ayahuasca brew, the participants started to shout, calling the demon. He did the same, but instead of seeing demons, he started seeing crosses and more crosses. He felt suffocated with so many crosses he was seeing and found it strange that he was seeing crosses instead of seeing the demon.He also asked to see a series of things and he could see everything that had wanted to see. This impressed Irineu very much.

Stories collected in the region tell us that around the year 1918, Antonio Costa used to drink the brew with a Peruvian Ayahuasquero by the name of Don Crescencio Pizango, who was thoughtto be the heir of the knowledge of an Inca king named Huascar.At a meeting attended by twelve people, the spiritual visions were very strong when Pizango approached the group, but only Irineu could notice his presence. At one point, Pizango came up to the group and entered into the big bowl where the Ayahuasca was served. He looked to Irineu and asked him to invite his companions to look inside the bowl and to tell him what they were seeing. They said that they only saw the brew.

"Only you are able to work with ayahuasca. Nobody else is seeing what you're seeing," said the Pizango to Irineu, telling him that only he was able to work with the brew.

From what is known from these beginnigs is that Irineu had visions of a Lady by the name of Clara, who presented herself as Our Lady of Conception, also called Queen of the Forest by the Daimistas.

The Santo Daime history started one day when Irineu and Anotonio Costa drank the ayahuasca brew together. Irineu was in the living room and Antonio in the bedroom. When the visions arrived, Antonio said:

"Raimundo, there is a lady here who wants to talk to you. She has an orange on her head to give you" (the orange representes the Globe).

"But Antonio, why doesn't she give it to you?", replied Irineu.

"She want's to give it to you", said Antonio.

"Antonio, ask her name", replied Irineu.

"Her name is Clara. She has been following you since the state of Maranhao. She also says that she will look for you in the next session."

When the session was over, Irineu was eager anxious for theday of the next session to arrive soon.When that day arrived, Irineu was lying down in a hammock after drinking the Ayahuasca brew to appreciate the beautiful starry night . The force of the brew started producing intense visions. In those visions, the moon got closer until it reached the roof of the house. In the vision, Irineu saw aLady sitting in the center of the moon.

"Who do you think I am", asked the lady.

"For me, you are an Universal Goddess", replied Irineu.

"Do you dare to call me Satan?", asked the lady.

"Hail Mary! Never!", replied Irineu.

"Do you think that anyone has ever seen what you are seeing?", asked the lady.

Irineu replied that he thought that many others that had drunk the ayahuasca brew could had had that vision too.

"You are mistaken. What you are seeing now no one has ever seen. You are the only one. I will give this world for you to govern, but not yet because first you must be prepared. You must first go through a preparation in order to make sure you deserve this" said the Lady.You'll spend eight days eating only bland cassava root (manioc) boiled in water and nothing else, and without seeing a woman's skirt (popular saying that means not having sex with a woman)."

Irineu's initiation in the forest, following a special diet and sexual abstinence, is an tradition held by indigenous shamans who choose to undergo throughthese types oftrials to develop knowledge, spirit communication and other powers such healing, clairvoyance and astral projection.

It issaid that on the fourth day in the forest, Irineu was having constant visions. The trees seemed alive and very vivid. Little caboclos appeared from everywhere and he was making contact with the animals that approached him. He shot up with his rifle because the noise of the shots brought him some comfort.

Antonio Costa was at home when he decided to test Irineu by thinking about putting some salt in Irineu's bland manioc. However, he didn't. While in the forest, Irineu was aware of Costa's intention and when he arrived at home, he told Antonio "You were going to put salt in my manioc. You didn't put it but you almost did, didn't you?" Antonio, surprised, replied "Yes, but how did you know? Now I know that you are learning."

At the end of the eight-day initiation period in the forest, Clara said that she was ready to grant him his wishes. Irineu asked to be one of the best healers in the world. She warned him that he could not take any personal (monetary) advantages out of it and that he would have a lot of work. Another wish that Irineu asked forwas for the brew to contain all healing elments.

"It's done and everything is in your hands", said the lady.

According to Luiz Mendez, Irineu knew that he had to continue working to acquire more knowledge. He remained in this phase for a period of 5 years.

Irineu's mission only really began when he overcame all his doubts. Then the Queen of the Forest, or Our Lady of Conception, started handing him all the teachings and the foundations of the Santo Daime ritual. He also received from the Virgin the title of the Chief of the Juramidan Empire.

Juramidam - Jura is the Father and Midam is the son. This is the name that the Santo Daime divine entities gave to the founder of the doctrine. It representes the second coming of Christ to the material plane where the Daimistas or People of Juramidam, carry the message Christ.

Sebastiao Mota de Mello, or godfather Sebastiao, narrated that the Queen of the Forest told Irineu that the true name of the brew was the verb "to give" (dar). This exlains the expressions used in the doctrine:"daime amor" (give me love), "daime luz" (give me light), "daime a cura" (give me healing).

The Forest Queen started preparing Irineu to receive the hymns that would come to be testament of his mission and would be gathered in a collectionof hymns called "O Cruzeiro" (The Cross). It is said that it took a long time for Irineu to receive the first hymns as he was not capable of singing. Finally, one day the Queen of the Forest told Irineu:

"Look, I am going to give you some hymns. You are going to leave behind this whistling thing and you will learn how to sing."

"Oh! Don't do that my Lady because I don't know how to sing at all."

"But I'll teach you!" She replied.

One day he was looking at the moon and the lady said to him.

"Now you are going to sing."

"But how am I going to do that?

"Open your mouth."

"But how?"

"Open your mouth, am I not giving you an order?"

Irineu obeyed. He opened his mouth and started to sing Lua Branca (White Moon), the first hymn.

In the 1920s the brothers Antonio Costa and Andre Costa founded a center named "Círculo de Regeneração e Fé" (Circle of Regeneration and Faith - CRF) -in the city of Brasiléa, state of Acre. Irineu also participated in this center. It was a small group, but a dispute for control made Irineu decide to leave this center. He moved to Sena Madureira and later to the city of Rio Branco, where he joined the Territorial Guard. Irineu remained with the Territorial guard until 1932, when he asked to be released. He was a corporal at the time.

In a testimony given by Jose Neves, he states "It was on May 26, 1930 that I started working with Irineu, and we worked until the day of this death 41 years and 41 days later. At that time there was no uniform (farda) and the first work was that of Concentration. There were three of us, but I don't recall who the third person was. From 1935 to 1940 Irineu would receive the values of the doctrine: the hymns, the melody that comes from the astral and nothing was invented. Before there was not this type of work in Rio Branco. It was a secret of the forest. Irineu opened this knowledge to other people."

In 1930 Irineu was living in the neighborhood of Vila Ivonete and began to open the Daime Works to the public. There were concentrations and sermons in which he transmitted the lessons learned through the sacrament. He became a member of Esoteric Circle of the Communion of Thought , where he extracted the principles of Harmony, Love, and Justice, principles which he integrated in the Santo Daime Doctrine. Later, he became a member of the Rosicrucian Order.

In the 1940s Irineu received a donation of the property "Custódio de Freitas Colony" located in the country side of Rio Branco. It was at this place that he founded the CICLU - "Centro de Iluminação Cristã Luz Universal", main church, better known as Alto Santo. The land was shared among the the Santo Daime families and there they established a community work project.

Master Irineu was a hospitable and good-hearted patriarch, always ready to help the ones in need, offering them love and discipline. His charisma attracted many people and all those who were touched by his light can still feel his presence.

On July 6, 191, at the age of 79, Master Juramidan left his body. To those who were with him the statement: "Be zealous and come to present yourselves" remains.

Source: Santo Daime Magazine