By Carlos Buby
Templo Guaracy does not perform rituals involving animal sacrifices. This ritualistic restriction is based on the Principles expressed in the Introduction, promoting the Preservation and Development of Life. The practice of rituals which, directly or indirectly, go against Life would be thus incoherent with the Philosophy of Templo Guaracy, resulting on the loss of Templo Guaracy’s essential objective. However, the position of Templo Guaracy relative to the traditions that practice rituals with animal sacrifices is of a profound respect. This is because we know well the sacred way in which these animals are killed.
In Candomblé, each sacrificed animal is previously prepared through rituals that dignify the act. The “Axé” is offered to Nature, and the food is offered to the community. The parts of the animals offered to the Orixás correspond to rigorous liturgical precepts. The rest is offered to the participants and eaten during the celebration, which closes the initiatic ceremonies. This millenary tradition comes from a time when God, Man and Nature were at the same “table” and shared the same “banquet”.
Great celebrations like Christmas and Easter are organized around an abundance of food. At these occasions, we find various animals and birds that have been killed by humans and, the majority of times, without any criteria. Why wouldn’t the Candomblé celebrations have the same abundance, but with consecrated animals? We know that this is a controversial topic, and we don’t have the intention to create any controversy. We only pretend to propose to those with a more radical view, a reflection without prejudice, discrimination or hypocrisy. We just want to clarify that if Templo Guaracy does not sacrifice animals, it is due to its philosophy and not to the ignorance of the tradition.
The “magical” properties found in the red blood cannot be substituted. However, combining some herbs appropriately can, with their juice (green blood), compensate the absence of animal blood. Ritualizing the process of sowing, harvesting and preparing the herbs, guarantees the resulting energetic substance, to be appropriate for different rituals. We are not referring to the active principles of the herbs. We extract the essence and use it in “amacis”, baths, etc. The rest is dried and used for smudging. Templo Guaracy does not prescribe herbs or any other product with a medicinal purpose for ethical reasons.
reverse what seems obvious will have the advantage.”