I am, technically, if these designations mean anything anymore…”half Brazilian.” Which is to say…my mother was born and raised in Brazil, and emigrated to the United States when she was in her twenties.
She grew up in São Paulo…which, at the time of this writing, is engulfed in Book Of Revelations level smoke and darkness.
Though she became a U.S. citizen some time ago, up until recently she was a partial owner of some ancestral land in São Paulo. But a couple of years ago, quite out of the blue, she announced her intention to sell her share of the land as soon as humanly possible.
Her reasoning was as follows: at the time, Brazil was currently embroiled in a corruption case centering in its female leader. My mom believed that instead of really fixing the problem, the country would probably, in a reactionary manner, vote in some really paternalistic far-right guy. Things would still be a mess–a mess on top of a pre-existing mess–and she just didn’t foresee things logically getting any better.
Perhaps that was all rather negative and cynical of my mom to think…but she was also more or less right.
But also…she just has certain concrete intuitions on things, and I’ve learned to pay close attention. (My sister also has these sorts of intuitions, as when she suddenly decided to quit her job at Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center and relocate to Florida only several months before 9/11.)
Now: my mother’s grandmother–my great-grandmother–was literally a South American medicine-woman. She worked with a psychic to diagnose various physical and mental and spiritual maladies…and prepare cures.
My great-grandmother also apparently read Hebrew. I initially assumed this was because she was Jewish, but maybe she just liked reading High Magick from the original Kabbalistic texts (you know…for kicks).
I do not have handy my only picture of my great-grandmother anymore–it was a very foggy elusive image with her posed similar to Bigfoot amongst the tall grass.
However, I do have a rare snapshot of myself from the late 1990s as a young chubby Goth holding up a replica of the Necronomicon at a horror movie convention:
I have always seemed to have an interest in the esoteric. I have wondered if this was, in some way, “inherited” from my Brazilian great-grandmother.
Now, I do have a picture of my mom’s dad as a young man. You can’t tell from the cropping, but he is dressed as Brazilian cowboy: a “gaucho”:
What you also might not be able to tell from the photo is that this guy was HUGE. Not huge as in overweight, not even huge as in “burly”…but just extremely tall and proportionally huge like “there were giants back in those days” level huge. His hand, delicately posed upon his hat, literally looked like a bunch of bananas.
Oh, and I do have this Ancestry.com report from my mom of her DNA:
Great Britain: 39%
Western Europe: 12%
Iberian Peninsula: 10%
Eastern Europe: 7%
The Rest (a.k.a. “Misc.”): < 1% each
What all that gobbledygook means is that despite my mom’s side of the family being in Brazil since at least the late 1800s…they were still…technically…not natives to the soil.
And to be clear…there did seem to be a “class consciousness” on the part of the European immigrants that was used to differentiate them from the indigenous peoples of the nation.
So best I can figure…my great-grandmother probably synthesized whatever esoteric beliefs she carried with her from Europe with the indigenous population’s beliefs and natural cures. One also has to consider the fact that Spiritism–a mystic philosophy spearheaded by the Frenchman “Allan Kardec”–ended up being HUGE in Brazil by the late 19th Century.
Spiritism encompasses everything from the Ouija board, mediumship, faith healing, and a type of proto-hypnotism known as “Mesmerism.”
If you’ve read my posts on the erstwhile young Brazilian lad Bruno Borges…you can see how this Spiritism has recently blended with UFO-lore.
Anyway…what I’m telling you now is pretty much almost all I know about my Brazilian heritage. I’ve never been to Brazil. I do not think, between their current leadership and the burning of said rainforest, I will be visiting any time in the near future.
But a couple of nights ago…I had this very interesting dream. I was confronted by what looked to be a South American native shaman. And he held out to me this sort of small animal that was being used as a sacrificial offering in a ritual. And…haha…he wanted me to taste it.
And I was like…
And that’s the dream I had, and those are my initial thoughts on the Amazon rainforest burning down.
Postscript: …I did taste the small animal in the dream.