Templo do Vale do Sol e da Lua


Umbanda. Father Luiz Martins. Sun and Moon Valley. Itaipuaçu, Maricá, Rio de Janeiro state. Approximately 250 people in attendance.

Templo do Vale do Sol e da Lua


Umbanda. Father Luiz Martins. Sun and Moon Valley. Itaipuaçu, Maricá, Rio de Janeiro state. Approximately 250 people in attendance.


Vale do Sol e da Lua

Scents and smoke draw a new type of perception on the horizon: another body, a gaze that’s also a window, an energy that needs to be a bridge… The smoking of herbs is a way to open the senses – and doors – to other connections.

“I invoke the strength, I invoke the strength

The strength of the rocks to keep me in place

I invoke the earth, I invoke the earth

I invoke the earth to root me down”

The Peace Warrior song at a Gira ritual

It was from the entities Vovó Maria Redonda and Caboclo do Sol e da Lua that Father Luiz learned Umbanda’s step-by-step and recipes: plants and nature carry wisdom, music and magic are synonyms. It all started when this man’s children needed some prayers. This man, who was an engineer and nuclear physicist, but devoted his attentions to studying spirituality. Luiz begun performing small rituals in his home and, during one of those, Maria Redonda said it was time for seven friends to start a temple for the exercise of their own faith: The Sun and the Moon, with the house named after this caboclo, who also serves as its spiritual guide.

And there are approximately one hundred and fifty mediums dancing their spirituality away in the Valley’s halls. At each open Gira, an average of two hundred and fifty people form the circle of bodies wrapped in white and heads connected to the skies. According to the father, the union of people and their forces is what makes Umbanda’s potent movement so transforming: each must listen to their own truth and harness their energies for their meetings with the Sacred.

“Temples help us because we gather

and together we increase our strength”

Father Luiz Martins

On the floor under everyone’s feet, there are two intertwined snakes, a yellow triangle, the moon, and seven stars. The house’s symbol, just as life itself, is constantly changing and new elements can be incorporated. It’s around this symbol that the works take place… First, there’s a brief moment to develop speeches and chants: heads and energies are aligned.

With loud sounding atabaques and songs, the bodies are invited to dance: they vibrate and tremble in their synchronic connection with the entities. If it seems like the movement’s been rehearsed, suffice to say it’s been prepared: a channel is opened by the music’s rhythm, the sound is the link between states of consciousness and worlds.

“I can only believe in a dancing God”

Father Luiz Martins

In the Umbanda Giras at Vale do Sol e da Lua, trances are the means to get closer to entities who make their presence known not just through visions: they have a taste, an image, a scent, and a sound. Esoteric and non-esoteric, what this house performs is magical work: a settlement of the forces they invoke.

They happily spin among the rest, those marked negatively by prejudice: because they dance and smile and drink and smoke with no restrictions. Exu and Pomba Gira are actually transgressors to the eyes of men who can abide to one law only: that of love.

“Umbanda doesn’t judge,

it takes you in

and that’s it”

Father Luiz Martins

Open to new ways, dialoguing with all forces and spirits: Umbanda is the synonym of collective. It becomes plural and, in being so, it awakens the sounds of everything that is nature. The nature of men, the nature of worlds. An ecological faith that teaches, note by note, how discipline and ecology take place in the rite as much as they do in spontaneous interactions. It’s the spinning, trembling life. It’s an enlightened place, where there’s always room for one more to shine.


Pai Luiz Antonio Martins



Pai Luiz Antonio Martins


See More