The Family Children of God by insidersChildren of God Family International
Home Chat Boards Articles COG History COG Publications People Resources Search site map > chatboards > genX > archives > post #18303

"Goddess Macumba."

Posted by ">snaily Shelly on February 10, 2005 at 05:21:43

I just read the very interesting article on this board about David Berg and his belief that he was having sex with Goddesses.
As both a former member of COG and a neo-Pagan who ahs studied Godesses in general, and Afro-Brazilian Godesses in particular in some detail, I think I can offer some insights.
Acording to the article, Berg had regular visions of himself having sex with Godesses. He explained this in variouse ways to try to make it consistant with his form of fundamentalist Christianity. First, that these Godesses were symbols of variouse geographical locations. Next, that they were actualy angels. Then, that they were "fallen angels" that is, demons, whom he was converting and saving through sexual means, a sort of metaphysical flirty fishing. Finanaly, he seemed to become increasingly scared of them. In the end, he seemed to view them as demons that he could not control at all.
The goddeses he mentioned included Diana, the Sphynx (an egyptian cat Godess), Vishnu, the Egyption sun Goddess, and, seemingly his favorite, a large balck Afro-Brazilian Godess, he called "Macumba."
Now, the first thing I must mention is that he had many of his facts wrong.
Anybody who knows anything about Hinduism knows that Vishnu, probably the most important God in the Hindu pantheon, is male. (Berg was most likely thinking of Kali, based on his description.)
The Cat Godess is named Bass (Nobody knows what the builders of the Sphinx were thiniking.) The Egyption sun God is also male (Ra).
But the most interesting, to me, it the Godess "Macumba."
I spent three years practicing a form of Afro- Brazilian spirituality, read every book I could find on the subject, and spent eight weeks in and around Salvador Brazil, (sometimes called the Voodoo Vatican) where I atended eleven rituals.
At no time did I ever read or hear of a Godess named "Macumba," worshiped either in Brazil or anywhere else.
It is possible that there once was one. I don't know.
The African based religions of Brazil are very complex. It centers mainly on a blend of African religions and European spiritism.
The reliigion is known by many names. Nowadays, it is usualy refered to as either "Condomble", Which is basicaly African, or "Umbanda," which is more westernized.
In the past, it was also sometimes known as "Macumba."
I had knows the term from books, such as "Macumba form and spirit" when I went to Brazil.
So, I was surprised, when I got there, to discover that the term had developed a conotation almost completly negative.
When I expressed my interest in "The relgion," people who were into it also would say "Oh, you are interested in condomble (or Umbanda), that's great."
But those who were not would sneer "why are you interested in Macumba?"
Later, I did a web search on Macumba. One web site on African based religions said "The word Macumba is a derogatory one, refering to harmful witchcraft, so we will not use it."
It is strange that, rather than the many widely worshiped and respected Godesses of the Afro-Brazilian pantheon, Berg would find himself having sex with a Godess by that name.
It is true that, in adition to African Dieties, many Brazilians do work with male and female spirit entitys which some of them view as demonic.
If the "Godesses" were anything other than the product of Berg's disordered, alcoholic mind, it seems likely that they were something like that.
I just can't see why any real, self respecting Godess would be interested.