Pontos Riscados de Umbanda: A Guide to the Sacred Symbols of Afro-Brazilian Religion
Pontos riscados are the graphical representations of the spiritual forces and entities that are invoked in the rituals of Umbanda, a syncretic religion that combines elements of African, Catholic, and indigenous traditions. Pontos riscados are drawn with chalk, charcoal, or other materials on the floor, walls, or objects of the ritual space, and serve as portals of communication and connection between the material and spiritual worlds.
In this article, you will learn more about the meaning and origin of pontos riscados, how they are used in Umbanda ceremonies, and where you can find a free PDF download of a book that contains hundreds of pontos riscados for different orixÃs (divine forces), caboclos (spirits of nature), pretos velhos (ancestral spirits), and other entities.
What are pontos riscados
Pontos riscados are composed of geometric shapes, symbols, letters, numbers, and words that encode the essence and attributes of a specific spiritual force or entity. They are usually drawn in a circular or oval shape, representing the cosmic egg or the womb of creation. The center of the ponto riscado is where the entity manifests its energy and power, while the periphery is where it interacts with other forces and beings.
The symbols used in pontos riscados can have various meanings depending on the context and interpretation. Some common symbols are:
The cross: represents the intersection of the horizontal (material) and vertical (spiritual) planes, as well as the four cardinal directions and elements.
The star: represents the divine light and guidance, as well as the five senses and qualities of the human being.
The triangle: represents the trinity of creation (father, son, and holy spirit), as well as the three realms of existence (heaven, earth, and underworld).
The circle: represents the unity and harmony of all things, as well as the cycle of life and death.
The square: represents the stability and balance of the physical world, as well as the four seasons and phases of the moon.
The spiral: represents the movement and evolution of life, as well as the connection between past, present, and future.
Other symbols can include animals, plants, tools, weapons, musical instruments, flags, colors, and names that are associated with a particular entity or its origin. For example:
A snake: represents wisdom and transformation, as well as the orixÃ OxumarÃ (the rainbow serpent).
A rose: represents love and beauty, as well as the pomba gira (a female spirit of seduction and liberation).
A sword: represents justice and protection, as well as the orixÃ Ogum (the warrior god).
A drum: represents rhythm and vibration, as well as the orixÃ XangÃ (the god of thunder and fire).
A flag: represents identity and allegiance, as well as the nation or tribe of a caboclo or preto velho.
A color: represents an element or quality that characterizes an entity. For example: white for peace and purity; red for passion and courage; yellow for wealth and intelligence; green for health and nature; blue for calmness and spirituality; black for mystery and power.
A name: represents the personal or sacred name of an entity or its manifestation. For example: OxalÃ (the supreme creator); IemanjÃ (the mother of waters); Exu (the messenger and trickster); Maria Padilha (a famous pomba gira); ZÃ Pelintra (a popular preto velho).
How are pontos riscados used in Umbanda
Pontos riscados are used in Umbanda ceremonies to invoke, honor, communicate with,
and receive messages from the spiritual entities that work with this religion. They are also used to create sacred spaces,