The Brazilian religion known as the Valley of the Dawn is an international new religious movement known for its eclectic cosmology and collective rituals performed by adepts dressed in ornate garments. Headquartered outside of Brasília, the Valley of the Dawn was founded in the 1960s by Neiva Chaves Zelaya (1925–85) a clairvoyant medium affectionately referred to as Aunt Neiva. This article highlights the work of Mário Sassi (1921–94) and the significance of esoteric thought in the development of the movement’s Doctrine. An early convert who became Aunt Neiva’s life partner, Sassi was an intellectual seeker who drew selectively on esoteric ideas popularized through theosophical and spiritist texts to interpret and systematize Aunt Neiva’s visions. Together Aunt Neiva and Mário Sassi created a Brazilian form of Western esotericism that today includes over 600 affiliated temples across Brazil and worldwide.
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Research Article| February 01 2020
Western Esotericism in Brazil: The Influence of Esoteric Thought on the Valley of the Dawn
Nova Religio (2020) 23 (3): 60–85.
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Kelly E. Hayes; Western Esotericism in Brazil: The Influence of Esoteric Thought on the Valley of the Dawn. Nova Religio 1 February 2020; 23 (3): 60–85. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2020.23.3.60
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