Categories: About Santo Daime


In the center of every Santo Daime altar, there is a double cross. Unlike a traditional Christian cross, the Santo Daime cross has two horizontal bars. The symbolism of the double cross is that Christ will come again to Earth. But this time, the light of Christ will arrive through each one of us as we do our work of healing.

For this to make sense, It will be helpful to understand the answer to these three questions:

  1. Why is the cross such a powerful symbol, not just for Christ but for each of us?
  2. Why must we do this work of self-healing to begin with?
  3. Why won’t Christ come again, as he did in the person of Jesus?

The cross represents our twofold nature. For we are all at cross-purposes within ourselves.

The symbolism of the cross

There is nothing more ubiquitous for symbolizing Jesus than the cross. It has held up over thousands of years as such a powerful symbol because of the deeper meaning it holds for humanity.

According to the Pathwork Guide, the cross represents our twofold nature. For we are all at cross-purposes within ourselves. This is the great struggle we must overcome by exploring our innermost conflicts and problems.

All truthful teachings observe humanity’s fundamental two-foldedness, which expresses itself in many ways. For example, there is the desire to be loved and the rejection of love. There is also the basic instinct to live and our rejection of life. This refers to more than just physical life. It includes all the aspects involved in meeting life fully and living a vibrant life.

In addition, there are conflicts in the human soul between being constructive and being destructive, between being creative and stagnating. All these, and many more, indicate our many divisions within ourselves.

The traditional cross demonstrates this by the two bars—one horizontal and one vertical—indicating two opposing directions. As long as we cannot bring inner opposites into harmony, pain and suffering must result. But once we successfully overcome this inner battle—which is out-pictured in the world as conflict, fighting and war—we will experience true resurrection. Then we can start living in harmony, peace and joy.

Jesus demonstrated this entire process through his victory over opposites by integrating love and sacrifice. We are doing this, in a healthy and genuine way, whenever we stop living from a self-centered outlook on life. When we face our inner destructiveness and reunite the banished, impure parts of ourselves.

In doing such deep healing work, we come to realize that we are truly a valuable part of a whole. That we matter. That in our core, the light of Christ shines. And by freeing ourselves from our negativity—through our personal work of self-transformation—we can become a beacon of that light for others to follow.

Free will is a key aspect in falling and also in rising again to true freedom.

Why must we heal?

Here is a very, very brief synopsis that tells the story of why we are here in this difficult dimension of duality. It also points out the reason we must do the necessary work of self-healing if we want to return to our true home and reunite with God.

There are three main things that are important to understand: First is the Fall, second is the Plan of Salvation, and third is the importance of free will. For as we’ll see, free will a key aspect in falling and also in rising again to true freedom.

The Fall, the Plan of Salvation and free will

Let’s begin with the simple truth that God is love. As such, God must create, so love will have something to love. The first being created by God was—and is—Christ. This is why Christ is referred to as the only begotten son of God. All other beings in existence, including each of us, have been created by Christ.

This multitude of created spirits can also be called angels. And many, many nations of angels were formed. Each angel was created with a special essence—a particular spiritual quality—to enjoy and also perfect. Plus, at their core, each angel held a spark of God.

In addition to God’s sparkle, each angel was also given something else: free will. For God has free will. Meaning, in order to be in union with God, each angel must always retain their own free will.

There was one clear request that God asked of each angel: to honor and obey Christ as King. Since we were all living in harmony and bliss, how hard should that be?

Exercising our free will

The first being created by Christ was a magnificent being called Lucifer, which means “bearer of light”. Like all angels, Lucifer was a double, embodying both the feminine and masculine, which we can also call the receptive and active principles.

Over time, Lucifer began to grow jealous of Christ the King. For the light of Christ was even more dazzling than Lucifer’s light. So whenever they visited the various nations of angels, Christ’s reception by the crowds was ever so much grander.

And so, using his incredible charisma, Lucifer began turning on the charm. Lucifer was very hard to resist, as he slowly began convincing others that, in fact, Lucifer would make a better king. Promises of things like preferential treatment were made.

One could argue that if God really cared for us, God could have stepped in and stopped Lucifer. Or at least stopped us from disobeying God by supporting and following Lucifer. After all, God is always watching everything. So God could see what was happening.

Here’s where the concept of free will comes into play. Because we have free will, God lets things run their course. After all, God was clear in requesting we honor Christ as our one and only King. But God would never violate our free will and force us to comply with God’s will. For that would void our likeness with God.

Note, this reality about free will is as true today as it ever was. If we are experiencing unpleasantness in our lives and don’t see how it originates within us, this simply means we don’t know what lies hidden in our unconscious. In other words, we don’t yet know ourselves very well and have self-healing work to do.

The Fall & the rise of the Prince of Darkness

At some point, Lucifer had gained enough support from enough angels to approach God, requesting that he, Lucifer, be made the leader of the entire heavenly Kingdom. And at that point God said, “Enough.” For although Lucifer thought he was going against Christ, he was actually going against God.

By then, God’s faithful servants had been secretly marking all the angels going against God’s will and supporting Lucifer in his bid to become king. To be clear, not all angels supported Lucifer to the same degree. Some were major fans of the idea, and others were simply on the fence, thinking maybe Lucifer had a point. This mattered when God initiated the Fall.

The Fall was not really a one-time event. In fact, it keeps happening every time we choose separation over connection—when we choose to follow our own self-centered will instead of aligning our will with God’s will.

But for the sake of this story, we can think of the Fall as a single event. And when it happened, all the marked angel—all those who had used their free will to go against the will of God—were swept out of heaven, falling into massive spheres of darkness.

Each fallen angel fell into the dark sphere that was a match for their degree of rebellion. And the leader of the dark spheres? None other than Lucifer, who was formerly the highest ranking Prince of Heaven, and who now became the Prince of Darkness.

Healing our inner splits

The Fall was a series of cascading events in which we not only tried on disobedience. We followed our curiosity to experience the opposite of every divine quality we had been given. Today, we know these as our faults.

Another important thing that happened during the Fall is that we became split. For one thing, each being split into either a female or male half, and imperfectly at that. In addition, our very souls were split in two, creating inner opposite beliefs.

Much of our inner healing work is about repairing our main inner split, together with all the many smaller fracturing and fragmentation that happened along the way. There is considerable work we each must do if we want to become whole again.

The alternative is to remain locked in a world of hurt, where negativity rules and Lucifer reigns. For until we free ourselves from darkness, we are no longer governed by a king who loves us but by a ruler who thrives on hate, rage and cruelty.

Longing for the light

With the Prince of Darkness as our king, all positive qualities were now distorted into their opposite negative form. And this included our free will. In other words, we had used our free will to allow ourselves to become imprisoned by the unshakable domination of Satan, formerly known as Lucifer.

During all this time, the brothers and sisters who stayed true to God’s will remained in the Spirit World, mourning the loss of their loved ones. And Christ was paying close attention as well. For Christ loved—and still loves—all of us dearly, and nothing that happened had put a dent in that.

Over eons of time, from our human perspective, all of us fallen angels endured the misery of living in total darkness. Until, at long last, there was a glimmer of light on the horizon. This light arose from the longing of the fallen angels who wanted to find their way back home to God. It also came from the pure spirits who longed for the return of their loved ones.

It was this growing longing that set something new into motion called the Plan of Salvation.

The Plan of Salvation

Long before Earth came into existence, God and Christ were busy crafting a plan for how we could all use our free will to become right again with God. And so it was that a place was created where every fallen angel could learn to consciously make a different choice—a choice for the good.

Since this place arose not only from the longings of the fallen angels, but also from the longings of pure spirits, beings from both light and dark worlds have access to this dimension.

And so it was that a galaxy came into existence. Then slowly and gradually, a planet developed where fallen angels could come and do their work of self-purification, so they could eventually reunite with God. This would unavoidably be a place of duality, where good and evil would need to co-exist. But this was, in fact, a perfect match for the fragmented souls of the fallen spirits who still held a spark of light in their core, but which was now hidden by layers of darkness.

Starting out, we were still very crude in our level of development. Christ sent many divine emissaries along the way to provide guidance for our journey home. For without such help, we would have fared no better than we had in the dark spheres that had so little light.

Of course, this meant that dark spirits have also always had access to this planet. Their goal is to leverage our faults, tempting us to make choices that continue to go against the will of God. In short, we were tricked and tormented mercilessly by dark forces. And for a long time, there was nothing holding them back.

We had no way out

As fallen angels continually went through one incarnation after another, we eventually began to learn to make better choices. Yet no matter how far we advanced spiritually, whenever we went to sleep or died, we always returned to spheres of darkness. We were perpetually stuck under the cruel dominion of Satan. For we had lost our free will, and we had no way to get it back.

One day, Christ reached out to Lucifer, now Satan, to make an agreement. Christ asked if those who were making progress in their journey home could be released from his domination. In a word, Satan said “no”. So Christ asked what it would take for Satan to begin letting people make their way back. If people consciously begin to align their will with God’s will, could they have a way to return to true freedom?

Eventually Satan agreed, but only with the following conditions: If one being—any being—was sent to Earth from God’s Spirit World…and if Satan was allowed to use all his charisma to tempt that being to stray from God…with the Spirit World backing off at crucial moments and not offering help and guidance as the Spirit World typically does….and if that being remained true to God (and here Satan was certain no one could ever succeed, because Satan was that good at what he did)…then Satan would agree to fight a war.

And if the forces of light were to win this war, then Satan would agree to start fighting fair with humanity (meaning the dark forces would start to honor spiritual laws and only tempt us to the extent we still harbored faults and destructiveness)…and if we made progress, we could begin to have access to spirit worlds containing more and more light. To be clear, we would still need to work our way up to God. But at least there would now be a pathway for getting home.

The dawn of something new

Anyone could have gone. But Christ is the one who volunteered to go. He did so because of Lucifer’s intense jealousy towards Christ. To this day, no one has had to endure anything like what Jesus Christ went through during his time on Earth.

And with his memory of the Spirit World dimmed out at times—just like for the rest of us—it wasn’t a sure thing. If Christ had not succeeded, he too would have found himself under the dominion of Satan. Then someone else would have had to volunteer, in hopes of freeing us all.

Fortunately, Christ prevailed. And so shortly after Jesus’ death, a war was waged. Numbers-wise, it was terribly lopsided in favor of the dark forces. For the forces of good vastly outweigh the power of evil. Even Satan had to agree it was a fair fight. And the forces of light won.

This was Judgment Day. Meaning from that point forward, God’s spiritual laws shall be in full force on Earth. Satan now had limitations, and we now had our free will fully restored. The doors to heaven are now open for anyone who does the work of self-healing. For whenever we choose light over darkness—connection over separation—we free ourselves from our own faults and restore ourselves to our original divine essence.

Our work must be to fight the good fight and overcome the illusion that we are separate.

Overcoming the illusion

While it’s true that Earth is a temporary reality—it’s essentially an illusion—the greater illusion is that we can take refuge from conflict and disharmony, rather than going through the difficult work of self-healing.

Our work then must be to fight the good fight and overcome the illusion that we are separate—from God, from each other, and perhaps most especially, from ourselves. It is God’s will then, supported by God’s laws, that we each use our own free will to make this choice. So we can return to our true home in heaven.

To heal is to cleanse ourselves of inner negativity and wrong conclusions. For our emotions have become stuck with painful feelings. And our minds are clogged with misunderstandings. All this we must clear away and re-purify before we can reunite fully with God and live once again in the glory of divine light.

How Christ will come again

If we understand the Plan of Salvation, we will have a new appreciation for Christ’s mission in incarnating as Jesus. We will also understand why Christ would not need to come again in the same way. For as the Pathwork Guide explains, Christ has come many times before—perhaps as Krishna and King Salomon—but never as fully and completely as when he came as Jesus. And that makes all the difference.

The choice is now ours to find the darkness inside us and transform it back to the light. This is the meaning of the second bar on the Santo Daime double cross. For by doing our work of personal self-healing—by cleansing, transforming and restoring ourselves to wholeness—we make the light of Christ more fully alive on Earth.

This is how we save ourselves. This is the true meaning of salvation.

If we do this—if we do the hard work necessary to save ourselves—we have every right to walk through that doorway to true freedom. And although he will be the last to return, even Lucifer will one day be welcomed back home to God.

— The Pathwork Guide’s wisdom in our words