Orixá Iroko My interest in sacred trees has developed out of a desire to explore the cultures and traditions of people who still live with, and relate to, nature in a spiritual way. This tree, the gameleira, is sacred to the Candomblé tradition, a prominent religion in northeastern Brazil. I had not been in Brazil long when an invitation came to attend a ceremony for the orixá Iroko which manifests through the gameleira tree. It was to be held at a terreiro, a house of Candomblé, on the outskirts of the city of Salvador. That evening I stepped onto the leaf-strewn floor of the terreiro and watched a Candomblé ceremony unfold. As the participants and attendees filtered into the room, this unfamiliar place filled with an air of warmth and kindness. When the rhythm of the drums picked up and the ceremony began, I understood immediately that even if what I witnessed that night passed outside the realm of my usual reality, the experience would be a positive one.