Ever since I first learned of a temazcal (sweat lodge), my heart told me that one day I would be participating in such sacred ceremony. Meeting one of my dearest soul sisters here in my new home state has been nothing less than magic. I was invited by her to join in on my first sweat gathering.
This particular ceremony that I was blessed to be present in was one of honoring the upcoming New Moon, Earth Day/Earth Goddess, our ancestors and all elements of nature. The culture that I received the opportunity to experience that day was that of Mesoamerican Aztec. The thought of joining such a ceremony has excited me for some time; since I’m new to ABQ New Mexico, this type of sacred gathering meant everything for me!
I want to share that I am currently in the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy so I do not recommend that every pregnant woman participates in a sweat, unless you feel comfortable and called to do so. The elder woman present who lead the ceremony reassured both myself and soul sistar (who is also pregnant) that many women of this culture have been a part of sweat ceremonies while pregnant. Some even giving birth inside with the heat being a part of the healing/comfort for the Mother and child.
As I arrived, to my surprise I was greeted by familiar friendly faces/souls. I knew right away that this was exactly where I needed to be. The strong recognition of the sisters gave me a sense of a safety-like feeling, one that encouraged me to open up as fully as I could to the experience.
We walked together towards a yard space where a dome-shaped temazcal was located; such peace came over me as I stepped in the sacred space where many ceremonies have been previously held. Creating a circle of Goddesses, the leader announced that this particular ceremony was to honor the pregnancy of myself and sistar’s as their own. She shared that we are all experiencing pregnancy with new energy, rebirthing and reinventing ourselves through this ceremony. Such resonance was felt through the power of her words, she then expressed that the dome represented the womb of the Goddess/Earth. It was a surprise to all of us that the circle was that of all women, perfect and divine.
Before entering the temazcal, we stood in the form of a circle, honoring all of the elements in each four directions. This powerful prayer/intention moved me in ways that felt right and empowering. The sense of connection to all those present was indescribable. Inside I felt one with all, I was in the oneness energy. As nature gifted us by making its presence known; the wind vigorously blew the trees making them dance, birds sang songs, and the warmth/comfort of the air was the icing on top. I knew that when I was to leave the temazcal that I wouldn’t be the same because this type of ceremony was one of shedding skin, rebirthing oneself.
Each of us wombyn were cleansed and blessed with the burning of herbs by our Goddess leader right before we made our entrance. As we entered the sacred healing space, each of us kneeled in child’s pose before proceeding; thanking and setting our intentions for the upcoming experience. We entered in clockwise, forming another circle; preparing for the grandmother lava rocks to be placed in the center of us, we remained in a peaceful state. As each rock was passed through to be placed in the center, we hollered out “Bienvenida Abuelita” (thank you grandmother) in unison. Each round there were more lava rocks added, creating more heat; there was a total of four rounds.
As we begun, we were led to deep breathe as we took in the herbal steam, allowing every cell to be filled and penetrated. With each breath we took in as much as our bodies would allow, slowing releasing out with an “awe.” The intensity came on as I began to break through barriers with the assistance of the heat and presence of our ancestors, encouraging us to come undone and release. Spirit told me to calm the mind as much as possible and surrender to the healing experience.
During the first session, our Goddess leader expressed the meaning of this healing round which would be one of honoring our ancestors/elders; we were asked to each share a short story of remembrance with a beloved elder. I didn’t expect to release as much as I did but I couldn’t help the energy that came up to be shared and released. I cried out as I spoke of my grandfather, not realizing the painful energy that still existed within my body and heart. What a release! Almost every person present shared a personal story of a grandparent. I then realized the special gift of knowing/haven known a grandparent. The connection is magical, nurturing and a divine blessing to have experienced a beloved elder; the energy and magic shared and passed down is just everything! I am grateful!
The second round, a few more lava rocks were added to the center of our space. As the door was lifted, the wind came through to ease our heated bodies and oh my Goddess that was the best feeling ever. Already drenched in sweat, and feeling strong movements of the baby, I wasn’t sure about the next round being any more warmer, but spirit told me that I could do it and I did.
This time we each shared experiences with water, honoring water as an important part to our survival. Acknowledging our love for it and that without water we wouldn’t be alive here. During this round I began to feel euphoric and wild, moaning through the experience of heat penetrating my entire being. I shared my personal intimate experience with water being alone at a quiet beach a few years ago. Feeling my connection to the sea nymph and water spirits present with me on that day. Allowing the water to embrace me in ways that gave me a deep sense of oneness with nature and internal peace. I am blessed!
Our Goddess leader poured teacups of spearmint tea and we passed each cup around clockwise saying “Omateo,” (which I’m not sure what that means exactly, except it felt like a “thank you”) giving our gratitude for water, honoring it as we drank each sip.
After the second round, my sistar and I were encouraged to take a break as the next round would be even hotter than the previous. Our leader suggested that we come back to join the final closing round. As stepped out of the temazcal, I felt like a super being; an animal with heightened senses and presence. More clarity than ever, very alive and new! All I could think, feel, and say was WOW, wowowWOW!
We dried off and went back inside for a bit, the energy was so high that we couldn’t help but channel even more, conversing about life, all things of importance and connection. It felt like 20-30 minutes had passed by and we were asked to join again for the final round.
We entered once again and the first thing I felt was more heat! I didn’t know if I could bare this one, but my sister encouraged me to lay down for more ease. Since she had previous experience with sweats she knew that I would be experiencing a challenging break through at this point, and told me that I was releasing something huge. Instead of fighting, I surrendered. I felt the heat flowing into the pain spots of the body, I wanted to scream and howl, the wild woman within me knew how to embrace this experience. It literally felt like giving birth energetically as I pushed through the “ring of fire.”
This last groundbreaking and powerFULL round we honored the Earth and our connection to the Mother. I expressed such gratitude for her existence through this transformation process of human evolution, her unconditional love and trust (through the destruction) that New Earth humans are emerging.
Our leader spoke closing words of love and gratitude. We were then told that we were able to leave the temazcal. Gathered by a fire outside of the sweat, we closed the ceremony by releasing gifts into the flames as we set intentions.
We entered the kitchen area after drying off and smiles came about on our faces as we saw fruit! We each grabbed a plate and sat at the table, ending the night with a small nourishing potluck. Sharing our spiritual experiences, there were some who heard a song from the lava rocks, saw orbs/lights, spirit guides and children surrounding the sacred space. I personally felt the message from our ancestors as their presence took over my body. They are us, living this time through us, sharing wisdom, love and support! We are one! The night ended with love hugs and until next time, I felt completely satisfied and blessed.