WHAT IS A TEMAZCAL?
The Temazcal, or Sweat Lodge, has been one of the widest spread ancestral therapies in the world, but it is mostly commonly known, and used in North America; from Mexico to Alaska.
A Temazcal is a place where you are invited to let go, heal, be accepted for who you are, release negativity, express yourself and to learn tribal wisdom of song and movement. This can awaken your own indigenous wisdom, your shamanic ancestry, to connection to yourself, to one another and to Mother Earth.
A traditional Aztec Temazcal is a round structure like igloo made with clay, stones or brick, it represents the womb of Mother Earth, in the centre it is a pit, where the sacred stones, “Abuelitas” or Grand Mothers, are be placed once they been heated for hours in Grandfather Fire”, or “Huehueteotl”
In this enclosure water will be periodically poured over the heated rocks to create the sacred steam, or “Atlachinoli” and this steam is the source, and starting point, of the purification process for the participants. As the water vapor rises the healer’s songs and the beat of the drum begins, representing the beat of Mother’s Earth heart.
Inside of the Temazcal, we are all brothers and sisters strengthening and clarifying our relationships with all that we are, and the relationship with Mother Earth and Father Sky.
The Temazcal ceremony is intended as a spiritual reunion and refuge, and a respectful connection to the Earth itself as much as it is meant for purging toxins out of the physical body and for mental, emotional and physical healing too, as well as place to get answers and guidance. It is a true moment of power to reconcile ourselves, our relationships, our health and our spiritual calling.
Healing Benefits of Sweat Lodge Ceremonies
The Temazcal ceremony has huge physical benefits, just to list some;
- It has anti-bacterial and wound-healing properties, and can help fight infections by creating a temporary fever state in the body which some say lessens chronic inflammation.
- The heat is also a great remedy for arthritis, muscle pain, and skin disorders, which can be improved by the increased blood flow at the surface of the skin
- It cleanses the lungs and purifies the digestive system.
- Tones the nervous system, stimulates the circulatory system and relaxes the muscular system,
- Eliminates toxins and stimulates the immune system.
- Helps regulate female reproductive system and blood cycles.
- Regulates metabolism and purifies the blood.
- Relieves fatigue by producing abundant negative charged ions.
- Helps in weight loss, relieves fluid retention.
- Virtually every organ of the body is stimulated and purged of toxins.
- As well as all this the Temazcal was, and still is, used all across the Americas to help deliver babies due to its muscle softening qualities inducing relaxation response, grounding and bonding with the partner and Earth.
- The therapeutic use of Temazcal is also associated with thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, musicotherapy, neurolinguistics, aromatherapy and more.
- It is for excellence a preventative medicine when used regularly as purification ritual.
The Temazcal ceremony frees the mind of distractions as you enter in to a time of introspection in to the darkness of the womb.
The steam will offer clarity to connect with your higher self and purpose, generating positive changes created by high intentions of connection, trust, gratitude, appreciation and fraternity.
The Temazcal in its heart is a symbolic returning to the mother’s womb giving us a re-connection with our lost inner child. Inside the Temazcal the healer will open a space to express the deep feelings in a sacred and supportive way.
Inside we are being bathed in the sacred waters created by the steam which will foster a softening of the armour creating an outpouring of stagnant emotions to occur, leading us to a deeper healing.
Traditionally the sweat lodge, especially in the Lakota tradition the ceremony is used to cure and decreases fears and phobias.
The Temazcal ceremony is intended as a spiritual reunion with the creator spirit, and a respectful connection to the Earth itself as much as it is meant for purging toxins out of the physical body.
This reunion with spirit reconnects you with your essence and the fact that you are nature, that we are made of the four elements – earth, water, fire, air.
You will be reminded of all this through the meditations, songs and guidance, led by Marcela in ceremony, just as a skilful yoga teacher reminds you again and again to feel the breath.
It also facilitates a release of blockages in the lower chakras promoting free flow of energy. The upper chakras are also encouraged by the spiritual character of the ceremony, creating a balance of energies.
Marcela is an ‘Eagle Medicine Woman’, initiated as a Temazcalera healer – or Native American sweat lodge medicine woman – in the therapeutic Aztec tradition. This is a path I have followed for my lifetime and is my gift I share with you.
My teacher was Rogelio Villa-Lobos Jaguar. He guided and taught me the art of the medicinal plants we have to use inside the temazcal, as well as the ancient treatment ‘ajuste con rebozo’ – shawl massage – that you can experience afterwards.
He is a kind, loving and whole-hearted healer, or ‘curandero’, who has been doing this work for long time, and his teacher was a Greatmother from the Mexika oral tradition.
During my training I had the privilege to have a second teacher from the Lakota tradition too, her name is Isabell Luna, she and her husband instructed me in the ways of the warrior Lakota sweat lodge where its purpose is to defeat fear, while Rogelio instructed in the ways of the therapeutic sweat lodge.
My teacher Rogelio Jaguar named me and initiated me into the lineage of Eagle Medicine Woman, which in Nahuatl is called Kuauziuatl.
This lineage and clan was a call I had receive years ago when I was 19 years old, attending a Lakota sweat lodge retreat in the North of Mexico, in the Sonora desert near Arizona. I remember the fire man telling me that my soul was on the ‘Red Path’ – which is the path of the swat lodge tradition- and that I would listen to the call of the spirit in this lifetime, and he gave me an Eagle feather to mark this calling.
Now I can hear the call of the spirit of the Eagle inside of me, telling me to spread my wings and soar into the blue.
So, I am here in England where I will give service the community with the Temazcal ceremony.
‘Zecu cualii cuicui!’, which means in Nahua ‘So be it because I felt the call.’