Today I reflect on how I have found balance in my life, balance within my spiritual body, emotional body, and physical body. Though it is an ever-evolving practice, and our work is never truly done, I feel at balance within my soul at this moment in time, by acknowledging and knowing that the four elements live within me.
Finding balance is a daily act of discipline and impeccability. It is a prayer and commitment to yourself and your own healing. To find balance, we look to heal our sustos—the shocks or scares that can turn into trauma when not dealt with—and our heavy emotions, like envy, resentment, anger, sadness, that want to control our lives.
So, I share with you a practice of evoking the four elements from within you, to find balance in your own body, mind, and spirit. I also share an invocation for Tlazolteotl, the sacred feminine energy who can consume all negativity, heavy emotions, and fear, so that you, too, can find balance in your soul.
As the airs of Ehecatl, the powerful Mexica wind deity,* blow through my hair and the sacred breath of life kisses my skin, I sit with today’s energy of Iq’ in the Chol’ Qij Mayan Calendar. Iq’ is el viento/the wind and is my ally. Ehecatl, you teach me to transform and transmute negative energies and return these heavy aires/airs back to the heart of the earth. I surrender all heavy emotional winds back into the Grandmother below my bare-naked feet.
Totanztin Tlalli, venerable Mother Earth and Mexica earth deity, I honor you, for you ground me and remind me of who I am and where I come from. Daughter of the earth, mother, sister, grandmother. Yo soy una hija, madre, hermana, y abuelita. The divine feminine lives within me, and I am part of our great Mother Earth. Each movement and action of mine is a reflection of how I treat my mother, and thus, in turn, how I treat others. I bow my head down to you, kneeling in my skirt and soaked in wet earth, and I kiss my lips to the most holy mother.
Chalchiuhtlicue, sacred energy of the water, I see you as well, with the pulling and ebbing of each wave. Sacred waters, agua vital, you are always in constant motion, teaching us how to shift with each current, ripple, and tide. Our emotions are everything, and they seem to be stored deep within the forgotten spaces of our heart. We bury our feelings within, storing them in corners of our soul, for it often feels too difficult to look within at our own reflections, for the truth can sometimes be too real. Yet you, Mother Waters, teach me how to flow and constantly be in motion, releasing what I do not need anymore.
Now it is time we call on Abuelito Fuego, Grandfather Fire, and the old fire energy Huehueteotl. Your wrinkles show wisdom, wise one, you who breathes fire. We turn to you to consume and burn away all the pain and fear we want to release from our bodies and be rid of forever more. The element of fire is dual natured: it can rage with anger and cause so much danger, yet it, too, can cleanse, purify, and devour all negativity. Thus, we turn to you, releasing all fears and self-doubts, yielding them into the hot flames to be swallowed whole.
Calling on the Powers of the Earth to Surrender Heavy Emotions and Sustos, to Find Balance
We call upon the four elements to find balance within our own bodies, minds, and spirits. We look to los cuatro elementos to heal our heavy emotions, to dissect and resolve all conflicts that live within and all around. We concede that we must let go of all the pain and drama and relinquish all ancestral trauma if we are to live in complete balance. We pray to the four winds to purify our hearts and souls of old winds/aires y sustos. We surrender our intergenerational trauma, which our parents and grandparents passed to us because they and their generations were not ready to heal, returning it back into the earth. We ask the four elements to guide us on our path of inner knowing and truth, to help us find complete balance with all living creation. We pray for strength and the willpower to complete our cosmic missions.
Honoring each of the four elements that live inside, yes inside each one of you reading these words, we give thanks to the heart of the earth and heart of the sky for the ability to heal our souls and find balance in each of our lives. Yet now it is time to turn within, and call upon one more helping guide to complete this healing journey that is a lifetime’s worth of work.
Prayer Honoring Tlazolteotl, the Sacred Energy of Regeneration
Tlazolteotl is the one we honor now, while looking within. We honor Tlazolteotl, the regenerative energy, the one who consumes all the filth of humanity. It is she whom we ask to help us find balance in our own hearts and minds.
Tlazolteotl, we call upon you on this sacred day. The spirit of divine love. You are the regenerative power of the earth, the midwife, and the pardoner.
Tlazolteotl, you who are associated with purification and healing, you are often pictured with a grass broom to remind us that the ritual act of sweeping is meant to purify us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
You teach us, wise Tlazolteotl, the ritual of limpia. Cleansing with water, fire, earth, and air. The sacred elements, agua, fuego, tierra, y aire. Showing us how to do una barrida, a sweeping ritual, whether with herbs or a broom. We ask you to help sweep our minds free of harmful thoughts and our bodies of negative energies. Help bring us balance of the mind, spirit, and body.
Tlazolteotl, you also invented the temazcal, the sacred temazcalli, sweatlodge, which has been the central place for ritual and purification in ancient Mexico and Indigenous lands. You represent the cycle of death and life, of death feeding life, of life cycling to death. The twinned snakes encapsulate ollin, the movement of life, and you represent life, death, and rebirth.
Oh, Tlazolteotl you are the provoker and the pardoner, the active female principle in the continual cycle of death and life. Eater of Excrement, the pardoner of misdeeds. Sacred energy of both restoration and filth, you help remove people’s impurities during the plática ritual. You are the great spinner and weaver, Tlazolteotl. You are the one who eats filth and gives absolution through purification rituals, such as pláticas, sweeping rites, and the sweat bath.
You are the purifier, and thus we call on you for the purification of heart, body, and mind. Help nourish our souls with positive thoughts by extracting our heavy emotions. Help us find balance within, so that we can heal the shadows of our soul.
Tlazolteotl, we see you before us and honor your wisdom and medicina. You hold a red snake, symbol of the fertility of menstrual flow in one hand, and a broom to purify all in the other. Your headdress includes spools of unspun cotton, as well as a shell, showing us your ties with spinning and the lunar cycles. You are womxn’s medicine, both the purifier and the healer. Wearing black and red, decorated with crescent moons or nothing at all, you have a wrinkled belly, showing us that you have given birth. Patroness of childbirth, one who regenerates and gives life or healing to all life, from plants to humans. You wear black paint around your mouth, representing all the filth you eat in the pláticas you give before death.
You are the deity of the black, fertile earth, the rotting, decomposing. The fruitful earth that obtains its energy from death, and in turn nourishes all life. You turn the mistakes of humanity, their garbage, physical or metaphysical, back into prosperous life.
Tlazolteotl, we see you giving birth; you give us the opportunity to regenerate and begin anew. Always evolving and changing, in the constant movement of rebirth. We call on you to help us not falter, for we are mere humans full of traumas. We offer this sweet medicine and food, copalli for you to eat and breathe. Please help us find our love for ourselves, and when we falter, please purify our hearts of all sorrows, and souls of all wrongdoings.
You give us the strength to face our sustos and move onward with our lives, while holding us in complete, unconditional love. Your embrace is like the love of a mother, that maybe we never had or have perhaps lost. We light these candles for you, divine woman, Tlazolteotl, help us take away our fears, doubts, and traumas. Help us find nourishment in our life’s, balance within our bodies, and remind us what feeds our souls.
We call on you to face and confront all our fears and insecurities in this difficult road of life. Hold our hand as we look within our own reflection of the obsidian mirror. The reflection may be terrifying, but we are warriors ready to take on this responsibility of our own inner demons and traumas.
Give thanks for your life and the ability to breathe. Give thanks for the warmth in the hearth of your home’s fire. Give thanks for the ever-flowing waters and ability to release all pain through tears. Give thanks to your feet and the ground beneath them.
Give thanks for the four elements, for this special day, and another opportunity to pray.
*Editor’s note: According to many modern thinkers, our Mexica ancestors did not worship “gods” or “goddesses” in the way these words are understood by Western minds. Rather, the ancient Mexica venerated sacred energies and natural archetypes that represented aspects of a unified and unifying sacred reality called teotl. Here, the author uses the word “deity” to represent these concepts. We share her words with the understanding that there is no direct translation in English for the original Nahuatl.
Xochi Quetzalli practices Curanderismo at her centro de sanción as an Aj’Qij, Maestra, artist, and healer in Eureka, California. Her passion is to empower womxn by guiding them to heal their birth stories and sustos through rebirthing themselves to their cosmic identities. One of her special offerings is a 9 Moons Cosmic Rebirthing Series, which is a trauma-healing journey with soul retrieval. She also offers traditional limpias, Mayan fire ceremonies, and much more atwww.xochiketzalli.com.
Ofrenda Magazine™ explores Xicanx and Latinx spiritualities, earth-centered wisdom traditions, and healing arts. Our mission is to inspire holistic wellness, ancestral connection, social and ecological justice, and spiritual creativity.