Back in 2012, I was called to the heart of the earth, el corazón de la tierra, to the volcano- and jungle-filled lands of Guatemaya. The heart of the Maya people. A land full of culture and ancient wisdom. And there on top of a hill, overlooking a vast blue lake with three volcanoes circling in the distance, I watched the sun rise in the early hours of that transformational day during Wayeb (the 5-day period before the new year).
I sat in a circle on the dirt in my cotton skirt and gazed up at an aging K’iche Mayan woman. Indigenous and proud, she was dressed in a traditional huipil blouse, a woven skirt, and a faja belt that held the skirt and blouse in place—all crafted from the most vibrant, colorful textiles, handwoven on a loom and accompanied by leather huaraches on her feet. Under five feet tall, she was a small-bodied woman, yet she rose above us all in her humility and power. I was looking up at the woman who would one day become my maestra (teacher). I was not aware of this at the time, for I felt I didn’t deserve the magic, the magic that I now know lives inside.
I will never forget the words she said: “Para empezar a sanar, deben empezar sacando la espina que está clavada en tu corazón.” To start to heal, you must begin by removing the thorn that is stuck in your heart.
My eyes filled with tears as the sun rose and the lake began to warm with the gentle heat of Tata Tonatiuh (Father Sun). She spoke the truth, the truth of my own journey of mending my broken heart. And I knew it was time to dive deeper into my own life’s woes, my ancestral trauma, my self-identity crisis, and all the pain we have suffered during the past few centuries through the genocide of Indigenous peoples.
The journey within is not an easy task, and it requires you to face all your darkness. It requires you to begin to show up for yourself and commit to the unruly work ahead. But I was finally ready, at that exact moment in time, and I truly began putting myself back together again.
I could say that my healing journey began about fifteen years ago, even though it’s a lifetime’s worth of work. And most of my students, apprentices, and clients who come to me are on this same mission. For Creator brings us mirror reflections, teachers who took the same journey and can share the secrets of their self-discovery. And all my trauma has truly become my medicine; it is my life’s work.
We womxn are in a unique age, a time in history when we are finally allowed the space to heal ourselves, to heal our own stories.
We womxn are in a unique age, a time in history when we are finally allowed the space to heal ourselves, to heal our own stories. Our ancestors were not necessarily able to do it before us because those times did not allow it. Our great-grandmothers were fighting for survival, and our grandmothers survived through assimilation. Our mothers fought for basic rights as womxn—the right for equal pay, the right to abort, and for other civil rights that we continue to fight for today.
We have covered so much ground. Even when progress can feel fleeting with the flip of the presidente, we are finally coming to a breakthrough, a shift in this cycle in time, in this age of the sixth sun. We can now recognize the damage colonialism has done and work at mending the broken threads of time.
We are a reflection of Coyolxauhqui, the moon, broken and dismembered. Dismembered by generations of trauma and murder, we are slowly learning how to put ourselves back together again.
And by rebuilding ourselves, we heal our mothers and grandmothers. We heal wounds that have been passed down for ages. Only now has the time arrived, has the space been created, for our true journeys to begin. We are the ones we have been waiting for, with Coyolxauhqui up in the sky, singing us cantos sagrados, reminding us to look within.
We are the ones we have been waiting for, with Coyolxauhqui up in the sky, singing us cantos sagrados, reminding us to look within.
The moon, or Nana Metztli, is my medicina and can be yours, too. She is one of my greatest guides or guardians, asking me to do the work of a warrior: I must meet my reflection in the moon as a mirror, face my enemies, which are my traumas, and battle to make myself whole again. The moon is a portal that allows us to look within ourselves and rediscover the lost pieces of our alma (soul). It is time to pick up the broken parts of our soul, go searching within the heart of the earth for our lost tonalli, our spirit essences.
We womxn are finally dancing under the moon again, with owl feathers in hands, copalli on the wind, and white flower crowns in our long, natural hair. We sway to the beat of the huehuetl, the sacred drum, and move in the rhythm of the cosmos as we dance the formation of the constellations, the sacred patterns of the sky.
And now, in 2022, we are finally transitioning into a new cycle and walking towards the time of the sixth sun. Change has come. And though the shifting tides are turbulent, the spiritual awakening is stirring, and we womxn are at the forefront, guarding the four directional gates, with popoxcomitl and copalli, as the ancestors meet us from the other side, to assist us in saving the planet and the next seven generations.
Flower Limpia: Full Moon Self-Love Ritual
Do you resonate with the need to rise in these times of change, but feel you have lost your alma, your spirit essence? Then you are in need of a self-loving, self-affirming ritual during the next full moon. Join me in a traditional barrida (sweeping limpia) to cleanse the spirit and evoke self love.
Using flowers from your garden or roses from the store, set up an altar under the moonlight to use your flowers in a self-guided, self-healing limpia or barrida ritual.
- 1-4 Xochitl (Flowers)
- Extra medicinas to consecrate the space: nine candles, burning copal or another smudging medicine with its burner, bowl of water, plate of food offerings for the spirits, and an instrument (drum or rattle).
Under the moonlight, set up your altar in a way that pleases you. In curanderismo, it is just fine to only work with what is available to you. Create the space to be sacred in the way that you desire; embellish it with beauty, if possible, but most importantly follow your own intuition.
Using the flowers, sweep your body in a downward motion. Starting from the head, sweep the flowers down to the neck, down each arm, and down the body. You can give extra attention to each chakra, especially the heart. Focus on the heart while evoking the deity of love, Xochiketzalli. Say your prayer aloud, in whatever words come to your mind, and then continue sweeping down to both legs. Note that it’s important to never sweep upwards.
Sweep all the wounds of the heart—lack of self-identity, low self-worth, low self-esteem, hate for your body, or feelings of never being enough—back into the heart of the earth, el corazón de la tierra.
Then ask Coyolxauhqui, the moon, to fill you instead with self-love and respect, positive emotions and beliefs, and a connection to your ancestors. Plant the seeds that will help you flower into the blossoming beauty that you are!
End the ceremony in song, dedicated to Grandmother Moon.
When you are finished, discard your flowers by returning them to the earth. Remember not to pick them back up with your hands, as you do not want to pick up those old energies again. Instead, use a bandana or cloth to pick them up, and then dispose of them into a flowing body of water or into Grandfather Fire.
If you have any questions, please do reach out.
Nana Xochi Quetzalli