At the end of May this year, WCU was invited to participate and document a temazcal ceremony in the province of Chiclana, province of Cádiz, South-Spain.
The host of this ceremony was Flavia from Chile, who is following a call that came direct from the “Pachamama” (Mother Earth). Currently she has opened her house in Spain to share the ancient knowledge from her roots. Protection of the Earth, the Water, the Rivers, the Seeds “we are living a time that Mother Earth needs us on her side urgently!” she knows her mission is to bring people closer to Nature, “Europe has distanced itself from her, and it is time to come back Home” .
She lives in the countryside in a self-sustainable way where she also offers accommodation, Eco B&B. There is also volunteering possibilities for those who wish to help and learn about permaculture, eco-gardening and south american traditions. Contact Flavia here.
The origin of this “Steam house” ritual comes from pre-hispanic indigenous cultures from Mesoamerica and the purpose of doing it is to be born again, purified from the mother earth’s womb. Therefore the structure represents the Uterus of Mother Earth. There is a variation which consists of a hole dug in the ground and covered by branches.
In the following images we show the building steps for the creation of the Temazcal ceremony, explaining different aspects and information below. Youtube video coming soon!
The stones used in a long lasting fire are introduced inside the Temazcal with the help of the “Fire eagles” in four different times called “gates”, representing the different life stages of human age (birth and childhood, youth, adult period, senior period and death).
The stones are heated in a big Sacred Fire for at least 2 hours and then they are introduced inside the Temazcal with the help of the Fire Man (hombre de Fuego) and the Fire Eagles that also help with the Cleansing called “Sahumado” (the smoke of Copal and Sage burn) The stones are introduced in 4 stages that are called “doors”.
While the stones are heated, the structure of the temazcal is covered with the blankets and inside on the floor it is covered with eucaliptus, orange and lavanda leaves to sit on.
Symbols for each element and animals representing the Condor of the South and Eagle of the North were creating an altar, together with a statue of Pacha Mama and offerings to Earth, such as seeds, beans, flowers, burning sticks, leaves, instruments…
We boiled water with medicinal herbs to purify the body and spirit (in this case we used fresh salvia, rosemary and orange zest), which is pored on the burning stones to create the cleansing vapors.
A Mandala of flowers placed besides the Altar invited our animal friends to join the ceremony and together, with joy and love, we enjoyed, purified our souls and bodies, celebrated with food and songs around the Father Fire. You can find a list of temazcal songs here. A beautiful day and night to remember and repeat soon. Deeply thanks to Flavia for her invitation and to all the beautiful people who came and shared this magical experience.