Spring Equinox at Tepozteco

Whilst many Spring Equinox celebrations take place on the 21st March here in Mexico, I felt the need to make my pilgrimage to a sacred site on the day of the actual equinox, this year being 20th March. In addition to the equinox,  the energy of 20th March is very special and powerful with a New Moon, Supermoon and Solar Eclipse also happening on this day. We are in a time of evolution, letting go of the past and creating our future, the way we want it to be.

The New Moon always marks new beginnings and this new moon is all about transitioning into a new consciousness in alignment with our higher selves. Making my pilgrimage and honouring the Spring Equinox on this day was very important to me. I dressed in white as is the tradition here for ceremony or as a sign of reverence when visiting sacred sites. I decided to go to a sacred site where I would be reaching new heights…..

My chosen site was El Tepozteco. It is located at the top of a mountain, Sierra de Tepoztlan, and requires an arduous one hour climb up some 9000 steps. Some steps have been created in a modern fashion and others are part of the natural rock formation. It is a true pilgrimage and I imagined pilgrims and initiates in ancient times making their way up the mountain to the ceremonial site. In a temperature of around 80F it is a long, hot journey. However there are canopies of trees and such beautiful surroundings that it is easy to be distracted from the effort of the climb.

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As we reached the last stage of the climb before entering the site we were greeted by coaties which are small badger/racoon type creatures and clearly the animal guardians of the the temple.

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At the top of the mountain is a small temple dedicated to the god Tepoztecatl, a god of the ceremonial and slightly intoxicating beverage of pulque which is made from the maguey plant. Pulque was traditionally drunk in regulated quanties in ceremony, today it is still used in the traditional dance ceremonies. This temple became important enough to attract pilgrims from as far away as Guatemala, although the honouring of the god Tepoztecatl was local to this site. Some carvings are still intact in the room at the top of the temple including glyphs of the 20 days of the sacred tonalpohualli  calendar.

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During our climb we had been hearing the sound of the conch shell which is symbolic of the start of ceremony here. We arrived to witness a circle of people all dressed in white, surrounding a rainbow coloured altar cloth covered with corn/maize, beans, rice, sweets and other things.. We were able to join in the energy of the ceremony and meditation.

Whilst I am unable to reproduce the exact words, it seemed to me that the group were reciting  a version of the Twelve Rememberances Keys:

I Am Love …
I Am Light …
I Am Peace …
I Am Harmony …
I Am Compassion …
I Am Sorry …
I Am Kindness …
I Am Mercy …
I Am Healing …
I Am Joy …
I Am Bliss …
I Am Perfection

After the recital, some breathing practices and a minutes silence the group then listened to some beautiful music and joined in the chant,

Abrete Corazon – Open Your Heart.

Open your heart
Open to your feelings
Open to your understanding
Leave reason to one side
And let shine the Sun
That is hidden within you
Aaaaa; Aaaaaaa…

Open up ancient memory
Hidden in the Earth
In Water, in Air
In plants, in Fire, in your body

It is time, Now is the hour to open your heart

And remember how Spirit cures
How love heals; How trees flourish and life endures

              Open your wings, Breathe deeply

And lift yourself up to the sky

Look at the sun in front of you like eagles do
Have no fear, Trust in yourself
Trust in God; Trust in Life

After the chanting finished several people went to the altar and mixed up together all the items on the altar. Then people came and took handfuls of the mixture and put them into plastic bags. The facilitator of the ceremony invited me to take some of the mixture as a symbol of abundance.
We sat on top of the temple for a long while after the ceremony was finished. It was like being on top of the world, eye level with the surrounding mountains and the eagles and turkey vultures that were circling around us. Meanwhile the coaties were busy looking for food, even trying to get into people’s bags to snaffle their lunch. They are very cute.
It was a joy.
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The descent is almost as long as the climb in time as you have to go very slowly so as not to slip on the rocks. On the way down we saw some insects with the most amazing markings, a reminder of how amazing nature is. You will need to zoom into the photos to fully appreciate the colours and patterns.
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We also discovered a small shrine containing flowers and apples an offering the spring.
We passed a Mexican couple we were on their way up who wished us a ‘Feliz Primavera’ – Happy Spring…and it was. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to welcome the first day of spring in such a special and simple way.
Once back in town we made another pilgrimage to the pulqueria and raised a toast to Tepoztecatl !


Until next time.

Blessings Tiffany XxX