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Musings of an Awakening Spirit

Stories, poetry & general musings of Rebecca Haywood, a modern-day Shaman with a penchant for bringing the divine into the human experience.

Retreat Journal: Shameless Feminine in Teotihuacan

“And one day, all under heaven will see beautiful free women, blooming like fields of flowers...” -Ch’iu Chin

Day 1-2: "Walk of Ownership"

What a beautiful first day with our group of women. This trip is definitely a journey into the Shameless Feminine and the new moon has served us well.

We were guided by Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent and the father of Teotihuacan, to bring all the men to him and leave them there. In fact Quetzalcoatl wanted us to “break from the dream of the patriarchy and raise the Feminine from her hiding place.”

We gathered in a circle atop the mesa of Quetzo’s pyramid and released the men in our life—family, friends, and foes—by speaking their names out loud. It was potent—names overlaying names in a chant-like song of grief and gratitude for how these men had held us up, held us back, and for how we had held them—their trespasses and their triumphs nestled in our wombs.

It was the beginning of an exorcism of the deepest kind in which we shall shed the skin of the patriarchy and the ghosts of trauma placed within us; and it was an initiation into a death process—the traditional call of Quetzalcoatl. Yet this is the kind of death that happens in birth— a transformation into the new.

It shifted the earth under our feet, quite literally for one woman—clearly chosen to be our vessel—as she collapsed into shaking sobs. We all held her and released through her in a communal uprooting of the patriarch. As the waves of energy subsided, a strong pulse formed in her solar plexus like a heartbeat pounding against her skin. It was the Masculine asking to be set free and the Feminine rising in her fullness. We placed our hands over it and in one last wrenching pang of intent, pulled it from our chosen vessel’s body.

This energy led our walk down the Avenue of the Dead as a “walk of ownership”— no victims, no villains, no shame, and no more blame. Each woman crossed over the San Juan river and crossed that line of personal power with a declaration of “I am here!” We all broke into warrior-like calls as we reclaimed ownership of our body and all the healing in front of us.

Today, we shall venture into the Temple of Women to greet the ghosts of our trauma—ancestral and new—in this new way: fully embodied and empowered bring them to peace in the arms of our shameless embrace. Ometeotl!

Day 3: "Offerings"

Today we have been invited into a private sacred site at the outskirts of Teotihuacan where all will receive a Fire Cleansing in the tradition of mi abuelita, Madre Sarita.

I am incredibly honored by this invitation from a Brother and Sun Dancer of Teotihuacan who has such reverence for the Feminine and the work we are doing that he is opening his sacred cueva (cave) to us. I had dreamt of this—delivering the medicine of the Fire within a cave—and yet I questioned how it could come to be. Silly me. Quetzalcoatl and the Mother have provided, as always. Ometeotl!

And it is not without exchange. Each woman here has made an offering of herself—to purify her lineage and the lineage of all women on this earth—and it has been deep and challenging. Yet each has renewed their intention of service each day, pushing past the resistance of fear and standing tall within it.

As in the tradition of Teotihuacan, Quetzalcoatl has asked us to begin again each day—walking the Avenue of the Dead and the Plazas of the Elements—and each time, we find new Feminine medicine awaiting our footsteps. It’s as if we are rewriting the map of Teotihuacan by the hand of the Mother, dissolving old patriarchal constructs and shedding the skin of Teotihuacan itself.

Our “walk of ownership” has reached into hidden places within us, long encrusted by these constructs and the unhealed wounds they concealed—wounds that felt unreachable and forever etched within the memory of the Feminine and this Earth. I doubt I could even name them all. For beyond our trauma from men, from sisters, and from our mothers, we have exhumed memories beyond this lifetime—nameless and yet with an undeniable, piercing voice. It seems endless and yet we continue to keep our ears and hearts turned to them all.

And though the Mother has been present throughout—cradling our tears and pulling us ever closer to her Pyramid of the Moon—it has all been led by Quetzalcoatl. It is so sweet to feel the support of the Sacred Masculine, inviting this rise of the Feminine. Gracias Infinitas, Quetzalcoatl and all the fathers and brothers who are cheering us on. We break from the patriarchy, unbroken, that we may rise together. Ometeotl!

Day 4: "Fire Cleansing"

Yesterday’s Fire Cleansing ceremony was the deepest I have ever experienced. It actually began the day before with a vision I received from Quetzalcoatl: women circling Teotihuacán, waiting to return home.

They were the ancestors of this place and they wore the evidence of their history in scars upon their skin, broken shields at their feet, and bloodied tears flowing from a desperation that moved through my body in almost unbearable waves of emotion. They had been silenced; no voices came from their open mouths and yet their cries of pain pierced my healer’s heart and I beseeched Quetzalcoatl to let them back in.

“They must be purified first.” He answered. “And so must this earth.” I felt him wind through my body and then fly to the ground where the women stood. His golden plumes touched the earth and it split open to reveal a river of blood, boiling with heat, rage, and sorrow. “This is your work.”

And where once I would have taken on this mission silently and singularly, the women of this journey gathered around me. They held my hands and rubbed my back as the energy of emotion continued to release. ‘This is the work of the sisterhood.’ I declared silently. ‘And we each have a role to play.’

Surrounded by their mothering love, I knew I didn’t even have to ask— they were beyond willing; this was as much their calling, their healing, as it was mine; and its healing was for all of our feminine ancestors. That river of blood would run clear and pure under every woman’s feet.

And so began the intention for our ceremony. The role for each woman was so clear as if this ceremony had already been written: one woman would carry the abuelas, another the mothers, the fierce one would hold the virgins who courageously sacrificed themselves, and the youngest would bear the niñas with the abuelas and the mothers at her side. And then would come the priestesses and the curanderas through my sweet sister and apprentice, Teresa, with Madre Sarita guiding their journey home. And finally, with all in their place and at rest in these powerful wombs, these women would cleanse my body as the vessel of this Earth; the gates would be open once again and blood would turn to healing waters.

As soon as we emerged from the cave, it began to rain, to pour, all night long. Tlaloc was smiling upon us; the Earth was being washed clean and the medicine of the fire was extinguished— its need fulfilled. Ometeotl.

Day 5: "The Spiral of Undoing"

It has taken me a bit to bring words to the final days of this journey. I am “home” now, in LaLa Land, yet the matter of this world feels less solid than the dream of Teotihuacan and Quetzalcoatl’s serpentine presence. They continue to wind through me as if seeking to devour and cleanse this land now too. We may have shed the patriarchal skin of Teotihuacan and even washed clean the ancestral footprints within our very cells, and yet, we all knew, it was a preparation and an initiation into the healing roles we would play here in this world where the patriarchy still stiffens against us.

Yet, for the three beautiful days in Tolantongo, we got to play in a sisterhood suspended in the cocoon which our final day in Teotihuacan had spun for us…

Our walk up the Pyramid of the Sun was unprecedented. It was not the usual final flight of the journey where we return to the light from which we came. No, Quetzo asked much more from us; we were there to work— to cleanse the memories it held and bring the light of the Sun into our wombs as vessels to be carried into the Pyramid of the Moon. The polarities seemed to be calling for a reversal.

Each woman held the roles they had been given in our Fire Cleansing ceremony— Child, Virgin, Mother, Grandmother, Priestess, and Earth Mother Divine. We traveled counter-clockwise up the Pyramid in a “spiral of undoing”, collecting the “blood and seeds spilt” upon its stones and gathering the “false prayers tongued” in its air.

These instructions were actually given by Tlaloc in Tepantitla where we began our day, and with their download came so much more: a healing of the temples across the world and a freeing of the sacred feminine their structures sought to bury. Unearthed, we rose with Her through their cold facades and stale confessionals, and into the hearts of their nuns and priestesses. We washed our hands as their hands, allowing the healing waters to pass through our fingers onto the temple floor like a cleansing rain— a rain which, we were told, would greet us atop the Pyramid of the Sun to purify the blood, seeds and prayers that we would lay upon its altar.

And so it did. As my hands reached for the Guadalupe rosary in my medicine bag, the sky darkened over our circle of women atop the Sun Pyramid and the thunder seemed to posses my voice— now vacillating between English and Spanish to address both the women and those that had gathered around us in prayer. I held the rosary to the sky, hesitant to act upon what I was being led to do: to tear the cross from its end in a final freeing of the patriarch from the Mother’s womb. The rain broke in large hard drops upon us and I could feel the cross now in my other hand, drenched in Tlaloc’s blessing.

Our spiral of “undoing” was complete; the rain stopped as quickly as it came and yet a small river ran through Teotihuacan, mimicking the body of Quetzalcoatl but traveling down the Avenue of the Dead and away from the Pyramid of the Moon, as if her water had broken free to repossess its path as her birth canal. So beautiful!

Yet our “walk of ownership” had one more stop to make; the Pyramid of the Moon called us to her. Yep, two pyramids in one day. But this was not work, nor was it a final flight; it was a landing— deep in the black light of the unmanifest within our wombs. And Quetzalcoatl met us there once again, but this time to impregnate us with a new dream of the Feminine Divine. As He made love to us, the wind shifted directions and, with it, the polarity of the masculine gave way to the healed feminine within us. The two became one. Ometeotl.

And the cross? The abuela in our group carried it to headwaters of Tolantongo where we returned it to Pachamama. As I watched it disappear at the waterfalls edge, three butterflies rose seemingly from nowhere and a little girl’s voice echoed through the canyon, “Lift me up, Papi!”

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