Spa Ceremonies - The Cacao & Temexcal

Wisdom can be passed along from our ancestors over generations – the experiences that they had can show up and even shape our own way of life. The innate ability to gather this knowledge and learn from our forefathers is something that is treasured at The White Lodge, and these generational, ancestral ceremonies are made available to us at the Zenica Spa. These kinds of ritualistic experience can help us create a more intentional, meaningful life as we know it, if we stop to tap into the learning of our ancestors and those who came before us.

I went along a spiritual journey by taking two such ceremonies back to back, both of which were steeped in traditions and taken quite seriously, and privately. I was only allowed to take a few photos in order to preserve the sanctity, and I hope that you can also use your imagination of how these ceremonies went.

The Cacoa ceremony is used to open up the heart, specifically the heart chakra, so that communication, love, spirit can flow more freely and energetically. The Medicine Woman Marili, who is a direct descendant of the Mayans, Lakotas and Incas, led this intimate ceremony along with her invited colleagues also of Mayan descent. Some new friends of the resort also joined to benefit from this heart-opening ceremony. Taking rituals like this to heart, no pun intended, is easy when it’s led by someone who has such wisdom and carries such important and sanctified traditions and history inside of her soul.

This ceremony uses something that I was blown away about – cacao seeds that have been passed down for 2500 years from generation to generation. These seeds have been a treasured aspect of Mayan civilization, and seeds with this much importance were served in front of me while at The White Lodge. 

The cacao drink was passed along, served in small mugs, and it was the purest chocolate I’ve had. She sweetened it that day with some cinnamon and a tad of vanilla, although I understand that sometimes it is only the warm cacao itself. Whatever it is, I say, “more please,” and I felt my heart soften a bit. My emotions surfaced because of the sanctity of where I was, and who I was with, and I became clear on my intentions of what I wanted to accomplish within my own heart.

This ceremony preceded an ancient ritual called Temexcal (pronounced Temezcal), which is Mexican for ‘sweat lodge,’ but this Temexcal is more than just that. This is derived from the traditions of the Mayan people, Lakotas, the Incas, and invokes the spirits of our fore-fathers and mothers. During this ceremony, we collectively give homage and respect to Mother Earth, and symbolically the ‘sweat lodge’ itself serves as a vessel for all participants to rebirth their spirit into the natural, real world again, yet renewed and shaped into better versions of ourselves. 

The lava stones, burning and glistening, are delivered one at a time by pitchfork, with blessed water being poured over it to release aromatic herbs via steam within the closed space. This process occurs with chanting, drumming, all of which we all do, and one by one we speak directly to Mother Earth herself. We are allowed to present ourselves to Mother Earth, asking for guidance or a message to help us with whatever issue is on our minds at the time. 

The ceremony lasts for as long as you can take the heat, but each of us completed each ‘round’ of heat, stones, chanting. The whole process is truly an experience that leaves you in a puddle of sweat, thirsty, hot, and yet energized and renewed. The ceremony is something different to each of us, and what you get out of it is what you seek. 

There’s so much wisdom and healing in these ceremonies; and as the Medicine Woman said, our ancestors and guides reveal to us what we need to know and what we need to learn.

And they did … 


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