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  • By : Melisa
  • July 26, 2019

Chapter 28 – The Moon Dance: Meeting the Grandmothers – February 2010

The “work” is to learn how to discern the whispers of the heart.  Barely audible, we need to find moments of stillness in order to hear what our Soul is trying to convey.  In many traditions, it’s the heart that is the entryway to higher realms and to guidance from Celestial Influences.  

At the end of everything experienced and endured,  the Moon Dance in Costa Rica was a vehicle to the opening of the heart…as if an invisible hand came and reached into the cavity of my chest and cleared all obstacles …  all thoughts … all the past … and exposed my heart to the Light…   

Purpose:  The purpose of the Moon Dance is to help women heal and unite her functions as grandmother, mother, daughter, friend, server of the light, healer and wife.  Women need to re-establish themselves in important societal roles by honoring their wisdom, ability as healers and as intuitive souls connected to their higher selves.  We need to unite with each other with peace, love and harmony.    

The Moon Dance:

We danced from dusk to dawn under the full moon for four nights.  All the women were dressed in white with a garland of flowers crowning their heads.  There were many beautiful impressions … the drumming, the singing and dancing. We started out by greeting the four directions (also known as the four Doors), Mother Earth and Father Sky.  We then danced specifically for each Door, starting with the East. After each door, we smoked our sacred pipes with the intent of sending our prayers to the Great Mystery.

Although there was time to rest in between “Doors”,  the schedule was definitely challenging. The routine was as follows:

Temascal (Sweat Lodge) before starting the ceremony.

Moon Dance

Temascal (Sweat Lodge) after ceremony.

Fruit and Yogurt

Rest (which was very difficult during the day due to the heat)


Workshops (anywhere from 2 – 3 workshops)


Routine starts again: Temascal

If you have ever experienced a sweat lodge, you know that it can be very difficult.  At first, you can experience fear, since at times it can be difficult to breathe and we were 65 women inside a small dark space.  The experience is definitely the return to the womb…to the time when we were still Spirit. As fear makes way to stillness, this is where the real transformation starts.  

There were eight sweat lodges in total.  Towards the end of this experience, it was fascinating to observe the mind trying to take space… continuing with negative thoughts  … while the higher centers observed this “noise” with detachment. The mind whined and complained, wanting to run out of the Temascal and at the same time there was peace, serenity, harmony and a lot of compassion by the Soul for the physical being.  It felt like the wolf and the lamb were starting to get to know one another … and even if for just a brief time, the lamb was in charge.

Grandmother Nicole:

During the four day dance,  Grandmother Nicole held a workshop about the Sun.  She is a Sun Gazer… every morning at dawn, she greets the rising Sun.  There is only a small window of time in the morning that you can look straight at the Sun.  Afterwards, it’s almost impossible to look into the Sun. She has been practicing this discipline for a long time … having even reached a point where the Sun was her only nourishment during a three month period.  She said that she even gained weight since she was still trying to figure out how to “manage” the energy of the Sun within her body.

She spoke  about a time in our ancient past where we had ethereal bodies and we received nourishment directly from the Sun.  As we become more identified with Earth and our bodies became more dense, not only was it difficult for us to look directly into the Sun but it can also burn us.  When we lost our ability to look at the Sun, the Moon formed. It’s function as an obsidian mirror is to reflect the Divine light of the Sun for humanity.

There were times when she just didn’t want to get up at dawn and would sleep late and miss the rising of the Sun.  One day, the Sun spoke to her…”I must not be your Beloved, for if I was, you would rise early and dress in your finest, being eager to greet me.”    During the Moon Dance, the Sun spoke to her again. As she stated her sense of awe for the energy and gift of the Sun, the Sun responded…. “Nicole, you are the Sahumador… you are the Sacred Fire.”  The Sahumador is what is used to smudge and cleanse the space we are working in. The embers from the sacred Fire are placed into a clay pot where copal is added. So, in essence the Sun was telling her that her heart was this Divine Flame.

Grandmother Silvia:

Grandmother Silvia is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Her workshop was in reference to a specific Toltec-Aztec codex called Yayauhqui Tezcatlipoca (plate #17).  She spoke of how sacred these codices are and how they hold sacred knowledge. This one in particular showed a man with an eye that looks inward.  The teaching was that we can balance our duality, our light side and shadow side, through inner wisdom and understanding. The codex is very complicated showing many archetypes.  When I asked if these archetypes were teachings of how to reach a balanced duality, she said yes. The teaching was a map to being a better person by harmonizing the inner world with the exterior world.

Below is a quote about Yayauhqui Tezcatlipoca from the article  Mesoamerican Religious Concepts by Ronald A. Barnett:

“The early Toltec origins of Tezcatlipoca are confirmed by archaeology. The first clear representation of this deity is on a Toltec-style sculpture from Early Post-Classic Chichen Itza (A.D.1000-1500). In the Late Post-Classic period, he appears with his characteristic smoking mirror and serpent foot. The jaguar was his animal counterpart. Tepeyollotl (Heart of the Mountain) was his jaguar aspect. In later written accounts, he was known first as Tezcatlipoca-Tezcatlanextia (Smoking Mirror-Mirror That Makes Things Appear), titles originally attributed to Ometéotl, the supreme Concept of Duality in Aztec thought. In his quadripartite form, Tezcatlipoca was one of the four sons of Ometéotl, but in later Aztec times, he appears as one of a number of deities”.

“One of the most striking images of Tezcatlipoca is his aspect as Yayauhqui Tezcatlipoca, The Black Tezcatlipoca, and bearer of the twenty day signs. The day signs attached to various parts of his body and elaborate paraphernalia mark him as a cycle of time, each sign being a manifestation of his creative being. Similarly, in the Post-Conquest Codex Vaticanus, a nude man is portrayed surrounded by the twenty day signs attached to his body, possibly used in medical divination”.

The image above is of Yayauhqui Tezcatlipoca without the 20 day symbols. There wasn’t a clear image of the original codex from the Codices Borgia that was clear enough to attach. But further down, I am showing another image from the Post-Conquest Codex Vaticanus, that portrays man in the nude with the 20 day signs. Now as per the quote above, they are assuming it was used for medical divination, but if you ask me, it reminds me very much of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man with what today we would call the enneagram.

What I intuit, and I use intuit purposefully since it’s not deducted scientifically, is that Yayauhqui Tezcatlipoca represents our shadow side and that, as a obsidian mirror, can reflect to us aspect of our personality that we fail to see. For how else can we become aware of our shadow side if it’s not brought into the light. It reminds me of our work in the Academy where we become mirrors for each other…not only to assist us in seeing our features but also in seeing our beauty and divinity.

Grandmother Malinalli:

Grandmother Malinalli is from Mexico and is considered a Grandmother from the Mejica tradition. She is a keeper of sacred songs. When the west invaded the native people of North and South America, a lot of our sacred songs were lost. The songs she teaches and keeps are from many ancient traditions including Aztec, Mejica, Lakota as well as other sacred songs from other cultures such as Taino and Israeli songs.

Song is a way of welcoming the Great Mystery into our sacred space by attracting higher influences. The drumming and singing during the Moon Dance was so beautiful…voices raised in unison and prayer to the higher… served as amazing impressions for the Soul.

Grandmother Ana:

Grandmother Ana was the host of the Moon Dance. She is originally from Puerto Rico…our sacred island of Borike. From the moment I met her, I felt like I have knew her all my life. She is so beautiful, as are all the Grandmothers. There is something so regal about them. They showed infinite Love, Patience and Compassion. Not once did I see them lose themselves over the constant needs and requests of the 65 women that attended this event.

My Experience:

During the first night of dancing, as I struggled with sleep deprivation and a sore body, I couldn’t understand why I was there. My heart brought me there but I didn’t feel a connection to any part of the dance. The Grandmothers were sharing the next day that this is how they felt the first time they attended a Moon Dance in Mexico. They assured us that by the end of the dance, our feelings will change and we will feel very connected to the dance and our sacred pipes.

The second night there still wasn’t a connection for me. It was not until I stood alone by Grandfather Fire making the hole in my Baston (pipe stick) that my heart opened wide and I knew that this was my path. Above me circled several black vultures that screech and below me I saw a black, red and white butterfly… these were definite signs for me that Spirit and my guides were there.

The third night I had a very interesting experience. As I waited to enter the temascal, I was feeling a little bit anxious since I knew what to expect. I was having a hard time breathing and the possibility of getting out of the sweat lodge was very difficult since we were packed in shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, knee to knee.

I did everything I could to dispel the nervous energy by stilling the mind and trying to return to a state of harmony. I entered the space and found myself at the very back of the temascal. If I need to run for it, I would have to crawl over many of my sisters to get out the door. The ceremony and cleansing started. Water was poured over the Grandfathers (we called the volcanic rocks that were sitting inside the bonfire, Grandfathers). The steam came in quick and thick. I did everything to stay focused but I quickly started to struggle with my breath. Deep terror took hold and I started to contemplate running for the door, when suddenly something separated in me. I’m trying to explain it the best I can but it’s hard to describe the experience. It felt that a part of me seperated and took over. This part was relaxed, sure of itself and wasn’t experiencing any fear. I felt this ‘voice’ to my left side around the heart area. The other terrified Lalu was still there as well. She was on my right side closer to my sacral area (belly button).

To help me explain this experience better, the calm part of me we will call Lalu, and the panicked part of me we will call lalu. Lalu felt enormous, meaning that she occupied vast amount of space, extending outside the temascal. She felt totally objective, non-emotional and wise. I’m sure that this was my first visceral experience with my Higher Self or what I now call the Divine Mind. Little lalu was insanely nervous and panicked but the sensation of fear resonated in me like a sensation I felt a long time ago in an ancient past. She was complaining and still afraid, but the presence of Lalu was able to protect or buffer what lalu was experiencing.

This was the highlight of my experience at the Moon Dance. I will never forget meeting so intensely the power of the Divine Self and since then, many experiences I have had, including hypnosis and meditation, have reinforced my connection to this wise voice.

My Vision:

We were told that visions are common during the Moon Dance. My vision came to me on the last night. As I woke up to dance the last “door”, I looked at the East Door and saw a house. It was sitting right outside the dance area in front of the entrance. The house was made of carved wood and painted like patch work in the rainbow colors. I remember it clearly … the colors yellow, green and orange. My only thought at the time was, “Oh, I never noticed that house there before! And then I realized it must be a vision.

Grandmother Ana later told me that we are considered the Rainbow People. Since then, the rainbow has become a very power symbol. Today it’s being referenced as one of the signs of the shift in human consciousness.

Note: Grandmother Ana Carmona Itzpapalotl’s book “La Pipa de Obsidiana, Danza de Luna” is an amazing read for those of you who would like more information. As far as I know, it’s written only in Spanish.

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