Using an analogous structure to the Sun-Moon Dance, the Temazcal Ritual, also known as a “Sweat-Lodge”, is based in the Four Directions of the Medicinal Wheel – air, water, earth, fire – and the composition of our bodies: physical, emotional and spiritual. It has the shape of an igloo, a sort of a shell made from branches and covered by blankets before an altar outside, representing a tortoise, the archetype of Mother Earth. When we enter the tortoise’s shell we are entering the womb of the Cosmic Mother.
Outside, stones are being heated in a bonfire; this fire represents the masculine energies of our Father Sun that imbues the primordial matter with his vitality. Once the stones are red-hot they are brought inside, the entry-way is closed and water is poured over the stones so that their acquired heat fills the tortoise’s shell. This process symbolizes the instant of conception and the gestation of the flesh drawing from the elements of air, water, earth and fire. The Temazcal Ritual is an opportunity to recreate us once again – not in our image and likeness but in the shape of the Primordial Nature of our minds, that is, that phenomena which is inherently void and is self-liberated creation.
The door opens thrice more, and each time more stones are brought in. Through the Four Directions of the medicinal wheel we pray and chant for the liberation of our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. The heat that envelopes us is not that of a regular sauna, for its energy is directed purposefully – this heat is the life-force of the Spirit of Creation that comes to us with a sacred intentionality that is the same that helps us to break with our self-imposed limitations and in this way allow for the journey of our life to flow.