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Sacred Energies of the Sun and Moon: Shamanic Rites of Curanderismo

Sacred Energies of the Sun and Moon: Shamanic Rites of Curanderismo

by Erika Buenaflor M.A., J.D.
Sacred Energies of the Sun and Moon: Shamanic Rites of Curanderismo

Sacred Energies of the Sun and Moon: Shamanic Rites of Curanderismo

by Erika Buenaflor M.A., J.D.


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A practical guide to ancient Mesoamerican solar and lunar rites for healing and transformation

• Details shamanic rituals and practices for each period of the day, including dawn, sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight, to best harness the energies of the sun, night sun, and moon for specific purposes, such as divination, journeying with animal spirit guides, or spiritual wisdom

• Incorporates shamanic breathwork, dreamwork, mantra chanting, mudras, dancing and movement, toning, chakra work, crystals, herbs, and limpias (shamanic cleanses)

• Explores how nighttime energies are affected by the phases of the moon, offering specific practices for each phase

Ancient Mesoamerican shamans and modern practitioners of curanderismo—a Latin American shamanic healing practice—divide each day and night into distinct periods based on the sacred rhythms of the sun and moon, with each time offering opportunities to connect with specific celestial energies for healing and transformation.

In this hands-on guide to working with the sacred energies of the sun, night sun, and moon, curandera Erika Buenaflor details the rites, rituals, and deities for each part of the day and night and explores the sacred tools and techniques used by ancient Mesoamerican shamans for harnessing solar and lunar energies. She explains how the sun is the source of soul energy that heals, animates, strengthens, and revitalizes us on many levels, while night energies are transformative and conducive for connecting with nonordinary realms. She explores rituals for dawn, sunrise, and midmorning to harness the energies of creation and new beginnings; for noon and afternoon to promote peak strength and spiritual wisdom; for sunset and dusk to bring about transformation, perform divination, and journey with animal spirit guides; and for midnight and predawn to facilitate shamanic dreamwork, connect with the ancestors, make offerings, and regenerate at the deepest levels. She also explores how nighttime energies are affected by the phases of the moon and offers specific practices for each phase.

By intentionally tuning our activities to the rhythms of the sun and moon, we can invite in their sacred energies of abundance and healing for more healthy, creative, mindful, and happy lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591433781
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 07/14/2020
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 309,045
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Erika Buenaflor, M.A., J.D., has a master’s degree in religious studies with a focus on Mesoamerican shamanism from the University of California at Riverside. A practicing curandera for over 20 years, descended from a long line of grandmother curanderas, she has studied with curanderas/os in Mexico, Peru, and Los Angeles and gives presentations on curanderismo in many settings, including at UCLA. She lives in Tujunga, California.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 3. Dawn, Sunrise, and Morning: Rites of Creation and Coming into Being

The period of dawn was generally understood as a time of creation of the sun and the world that the Mexica and Maya lived in. The time of dawn was also identified with the creation of maize and life itself. It marked a time of nascency, rebirth, and resurrection. It was also when the young sun deity made its daily resurrection out of the Underworld, rose with the souls of royal ancestors, brave warriors, gods, and other supernatural beings, and traveled through an Upperworld floral paradise, the sun’s path during the day. The Upperworld floral paradise or “Flower World” was a place where the souls of the brave and fortunate would spend all of eternity in happiness and bliss. While some mythological variations existed, it was generally believed that brave warriors and royal ancestors would begin their journey with the resurrected sun at dawn. Brave warriors and idealized rulers and leaders coupled with the feathered serpent swept the way for the sun ensuring that it would reach its daily zenith.

Recommended Rites
Working with the Energies of Dawn

For the ancient Mexica and Maya, dawn was associated with creation, rebirth, revitalization, resurrection, brave warriors, ideal virtuous leaders and rulers, and was also a time to engage in diligent ceremonial offerings. Because creation and rejuvenation energies are ripe at dawn, mantras, meditations, trance journeys, limpias, and any other manifestation work concerning bringing something into being, creating, or recreating something are ideal.

To access the sacred essence energies of dawn you can, of course, go beyond the recommended rites and create your own rites and infuse the meanings, tools, activities, and/or regalia associated with dawn. Here is a list of sacred items, meanings, and activities associated with dawn and a sun god of dawn:

• Creation
• Rebirth
• Opening pathways
• Rejuvenation
• Jade
• Flowers
• Engaging in diligent offerings to enlist divine assistance
• Breathwork
• Poetry and spoken word
• Eagle paraphernalia
• Sun deity, Xochipilli, who is associated with poetry, fertility, the rainy season, a red parrot helmet, yellow and/or red face paint, white around the mouth, the jeweled nose bar of solar gods, flowers, bees, bee deities, bats, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Sample Exercise: Baños with Flowers for Inspiration and Happiness

Water limpias were one of the most prevalent and revered limpia rites by the ancient Mesoamerican shamans. Bathing in water, being cleansed by water, and entering water fostered pivotal life transitions, including birth, adolescence, accession of shaman rulers, death, renewal, and resurrection. Taking a baño in conjunction with connecting to a sunrise or doing so at the time of sunrise imprints the intention of the baño onto our auric fields, which is particularly helpful if we need to strengthen our energy fields for that day and move any energetic blocks or stagnant energies. Remember, baños also cleanse and revitalize the mind, body, and spirit.

For this baño, you will need:

• a bathtub, or a small kid-sized pool
• a cup of Epsom salt
• a bundle of any dry herbs (all herbs have cleansing properties) to cleanse your space
• a handful (your hand) of fresh flowers, or half a handful of dry flowers. Keep in mind that you can use a combination of flowers, depending on what you feel you need Most flowers invite good fortune and happiness, and here are some of their other gifts:
Calendulas (Marigolds): clear energetic toxins stemming from thoughts and feelings, ours or our loved ones. Greatly enhance happiness, overall health, and alleviate depression. Accelerates any kind of healing process.
Chamomile: reverses misfortunes to great fortune. Enhances our energy fields. Promotes peace, harmony, prosperity, and positivity. Soothes and balances energy fields.
Daisies: have divinatory qualities concerning love. They increase self-awareness, creativity, and inner strength. Help to get stagnant energies and situations moving.
Lavender: helps to clear monkey chatter, stress, confusion, and disharmony. Helps to be in divine alignment in all areas of our life. Reminds us of our true divine self and clears pathways within our life and energy fields, so we can realize equanimity. Attracts sensuous and playful love. Enhances our energy field, and helps to gracefully release guilt and shame.
Roses: very powerful source for purification. Help to strengthen our energy fields, and enhance self-love. Calms tense energies, and attracts love.

Start by cleaning and cleansing the bathroom or wherever you are placing the kid-sized pool. One simple way to cleanse a space is to smudge it with a bundle of dry herbs. Communicate with the spirit essence of flowers prior to using them, and thank them for helping to purify and rejuvenate you. To avoid clogging your drain, place the flowers in either a clean twelve-cup coffee or tea maker to make concentrated tea. A handful of dry flowers (squeeze in twice as many if the flowers are fresh) should yield five to seven pots; you can tell you have extracted what you can from the flowers when the water becomes very light. Place the cup of Epsom salt and the prepared flower water in the tub or pool.

Once in the tub or pool, connect with the spirit essence of the water and flowers, and thank them for providing you with an overall cleanse, rejuvenation, and more inspiration and happiness in your life. While in the water, strengthen your intention by calmly focusing on it and being grateful for it. When you feel you are complete and done with the baño, prepare to exit the tub and thank the sun, water, and the spirit of the flowers one last time. Afterward, wash off with cold water. The cold water further clears away any residual unwanted energies. Hot- and cold-water hydrotherapy also has great benefits for the body, boosting circulation, reducing stress, and stimulating the removal of toxins from the organs.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Ancient Mesoamerican Shamanic Solar and Lunar Rites 1

1 Intertwining the Energies of the Sun and Moon 13

The Sacred in Ancient Mexica and Maya Daily Life

2 Mesoamerican Solar and Lunar Deities 28

Reflections of Sacred Energies

3 Dawn, Sunrise, and Morning 41

Rites of Creation and Coming into Being

4 High Noon and Afternoon 64

Rites of Power, Leadership, and Release

5 Sunset, Dusk, and Nightfall 84

Rites of Transformation

6 Midnight and Predawn 106

Intersections with Nonordinary Realms

7 Rites for Lunar Phases 125

New, Waxing, Full, and Waning Moons

Notes 152

Bibliography 167

Index 178

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