Blog: EarthSpirit
by Mayah

Art:Grandfather Fire

Art: Grandfather Fire, or Tatewari, is honored in all Huichol ceremonies. I attended a Fire Circle last week, and this image came to me the afternoon before the ceremony.

Date:   1/16/2012 3:15:29 AM   ( 3 y ) ... viewed 1593 times
Grandfather Fire by mayah (c)2012
Marking pen and Ink


"Our relationship with Fire is ancient. Fire helped our ancestors in many ways, bringing them warmth, protection, and connection to the heart wisdom that kept life in balance."


"The Huichol People of central Mexico still follow the age-old shamanic ways of their ancestors, an unbroken wisdom-bridge stretching back into the Paleolithic.

The 'mara'akame', the shaman, still leads pilgrims on a yearly journey retracing the path of the Gods and Goddesses when they first appeared in this middle world and traveled on sacred pilgrimage to find its center.

The Pilgrimage culminates in a night-long ceremony around 'Tatewari', Grandfather Fire, a meditative retreat during which shamanic ceremony induces a visionary state by which the Huichol People find their lives and the power, the 'kupuri', to follow their heart path to completion."

"Fire or Tai, regarded as the most valuable gift of the gods, is honored in all Huichol ceremonies. The Huichol consider themselves sons and daughters of Tai and 'feed' him cornmeal cakes, beer or tepache and water from sacred springs."

"Tacutsi Aramara, the Goddess of Life, is the Mother Goddess. From her have sprung all life forms; humans, animals and plants. Tacutsi not only gives life to all she nurtures, but teaches a manner of life pleasant to the Gods. Tatewari is Grandfather Fire, instructor of shamans, giver of light, heat, and warmth - imperative for survival. The coral and rattlesnake are his emissaries."

"Serpents are middlemen between men and the spirit world. Rattlesnakes are respected as the tongue of Tatewari, the Fire God."

"The deer holds the intimate role of symbolizing the Huichol people. The character of the Huichol as a group tends to be light, flexible, and humorous. They have avoided open warfare, neither fighting against the Spanish nor for the Mexican government, but have always maintained their traditions and freedoms. They call themselves Wixalika which means prophets or healers."

The Peyote cactus is the centerpiece of their sacred ritualism. It is the vehicle by which they obtain their mystical union with the gods. It has been revered for centuries by the Huichol for its curative properties and its ability to 'enlighten' the one who partakes of it.

The Huichol do not have a word which corresponds to what we of the Western tradition have called hallucination. Our definition of the word would be unthinkable for a Huichol who knows nothing of such foolish terms concocted by a paranoid establishment and its 'paid for' psychologists. The flow of sacred imaging through the mind's eye is always present within the individual as can be seen by the various ways of accessing it around the world through shamanic, religious, meditative and various forms of physical manipulation and chemical means. The Huichol have practised this way of seeing beyond the normal physical realm for eons and live in communal balance long before the Europeans arrived with their chains.

The Peyoteròs, as they are called, perform a pilgrimage yearly to obtain the magic cactus from the scorching desert of San Luis Potosi. This sacred place they call Wirikuta or the 'Field of Flowers' is hundreds of miles from their traditional homeland.

The cactus is eaten by young and old alike. With the direction of the shaman and the support of the group, each Peyoterò is free to transcend the limitations of their ordinary sensory perceptions and see with the mind's eye, the heart of the great spirit, the interconnectedness of all things seen and unseen."

More about the Huichol People:

Related Blog: Poem "Fire Circle"

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