Wisdom Of The Elders, The Grandmother Of The Mexica Moon Dance
We all know elderly people, but when we title them as Elders it is with respect to their wisdom and knowledge and their commitment to teach and set fine examples. We all know elders who are sick and senile, unaware of the present, however, we cannot toss them aside, for they still carry in their soul, a lifetime of experiences. While I was in Mexico, participating in the Moon Dance, I was fortunate to know one such Elder, who carries the respect and continues to teach 24/7, as if her time for crossing is tomorrow. Let me share with you the wisdom of an Elder, the Grandmother of the Mexica Moon Dance, and how my travel companion and I drank from her well of knowledge.
With great respect, I will refrain from giving her name. We simply call her Grandmother. She does not allow ego in her character. Grandmother will be turning 70 towards the end of the year. She is a small frame built woman, standing a little over five feet tall, however, her heart is enormous and she is packed full of energy, that even a woman half her age struggles to keep up!
The Moon Dance is four days and nights long, but it takes the Grandmother the full year to prepare and nurture others for the event. But this is not all she does. In her home, on a daily basis, there are students, both young and old, learning the native language, ceremony and healing with natural medicines. Once she was asked if she will ever relax and enjoy her old age. She replied that she has so much teaching to do and very little time! She gives of herself every waking moment.
My travel companion and I were due to pick up a special drum for the Moon Dance circle to be opening up in Texas. The Grandmother is expected to come with us. When we made the arrangement, the Grandmother told us the drum would be ready at 2 in the afternoon, but to be at her house by 7 in the morning. We knew this meant Grandmother had things to share with us. A beautiful opportunity for my travel companion and I. We would of liked to have slept in, for we were jet lagged, but we knew it was better to respect Grandmother's wishes. It turned out to be a wonderful opportunity of learning and experiencing the energies of the Grandmother.
There were six of us in a van, heading to Amecameca, about an hour outside of Mexico City. Grandmother led us on foot through the city to a spot on top of a hill. Here, a grave yard was spilling down the hill with a Catholic Church nestled on top. She explained that in the culture of the old ways, this spot is sacred. It is where the Rain People would gather and do ceremonies and pray for the blessings of rain. The Church took over this sacred area in order to squash the old practices as the Church worked on converting the Aboriginals to Christianity. Rain People still come here today to pray, despite the Sanctuary on the hill. She asked us to sit in the Church for a moment and pray for the Rain People.
Next the Grandmother directed us to the foot of the Volcanoes, just outside of Amecameca. Traveling up the twisty dirt roads, the Grandmother asked the driver to stop. She hopped out of the car and immediately disappeared into the woods. We secured the van, and then followed. About a mile in, we found Grandmother at two huge boulders. These are known as rain stones, for the fall out of the sky during volcano eruptions and come to rest in various places. Here, the Grandmother quickly went to work, teaching us about these sacred rocks.
One of these boulders was over six feel long and about four and a half feet tall. Grandmother was already on top of the boulder, tracing her hands on markings from the teachers of the past. She explained to us all, that this was a learning tool for teachers to demonstrate how the Mayan Calendar was constructed. There were circles chiseled into the top, represented each wheel of the calendar. This stone was carved after the invasion of the Spanish, and many took to the mountains, in places such as this, and continued to teach their ways. Soon she was up and with a child's grin, she slid down the rock like a slide, moving quickly over to the next boulder!
There stood a second huge rock...bigger than the first. Carved in the sides, were glyphs telling of the the fall of the Great City and dated. Also, there was a glyph pointed to the winter solstice. Upon that day, the sun will light up this piece, giving definition to shadowed lines, showing more glyphs that can not be seen any other time of the year. Very impressive! This is another sacred area and not publicized. I was very honored and humbled to have touch those boulders with my very hands. We all did an offering and prayer. Soon we were off to retrieve a sacred drum!
When we arrived at the drum makers house, it became very evident that he came from a line of drum masters. As we all gathered in his shop to watch him finish covering the drum with a wet hide, it was not long before the Uncles, Grandfathers and important Elders of the community were also there. Soon we realized they did not necessarily come for the giving of the drum, but for Grandmother. One man was carrying a three ring notebook with copies of the Mayan Codex. Within minutes the Grandmother was sitting with pages opened in her lap and these men surrounding her, as she taught them her interpretation of the pages.
During this encounter, I was admiring Grandmother and her zest! Bright light was gleaming from her eyes as she spoke, laughed and smiled. She was fully in her element. One name that has been given to the Grandmother, that I will share, is Arrow of Energetic Light. She encompasses that name with all her spirit! With much gratitude, Grandmother, I thank you from the depths of my heart for allowing me to drink from your well.
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