Welcome to the Where Is The Horse project
`` Where is the horse is a life project : the outcome of a personal and professional process for Chris as a psychologist and Marysol as documentary film maker. We are traveling the world to heal ourselves and reconnect with nature by experiencing traditions, cultures and people of the world. We integrate and share our experiences by elaborating films, music, photography with psychological texts and nomadic film festivals ``
At the heart of our journey is the intention of reconnecting with the elements of nature and the undertaking of a healing path. Already more than a year since we left and we have encountered several “pre-Hispanic” tools to heal the soul and reconnect to the earth. Healing tools that for different reasons (which we will elaborate throughout our journey) were broadly erased at the same time as the cultures of the first nations…Today we are happy to introduce the TEMAZCAL. We have experienced it several times, in different contexts and with “masters of ceremonies” whose influence originate from the Nahuatls (Aztec of Mexico), the Mayas and the Lakota Indians.
The Temazcal is a “pre-Hispanic” healing tool of North America still widely accessible in Mexico and Central America to cure various physical, mental and energetic problems. Sometimes used in a conservative way in respect to ancestral tradition and sometimes integrating different more “contemporary” currents. It is a “sweat lodge” heated with volcanic stones and accompanied all along by medicinal chants. The entry into the hut (which is pitch black inside) symbolizes the return to the “maternal matrix” or our “mother earth”. One could interpret this act symbolically as a death or a return to the state of “non-being” before our earthly existence when were in our “mother’s womb”. The (sometimes almost unbearable) heat of the stones allows the psychological work to face one’s fear that emerge through the depth of darkness, the suffocating heat of the rocks and the energetic songs invoking our ancestors. It is also an opportunity to make amends and repent for peace and/or develop relationships with them. Among the many rituals surrounding the Temazcal, the one of asking permission to “all my relationships” before entering the hut is redundant. The work is psychological in the sense that there is no “real” physical danger because of the heat and yet the psyche continues to generate “mental fears” which opens the way to the emergence of ancient repressed conflicts (some even claim to access memories of past lives which help them explain repetitive issues in their present lives). It is therapeutic in the sense that there is an opportunity to access old fears that no longer have any reason to be and to put an end to the influence they continue to exert in the present. It is also in this sense that there is a death, the death of a part of oneself, of a memory or a fragment of one’s identity. Finally, this “death” gives space for new life, for change and thus a “rebirth” at the end of the ceremony when exiting the Temazcal (symbolizing delivery from our mother’s belly).
There is also work being done using the power of intent. A few days before the Temazcal ceremony, it is suggested to think about one’s personal intention in undergoing the ceremony, the transformation that one wishes to see happen in his self or his life. Thus, the therapeutic work starts operating at the subconscious level. An invitation to make a tobacco offering to the fire while remembering one’s intention is purposeful to surface the intention at the conscious level just before entering the Temazcal. Opening the way for the transformation process symbolized by the fire which transforms and purifies matter. Each person is also cleaned energetically with the help of the Copal smoke (a tree sap) or Sage before entering.
Finally, there are the “four doors” which are redundant in the ritual frameworks we have experienced. The number four is symbolic to the four main stages of life (childhood, adolescence, adult, elderly), the four directions (north, south, east, west), the four seasons (autumn, winter, spring and summer) and the four elements (water, earth, air, fire). The ceremony is thus divided into four moments of work/relief marked by the opening/closing of the door. Generally after the ceremony, fruits are consumed and cuddles are given and received to celebrate our return in the great family of mankind.
Ayahuasca has been used for thousands of years by indigenous people mainly from south america to heal psychological, energetic and physical syndromes. It is without a doubt the most powerful psychotherapeutic journey of my life. I am learning to work this powerful medicine and will be deepening my exploration when we get to Peru. The article below is the best one I found to explain and conceptualise what is an Ayahuasca ceremony and what happens in them.A Psychotherapeutic View on the Therapeutic Effects of Ritual Ayahuasca Use (Anja Loizaga-Velde, 2013)
Vipassana (meaning to see things as they really are), is one of india’s oldest meditation technique. It has been used for over 2500 years in India as a universal medicine for universal illnesses. It is a path of healing through self-observation that we practice and cherish. Vipassana centers where you can learn the technique exist all around the world.For more information on Vipassana meditation and to organise your first course