One of the privileges our team is grateful for is the ability to curate wedding celebrations across many different cultures and spiritual disciplines. We learn something new about life and love with each and every ceremony.
Recently we were honored to work with a beautiful couple on their Prehispanic, Nuptial Purification Elopement. Timeless and meaningful ancestral traditions were undertaken in this sacred seaside celebration.
Rather than attempt to describe these practices ourselves, Arianna Ocampo, our Managing Director, was were able to interview Raul Retana Buitimea, a member of the Mayo Tribe of the Sonoran Desert and Shaman in this Nuptial Purification Ceremony. He graciously supplied the ceremonial elements and meanings.
Arianna: Hola Raul, it’s wonderful to talk with you again. Can you tell our readers what a Prehispanic Chichimecas Wedding Ceremony is?
Raul: It is a way to spiritually celebrate the union of two people who have decided to share and walk life together, it is the union of two bodies in a single spirit, body and spirit in a party linked to nature. It is a way to honor a momentous decision between two people, a way to remember the sacred sense of union with the person loved.
Arianna: How is it different from a Mayan Wedding Ceremony?
Raul: There are many different indigenous traditions in Mexico. There are regional differences but at the same time, they share many similarities since the basic principle is the same: The spiritual union of two people in nature. There are traditions that celebrate this ritual throughout the night and there are other ceremonies that last all day, from sunrise to sunset. We return to the most essential aspects of this ritual because not all couples have that long time.
Arianna: What are the basic rituals and what do they represent?
Raul: These nuptial ceremonies are carried out first by purifying the couple with a Temazcal bath that is made from aromatic and medicinal herbs, this bath is carried out the day before. In some cases, the purification of the couple is simpler and the purification is carried out with copal smoke, a snail touch and songs with drums, flutes and rattles.
An altar is prepared in the center and the couple is presented to the 4 directions to heaven and earth, then the dancers invoke the natural forces with their movements to ask for prosperity, abundance and to wish them a good path in this life together. The couple is located in the center of the altar and the dancers move with joy around them, in every direction (east, south, west, north, sky, earth and human heart), and in each direction words of reflection are shared.
Likewise, the couple is depositing in a jicara, an offering with herbs, depositing them with mutual intentions for their future. Later, the couple is escorted to the sea to deposit their intentions in the ocean and close the ceremony in that way.
Arianna: Who officiates the marriage?
Raul: It is a person who has received rigorous training in traditional Indigenous Medicine. The wedding ceremony is guided by this person and accompanied by men and women with knowledge and training in ancestral traditions.
Arianna: How will this ceremony affect or bless the future of the couple?
Raul: The natural forces respond to the intentions, the energies of the blessings that are invoked for the couple so that they have abundance, joy, understanding and a good walk together as a couple. This ceremony is a good way to sow a relationship in a sacred sense, protected by the force of the 4 elements.
Arianna: How do the bride and groom typically prepare for this Nuptial Purification Ceremony?
Raul: It is recommended that the couple who will receive the ceremony wear white, wear their rings and have eaten lightly or on an empty stomach so that the energy that the ceremony gives off is better assimilated by them.
Arianna: Is it a legal marriage in Mexico or is another ceremony required? Most destination wedding couples undergo a legal marriage in their home country before celebrating in Mexico, for example.
Raul: This ceremony is a spiritual union and is not related to religions or legal union procedures under the Mexican constitution, since those are other procedures, sometimes people perform the legal wedding or in churches separately and also celebrate this union and type of ancestral ceremonies. On other occasions, people only celebrate in churches or only in legal ways and also with us or only celebrate with us without going to the churches or the courts.
Arianna: Is anyone else in the couple’s family involved?
Raul: Family and friends can participate accompanying this beautiful moment for the couple, all participants will be offered in the same way a purification with copal smoke and aromatic herbs, they are also invited to perform a simple dance of love all together to wish them a good path to the couple and to accompany the bond altogether. Sometimes two people are asked among their relatives to help purify the rings and prepare them to be awarded to the couple and they themselves place it on each other.
Arianna: How long does the ceremony take?
Raul: Normally this type of ceremony in the villages usually lasts from 10 to 12 hours, but this ceremony has been prepared with a duration of between an hour and a half to two hours, taking up the essential elements of this ritual to make it extremely unforgettable and emotional.
Arianna: Does the ceremony incorporate the ocean?
Raul: Yes, of course, the ocean is a fundamental part of the ceremony, in it, the offerings are deposited that the couple, family and friends, are depositing one by one in the Jicara and then depositing them with love and respect to the ocean since water is an element fundamental in human life, nature and life and the ocean consolidates that common agreement between the couple.
Arianna: What other ceremonies do you offer for couples and individuals to take advantage of?
Raul: There are also other types of more personalized ceremonies such as healing treatments with which people are cared for individually, Working Bone Alignment, Energy Alignment, Deep Massages, massages with Indigenous techniques, cleanses with herbs and ancient remedies.
Arianna: Raul, thank you so much for providing insights on the spiritual meanings and elements of this beautiful and special ceremony. We are looking forward to being part of many more with you!
Raul: It is my pleasure and blessing to share with you and your readers.
Conclusion: Increasingly, couples are searching for ancient ceremonial blessings and purification as they commit their lives to each other, and are turning to this type of celebration. Whether a full wedding or elopement, reach out to us for help with your own Prehispanic Nuptial Purification!