Greetings Every One!
The work we are doing could not continue without you. We are very grateful for your support and help. Every single prayer and donation is appreciated more than you can know. Thank you so very much for your support.
A note from Rutury:
A note from Rutury:
Happy New Year to our World, and Happy New Year to the Human Tribe.
I am happy to say that Wirikuta Springs Retreat Center celebrated its first New Year's Ceremony in five years, a celebration that could no longer be put on hold whether or not we were completely ready for it.. The last ceremony we had at the Center was on the first day of 2012. Later that year my dear sister Jaichima passed away, and not long after she passed the Center was in the middle of some very challenging legal issues pertaining to her last wishes and involving the behavior of her heirs. We came very, very close to losing the Center, which she never would have wanted and never thought would ever happen. In fact she had dreams about the Center that were never fully realized and that she hoped would live on with me and be developed as part of her legacy.
I want to express my most sincerest gratitude to Maka and Upali for trusting me to work together and for doing whatever was needed to make sure the Center stayed with all of us. It was a long and difficult process and involved the unconditional support of a few other people, and we were all very relieved to secure the Center and eventually begin the extensive renovations and repairs.
We believe in the Wixarika tribe’s way that after changes or any kind of major adjustments a ceremony must be held to clear old energies and make room for new beginnings. Sometimes in that process a new name is given symbolizing a new birth and new hope. That’s why Ancient Springs Retreat Center is now called Wirikuta Springs Retreat Center. I was so happy to see people here again, and the land was happy too. We still have some more renovations to get done but we are well on our way and the Center was ready enough to host our first gathering since Jaichima and I were here for our last Ceremony together with people on the land. It was a very special time for me to be with all of you.
As well as hosting group or individual retreats, Wirikuta Springs will continue the tradition of being a place for indigenous and non-indigenous people to visit on their pilgrimages, a place of refuge and sanctuary where they can offer their prayers or gather their strength and support to continue on their journey. The Tuki (the Wixarika version of a chapel or temple) at Jaichima’s house in Phoenix was such a place, as well as the land at Ancient Springs. People from many traditions and tribes knew that this was a place, a ‘hub’ if you will, for them to touch in with sacred space and give them an added protection on their way to or from their homelands and their destinations. For those of you who are wondering, yes we will be building a Tuki at Wirikuta Springs, and we are all looking forward to the day when we will be able to offer our prayers in that sacred space. Members of my tribe also look forward to being on the land here, and that is always a very precious blessing.
A week before this New Year's Ceremony two Wixarika Elders and their guide traveled from my village in Mexico to Wirikuta Springs in Arizona. Despite some devastating and heartbreaking obstacles they faced on their journey, nothing was going to deter them as they had a mission to complete. One part of that mission was to bless the entire property before our gathering. As they began blessing the land and all the buildings, I could hear and sense a freedom from all corners of the land and for the first time in many years the four elements began to harmonize with each other creating a unique melody sound just for the land and for all of us to hear and enjoy.
As I mentioned before, New Year’s 2012 was the last ceremony our dear spiritual mentor Jaichima led at the Center with me. I’m sure that those of you who attended that ceremony will remember it forever.
I remember it as if was yesterday, the morning of the ceremony Jaichima had a vivid dream and rushed to my room to talk to me about it. The time was 3:40am and we talked until the sunrise arrived. Then she asked me to help her get dressed in her ceremonial dress because she wanted to greet all the participants. We proceeded to walk out of her bedroom making our way to the Pima House where she was welcomed with the beautiful sounds of drums, kaichas and spirit whistles. Just before we entered the Pima House she whispered into my ear telling me that she was going to be leaning on me and she wanted me to dance with her as we made our way down the line blessing everyone. Her smile, her touch, and her blessings will always be in our hearts.
Looking forward to our next ceremony,
Love and blessings,
A note from Nahwi:
Thank you Tunaya for this great picture!
Like the Phoenix rising from the Ashes, that is pretty much how I have been feeling since preparing for this last workshop. I already told the participants a bit of what I had gone though around the 2017 New Year Workshop. So I apologize if this sounds repetitive. This workshop was so much more than the beginning of a new year. It was also the opening of the re-named Center-Wirikuta Springs. I know some of you are aware of the long hard road that the Center and Indios Huichol has been on since Jaichima’s passing in 2012, but many of you were not aware of the scope of it all. I am not going into a lot of detail of the things that were going on, that is not my place.
There were times that it all looked like it was going to end; the Center, Indios Huichol, the support of the Elders, all of it. But because of the dedication to the work and support from many of you, Wirikuta Springs is open, Indios Huichol is here, and the Elders…because of your support in so many ways, are still working with us. Our ceremonies and our dedication to those ceremonies have shown them that they are being heard and their ways are being respected.
The buildings at the center were not just in disarray when we were able to get back on the land, they were in horrible shape. The main house had to be razed except for one room, the Pima House had mold in the ceiling and the cooler was leaking as well as other problems, the Pueblo House had leaks from the cooler, one room had a damaged ceiling, the fireplace was becoming a problem and so on and so on.
Now the Main house is almost done, we were able to use the kitchen, living room, bathroom and guest room. The Master Bedroom, Master Bath and Office are still being worked on but nearing completion. On a personal note…I LOVE the dishwasher!
The Pima House has a new ceiling, the old “wood” paneling is gone and those walls have been redone. We have a beautiful wood butcher block countertop for preparing food and……a sink! Yes…no more filling the coffee pot from the little sink in the restroom! This has been replaced with a more space saving sink as well. We still have the wonderful wood burning stove in the Pima House but the swamp coolers are now gone and there is now a Heating/AC system in place.
Thank you Haulipa for these wonderful pictures!
The Pueblo House has been worked on, bunks are gone, beds in place, cubby areas to hang your clothes, baskets for your toiletries, even hooks for your wet towels to dry. Suitcases can fit under the beds. We have temporary carpet in the bedrooms which will be replaced with the same carpet that has been installed in the living room. With the Fireplace gone we now have more room and are pondering how to utilize it best. There will also be a Heating/AC system installed but it could not be scheduled in time for the workshop, so our brave souls managed with portable heaters in the rooms.
We had very cold and wet weather for the workshop but I don’t think I have ever felt more cozy and content. We had wonderful people helping with the undone details, working on the ceremonies, working on ourselves, rolling with the punches of “not everything being perfect”, being together and supporting each other. That is a heck of a way to spend New Year!
To the participants of the New Years Workshop, anyone who took the Group Pictures in front of the Main House, it would be most appreciated if you could share them with us.
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