Visiting nearby Tzintzuntzan (“the place of the hummingbirds”)
Archeological site: “Yacatas”
This is the most important part of the field trip offering participants an opportunity to experience a “power spot”. You may chose to do a lhasang (the short raising windhorse) or something of the sort to help participants recognize/plug into the power…some “being exercise” would also do the trick.
This was the most important site for the Purepecha Empire (along with Patzcuaro and Ihuatzio which were of lesser importance but close).
The Purepecha were undefeated by the Aztecs in battle (they are one of the only people’s in Mesoamerica who were not made subjects of the Aztecs).
The yacatas themselves are very interesting structure because of their circular shape which is unique in Mesoamerica.
There is also information at the yacatas on placards about the site and in the guidebooks at Casa Werma.
Sacred Geography/Sacred Architecture:
Tzintzuntzan and the yacatas is a power spot geographically. Feng Shui master Eva Wong visit Casa Werma. Just from a view of the are via Google Earth, she could identify the location of Tzintzuntzan as a power spot and asked me what is located there” (pointing to that location on the map).
The structure of the Grand Platform of the yacatas is a “sky altar” according to Eva Wong (a sort of drala landing pad—area that attracts magical, beneficial energies?) A sky altar is flat and elevated large area with 3 or 4 sides the slope downwards. The yacatas show how the Purepecha intensified this natural geographic formation by accentuating the sky altar formation (flattening the top and constructing the steep sides.)
From the vantage point of the yacatas you can see out over one side of the lake (which is horseshoe-shaped so you only see a part of it from Tzintzuntzan). Eva Wong pointed out that many of the mountain formations are “mountain dragons”, which carry spiritual energy/power and that at times you can see in the lake “water dragons”, which carry worldly energy/power.
The Churches and Tzintzuntzan:
Since it was recently Dias de los Muertos, you may want to stop for a few minutes at the cementeries on the way into town (we do not normally do this and you could also skip it but you may see that the tomb mounds are still decorated).
In Tzintzuntzan we usually give participants about 1 hour to wander around and then gather at the vehicles. I give them the following info first and they can chose how to spend there time.
-Arriving in town there is a craft market outside the church courtyard.
-The church courtyard is noted for the oldest olive trees in the “new world”. They are very cool.
-The Church in front of you as you enter the courtyard is a pilgrimage site for the “Señor del Rescate (Rescue Jesus)” painting that saved the town from a smallpox outbreak (Jesuit)
-There is another Church on your right as you walk into the main courtyard. Inside this church there is a Jesus that is still growing (see the extension on his glass box at this feet). This Jesus performs miracles (hence the money, “milagro” tin icons, photos etc…left at his feet). There are also two babies in a glass box that protect children and help women get pregnant.
This second church has its own smaller courtyard (exit the church from the door on the right (near the babies) and you will be in the smaller courtyard.
Notice the stones in the construction outside this courtyard that are taken from the Yacatas. You can observe that some even have pictographs on them (these stones should be easy to recognize as they are obviously the same volcanic stone as the yacatas). There are also old fresco paintings outside in this are (under cover) in that courtyard.
There is also a baptismal bath in this courtyard.
Across the courtyard you will see a shed that has a sign up that says “Ceramica Tzintzuntzan”. This is Manuel Morales’ (and family) studio. If he is around (walk over and see if the door is not locked) you can see his studio and he has the finished pieces in the back for sale.