Pilgrimage to Wirikuta – January 11th – 17th

Pilgrimage to Wirikuta

January 11th – 17th, 2015

This is a journey to Wirikuta mountain in the desert of San Luis, home to the stories of the first one’s and sanctuary to the sacred peyote cactus. Wirikuta is a very precious place for the Huichol people of Mexico, it holds the history and beginnings of how life began, how the earth and her inhabitants came to be. Traditionally the Huichol people hike on a pilgrimage from the Pacific coast to Wirikuta mountain each year bringing their gifts, offerings, prayers and gratitude for life, asking for health and abundance for their family and community.

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We will meet and travel together with our first group convergence in San Pancho, Nayarit on the evening/night of January 11th. The following morning we will gather and begin our pilgrimage to Wirikuta.

As traditions go we will begin in the state of Nayarit at the Pacific ocean and start our pilgrimage by gifting offerings to Haramara (Mother Ocean) to ask permission to enter the desert. Once we have presented our offerings and intentions, we will collectively make our way to the state of San Luis by bus, arriving first in San Luis Potosi, then Matehuala where we will catch our final bus connection to Real de Catorce to stay the night. Up til 40 years ago, the Wixarika would walk that pilgrimage, taking 2.5-3 months.

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After resting and reassembling our group, our second day in the Wirikuta area will provide us an opportunity to venture around, check out some ancient sites, the towns of Real de Catroce, Wadley, Estacion Catorce and Las Margaritas where we will stay for our second night. The following day we will make our way out to the desert at sunrise to discover the magic of the desert and hunt for our teacher, el “Venado Azul” (the Blue Deer). Our Huichol elder and guide Don Custodio will share the customs and traditions around respecting and harvesting this sacred medicine. After exploring the desert and receiving our medicine, we will make the final journey of the pilgrimage by climbing what is referred to as El Quemado or “The Burn”, which is a direct accent up Wirikuta mountain to the Wixarika altar. Our intention here is to give prayers, gratitude and offerings while our medicine receives the blessings of the ancestors and gods. Following our climb up Quemado, we will complete our day and pilgrimage by spending the night in a private, secured location to share medicine with a traditional ceremony facilitated by Custodio and his family.

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Ideally international participants will fly in and out of Puerto Vallarta (PVR). We will be returning to the same location we left from (San Pancho) when beginning our pilgrimage. This will be a final day/night to chill and integrate while reconnecting with Haramara and the element of water.

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All participants will be required to make reservations by making advanced payment no later than Dec 20, 2014. You are asked to contact Chris Cauac by private message in order to arrange payment and receive final directions on how to prepare yourself for the experience. We cannot accept you clicking “Going” as your confirmation to attend, your participation must be confirmed by contacting Chris and making payment.

** All travel and accommodations expenses including; flights, buses, taxi’s, hotel/motel rooms are under the participants responsibility **

Everyone will be flying into Puerto Vallarta the same day and/or leaving the same day. When we travel by bus together we will buy our tickets from bus station ticket vendors or directly from the drivers, in any case we will be traveling as a group. When we book rooms in hotels/motels in either San Pancho, Real De Catorce or Las Margaritas, we will again book as a group.

I am asking $300 per person for the week in addition to your travel and accommodations expenses. This fee includes my time to organize this pilgrimage, a contribution to Custodio and his family for their time and expenses to come, plus whatever is remaining to cover expenses for the ceremony. If you feel you are in a place to be more generous, please do so, otherwise this is the basic cost for each participant.

This is a very special experience we are manifesting. Custodio is one of the most revered and respected medicine men in Mexico, he’s what Huicholes refer to as a highly honored Marakame. I have had the privilege and honor to have apprenticed with Custodio for close to 7 years, and in my experience I see no better way to introduce you to these customs and traditions, than to have you experience them first hand with Custodio and his family. I have been granted his permission and received his blessings as a peyote carrier or “Peyotero”. I have taken numerous groups to the desert, however I prefer to have my elder with us to share his magic and medicine since he’s available and willing.

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Peyote is ILLEGAL in Mexico. The only people who are allowed to publicly handle or possess peyote is Huichol people. The only person(s) within the Huichol nation allowed to harvest and carry medicine, legally in Mexico, are Marakame’s. This is why we will be making this pilgrimage with Custodio and while with him he will be carrying our medicine and representing us to avoid any challenges and conflicts with authorities. This medicine represents the Grandfather, his loving, nurturing, warm guiding energy and wisdom, helping to motivate us to heal, remember our truths, to overcome our challenges and beliefs, to live more in our hearts and forgive.

This medicine can help, spiritually and physically. It cures over 1000 diseases and is the most potent alkaline plant on Earth. It is my intention and hope that through this experience you will gain your reverence and respect for this sacred and endangered plant, including the traditions and medicine ways of the Wixarika people.

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Hope to hear from you personally when you decide whether you can join us on our pilgrimage. Ideally we would really appreciate having the majority of our participants booked and confirmed by the beginning of Dec, however Dec 20 is indeed the latest we can allow.

There are 20 spots available for this journey. I will update the number of participants as they are confirmed.

There is a 7 day retreat scheduled for the following week in San Pancho called “Resonancia” which everyone is welcome to attend, this retreat is entirely separate from our journey to Wirikuta, so participate if you feel inspired to stay….  https://www.facebook.com/events/1453108454967585/

Thank you for taking the time to read this thoroughly, I feel there’s no better way to know this medicine or culture than to journey out to its natural habitat and share it with its guardians.

FLIGHTS
~ relevant depending on where you are flying from, everyone will be arriving in Puerto Vallarta… in “most cases”, round trip flights from Toronto are $600, Vancouver $500, Seattle $400, L.A, $300-$400

ACCOMMODATIONS
~ people are welcome to stay where they wish, we will have a schedule to adhere to and meet up on each morning, some will choose to stay in hostels, some hotels… a hostel is roughly $200pesos/night and hotels are roughly $400-$600 pesos/night
… we will be seeking accommodations the night of Jan 10 in San Pancho, Nayarit, also in Real de Catorce the 11th and possibly the 12th, in Las Margaritas the 13th / 14th, then again on the 16th in San Pancho to conclude our journey the morning of the 17th with a closing ceremony and circle.Those who choose to stay in hostels will spend about $1000-$1400pesos, people staying in hotels $2000-$3000pesos.

BUSES
~ all bus fee’s are the same for all travelers, we will be riding premium class coaches, Mexican buses are like limo’s compared to the U.S or Canada… they average $100pesos / hr … it will cost each person roughly $1800-$2000pesos to go from San Pancho to Wirikuta in San Luis, *return

FOOD
~ you can expect to pay, on average, about $70pesos – $150pesos per meal
… some places may be cheaper and some more, but this is the average of what you’ll pay per plate to eat something decent
Pamparios! Ometeotl!.. with Love

Chris