* 01. – 15. March 2021 * A 15-day Journey & Training in the sacred land of the Maya, Yucatan, Mexico *
Mexico Journey to the Roots of Femininity & Training in the Art of traditional Mayan Midwifery & Fertility work
Birth is a sacred act, and its premordial ways of receiving should be supported and protected. Out of love for the naturalness of birth, this journey is aimed at women, midwifes, obstetricians, gynecologists, physiotherapists, doulas and all those who work with women around the topic of birth and want to expand their knowledge and crafts to the rich treasure of traditional Mayan midwifery. Especially in times when it becomes increasingly difficult to exercise natural, women-oriented obstetrics, as more and more restrictions of health insurance companies and authorities want to classify the work with life as a controlable product – as if it was an industrial process – a recollection and return to the premordial and the essential is of high value.
The intention of this journey is to deepen the confidence and knowledge in the craft of the midwife by means of the art of traditional Mayan midwifery, and to learn to listen to one’s intuition in order to sense what mother and child need. Knowing alternative solutions and internalizing them helps us to come into our own power and to create a space free of fear for both mother and child. We need women who work with this knowledge to counterbalance what we are increasingly losing – the naturality of the most natural thing in the world – giving birth as a sacred act.
The Mayan midwife Dona Rafaela Can Ake embodies all these qualities and has a very rich knowledge of traditional craftsmanship, as it can hardly be found elsewhere in the world. For forty years she has been working as a traditional midwife in a small village in Yucatan, amidst the most sacred power places of the Maya. From her original small circle she has launched many projects over the years, including that in all the surrounding villages women were trained by her to be midwifes in order to keep the old knowledge alive and to provide all rural communities with an obstetrician. She is also chair of Yucatan’s Midwifes Association of Traditional Midwifes, which consists of a network of 350 traditional midwifes in the Yucatan.
The diverse beauty of Yucatan makes it easy for us to open our hearts, as Mexico is a land of lush colors, delicious fruit, amazing pyramids and temples and a wonderful tropical climate. This beauty is reflected above all in the joyous and open-minded mentality of the people. We find a connection to earth here, to our spirit and our inner harmony. We have time to decelerate and, through the grounding we experience in nature, will be returning to our personal power and innermost peace!
Like most Yucatecans, Rafaella carries out her work with the utmost passion and dedication, and passes on her knowledge with a widely open heart. That’s why Rafaela is invited to hold workshops and lectures all over the world, but she prefers to stay home with her family and community. Therefore, we will bring you to her, to the beautiful paradise of Yucatan, to learn from her and the Mayan culture and take this indigenous wisdom back out into the world.
Here’s a video of Rafaela talking about her work as a midwife (in Spanish):
Program of the journey (subject to change)
1. Arrival – From Cancun to Izamal
We pick you up at Cancun Airport and together we drive to the Magical City of Izamal (about 3 hours drive), where we will stay most of the journey. At our beautiful hotel Macanche we get to know each other over dinner and spend our first night in the tropical paradise Mexico. Our hotel, the Macanche, is beautifully situated with its tropical garden and swimming pool, and the hotel manager Miguel, who embodies the heart of the hotel, will make us feel at home instantly.
2. Welcome ceremony and exploration of Izamal
We begin the journey with a welcome ceremony, where we connect with the earth of Yucatan and its magical powers, and for our root chakra to receive grounding so that our deepest patterns can come into healing. In the ceremony we are cleansed and open our heart field for the transformation that awaits us on this journey.
In the afternoon we have time to explore the “Magical City” Izamal, which was founded by the healer-priest Itzamna and still has many well-preserved pyramid sites. This is why Izamal is also called the “Magical City”, because the heart and healing vibrations are particularly high here, which can be seen especially in the happy and heart-touching people of Izamal.
3. First day of training – Menstrual cycle and infertility
Today we meet the midwife and healer Dona Rafaela, who will introduce us in the coming weeks to the wisdom of her midwifery practice, that she has been working with for the past 40 years. Rafaela is an absolut diamond and has a high reputation in her profession. Her heartfelt, relaxed and loving nature will make it easy for us to learn from her. After an introductory round, we will focus on the topics of the menstrual cycle and the different reasons and approaches to cure infertility.
4. Second day of training – infertility / fertility and uterus massage
Today, Rafaela will introduce us to various teas and herbs that we can give to women to stabilize their cycle and support their fertility. Our main mission will be, however to work with our hands on this day and with a special abdominal massage learn how to bring the uterus back to its physiological position to enhance the possibility of pregnancy.
5. Temazcal, the sweat lodge ceremony
Today we visit Maria Christina’s ceremonial site. She invites us into her temazcal, the sweat lodge. In a traditional Mayan ceremony we connect with our ancestors, the goddess Ixchel and our own birth. Everything negative can be cleansed and transformed in this ceremony, because in the darkness and heat of the Temazcal we have the opportunity to let go of old limitations, fears and diseases, to integrate the powerful energies of our ancestors and to return to life reborn.
6. Free day in Izamal
This day is at leisure to unwind and integrate what you’ve experienced, visit the pyramids of Izamal, get a healing session or relax!
7. Third day of training – Massage to position the baby properly & birth positions
To get clearity on whether or not they are pregnant, the women from the area come to Rafaela, who recognizes without technical equipment, whether it really is a pregnancy or an infection, a fibroid or similar. Rafaela will try to teach us this knowledge and initiate us into her intuitive perception and the power of her ‘seeing and healing’ hands. From the 8th week onwards, Rafaela recommends regular massages for the pregnant woman so that both baby and mother are in balance. With her hands and a gentle massage, she will show us how the baby can be turned in the mothers belly or otherwise brought into the correct birthing position.
Rafaela speaks of magical postures when she speaks of birth positons, which enable mother and father to be very close and intimate together and support each other in birth. Some of the ideas, like the waterbirth, are certainly familiar to many, but Rafaela is guaranteed to amaze us with her magical positions, such as numerous birthing postures in the hammock …
8. Merida – Colonial City and traditional Market
Today we spend the day in Merida, the capital of Yucatan, with its metropolitan flair and splendid colonial buildings. We stroll through the local market and I’ll show you where to get the best ceremonial dresses. We enjoy the colorful diversity of the city and end the evening with a delicious meal in one of Merida’s traditional restaurants. Afterwards we start our shortrip to the area of the Ruta Puuc (the hilly route), which we will explore in the coming days.
9. Uxmal – Archeological Site
Today we embark on the energy of the sacred feminine and travel to the archeological site of Uxmal, which was a centre of initiation for Mayan priestesses. Here they studied the secrets of divine conception and tantric union. This place gives us the opportunity to connect with our divine femininity and get in contact with the wisdom of the “Sage” within us. The stones of the pyramids are sacred “libraries” that store old knowledge and pass it on to us when we meditate and connect with them.
10. Hidden Pyramids in the jungle
Our guide Pablo will lead us to two hidden pyramid sites in the jungle today, where no tourists usually go. The sites do not even have a name, but contain many wonderful treasures that we can freely explore. Pablo will talk to us about the Mayans and their lifes in this natural and remote environment and show us ancient ceramics. In a special energetic place, we will hold a ceremony and then join the family of the farmer, on whose land the pyramids are bordering, to dine together and gain insights into how the traditional Mayans still live today.
11. Free day & sunset meditation on the pyramid Kinich Kakmoo
This day is at leisure to unwind and integrate what we’ve experienced so far, visit the pyramids of Izamal, get a healing session or unwind at the hotel pool!
Shortly before sunset, we will meet at the pyramid Kinich Kakmoo, one of the largest pyramids, not only Izamals, but the whole of Mexico. It is dedicated to the sun god Kinich Ahau, and at sunset, when the pyramid usually closes, we have the opportunity to connect here with his life-sustaining energy.
12. Forth day of training – working with the placenta & the umbilical cord
Rafaela also gives the placenta a particularly important role. After the birth, she is laid on a cloth and an imprint of it is made, so that the mother and child can take it home as a souvenir. Since the placenta contains many important ingredients for mother and child, the mother receives a “placenta smoothie” after birth, which supports her postnatal regeneration. Rafaela will show us the different ways in which the placenta finds a wonderful and healing use either straight after birth or at a later time, through her preparation of placenta capsules and its nurturing use in creams. She will also show us different ways of dealing with the severing of the umbilical cord and share her wisdom on seeing how many future children lay dorment in the mother’s system.
13. Fifth day of training – postnatal bath & massage to close the pelvis
After giving birth it is especially important for the mother to take care of her body, to rest and relax, so that everything that has strained and stretched can find back into its original form. To do so, Rafaela prepares a bath of herbs and plants, amongst other things to stimulate the flow of the mothersmilk and to bring the body into the process of healing. This and other secrets for postnatalcare will be shown to us, aswell as a massage technique that will close the pelvis after having been opened so widely. An important part of this treatment is to re-center all the organs and bring the entire body back to its original center. Today we also receive our certificates for the completed training!
14. Completion Ceremony in a Cenote
In a beautiful final ceremony by the water we will connect with the life-giving, flowing and creative parts within ourselves and bathe in a magical, open cenote, in the middle of wild nature (Cenotes are the sacred entrances to Xibalba, the Mayan Underworld and swimming in them feels like bathing in the uterus of the earth). Here we can ask for a vision of our future doings and receive blessings for the further unfolding of our intuiative energy. In the afternoon we come together in a final circle to share our impressions and experiences, to roundup the journey.
15. Departure from Paradise
Today its time to say goodbye to the wonderful paradise of Mexico. After a final breakfast together we make our way to the airport, carrying in our hearts all the wonderful impressions, the bond with our heart family and the invigorating energies that we have experienced on this journey, home!
The entire training and travel is translated into English and will be accompanied by the American midwife, Madison Cheshire (see photo below)…
Contribution: 2.200 €/2500 USD (Early Bird price until 1. October 2020) – afterwards 2.500 €/2.800 USD
Upon registration a deposit of 500 € is due, which will be retained if you decide to not participate.
This fee includes: Accommodation in a double room (in middle class hotels) incl. Breakfast for all overnight stays in Hotel Macanche, all transports, all ceremonies as well as entrance fees for all sacred sites and the entire Training.
Not included in this fee are: international flights, meals, healing sessions and tips.
Number of participants: The journey takes place in a group of 8 to 13 participants.
Arrival & Departure: will still be announced.
Inquiries and registration: Sarah Gress * 0049 – 221 – 300 85 340 * channeling (at) hotmail.de
There is the option of booking a single room at an extra cost. Don’t hesitate to ask me about it!
Comments from recent participants:
* Sarah Gress is a healer, leader, advocate, friend, and so much more. She has a sacred talent of knowing what the soul needs and truly sees people. She creates journeys like the one I attended, that are full to the brim of meaning. Not a vacation, no gimmicks, a JOURNEY. A journey into your self, into others and closer to mother earth. I’ve never been out of country till the journey I attended with Sarah, and I couldn’t have felt more safe and cared for. She also has a talent for finding the most magnificent humans and placing them in front of those who need them most. If you want to heal, expand, learn or grow… You are in the right place with Sarah.
– Hayley Grow, Doula
* This year I took part in a spiritual journey in Mexico, which was about traditional midwifery and shamanism. These 2 weeks have changed a lot in my life. Not only did I learn a lot about the midwifery work of the Mayans, but also a lot about myself. My father is very sick right now and the world is upside down because of the Corona Pandemic. Thanks to the time in Mexico with Sarah and the other great women, I can be strong for my family and still take care of myself. I have gained a lot of new life energy and learned to really love myself as a woman. By chance I took part in the trip and could not imagine anything at all. Also financially it was not easy for me to pay the costs. I can’t believe my luck, what experiences I was allowed to gain and you can’t pay that with any money in the world. Thank you, Sarah!
– Marissa Manz, Midwife
Eligibility and agreement:
This trip is part of a private travel community. Accordingly, each participant assumes responsibility for her/himself in the sense that she/he is viewing the trip as a private trip as organized by her/himself. For this reason, liability claims are excluded to the organizer / leader of the trip. The organizer / leader commits to doing his best for a good and smooth travel when preparing and executing this trip.
In Lak’ech ala K’in
(I am another you – you are another I)