When I traveled to Mexico City in 2013, I was interested in immersing myself in various aspects of Mexican culture.
In addition to delving into Mexican cuisine, attending a Lucha Libre wrestling show, and drinking pulque (an alcoholic drink made of agave) at a pulqueria, I was also interested in some aspects of spirituality in Mexico.
While walking around the Zócalo neighborhood of Mexico City, I stumbled upon a traditional healing ceremony taking place outside of the Palacio Nacional. The ceremony was called a ‘limpia’ (spiritual cleansing) and I was anxious to see what it is was all about.
Experiencing a Limpia (Spiritual Cleansing) in Mexico City
While I was standing on the line, I was approached by several people that were in charge of directing the lines. They handed me a pile of herbs and asked me to give a donation to the healers.
A few minutes later, it was my turn to experience the ritualistic limpia ceremony. As I approached an Aztec shaman healer, he removed the pile of herbs from my hands and began to rub my forehead down with them. There was not much speaking that occurred between the shaman and myself outside of him asking if I spoke Spanish, to which I replied that I spoke a little bit.
The shaman proceeded to rub the herbs around my entire body, and as he was doing so, he held a large silver cup full of smoke in his hand that he blew toward me. I would later find out that the rubbing of the herbs signified evil and hostile forces being expelled from my body as my spirit was provided with strength.
As the limpia ritual came to an end, the shaman instructed me to stomp on the herbs, which signified crushing the evil and hostile forces that had just been eliminated from my body.