In Mexico City, each December hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people preform a pilgrimage to the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a sacred location. They do this for many different reasons but often it is to show their love and devotion the Lady of Guadalupe. I have been taught that this is an ancient custom that has happened for many centuries even before the Spanish arrived in Mexico bringing Christianity with them and that the original pilgrimage was to ask for abundance from Mother Earth. This custom of preforming a pilgrimage for Mother Earth has now been integrated into the devotion to The Lady of Guadalupe.
It is also, my understanding that in ancient times, as people walked along the route, at specific locations they would discard a series of 13 stones – 6 white and 7 black- one by one. This process was to do a series of letting go of what is not needed for the next year as a part of the preparation for the December Solstice. I have been taught that the letting go is often about the releasing our fear of death and of change.
The hummingbird is an important symbol that according to the Mexihca people of Mexico emerges at the moment of the Winter Solstice. In 2015, I was able to participate in walking the last two kilometers of the pilgrimage. Due to the size of the crowd this took hours. It was not like anything I had experienced before. We were walking very slowly, side by side ,with thousands of people of all ages who were signing and being joyful. No babies were crying or dogs barking. Everyone was calm: 10s of 100s of thousands of people all calmly walking towards the sacred site in the middle of Mexico City, calmly.
Connecting with that transformative experience and as a part of preparing for the Winter Solstice I will be preforming a version of this in my home town as a part of my preparations for the Solstice. We will be able to connect with the healing energy of this experience.