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  • Spirituality

Zapotec wedding ceremony in the city of Oaxaca

The development of the Zapotec ceremony has a spiritual and symbolic meaning, which can easily be adapted to any belief and culture. Andrea & Juan Carlos chosed this ceremony of union.

Before the ceremony we set up the altar, the place of alliance, commitment and the place of offering in all religions and cultures. It preferably consists of a table where we put the ritual objects (if not possible, they will be placed on the floor), in front we put a mat where the Elders direct the ceremony.

In front of the mat, a petate is placed (symbolizing the interweaving of the heart of the sky and the earth) and the two cushions where they will sit. In front, a circle is made with petals divided into 4, this will mark the 4 directions, elements and cardinal points. In each point we place a candle called the tree of life, which will be used to make the offering of the 4 fires.

In the Zapotec marriage (of pre-Hispanic origin) the creator, the ancestors, the family and the community are recognized and given their place, which assigns the couple a new commitment as husband and wife.

We will first choose with the bride and her parents a place from which she will leave and be guided to the place of offering, the groom will wait at the altar with his parents or a family member.

We ask permission to the 4 directions and elements of nature, to the heart of the sky where the creator resides, to Mother Earth and to the seventh point which is balance. Here we are going to invite everyone to make a complete turn, accompanied by the cornshell sound, this means the balance between the sacred world and the earthly world.

The Elders are going to share some words that the couple is going to repeat.

“I thank God for giving me life and with the permission of your parents and my parents, I receive you as a companion.”

It is not exactly a permission because they are already of legal age, but the meaning is sacred because they are going to honor their parents. This means that the pending situations left by the ancestors (separations, abuse, etc.) are theirs and we break with those genetic and emotional burdens and unnecessary patterns.

Honor is given, loving them without criticizing them and without judging or condemning them, but assuming responsibility for each one.

The Elders light the first candle, the first fire:

“I offer this fire so that in your life, this union that begins today, it may be flourishing with joy, beauty, creativity.”

The second candle is lit by the groom:

“Lord giver of life, Mother Earth, family, I offer this fire so that in our lives we have tenacity, strength, decision, courage, energy. With the strength of the heart, the strength of the warrior, the strength of the blood, we will face problems and obstacles with values ​​and determination.”

The third candle is lit by the bride, which is the point of womanhood, the point of balance, maturity and purification.

“Lord giver of life, Mother Earth, family, I offer this fire so that in our lives, when we will experience pain, illness, fears, scarcity, problems, separation, emigrations, sadness they will give us balance and maturity, connecting in this way to our gifts and virtues.”

We are born, we connect and we purify ourselves. A stage of purification comes, some call it punishment, but it is a purification because here we achieve balance and maturity.

A meal made of corn, amaranth, cacao and local liquor will be shared in a basket (to brighten the heart, not for vice). They will lovingly share this food.

The following part of the ritual is the shawl, where the paths of the bride and groom join.

The true spiritual value of the ceremony is given by those who make the commitment to marry, where each one gives what the other needs through love, being together, walking the same path, fulfilling their destiny in this world with the profound validity of the sacred and the blessings of their ancestors.

By opening the heart, expanding consciousness and offering, they thus mark the beginning of a new path, establishing balance between divine space and earthly space.


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