This is the story of my experiences living as an ex-pat in Mexico since 2003. It's to culminate in a published book. With your help, I'll be editing, selecting a title, and cover art: a participatory project. Your comments encouraged!
Letters from Mexico
October 31, 2020
Equinox Ceremony at Finger Rock
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Finger Rock. Photo by author
On September 22, the day of the fall equinox, I hiked alone into the mountains near where I live, in Tepoztlán, to honor the transition of seasons. I gave the rock protuberance that juts up two stories high from the forest floor the name "Finger Rock," because that's what it looks like to me. After living in the neighborhood for four years, I discovered the trail system encompassing this special place. In this article, I'll describe with words, photos, and videos, this incredible site and the trails to get there.
Meet Finger Rock
Finger Rock was a structure I'd seen, but never developed an intimacy with because I'd not found a way to get to it until just a few months ago. Here are some photos.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Various views of Finger Rock. Photo by author
Here's a video I shot right at the rock going over its surfaces.
To the trail
The hike to Finger Rock from my apartment takes half an hour. Starting from my apartment, I walk uphill for five minutes, past the park, to the end of the road and the beginning of trails. See the last two videos in the previous article about this part.
In this next series of photos, you'll see the route in sequence, from top left to bottom right.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Top left to bottom right: Beginning at the end of the road is a transition trail into the woods. Photo by author
Trails to Finger Rock
In the video below, I take you on the path to Finger Rock. This video is in four parts.
It begins at the end of the road to the transition into the woods (Trail to Entry), like the photos above. A couple of slides after the music starts are photos take from an open field. The entry trail proceeds past a water pipe that brings fresh potable water from a spring high up in the mountains. Then we pass a small cement box, a cistern. Next is a house with Finger Rock behind it. The next house is the end of the entry trail.
In the section of the video, Trail to Finger Rock, we begin at the gate and walk through a grove of bamboo (2 slides) to a barbed wire fence. That's easy to duck under, with the trail continuing through many twists and turns, with the last slide a y-shaped bifurcation where we take the left fork.
The Ritual Site section has fourteen slides showing the wonderful rock formations at Finger Rock.
Nature in the Area shows flowers and wasp nests on Finger Rock. Then there are slides of some unusually shaped trees. Do you recognize the scat and hole in the ground near the end of the slide show?
The above is a narrative explaining parts of the video. You might want to pause parts and check back here for explanations. Or read it again after viewing.
What I did for my ceremony was set up an altar with incense and a candle, as you can see from the photo below. I wrote in my journal and meditated, asking how I can better connect with messages from the ancient ones, and read signs for guidance. The answer I got is to do this by way of expressing gratitude as often as possible.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. The altar at my Finger Rock equinox ceremony. I lit a candle and incense. Photo by author
I was debating whether of not to include this selfie it because I look like a scary wild man. Since I don't take selfies, I forgot to smile, and I'd not shaved in a while. What do you think?
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Here's a selfie I took after the ceremony. Photo by author