Shamanic Serpent Journeys – Sept 2018


Shamanic Serpent Journeys To the Maya, serpents were the travelers of the cosmology, able to descend into the underworld and climb up into the heavens. On this journey, we integrate the energies of the Equinox Solar Serpent, and ground ourselves with the wisdom of the World Tree (Wakah Chan).

We Are Full for This Transformational Journey; a wait list is available,

or sign up for the March 2019 SSJ, details coming soon

September 17th, Mondayhr_holes
Stepping Into Transformative Space

casa-curandera-1Arrive into the International Airport of Mérida, where we pick you up and take you to Casa Curandera located within the heart of the Magical City of Izamal. Casa Curandera encompasses half an acre and houses vibrant gardens and flowers, lush fruit trees, two sacred Ceiba trees (the sacred tree of the Maya associated with the Wakah Chan or World Tree), a pool, a palapa area to relax, a cactus garden, various hammocks throughout the property, and plenty of shady spaces to enjoy this tropical paradise. So come home, unwind, relax, take a dip in the pool, go for a scenic walk around Casa Curandera, or take a nap. casa-curandera-2

Our group orientation and introductions begin in the earlier evening. During this time, we delve into a grounding integrating meditation setting the stage for our First Medicine Ceremony. Then, you are free to do what you like for about another hour, until we regroup for our First Medicine Ceremony.

We encourage everyone to have a vegetarian breakfast, and refrain from eating thereafter. When you arrive, we will offer a selection of detoxifying smoothies that will help you to better integrate the medicine. The smoothie is optional and you are welcomed to fast.

That evening we engage in our First Medicine Ceremony.

September 18th, Tuesdayhr_holes2
Centering Into The Serpent Sun

Untitled-12We journey into one of longest functioning cities of the Maya world, Dzibilchaltún, continuously occupied for about 3,000 years up until the arrival of the Spanish. We engage in a Maya Four Directional Ceremony at the Plaza Central in Dzibilchaltún. Then, we head out to Capilla Abierta where we practice balanced movement connecting with the hundreds of species of fauna that Dzibilchaltún is famous for.

We stop at the Temple of The Sun to journey and center ourselves into the Sun. We declare our acceptance, healing, clearing, and preparation to receive the Serpent Solar Energies of the Equinox later that week at Chichen Itza. Like El Castillo at Chichen Itza, the Temple of the Sun at Dzibilchaltún also garnered these Serpent Solar Energies of the equinoxes. The Temple of the Sun is situated so that every year on the equinoxes, the sun shines directly through the doorway as it rises. xlakah

Finally, we revitalize ourselves and take a dip at the open air cenote, Cenote Xlakah. Cenotes were the principal sources of water in the northern lowlands of the Yucatán, where there are neither rivers nor lakes. Cenotes served as sources of fresh water and pilgrimage destinations to conduct sacred ceremonies. The Maya saw cenotes as a sacred portal allowing transport into the watery underworld they called Xibalba. Surfaces of particular cenotes were also understood as having divinatory qualities. We can close our journey to Dzibilchaltún at its air conditioned museum that is on-site.

That evening we engage in a guided group meditation and integration.

September 19th, Wednesdayhr_holes
Sacred Wakah Chan (World Tree) Ceremony

IzamalThat day we enjoy culture and art within the heart of Izamal; Mexico’s recognized Magical City, due to the history, culture and charm of the city. Izamal is one of Yucatán’s hidden cultural treasures. The city is adorned with cobblestone streets, colonial lamp posts, a bustling mercado (city market), museums, and is rich in local artwork. In 1993, Izamal welcomed Pope John Paul II’s visit by painting most of its building a golden-yellow enhancing the charm of this city. We will visit the Museum of Mexican Folk Art, the famous Franciscan Convent San Antonio de Padua founded by Fray Diego de Landa author of “Relación de Cosas de Yucatán,” and the well-known local hand-made Mexican Folk Art Store.

IzamalAfter lunch, we merge with the stillness of the Wakah Chan (World Tree) through Shamanic Breathwork. We honor and connect with the sacred Ceiba Trees at Casa Curandera through ceremony, recognizing sacred space and traditional offerings. The Maya have long associated the Ceiba Tree with the Wakah Chan. In the stillness within the heart of the Wakah Chan and ourselves as one, three worlds, four directions, and the Chumuk (center), we begin to mimic and integrate the wisdom of stillness and grace of the World Tree. After the Sacred Wakah Chan Ceremony, you are free to do what you like.

That evening we engage in our Second Medicine Ceremony.

September 20th, Thursdayhr_holes2
Inner Dimensional Journeying

2068581410_639878c6ec_mWe venture to the stillness and peace of Mayapán Archeological Zone, and also rejuvenate and rebirth at a sacred underground cenote, Cenote Chihuan. Although Mayapán was one of the largest thriving Maya cities before the Spaniards arrived, it is hardly visited, so we will have this four square kilometer city to delve into our personal inner dimensional journeying. There are 4000 structures within the wall of Mayapán. It is centered on a central plaza on which some of the buildings have been reconstructed, including a large pyramid and an observatory.

After Mayapán, we head out to an underground cavern and cenote, Cenote Chihuan, one of the most beautiful cenotes in the area. The colors of this cenote range from blue turquoise to emerald green. The cavern contains breathtaking crystal stalactites, stalagmites, concretions and columns. We create a small altar of personal offerings to honor our inner dimensional clearing, healing, and graceful integration. We will bathe and rejuvenate in these sacred mineral waters that have the potential of greatly facilitating a deeper integration and oneness within ourselves.

That evening we engage in a guided group meditation and integration.

September 21st, Fridayhr_holes
Wakah Chan (World Tree) Understanding

Izamal-1This day we tour the five largest Ancient Maya sites of Izamal. For the ancient Maya, it was probably the biggest city of the Northern Yucatec Plains, covering a minimal urban extension of 53 square kilometers. Its monumental buildings exceed 1,000,000 cubic meters of constructive volume, and contains one of the largest ancient Maya buildings in volume in Mexico. It was believed by the Maya that Izamal was the home of Itzamna, a paramount creator god of the Yucatec Maya. In both the Classic and Post-Classic periods, Itzamna was closely identified with divination, healing, wisdom and esoteric knowledge. We begin with the smaller buildings leaving offerings on the way, and work our way to the great pyramid dedicated to the Maya Sun God, Kinich Kak Moo. We continue to recalibrate ourselves and prepare to connect with the Serpent Solar Energies of the equinox.

After visiting the temples of Izamal and lunch, we have our second Sacred Wakah Chan (World Tree) ceremony at the second ceiba tree at Casa Curandera. Through shamanic breathwork and ceremony, we become the Wakah Chan to further understand how to be still and fully grounded with and by the Serpent Solar Energies and the many gifts of these energies. Afterwards, you are free to do what you like.

That night we engage in our third and final Medicine Ceremony.

September 22, Saturdayhr_holes2
Receiving Serpent Solar Energies of The Equinox

chichen-itza-1We ground into and receive the Serpent Solar Energies at Chichen Itza. Every year during the autumn and spring equinoxes the light of the sun makes a shadow play at the great pyramid of Kukulcán (the feathered serpent) or El Castillo, which makes it seem as if a serpent is slithering along the steps of the pyramid. The pyramid was built in perfect alignment with the annual path of the sun, so that during an equinox event, the shadows cause an optical effect that remarkably makes the serpent sculpture appear to be undulating and slithering down the side of the pyramid. chichen-itza-2

Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities, with the relatively densely clustered architecture of the site core covering an area of at least 1.9 sq. mi. The architecture encompasses a number of styles, including the Puuc and Chenes styles of the northern Yucatán Peninsula. The buildings of Chichen Itza are grouped in a series of architectonic sets, and each set was at one time separated from the other by a series of low walls. The three best known of these complexes are the Great North Platform, which includes the monuments of El Castillo, Temple of Warriors and the Great Ball Court; The Osario Group, which includes the pyramid of the same name as well as the Temple of Xtoloc; and the Central Group, which includes the Caracol, Las Monjas, and Akab Dzib.

After exploring the site, we sit down for shamanic breathwork, Wakan Chan (World Tree) grounding, and set the intention of being open to receiving the Serpent Solar Energies of the Equinox as the serpent slithers down the staircase of El Castillo.

That evening we engage in a guided group meditation and integration.

September 23, Sundayhr_holes
Integration Day

meridaThat morning we head out to Mérida; the capital and largest city in the Yucatán state. We will be at the Centro enjoying the rich history and culture of colonial Mexico with its museums, art galleries, restaurants, shops, boutiques, and abundance of beautiful colonial buildings. When we return, we engage in Shamanic Dancing, Breathwork, and an integrative heart-opening journey—further grounding the cosmic, earthly and lower world Serpent wisdoms into Us.

meridaThat evening we integrate our lessons as a community, and enjoy a goodbye fiesta.

September 24, Mondayhr_holes2


After breakfast, we say our goodbyes of love and gratitude.

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$1650/per person

Space is limited to Eleven Participants. We Are Full for This Transformational Journey; a wait list is available, or sign up for the March 2019 SSJ, details coming soon.


To reserve your spot there is a $825 required deposit, or we can help you create a payment plan. Email us at for payment plans.

You are also more than welcomed to pay the full amount of $1650 immediately, and get priority in choosing your room.

Final Payment

Final Payment and Monthly Plans Final payments must be paid by July 17, 2018.

Travel Insurance

Please also make sure that we receive proof of your travel insurance by no later than July 17, 2018. Your travel insurance must include medical expense coverage.


Participants who pay their trip in full first, will have first choice of their room. There are four types of rooms, slightly ranging in size but with the same amenities: a large bedroom inside Casa Curandera, 1 Casita, 3 B&B rooms, and a smaller room by the pool. All of the bedrooms have their own private bathroom and shower.

All lodging is double occupancy. In the event, we have an odd number of men and women, we have an extra bedroom for this situation, and it also has its own private bathroom and shower. But, generally all lodging will be double occupancy. We will make every effort to match you with and arrange a preferred roommate for you. If you have someone in heart and mind that you’d like to room with, please let us know in your provided welcome package sheets.

Cancellation Polices

There will be a flat $75 fee for any cancellations. For cancellations made between March 16, 2018 to July 16, 2018 there will be a $825 cancellation fee, along with any applicable credit card fees. No refunds will be provided for any cancellations made on or after July 17, 2018. We strongly recommend that you purchase a Travel Insurance Policy that includes Travel Cancellation Insurance, especially, if there is any chance you may have to cancel.

All cancellation requests must be made in writing and sent to Realize Your Bliss, 143 W. Terrace St. Altadena, CA, 91001, and should be received on or before the stated dates. If you have not received email confirmation that we have received your written cancellation and refund request, prior to the stated dates, your written cancellation has not been received and you will be assessed the cancellation fees accordingly or may not be owed a refund if written notice was not received by July 17, 2018.

Release Your Bliss, LLC. and its agents reserve the right to cancel any trip prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including an insufficient number of participants or logistical problems (e.g. acts of God, war, strikes, etc.) which may impede trip operations. A trip cancellation due to insufficient numbers would normally occur at least a month prior to departure, unless acts of God, war, strikes or other events impede our departure causing a large number of participants to cancel participation on the Tour in the last days before departure.

What’s Included
  • 7-Night Lodging at Casa Curandera, a gorgeous half-acre property in Izamal, Yucatán, Mexico
  • 3 Medicine Ceremonies
  • All Entrance Fees for listed activities: Dzibilchaltún, Museum of Mexican Folk Art, Mayapán, Cenote Chihuan, all Maya sites at Izamal, and Chichen Itza
  • All Meals, Medicine Friendly Healing Meals
  • Transportation from and to: the airport (please see below for p/u and d/o times), all listed activities and sacred sites
  • Guided Meditations
  • Shamanic Breathwork Training
  • Various Types of Maya Shamanic Ceremonies
  • Orientations at Maya Sacred Sites
  • Tips for maids, drivers, and servers
What’s Not Included
  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance, which must include medical expense coverage. You will be required to provide proof of your travel insurance by July 17, 2018.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry services, spa services, souvenirs, toll calls, snacks…

For The Ground Transportation to Be Included Please Be Aware That These Will Be The Two Pick-Up and Drop-Off Times from Merida International Airport:

Pick-Up. September 17th
  • First Pick Up Time is 2pm (many flights arrive at 12:54)
  • Second Pick Up Time is 5:40pm (many flights arrive at 5:27)
Drop-Off. September 24th
  • First Drop Off Time from Izamal is 5:30am (many flights leave at 8:30am)
  • Second Drop Off Time from Izamal is 10:15am (many flights leave at 1:20pm)

Izamal is approximately one hour from the Merida International Airport

Erika Buenaflor, Curandera, Spiritual Coach/Counselor, and Medicine Ceremony Facilitator

Erika blends her cumulative 20+ years of practicing as a curandera, studying with curanderas/os and shamans in the Maya Yucatecan jungle, and academic studies of Mesoamerican shamanism and curanderismo at UCLA and UCR to take you on a journey of positive transformational healing and growth. She obtained a Master's Degree with a focus on Mesoamerican shamanism and curanderismo, and has given lectures at Claremont Graduate University, UCR, and UCLA. She also teaches series of workshops and classes on Curanderismo and Mesoamerican Shamanism, including: The Art of Limpias, Soul Retrieval, Yerberismo (medicinal and magical properties of plants), Solar & Lunar Rites, and The Sacred Tools & Practices of Curanderismo. Inner Traditions will be publishing her first book, Cleansing Rites of Curanderismo in July 2018. Inner Traditions will be publishing her second book on Curanderismo Soul Retrieval by May 2019. After healing from a catastrophic injury, she began to fully embrace her gifts of healing, eventually left her career as an attorney, and began doing what she loves to do as a curandera. As a modern-day curandera, she excels at translating and applying this sacred knowledge to help her clients realize and live their BLISS.

Miguel Buenaflor, Cantador and Medicine Ceremony Facilitator

Miguel is a cantador (spiritual musician), and through song, opens the pathways for healing, releasing and awakening the spirit within. After a transformative trip to Peru, Miguel has honed his skills through guitar, drum and voice as a cantador with a focus on Icaros and other medicine musics. He also co-facilitates shamanic, curanderismo and breath-work classes through sound baths. Miguel has a unique and intrinsic way of connecting with nature, and facilitating deep purification ceremonies and meditations. He also has a knack for tuning into the body’s subtle energies, and using Balanced Movement to keep the body energetically aligned and tone. Miguel had been involved in and facilitated modern Mesoamerican cleansing ceremonies. But, he became captivated with ancient Mesoamerican culture after visiting the Maya sacred sites of Belize and Guatemala in mid-2012. He also fell deeply in love with someone who was absolutely exuberant about Mesoamerican culture, his now wife Erika. On our journey, Miguel will be co-facilitating our ceremonies.