Inside the Journey – Dreaming Heaven at Teotihuacan

By Francis Rico, co-author of Dreaming Heaven

The symbol of the double-headed serpent used to represent the energetic process at Teotihuacan is far more ancient than its use by the Aztec religion. The Aztecs associated serpents with many gods – Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent being just one example. For them, it represented the presence of royalty.

For the ancestors of the Nahuatl people, the double-headed serpent was a metaphor for the profound affect that black light — the energy fields that were marked by the temples, plazas and pyramids built at Teotihuacan — had on the human energy system.

That affect, which continues to be active and can be experienced today, can be most likened to digestion.  And, the process that occurs at Teo is one of being digested by an enormous snake.

At its simplest level, this ceremonial process involves entering the body of the snake through one mouth, having all beliefs, inauthenticities and artificialities digested away, and finally leaving the body of the snake through the second mouth – with everything stripped away, but the essence of divinity.

The second mouth was seen as speaking the essence of ones divinity back into the world, as Light. A new universe was born – and just like in the Bible, “In the beginning was the word” – the vibration of Creation is reborn.

Arriving at Teo, the first step before entering the mouth of the snake involves seeing our attachments, and gathering small rocks as symbols of the people, places, things, relationships tow which we are– for better or worse—attached.

The next step is seeing that we each have created an island of safety, where we clutch our attachments, in the great sea of hell that surrounds us. In other words, we can see that our personalities are constructed to protect us from the infinite sea of frightening possibilities, and our attachments are our safety net.

We see that we must leave the island of safety in order to discover the truth about ourselves.  And at the great Temple of Quetzalcoatl, we enter the mouth of the serpent, and are no longer in the world we constructed over our lifetime.  By we releasing our attachments, we are accepted by the great serpent, and taken in. If we continue to cling to our attachments, we are not appetizing, and we are spit back out until we are willing to surrender ourselves.

In the first plaza, of earth, we conduct our own funeral and burial, saying goodbye to our bodies and to the life we knew.

Progressive stages of digestion next involve washing away emotional responses with water – with a baptism into spirit – in a plaza where we are cleansed of emotional reactions.

Then, in the plaza of air, black light radiating from a small pyramid at the center of the plaza works through the tangles of our beliefs, and vaporizes the artificial constructs of language and judgment that are like a parasite feeding on our own life energy.  Dispensing with the tyranny of the rational mind allows our natural intelligence to heal.

We will become the creative artists of our own lives – creating poetry, art, and music. Our lives will be based on a foundation of love, rather than living with the ever-present fear that is the foundation of the rational thinking mind.

In the final plaza of transformation, fire burns away our identities as human males or females – burning away everything that is not the absolute essence of our being. Here we experience the revelation that we are all one being, one life. In a small temple that is a opening into heaven, the Palace of the Butterflies, this all-embracing love can be experienced.

And at this point, all that is left is love.  And yet, one final stage awaits us – to be spoken by the serpent back into the world.

During my first journey to Teotihuacan, I experienced this process, and saw and felt the possibility of gaining personal freedom – along with freedom from fear.  But like a tough nut, I passed through the body of the serpent relatively undigested.

I knew that this was a process unlike that offered by any psychological or transformational system – and I wanted it to work. The problem was that I continued to attempt to steer the course of transformation as if I already knew what would happen every step of the way. I can describe this now as the arrogance of the mind co-opting everyone and everything for its own self-aggrandizement and protection.

On my second journey to Teo, I was ready.

Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, who led my journey, told us “If I can do it, YOU can do it!”

Over a period of days the 80 or so people on this journey experienced the process at Teo – split into into small groups of around 12 people, each group with a teacher guide, under the supervision of Don Miguel and La Dona – Ginny Gentry – who would also conduct morning and evening teaching sessions.

Besides don Miguel’s confidence, I had the good fortune of having a very experienced and gifted guide, don Allan Hardman, along with his wife at that time, Randi, guiding my small group.

With 80 or so people going through deep personal processes, the slightest incident could hang up the whole group’s journey for hours. But it was easy to be patient – the plazas and temples were exquisitely beautiful, and going slow benefited everyone.

Just by luck, after the plaza of fire, our group was held up by a group stalled at the next stop – the mouth of the serpent at the plaza of the Pyramid of the Moon.

We stretched out in the warm sun in a small temple complex next to the plaza of fire – and I fell asleep, and dreamed the dream of Teotihuacan. From that dream state, I was awakened, and we began walking down a long open avenue, towards the Pyramid of the Moon where we would hold a ceremony celebrating our passage through the snake.

Don Allen whispered to me as we walked “create a double of yourself – an exact replica of you, only larger – and with every step, give it your personality and energy.”

This double would be offered to Creation in gratitude during the ceremony – a sacrifice of what we had been, made in gratitude for what we found ourselves to actually be.

Don Allan continued his whispered suggestions a moment later: “And if you should happen to see an opening, be sure to go for it!”

I was in an altered state, still dreaming from the short nap, and I had no idea of how an offering of a double of myself made any sense in the scheme of things, or what he could possible have meant by seeing an opening and taking it. I didn’t ask for an explanation, I just walked along, creating my double as he had suggested.

We arrived at the platform, and sat together in a tight circle. Don Allan had placed two couples in the center, back-to-back, with our group tightly gathered around them.

We began a soft humming om chat together. Within moments, a loud roar filled my ears – as if a large motorcycle gang had pulled up surrounding our little group, and were revving their engines.

My eyes were closed. The ground was vibrating and shaking under me – behind me I could feel a funnel cloud of energy opening – between me and the Pyramid of the Moon. I remembered that if an opening were to appear, I was to go to it.

I didn’t need to be told to go to the opening – it was calling to me – it was irresistible. I turned and quickly headed for the opening in the whirling energy – as I turned towards it, I noticed that that my body was still sitting with the other people. Whatever!

I was almost at the opening when I heard a scream coming down from out of the sky, and glanced up just in time to see an enormous red eagle with claws extended, dropping from the sky – I was about to be caught – I spun, trying to elude its grasp – when the eagle attacked and grasped my double in its claws.

My double was 10 times larger than me, and the eagle snatched it up like it was a field mouse – I dove towards the opening, hanging in the air – everything now in slow motion.

There besides the portal, which was beginning to tighten up and close just as I began to touch into it, was a striking creature–a woman? With black hair, black eyes, golden skin, topless, with a skirt of writhing snakes – she grabbed my left arm at my elbow and propelled me into the opening – and just as I slid through, behind me the portal snapped shut.

I was gliding up through the Earth’s atmosphere – the Earth becoming smaller and smaller below.  I was heading towards the sun – now moving at tremendous speed – and it got hotter and hotter. I couldn’t bear the heat. I looked at my outstretched arms and hands in front of me as the flesh burned off, and my bones blackened and then vaporized — directly into the center of the sun – silence, no longer hot.

Far away–the sounds of waves crashing–a spray of stars like delicate rainbow foam laced against the black velvet of infinite space, still moving, moving towards the black sun, at the spinning center of creation.

My heart was beating – the beating heart of all of life. Endless close touch, of myself everywhere, all at once. My beating heart – my eyes open, and every eye opens, I see from every open eye simultaneously.
Perfect peace. Love.  And such affection for all – an iridescent torrent of being – a rainbow waterfall of yes – life gushing, flowing out in every dimension. I remembered. I once had a single form, and now it was unnecessary.
Why return?  Why depart from bliss, when all of life is bliss? Go back to the limitation of a point of view?

I was being called back by Randi, she was holding my body, cradling me, rocking me, whispering “come back, come back, come back.”

Wasn’t it just as beautiful and amazing as anything else to be in a body? Why not?  For love? To love?
I came back into this body–only partially fitting–with the majority of myself, including everyone that was climbing to the top of the Pyramids of the Moon, of the Sun…everyone in the plazas and courtyards of Teotihuacan. I had come back to the body of the snake.

The group climbed from the Moon plaza to the top of pyramid. I floated to the top, effortlessly. Someone commented, “I wonder if the tourists that are coming up here have any idea of what this place really is?”
I looked at my hands and arms, curious. I had just seen them burnt to a crisp and vaporized, and now I was seeing through them, through to the rocks of the Pyramid of the Moon, where I sat looking out at the whole body of Teo.
I looked around – the tourists who had no idea of what this place was–were illuminated from within.  They were so beautiful that my eyes welled up with tears. The soccer clubs that brought their young teams to run and explore Teo were now making their way to the top of the pyramid to join us – a positive swarm of children – and the children were precious jewels, flowering, sweet gifts of life celebrating life.

Why on earth would they need to know anything?

For all of us, there is a time for seeking–for seeking the light, and turning to the light. And then, for each of us, there comes the moment when the search is over – when the light is all there is – when all of Creation is illuminated.
It is here, and it has been here all along – if you look with eyes of love you will see light flooding out from within you, from within the radiance of the Presence of love. This is Dreaming Heaven.

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Francis Rico is the co-author of Dreaming Heaven:The Beginning is Near (Hay House),  the powerful JourneyBook, DVD and meditation that enables you to walk in the footsteps of Francis and his fellow guides as they take you on a journey to your authentic self by following the pathways of the great mystery school at Teotihuacan, Mexico, first created by the Toltec masters thousands of year ago. He is also author of A Shaman‘s Guide to Deep Beauty, which combines ancient and modern shamanic wisdom with an irrepressible advocacy for having fun. Francis brings music and simple embodiment practices to journeys to sacred places of magic and mystery, and he also produces films of indigenous wisdom that can be seen at For more information, go to or

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