The first thing you need to know to fully understand the history of Teotihuacan, is that you will never fully know it. It is a city shrouded in mystery. Even the name, "Teotihuacan," has many different meanings to different cultures. It's been referred to as, The City of the Gods, The Place Where Men Become Gods, The Place Gods Call Home, The Place Where Gods Were Born, The Place of Those Who Have The Road to the Gods, The Place of the Gods and The Place Where Time Began. However, there are some undisputed historical facts. And many fascinating myths, that may or may not be true. It is for you to decide what you believe!
As with many other sacred spots around the world, Teotihuacan (Teo) combines unique geographic features, sources of spiritual energy, and a tradition of esoteric work by thousands of people over thousands of years. Visitors from all spiritual traditions gain inspiration and feel powerful energy from the pyramids and centers of spiritual study located throughout the huge site. Some use the symbolism of specific locations around the site to facilitate their process of transformation.
Here is a brief look at the history and mythology of Teotihuacan.
Location, Geography, and Climate
Teo is located about 30 miles northeast of Mexico City in the central valley of Mexico. Unlike other valleys, Mexico’s central valley is found at a relatively high altitude – 7,000 feet and above. The region was once dominated by a huge lake which weather change and human “reengineering” has reduced to a few good-sized lakes and some swampy areas.
Teo itself is bisected by the San Juan River, which once drained into the lake.
At its peak, ancient Teo would have been found several miles east of the northern lobe of the lake. Mexico City was constructed somewhat later on marshy areas and floating islands in the south-central area of the lake.The climate at Teo is dry most of the year with frequent afternoon rainstorms during the summer rainy season. The air is thin and sun intense.
In the winter, it’s often quite cool during the days and cold at night. In the summer, hot days are tempered by cool nights. The average annual temperature is 59° F (15° C). The air at Teo is generally fresh and pollution-free.
History and Culture
The historical details of Mesoamerica are still emerging. The area has probably been settled for more than 10,000 years. The culture was dominated by the Nahua and their language, Nahuatl, is still widely spoken. Although marked by the rise and fall of numerous groups, the largest and most influential civilizations were the Teotihuacanos, the Toltecs, and the Aztecs. Along with a common base language, they shared many similarities in customs and religious practice.
The Teotihuacanos thrived at the site of Teotihuacan from before zero CE (Common Era) to 650 CE. The Toltec state arose in the area around Tula (north and east of Teo) and was active from 650 ce to around 1200 ce. The Aztecs (also known as “The Triple Alliance”) established themselves at Tenochtitlan (site of today’s Mexico City), but actually dominated most of Mesoamerica from the 1300s to the mid-1400s.
Teotihuacan At Its Zenith
At its height, the city of Teotihuacan covered more than 20 square kilometers and had a population that may have numbered as high as 200,000. The current archeological site is surrounded by many communities built on the ruins of the former city. The landscape is dominated by the Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Sun, and the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl. The Avenue of the Dead bisects the city running south to north and ends at the Pyramid of the Moon.
There is evidence that the city was divided into residential areas, governance areas, business areas, and of course areas of religious practice. Many farms surrounded the city proper for kilometer upon kilometer. The areas devoted to ritual and ceremony still attract many visitors and are the primary focus for most guests at The Dreaming House.
The Mythology of Teotihuacan
“Toltec” means “artist” – artist of word, music, form and color, and most of all, Life. The Toltecs of Teotihuacan were priests, scientists, and teachers of the Art of Life. In “Teo times,” they were not so much a tribe as a society of advanced spiritual practitioners. These masters lived and worked in Teo, refining themselves and their practices for hundreds of years. The beautiful murals and awe-inspiring pyramids are testaments to the heights of their attainment. Teo was built to careful specifications to create a place where “men and women become as God.” Today.
Toltec masters still move among us, teaching mastery of awareness, transformation, and intent. Teachings about sacred areas in and around Teo have never been forgotten, but passed along from generation to generation in the oral tradition. These teachings have been supplemented by many generations of continued study and practice at Teo and other sacred sites. Much of what you read here has been given to us by don Miguel Ruiz and his family.
We offer our deepest gratitude to don Miguel and the generations of masters who came before and who will come after. These are the mythologies or stories we have to tell.
For more information about don Miguel's books and teachings, visit our Resources page or click on the picture to the right.
Experiencing Teo In a Power Journey
Knowing the transformational power of Teo is best done with an experienced teacher – many of the deepest and most powerful
myths of Teo are transmitted though your teacher, not through writings. A teacher will guide you with loving support as you move through sacred areas here at Teo. You may participate in a variety of meditations, ritual, and ceremonies, depending on the teacher,
the group, and even the time of year – truly, no two trips to Teo are the same!
Knowing the transformational power of Teo is best done with an experienced teacher.
A teacher will guide you with loving support as you move through sacred areas here at Teo. You may participate in a variety of meditations, ritual, and ceremonies, depending on the teacher, the group, and even the time of year – truly, no two trips to Teo are the same!