The jícaras in a sacred path experience of the young Huichol initiates.
Among the Huichol Indians, an initiatory tradition has been preserved that consists of a series of fi ve cycles of pilgrimages to the sacred desert. During their lives, each member of the commu – nity travels at least once to the desert, but young people who aspire to important positions within their group, dedicate ten to fi fteen years to this task, during which they carry out countless reli – gious activities. Within the dual indigenous conception of life, one of these activities consists of seeking and achieving an internal balance between the opposites. Through a symbolic element, a natural container for water, a jícara, the young apprentices are weaving a network of sacred paths towards achieving an organic equanimity between the two primordial forces that make up the universe: the masculine and the feminine. The article presents and accompanies the young jicareros in the fi ve main stopping places carried out during a pilgrimage cycle. From a cave, an underground jícara in the interior of the earth, to the sea, a huge jícara in constant contact with the sky, pilgrims deposit prayers and off erings in the vicinity of the bodies of water. In this way, through sensual contact with the vital liquid, water collecting in the jícaras, purifi cation baths, and symbolic exchanges, acts of gratitude are carried out and permits are obtained to open access portals to major divinities, and fi nally, to the main altar of Cerro Quemado in the Wirikuta desert.