Lisa and I have recently returned from a pilgrimage to the Mayalands in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. We revisited sacred sites we have communed with before, and we went to some other places for the very first time. Our base, as on some previous trips, was the city of Merida. Known as The White City, Merida is home to 900,000 people, about sixty percent of whom are of Mayan ancestry. It is a perfect location for day trips to explore the region’s impressive abundance of Mayan temples.
I would like to share some entries from my journal over the next series of posts, to show some of what inspired me on this Spring journey that occurred around the Equinox 2018. A few passages may come across as a bit personal, but a major theme that developed during this pilgrimage is of being unafraid to share who we really are. So I am sharing!
The first half of our trip was with a most lovely and cosmic group of people. There were thirteen of us who convened for our week-long journey together. In the Mayan world, thirteen is an auspicious number. Most of us had previously studied with or participated in ceremony with Mayan Elder Hunbatz Men, a Mayan teacher and ceremonial leader who lived in Merida and passed away in 2016. Some years before that, he founded a ceremonial center named Lol Be, situated halfway between Merida and world-renowned Chichen Itza. You will hear more about Lol Be in future posts. Two of his students, Patricia Cardona and Daniel Cardona, who co-founded The Cosmic Mysteries School, arranged this sacred journey together with Hunbatz’s son, Cesar Mena, and Elder Miguel Vergara, who is a wonderful teacher of Mayan ceremony, healing, and meditation.
The stated intention by The Cosmic Mysteries School for the pilgrimage was to experience the ancient multi-dimensional world of the Maya and its vibrational frequencies, that we may raise our own consciousness and experience a shift in our reality. We visited sacred sites that were mostly off of the main tourist path, and at times of the day where there was less tourist activity. This allowed us to more easily connect with their precious and palpable energies that many find so powerfully inspiring.
One of the days of our pilgrimage takes us to a sacred cave in the Yucatan of Mexico. I am not revealing its name or location in order to protect it. This cavern, dimly lit in daytime by its camouflaged openings to the air, is a revelation in the Mayan countryside, out of sight of any paved road or town or crowds. After parking at the end of a bumpy dirt track, a walk of less than a mile with the caretaker for this land brings us to the cave’s entrance. Within, it is still, quiet, and cool, much cooler than the penetrating 100 F degree heat radiating across the surface of the land. Being within this cave is like being within the womb of the Earth.
Miguel Angel leads us in a beautifully powerful ceremony of communion and thankfulness to our dear Mother Earth. We address her as Ixchel (pronounced ‘ee-shel’), a name our Mayan ancestors gave to her. We thirteen pilgrims form a circle in the grand space of the cave and Miguel Angel directs us to position women at the east and west cardinal points, and men in the north and south. He prayerfully calls in the directions, blowing a conch shell. The circle is graceful and strong. Our chanting tones and drums and rattles reverberate with strength and grace. At one point we each take a spoonful of honey, the nectar of the Sun, slowly savoring the aroma and taste while contemplating and acknowledging the bees and flowers that created it. Such a gift!
Miguel Angel tells us we have this opportunity to ask Mother Earth to take from us all that does not serve us – whether physical, mental, emotional, or whatever. He tells us that “What is not sweet is not life.” This simple insight – that what is not sweet is not life – illuminates powerfully inside of me, reverberating deeply, growing in resonance to mark my attention profoundly. In the moment I know this lesson is with me for as long as I continue to carry this body. Goosebumps! Joy sings a pure and ancient song!
After the ceremony, we slowly explore the precious cave. From the living stone in deep darkness emerges texture, color, and form, speaking the language of the soul, inviting, inspiring, nurturing. In the moment I am whole. Such a blessing to be here!
~ James K. Papp
More to come in our next post!