General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 20 Oct 2020/4 Flower
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Mexicolore contributor Jim Reed

Maya Spirituality, continued

This is the continuation of the article on Maya Spirituality by Jim Reed, Independent Maya Researcher, Board Member of The Institute of Maya Studies, and The Maya Conservancy.

Pic 1: The top of “El Castillo” pyramid at Xunantunich
Pic 1: The top of “El Castillo” pyramid at Xunantunich (Click on image to enlarge)

The coup-d’etat came when my Maya friend and I once again made our way up to the top of El Castillo pyramid at Xunantunich (pic 1). We were surprized to find a team of British soldiers up there, but I think they were more suprized to find a gringo with a Maya friend sneaking up behind them! We made friends and shared conversation for a long while. I think they preferred smoking my cigarettes better than the type they could procure in their dispensary. Best thing was, they let me look out through their very high-powered binoculars that were large enough to have to be mounted on a tripod. Amazing clarity... you could see people walking in the streets of the border town more than two kilometres away! I am sure a couple of them were friends of mine, who I had met while tubing down the river, and pulling ashore on the Guatemalan side of the river, to meet smiling Maya people. The women would wash their laundry on the rocks along the shoreline, while the men bathed in the crystal-clear pools.
Perhaps not a spiritual experience; it was still a very memorable experience for me. So, I’ll move on now, as I did then. When our project in Belize ended, my friends drove themselves and their new baby, Damien, up through Mexico, and back to the U.S. As another tie-in, Damien is the name of a character in a book by the same name, by one of my most influential authors, Hermann Hesse. I decided to backpack into Guatemala, and make my way up the Pacific Highway to California, and then across the U.S. to my parent’s home in South Florida.
A three-month adventure!

Pic 2: Hurakán (K’awiil) appears on a Late Classic Maya vase, No. K2970 in the Justin Kerr Maya Vase Database
Pic 2: Hurakán (K’awiil) appears on a Late Classic Maya vase, No. K2970 in the Justin Kerr Maya Vase Database (Click on image to enlarge)

Fun Facts:-
Did you know that the English word “hurricane” comes from the Taino (the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida) word “Huricán,” who was the Carib god of evil? Their Huricán was derived from the ancient Maya weather god, “Huracán”. According to the Popol Vuh, which recounts the Maya Creation Myth, Huracán is the god of wind, storm, and fire. Hurakán is “the one-legged” god, (God K, or K’awiil), and one of three creator deities, collectively called “the Heart of Heaven,” who participated in three attempts at creating humanity first from mud, and then wood. The final and successful creation resulted in the creation of mankind from maize (corn). The Creation Myth also reveals that Hurakán caused the Great Flood after the first “true” humans angered the gods.

Pic 3: The Cha’a Chaak ceremony today
Pic 3: The Cha’a Chaak ceremony today (Click on image to enlarge)

The Cha’a Chaak is a ceremony the Mayas have been performing since immemorial times, in which they ask the gods for the necessary amount of rain for their land to remain fertile. During preparations for Cha’a Chaak, an altar is set to represent the center of the world. Food offerings to the gods are placed on the altar. Prayers are offered to the rain lords (yuum chako’ob), the Good Lords (yumtzilo’ob ku’), and even the Christian God.

NOTES on the images: main article:-
• Pic 1: Photo by Maya Spiritual Elder Tat Rigoberto Itzep Chanchavac 6.24.2016
• Pic 2: An active ritual ceremonial altar connected to the sacred Tzolk’in calendar cycle is just a few metres to my right. Among the K’iche’ Maya, the astronomer-priests are called nik’ wakinal, “those who look into the center”. Even today, the modern priests perform rituals and sacrifices to keep the world rolling, to keep time moving forward
• Pic 3: The smoke rises from the tree’s roots imbedded in the nine dark layers of the Underworld, up to the branches of the tree, in the thirteen bright layers of the Upperworld. All elements come from actual carved stone stelae at the ancient Maya site of Izapa, the birthplace of the calendars
• Pic 4: It appears to me as if George is ready to cut the first piece of cake and offer it in spirit to someone very special to him, Paramhansa Yogananda
• Pic 5: For some of you, perhaps the astral travel idea seems crazy. But, astral travelling has been practiced throughout history, and there are thousands of documented cases and scientific experiments that demonstrate that astral travel is real.

• Pic 8: Photo by Manolo Romero / Belize.com
• Pic 10: I was there during the time the archaeologists were doing their restoration of the western frieze
• Pic 11: Caana (“Sky Place”) is Caracol’s tallest structure, standing over 43 metres (140 feet) above the jungle canopy
• Pic 12: They made for great protein (but a somewhat strange feeling to see all those little eyes looking up at you in your soup!)
• Pic 13: Artwork by Karl Taube
• Pic 16: Page downloaded from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/54073/supplement/51/data.pdf
• Pic 17: Photo by Raymond Ostertag (Wikipedia: Tikal Temple I).
All images, unless where stated, supplied by and thanks to Jim Reed.

This article was uploaded to the Mexicolore website on May 17th 2020

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