Four life-changing ways to encounter the Sacred in the Maya Lands
by Veronica Iglesias and Anne Key
The Maya Lands of Mexico offer many ways to encounter the sacred. Here are just a four sacred experiences that are, literally, life-changing.
It is one thing to see artifacts in a museum or book, and it is a completely different experience to be on the land, at the places where people have performed ritual and honored the ancestors and deities. Walk through the temples of Chichen Itza and hear the echoes of songs and the petals of flowers from ancient rituals. Climb the pyramid at Ek Balam and look over the surrounding verdant jungle, breathing in the prana of the plants. Sit at the altar of the goddess IxChel with the waves of the turquoise ocean lapping nearby. This is the time and place to reach from the past to the present and feel yourself between the worlds.
The Balche ceremony:
Balche is a fermented beverage made with honey and the bark of the sacred balche tree. When the Spanish arrived, they quickly banned the making and drinking of balche because of its strong religious significance. However, when the Maya showed the Spanish its healing properties, the ban was lifted, In ritual, the drink balche has healing properties, both for self and society. When drinking it in ritual, balche connects us to the cosmos, bringing messages from spirits and ancestors. Join us in December for a balche ceremony at Kaxan Xuul Ek Balam Colectivo De La Cultura Maya
"To honor the element of water, I wrote a chant that we often used at the beginning of ritual in the temple: Waters of my soul; Blood of the Earth; Spring of Life; Wash over me. Singing, chanting, invoking, and honoring water awakens my water within and connects me to the waters of the Earth." --
Anne Key, Desert Priestess
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