Gnarled and ropey vines gripped a giant yukka like the abandoned stranglehold of an ancient god. Every plant dripped moisture.
Careful to sidestep sleeping iguanas, I ventured along the track, intoxicated by chandeliers of fragrant, wax-like flowers hanging from the jungle canopy overhead. My ears were filled with a cacophony of sound from rainbow-coloured birds and chattering monkeys. Stepping into the Chichen Itza archaeological compound, I felt my heart quicken at the sight of gigantic stone pyramids.
The Mayan Indians created one of the most remarkable of ancient cultures, in which social strata were clearly defined. The elite devoted themselves to government, war, religion and trade. Architects planned temples, pyramids, palaces and public buildings. The builders of these structures were considered lower class, as were artisans and farmers, who grew mainly corn, beans, squash and yucca.
Painters and sculptors perpetuated religious and mythological themes as well as the deeds of the governors and the main task of the astronomers was to study the eternally shifting universe and its recurring cycles.
The priests were probably the most important of Mayan society, wielding great influence and directing the peoples’ participation in the supernatural, which was governed by a large number of deities, all of whom demanded continuous homage and frequent penance.
Drawn to the majestic pyramid known as Kulkulkan Castle, similar in design to the Magician’s Temple at Uxmal, I climbed to the top where I was greeted by the statue of Chaac Mool, the rain god. In times past, thousands of human hearts had been placed on his stone belly in exchange for rain. Beyond Chaac Mool stood the altar upon which virgins had been sacrificed, drugged and unresisting, to enable this exchange. Uneasy thoughts haunted my troubled mind as I headed back to the hotel on the edge of the jungle.
Later that day I returned to Kulkulkan Castle and bumped into another lone explorer, a young police officer from Los Angeles, Ken. He suggested we say a prayer for those who had lost their lives in sacrifice centuries earlier.
“Stone holds vibrational energies and I believe the constant reverence bestowed on these ancient buildings may keep hundreds of lost souls in bondage”.
We stood together, overlooking the vast compound being slowly bathed with soft apricot light from the setting sun.
“Mother Father God”, prayed Ken aloud, “We ask that all souls who remain discarnate in this place be released from their bondage to the stone and be allowed to enter the Light. “.
Mayan elder Humbatz Men states in his book Secrets of Mayan Science and Religion “We live in an environment surrounded by echoes and images of the past which can be materialised by our mental force. To recall the past is to awaken.”
I never saw Ken again. Maybe we were destined to connect just once on that evening of June 21 summer solstice 1991 to simply share the prayer. Who knows what healing may have taken place on an unconscious universal level?