I promised in the last blog to post my pictures of the spring equinox at Uxactun, a Maya site associated with the completion of the Maya long count calendar. The night before the equinox featured a reenactment of the ancient Maya celebration of the equinox at the observatory of Uaxactun. Note the elaborate feathered headdresses on the actors. For anyone who has ever studied the Maya stelae and wondered what on earth that stuff on top of the leaders' heads was, these wild feather headdresses explain much. The next day many Maya shamen from around Guatemala participated in a traditional Maya shamanic ceremony, chanting and casting seeds, candles and other unknown things into the fire. I was happy to note that there were at least as many Maya women shamen present as there were men. As I alluded to in the last blog, the problem with going to an ancient site to see the alignment of light on these days is the fact that the sun must be shining first thing in the morning. As these sites are located in the jungles of Peten, areas which were deforested when the Mayas actually lived there, the sunlightwhich they tracked is not always available due to the mist rising from the jungle. The sense of being in a sacred and timeless dimension however, is present.
Louise "Luisa" Wisechild, PhD
I first visited Guatemala in 1995 as a member of the Vashon Island sister city delgation to Santiago de Atitlan, Guatemala.