07/25/14

Hortence Robinson : Herbal Midwife Shaman

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As an ethnobotanist in Central America for the past thirty years, I meet some fascinating people, most of whom are healers.  One of the most memorable was Miss Hortence Robinson, (1922 – 2009) Belizean herbal midwife and shaman.  Here’s her story.

Hortence was born on Cozumel Island, in Yucatan, Mexico, home of the ancient sanctuary of Ix Chel,  Maya Goddess of the moon,  fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, healers, death, the earth and all bodies of water.  A huge portfolio even for  a divine being.  Hortence’s family background is what Belizeans call “A boil up.” She was of Maya, African,East Indian, Scottish descent and one grandfather was an escaped slave from the United States. Until she was fifteen, her multi-generational family lived in a chicle camp where her mother and both grandmothers were midwives to the women who accompanied the men for their long sojourns in the jungles. Chicle, the sap that runs from sapote trees, was made into chewing gum for the world market. 

She never learned to read or write.  As the only girl in a family of nine children, Hortence  was kept home to help with housework.  One of her childhood chores was to collect healing plants for her mother and grandmothers’ rustic clinic.  She and her Maya playmates went to the bush daily to collect the list of plants needed for the day.  From the children she learned the Mayan names of plants and to speak their Yucatec language.

Hortence was an asthmatic all her life.  At thirteen she had such a severe attack that she was flown out of Cozumel to a hospital in Belize City. While there a group of men carried in a labouring woman and left her in the hallway while they went to get a doctor. As Hortence came out of a washroom, the woman called to her saying, “Come here child and catch this baby.”  Lucky for the mother that she encountered little Hortence becuase she knew just what to do. She delivered the baby , massaged until the placenta came down then wrapped both in her hospital gown. Naked, she sat on the cot with the woman and waited for the doctor to come.  The nurses came running and said, “Now don’t you say a word to the doctor.”  “To calm her nerves,” one of the nurses took her into the washroom and gave her a cigarette, the first of a life time habit.

When the chicle industry in Central America crashed, Hortence’s family returned to Ladyville, outside of Belize .  Until she began her own midwifery practice when she was all of eighteen, she assisted her mother and grandmothers to care for women and children. In time , she became a famous herbalist midwife in her own right.  After I met her in 1990, I nicknamed her “Mil secretos” or a thousand secrets because of her endless remedies .  Every time she delivered an unwanted baby, she wrapped it up and took it home to raise. She married twice , had eight children of her own and adopted fourteen.  At fifteen, she adopted her first baby then  took in washing to earn the money to buy milk for the baby. She spent most of her life as a single mother. 

Like other traditional healers of her status, she was taught  spiritual healing through dream visions. In her dreams, she learned prayers, plants and treatments for spiritual ailments common to people of Central America. Susto or fright, tristessa or depression, pesar or grief, envidia or envy are only a few.  As a shaman, hortence used prayer, herbal baths and incense in her spiritual practice.    She was a woman of great humor, humility and faith in God all of which she applied to every aspect of her healing. “You could never too humble,” she said often. In her forties she learned to bathe and prepare the deceased for burial, thus guarding both gates of birth and death.

Hortence often spent months at a time with me on my farm in Belize. She was an animal whisperer. While she was in my home, we were surrounded by nesting birds, armadillos, foxes and jungle animals that approached only while she was resident. One morning at dawn,  I heard a strange noise downstairs where she was sleeping in the guest room.  I went to my porch to look outside and saw an enormous yellow and black spotted jaguar loping in great strides off my front deck into the jungle.  I ran downstairs to tell her.  Scowling, she pushed her face into mine, poked me with a finger and said, “And don’t you dare tell a soul! He has been here every night sleeping outside my door for the last month.  He’s injured and knows this is a house of confidence.”  I slept with her for the next few nights and ,just as she said, that jaguar appeared on her porch at mid nite and, snoring peacefully, slept against her iron-clad screen door until dawn.

One morning I sat outside with her while she drank coffee and smoked cigarettes.  She loved to watch the birds flitter and fly about in the garden. “It will rain in three days,” she announced. “Really?” I asked. “How can you be so sure.” She pointed to a little bird on the ground and said, “Bouncey turned over a leaf this morning.”  So said and so done. The rainy season started in three days.

Kind, funny and loving, Hortence exemplified generosity of spirit. She cared more for the welfare of others than she did for her own.  Over the years, she taught me a plethora of her secrets for healing women and children. We taught classes and workshops together for twelve years. In our profession of Maya Abdominal Therapists, we teach Hortence’s Point, a spot known anatomically as Alcock’s canal through which runs the pudendal nerve. She taught us how to treat it to improve nerve function to the entire pelvic floor.  Especially helpful during labor and delivery, it has re-started or shortened countless labours. The massage she taught us to do during pregnancy relieves a host of common complaints and greatly aids labour and delivery.

The practitioners and clients of Maya abdominal therapy know that we owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude. As our spiritual guide, Hortence Robinson still appears to many of us teaching us in dream visions to better care for our clients and their children with prayers, massage and plants.

03/13/14

Midwifery On Ancient Cozumel Island

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Arch at Ix Chel’s Temple, Cozumel, Mexico

In ancient times, the now resort-laden island of Cozumel, Mexico served Maya women as a sanctuary, pilgrimage, school of midwifery, weaving and sacred mysteries. In this piece, Rosita Arvigo, naprapathic physician, herbalist, and teacher of Maya medicine, shares her knowledge of this incredible monument to women, fertility and the sacred profession of midwifery, which have in so many ways been forgotten, along with the goddess who represents them, Ix Chel.

If you visit Yucatan, Mexico on a journey to Cozumel Island you will see ocean-side resorts, cruise ships, sun umbrellas, white beaches and ubiquitous dive shops.  Few realize that they tread on sacred ground once the sanctuary and home of Ix Chel, Maya Earth Goddess of medicine, midwives, fertility, childbirth, the moon, death and weaving.  Her temple at San Gervasio, one of three ancient island sites dedicated to the Goddess of Healing, is a sprawling complex of stone and mortar buildings, sacred caves and an island-wide white road that wisdom-seeking women traversed when on pilgrimage to the island.  The ancients named the island Cuzamil after the cliff swallows (cuzam) that return annually to the seven high stone towers that once graced the central ceremonial district.  Hernan Cortes and his five hundred Spaniards, twenty-four horses and five ships first landed here on their journey from Hispaniola (Cuba) in 1519.  The cruel Bishop Diego de Landa referred to the women of Cuzamil as “those infamous idolaters” because they continued to worship their beloved Goddess well into the 19th century.  “They go there for parturition,” Landa reported to the King of Spain in 1541.

Cozumel served Maya women as a sanctuary, pilgrimage, school of midwifery, weaving and sacred mysteries.  They learned midwifery techniques along with general care of women and children. They were taught water scrying (divination), crystal gazing, astronomy and the sacred art of prophecy. Here, in peace and safety, lived abandoned childless women, orphaned girls and women who preferred the love of other women.  It was particularly compassionate that childless women were charged with raising orphaned children who might otherwise be likely victims of human sacrifice. Cuzamil was home to the Oracle, a priestess of Ix Chel’s temple who, in a hallucinogenic trance induced state, gave prophecies from inside a seven-foot clay likeness of Her.  Like other Earth Goddesses around the world, Ix Chel was depicted in the three phases of a woman’s life: maiden, mother and grandmother. Maya women once referred to these as women of the first, second and third age. Her name, Ix Chel, best translates as Lady Rainbow or Goddess of Translucent Light. Thus her symbol was the rainbow; her totems were the snake for wisdom, medicine and intuitive knowledge; the rabbit for fertility; the spider for weaving; and the dragon-fly who hummed her back to life when she was killed with a bolt of lightning by her jealous husband, the Sun. Ix Chel had many husbands.  She left  the cruel and abusive Sun God for the Rain God, then left him for the Vulture God until  she decided to live alone as the Moon Goddess.  As soon as one of her consorts, the Sun, sets in the West, she makes her lone appearance in the East. You can see her image in the full moon if you look closely for a rabbit or a young woman kneeling at a loom.

For hundreds of years, ancient women from all over Meso-America (known then as The Land of the Turkey and the Deer which included ancient Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba and Puerto Rico) made pilgrimages to Cuzamil to birth their babies.  Custom was to take girls on a pilgrimage to Cuzamil as soon as the blood cycles started to request fertility, a good husband and ease of childbirth. A second pilgrimage was required after the child-bearing years to give thanks for Her blessings or, if fertility challenge was a woman’s fate, she would return to live out her days on the sacred island in service to Ix Chel and the women and children who lived and visited there. Because childless women were rejected by their husbands and often refused back into the parent’s home, many pilgrims to Cuzamil were married women seeking fertility treatments from the famous midwives.

The pilgrim’s offerings, the industriousness of the women and the wealth of the land made the island incredibly prosperous, thus independent. The queens of Cuzamil controlled lucrative ocean going trade routes at the Northern end of the island where traders from Tenochitlan and as far south as Panama came to make their offerings to the Goddess of All Waters, to determine prices, trade and pick up valuable feathers, woven mantles and honey produced by the women of the island. The Spanish chroniclers said that long before arriving at the harbors surrounding Cuzamil, one met a high, rich aroma of honey.

From the ancient chronicles recorded by the Spanish friars, we know that midwifery was a highly respected profession, especially if learned on Cuzamil Island with the realm’s best midwives who lived in service to Ix Chel.  There would, of course, have been various methods of childbirth but one of the most interesting was for the mother to squat holding on to a rope tied to a house beam overhead.  When a contraction came, she pulled on the rope. Leaning against an elder female relative, (feet firmly planted on the earth) a cotton band was tied above the mother’s fundus and then tightened during contractions to aid the downward passage of the fetus.

Cuzamil midwives practiced and taught pelvic/abdominal massage as a part of women’s care to center the uterus, re-position a fetus and strengthen uterine ligaments and muscles to allow for an unimpeded flow of chu’lel, a word that best translates as vital force or chi.  Three days after delivery, the mother, sitting upon a round opening in a stone bench, was given a yoni steam with nine herbs.

During my thirteen-year apprenticeship with Don Elijio Panti, (1893-1996) shaman, healer and advisor to midwives in Belize, I learned about the healing prayers, massage and steams. Although I have been a practicing natural healer specializing in women and children for over four decades and have studied a great deal, no modality has served so many women so well as the Maya abdominal massage and the yoni steam.  (See Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer, Harper Collins, 1994)

Like the ancient Maya women, our organization of Maya Abdominal Therapists makes a semi-annual pilgrimage to Cozumel Island to offer our gratitude and prayers to Ix Chel who has become our patroness.  Until we started digging up Her many images to spread around the world, writing about Her, researching and passing down Her ancient teachings, she was all but a forgotten Goddess of the Americas.  Now, in keeping with the Maya promise of a resurgence of the Divine Feminine Principle after 2012, she has been enthroned in her former glory. My life is now completely dedicated to sharing these ancient techniques with people the world-over and to assuring that Ix Chel is never again a forgotten Goddess.

 

Rosita Arvigo, DN is a naprapathic physician, herbalist, international lecturer, author and teacher of Maya medicine. She has lived in Belize for thirty years where she studied with more than a dozen traditional healers, the most famous of whom was her mentor Don Elijio Panti who passed away in 1996 at the age of 103. Dr. Arvigo is the director of The Arvigo® Institute, Rainforest Remedies, The Traditional Healers Foundation and founding member of the Belize Ethnobotany Project. For the past fifteen years, Rosita Arvigo has been working on a novel called “The Island of Women, the story of ancient Cuzamil, the seers and midwives who lived and taught there”, to further explore and reveal the power of these women and the Goddess. To learn more about The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy visit www.arvigotherapy.com and www.rositaarvigo.com.

“Hail Ix Chel Mother of All Creation. Blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of the womb, all Creation. Holy Ix Chel Mother of all pray for us now and at the hour of our trials. Amen”
— Prayer to Ix Chel

12/15/13

Day of the Dead in Mexico

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“ A civilization than denies Death ends up denying Life.”

Octavio Paz in The Labyrinth of Solitude

In the tree-lined plaza, a tall couple, dressed as the dead in 19th Century black satin and lace, cavorted playfully around a group of delighted on-lookers. The two skeletons looked as if they were on their way to a fancy dinner. Her face, painted ghostly white under an enormous veil-draped flowery hat, had blackened circles for eyes and a cadaverous mouth. He wore a black tuxedo, white skeleton face under a tall, black top hat. Arm in arm, through the crowded plaza, posing for photos, they paraded their rendition of Eternal Love and Death. During the three days of Day of the Dead celebration in San Miguel de Allende , Mexico, there would be hundreds more adults and children dressed as personal interpretations of the dead.

Every culture has unique beliefs about the meaning of death, divinity and rebirth shaped by thousands of years of literature and custom. In Mexico, the philosophy and customs around death have shaped a national identity. Many ancient traditions inherited from ancestors have fallen away, but not their reverence for and ability to laugh, party and dance with death.

Our American Halloween on October 31st, is a shrunken, anemic version of the Mexican Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos. As a child, my favorite Halloween costume was Wonder Woman. Year after year, I made gold belts, silver bracelets and got very adept at her crown and magic rope. It was all about an alter-ego costume, ghosts and goblins, scary images, spider webs, carved pumpkins, candy and parties. As North Americans, we knew nothing about the deeper, more philosophical and spiritual meaning of this pan-American holiday.

Since ancient times of the Aztec, Maya, Zapotec and Chichimecca, Mexicans hold that once each year souls of the dead can and should be invited back to earth with treats, candles, flowers and incense. They hold this as a spiritual duty to the departed. Souls of dead children return on November 1st and adults on November 2nd. Their pre-Christian ancestors celebrated the Day of the Dead in August at harvest time to assure there would be an abundance of sustenance to offer the returning souls. In the 15th Century, the conquering Spaniards brought a very similar holiday, Todos Santos or All Saint’s Day. After the absorption of the pagan faith into Christianity, the two holidays were joined by Pope Gregory in 835.

Until I came to Mexico in the 1970’s for the first time, I too had no idea of the origin or deeper meaning behind our Halloween – or All Hallow’s Eve. On November 1st, 1970, I arrived with a group of hippie friends in the small mountain village of Tlacotepec, Guerrero to be astounded by the beautiful, spiritual custom unfolding before my eyes. At dusk, residents of the town of seven thousand, paraded through candle-lit streets singing hymns, and carrying baskets of bread to the cemetery to feed the dead. There, on low, rolling hills of Guerrero, they spent a cold, windy night in the midst of a family picnic shared by thousands of relatives and neighbors. Countless beeswax candles threw eerie, soft light on the cemetery all night while the faithful sang, drank hot chocolate and stayed awake to greet their departed loved ones who, they believed, would surely come to dine with them. While musicians played and children frolicked, a somber priest went from grave to grave sprinkling holy water and reciting Latin prayers for the dead. For the next several days, children, dressed in back-to-front and inside-out adult clothing ran around town begging for sweets. A designated group of adults dressed as the dead donned masks and crazy outfits to go from house to house playing music on a wooden box, the jawbone of an ass and a violin. Here was the original trick or treat. Representing the returning dead, the band of musicians asked to enter your home to be fed . They played and danced a short while and each household fed them with tamales. If refused, they would play tricks on the household like pull you into the street to dance with them or paint the outside wall of the house with a bar of white soap.

There are two levels, two different realities to Day of the Dead in Mexico; one is fanciful and the other is more serious. In modern Mexico, on November 1st, — Day of the Little Angels —- it is tradition to dress children up as the dead in elaborate costumes that harken back to the 19th century. Stuck in my memory this year is a 6 month old baby in his stroller costumed as the dead with white painted face, blackened eyes and his baby skeleton costume. Here in San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, during celebrations the town square was crowded with these little romping “calacas” or cadavers asking for candy from visitors and locals. Some little girls, barely able to walk, toddled bravely around the square holding on to veil-draped, flower-covered bonnets and long, hooped skirts.

In the afternoon of November 1, altars or “offrendas” are set out in homes and public places around town to honor those adults who have passed on; to remember their contribution to your life; to invite them back to earth to visit and request their counsel with loved ones. The heart and soul of this celebration, the offrenda, is replete with symbolic meaning. Mexicans say that Offrendas are made for people and altars are dedicated to saints. A combination of flowers, religious icons, water, candles, colored cut-out paper, incense and favorite foods of the deceased, they are bright and heartwarming tributes to the dead. Most offrendas are constructed in several levels to signify the layers of the Underworld that the dead must traverse. Seven is the most typical number of levels as it represents the stages the soul must pass through before finally resting in peace. Each level of the offrenda is adorned with specific items. The highest, representing the spiritual world where the souls now dwell, is the place for religious icons of Jesus, Mother Mary and saints. The 2nd level is dedicated to the poor souls in purgatory. Lower levels are for salt, water, bread, flowers, favorite dishes, pictures of the deceased loved one and finally a representation of the earth that might be the brightly colored marigold and celosia flowers or different seeds, and corn. Some simpler altars, made of three levels, represent Heaven, Earth and the Underworld. Whatever the number, each level, usually made of boxes, is covered in brightly colored cut-out papers, cloths and a carpet of marigold petals.

Iconic flowers, stars of the show, are everywhere for Dia de los Muertos : the yellow Marigold or cempuazutchil, in Aztec (means “twenty flowers”}; the Red Cockscomb (amaranth, celosia, prince’s feather) and the white Baby’s Breath or nube (cloud). The yellow flowers, representing earth, white for heaven and purple to represent mourning attract and welcome the spirit and perfume the space.

Another iconic item of this national festival of death are colorful, life size or miniature skulls made of sugar that usually have the name of the deceased written over the forehead. According to tradition, if not eaten after the offrenda is taken down, the skulls must be smashed.

The rich aroma of copal incense is everywhere in streets and public squares; burned in front of the offrenda, it purifies the atmosphere and prevents Evil Spirits of the dead from disturbing the journey of the returning dead or the homes of the living.

Pan de Muerto or Bread for the Dead , made from a special recipe, is expertly decorated with bone-like images and sprinkled with sugar. Some roll out the dough and form it into the initials of the deceased which are then baked into the top of the bun. Households lucky enough to have grandparents, will be able to remember and bake bread for deceased relatives from three generations ago. An offrenda may have dozens of these little loaves of bread – each one dedicated and made for a single person to sustain them on their journey from the realm of the dead to the living.

Cut paper banners (papel picado) of many different bright colors hung over offrendas symbolize the wind, joy of living and serve as a reminder that even though our loved ones are gone from life, we must continue to enjoy ourselves and appreciate the beauty in our lives.

Candles, to symbolize the ascension of the soul, are often placed in a cross pattern to symbolize the four directions. Water, placed in clear glasses, is for the spirit’s thirst and to symbolize life energy. Food offered is the favorite when the person was alive. So, amongst the skulls and flowers, you will see prepared dishes of tacos, rice, chicken and enchiladas. Personal items dear to the deceased may be placed on one of the levels. I saw one offrenda with a horse racing sheet prominently displayed because the deceased liked to go to horse races. Traditional candy artists create an endless array of little sugary figurines. A pet’s offrenda had a little pink dog house, another a wedding ring, a beloved red hat, even a pair of candied tango shoes. Altars for children are decorated with candy toys, angels and even cribs.

Costumes do play a role, but there is only one theme – Death. Babies, children and adults adorn themselves in well-made skeleton outfits, white faces with blackened eyes and boney jaws. The most iconic are the Catrinas or dead society ladies of the 19th century created by the artist Paneda. At midnite on November 1, the hundreds of Catrinas dressed as the returning dead or “calacas” parade through the streets to the town plaza where they are greeted by a packed crowd. Popular “calacas” are the bride and groom who must have died at their wedding or met and fell in love after death. One of the shop windows displayed a skeleton in later stages of pregnancy – that certainly evoked some wild images.

Every time I am in Mexico for this celebration, it gives me a sense of the deeper meaning of death, the gift of life and love that never dies. For weeks afterward, I feel nostalgia and allow myself time to contemplate the meaning of those departed loved ones in my life. I remember my immigrant grandparents, siblings and aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who were once here as vitally alive as I ,but now dwell among the dead. I contemplate what contributions they made to my life, what I learned from them and just enjoy the sweet sadness of their passing.

Death, universally common to all people, must be faced by each of us one day. Everyone will die and everyone has someone to mourn and everyone can be enriched by remembering their beloved who have passed on. After offrendas, prayers and fun of Day of the Dead are long over, I remain in a heightened meditative state over the meaning of Death and Rebirth. For weeks, I am closer to my deceased relatives and all those dearly departed in my life. I think more and dream more of my Italian grandparents, my Iranian aunts and grandparents, my brother and I feel close again to my parents. Flitting and fluttering in the colored papers of our gringo-style altar, they surround me to receive the flowers, water, candles and prayers — grateful to be remembered.

his year, in San Miguel, in front of a 16th century public fountain, was a scene that, to me, epitomizes Day of the Dead in Mexico. Neighbors had obviously labored long to produce a thought provoking scene of skeletons in which a man, a woman and two small children picnicked in a playground. High above them was a hand-written sign in Spanish, that to me, perfectly depicts the Mexican philosophy of the Dead.

“Como tu eres, yo era. Como tu me ves, tu seras.”
“As you are, I once was. As you see me you will be.”

12/15/13

Mayan End Date

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The Maya End Date

Keynote speech presented by Dr. Arvigo at The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy Association Conference at the 2012 Convention in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

“Be prayerful, meditative, grateful and loving. Live in a state of grace by forgiving everyone everything, no matter what they’ve done. Be mystical. Contemplate the great mysteries of the universe so that our minds and bodies will attune to the Divine Being and sense the patterns stored in the mind of God. Live daily life as a spiritual exercise. In this way, we will open our consciousness to receive messages from the mind of God to become a greater, unified force for good so that the 6th Sun of the Maya can activate a spiritual revolution.”

December 21, 2012 is the famous “End Date” of the Maya calendar, the last day of a 5125 year period of time that the ancient Maya knew as the 5th Sun which began in 3114 BC. The following day, December 22, 2012 marks the beginning of the 6th sun that will also last for 5125 years and end around 7137. However, intermeshing of our Gregorian calendar with the Maya calendar is skewered by as much as five years. Scientists have determined that there are large discrepancies of time keeping originating from the earliest days of the Western world.

This great End Date may have happened as early as 2007 and may be as late as 2017. In either case, clearly, we are in it. The ancient Maya glyph for the 6th Sun that will dawn in this period means light follows darkness or quiet after a storm. This 5125 year cycle has thirteen four hundred year periods known as baktuns. Each four hundred year cycle is divided into twenty times twenty year cycles known as katuns. The last katun or twenty year period of the 5th Sun began sometime between 1987 and 1992 in our calendar.

The ancient prediction of Maya calendar priests that this 5th Sun will end with hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and earthquakes has fueled unfounded fears that the entire world will end. Not so, but, indeed, the last decade has carried us into great storms, many devastating earthquakes, at least two tsunamis and shattering hurricanes. In the 8th Century the Maya predicted that the earth’s magnetic poles would shift sometime during this last katun. This shift (which has already occurred )would cause tragic, earth shaking events . During the end of the great cycle, the Maya said, the sun will also alter its axis of rotation when it is hit by a powerful ray from the center of the galaxy causing a giant sun-flare to strike the earth. Sun-flares were greatly feared by the Maya because they heralded eras of tremendous upheaval, monumental changes and human suffering. In 1517, the year of the Spanish Conquest of the Old World, a giant sun flare hit the earth. Along with tragic events, sun flares signal the curtain call for great changes to come in human consciousness that will gladden some and threaten others. A sun flare occurred just before the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

We have entered a time of darkness before light, storm before calm. We have been breaking down old ways and building up new. It was recorded in the ancient codices that in August of 1999 the beginning of the end would come when all of the naked eye planets, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury would be visible from earth in an arc East and West of the moon, a celestial event that occurs once in thousands of years. In Belize, we stood in an open field under the clear night sky to observe this unforgettable phenomenon.

This rare planetary alignment shifted cosmic vibrations on the earth which in turn opened the anteroom of a new era when it will be the darkest time before a new dawn. The End of Times heralds natural tragedies, conflict, war, separatism and collective madness all the while nurturing seeds of great learning to transition from destruction to construction, conflict to co-operation, nationalism to globalism, and intolerance to understanding. The Maya knew that ultimately, everything must evolve towards perfection.

How do we as practitioners of Maya Abdominal Therapy and Maya Spiritual Healing fit into this New Reality and cosmic picture of great changes ? What is our role? We are all midwives of the 6th Sun making a profound difference as one body with one purpose. In 1987 before, perhaps even the beginning of the final katun of the 5th Sun, I was accepted as Don Elijio’s apprentice and the first primicia at Ix Chel Farm was performed by Don Elijio. Since that day the blessings of the Nine Maya Spirits entered our collective lives. Maya Abdominal Massage and Rainforest Remedies both emerged on the scene in 1992, the time of great intensity and the beginning of the shift in consciousness of the final katun of Baktun 13 which began sometime in the 1600’s.

In 2009 we changed our name to Maya Abdominal Therapy. Therapy is a Greek word that means support, caring and service to God. For those who have heard and felt these new spiritual awakenings we have created a safe house, a harbor in the storm. To our doorstep have come frustrated nurses, medical doctors and body workers of all kinds seeking more depth and meaning in t heir work. We have shown them a new path with heart, service and passion that fits in perfectly with the paradigm of the 6th Sun.

Our clients come to us weary and mistrustful of their previous health care under the old paradigm. Within MAT they find holistic care that they intuitively know resonates with their innermost needs of body, mind and soul. We are helping families with fertility challenges to birth a new generation that will be born into this time of light after darkness and calm after the storm. Patriarchy’s time and its negative stranglehold on the consciousness of the planet has finally run out. The old story has broken down. Everywhere people are in search of spirituality, love , good works and a clearly defined path of service. The makers of confusion and fear will have had their day. We will experience a gradual shift leading to more respect for nature, community and spirituality with no religious agenda.

The 6th Sun signals the return of the divine feminine as an archetype. We rescued the Maya goddess, Ix Chel, from dusty corners of history, and our devotion to her is part of the return of the divine feminine that will be a softer way to live together on Gaia. This is the death knoll for patriarchy, aggression and attitudes of fear and shame towards sex. Ix Chel , goddess of sexuality, claimed her power when she ran away from the abusive Sun God to rule her own realm in the night sky as the moon. Be grateful that we have Ix Chel, her myths, her temple, to teach us about the divine feminine, self-empowerment and loving service through healing. Be grateful that she guides and protects us, responds to our prayers and helps us to heal and to be healed. Be grateful that she has revealed the true purpose of her island sanctuary for women on Cozumel Island. In her own way, she has acknowledged our work and pilgrimages to her ancient temples.

We are all dying to one reality and awakening to another. Hatred and fear will morph into love and courage, materialism, or matter that doesn’t matter, will shift to a higher vibration, and chaos will become harmony. Already, we have experienced greater spiritual sensitivity and are learning to use more of our intuition in healing. Inner peace will be easier to attain and we will all learn from the hurts of our own past. We live and breathe now within higher planetary vibrations to build what has been called a “morphogenetic field”, a grid work to be the genesis of changes to come. Don Elijio ‘s advice would be ,” Step by step, day by day and little by little”.

Part of this New Reality is to move from nationalism to planetization. MAT has created an international healing community based on co-operation and a mutual purpose dedicated to the common good. We are teaching each other to transcend separatism as our numbers increase across the globe. One body with one purpose. We are part of the groundwork to accelerate individual and cultural evolution as we move from patriarchy to matriarchy, storm to calm and darkness to light. We take a new approach to education that allows Eros and Logos, masculine and feminine, fact and belief to thrive with respect for the gifts of both. We join the right and left brain, the visible with the invisible, science with nature, fact with faith . As keepers of Maya medicine and the lineage of Don Elijio Panti, a Mopan Maya shaman, we have been true to his teachings.

We are more than a brick on this bridge that spans between the 5th Sun of tribulations and 6th Sun of new hope; we are an entire section. We have brought an ancient medicine to people with science as a foundation. In MAT workshops there is a buffet for scientists, allopathic doctors and a banquet for the mystics and energy healers. Like the ancients, our tools are herbs, massage , baths, prayers, water and ritual. Our faith and prayers to the Nine Maya Spirits are thought forms that serve as blueprints for the Divine Mind to use as a grid work, a platform on which to construct the new reality. We have empowered men and women with self-care to put healing right into their own hands, thus breaking down the old belief that healing can only come from outside ourselves. Women especially have received very poor health care until we acknowledged and spread wide across the planet the wisdom of healers like Elijio Panti . Horetence Robinson, Beatrice Waight and Juana Shish.

All change must start and come from within. There will be intense struggles ahead as we cleanse ourselves of old ideas and patriarchal ways. Every doubt we ever had will surface. Whatever relationship either personal or professional that does not fit this new paradigm will fall of its own accord. Everyone of us is experiencing drastic and dramatic events, all in preparation for a clearing of what does not serve this higher purpose. We have to make changes in our own attitudes to go from destruction to construction, competition to co-operation, ignorance to understanding. Heaven and Hell will manifest together during this last katun of transition. We will all need our One-World, One-Love, One Purpose community of MAT practitioners to be nourished, understood and supported. We must continue to burn our monthly full moon candles and send out prayers to each other that will help the Mind of God to build the future. Every time we sing Tierra Mi Cuerpo, I believe we have lay another brick across this bridge to the New Reality. What other profession allows practitioners to have hundreds of people praying for them at the same time every month?

There are decisions to be made, will we choose heaven or hell, old or new, will we move forward or backward? It will be heaven for those who transcend and hell for those who can’t learn and catch up with the changes. If you have not taken the workshops on Maya Spiritual Healing, you should. Do your part to foster the New Reality. Learn to attune yourself and others to this new paradigm with love, faith, plants, water and prayers.

Be prayerful, meditative, grateful and loving. Live in a state of grace by forgiving everyone everything, no matter what they’ve done. Be mystical. Contemplate the great mysteries of the universe so that our minds and bodies will attune to the Divine Being and sense the patterns stored in the mind of God. Live daily life as a spiritual exercise. In this way, we will open our consciousness to receive messages from the mind of God to become a greater, unified force for good so that the 6th Sun of the Maya can activate a spiritual revolution.