And a few travel photos
from A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick
the star child contemplates earth
Before the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Persia, and Greece there were even prior civilizations. Whether or not these amazing architects from the neolithic mists of time were lost Atlanteans, or whether they had been in contact with angels or space aliens as per Von Daniken or, whether we, ourselves are the descendants of starmen or mud is all a great unknown except of course for the matter of cosmic carbon!!
The meaning of these wonderful ruins, who the people were, why they built and what answers they sought, remain mostly a mystery. We speculate solstices, astronomy, and religious sacrifice, but nothing is known for sure. Humans have gazed at the heavens and wondered for thousands of years. Ancient astronomers and observers of nature incorporated what they saw into religion and ritual, as did the more recent mesoamerican peoples.
The “henge” sites in the UK and Ireland were built in days of no known technology or written history and they pre-date the pyramids. I decided to go through my photos and find the best from last year’s trip- there were so many and I had only used a few which are on my Gateways and Journey’s Blog.
and from The Mouth of the Wizard’s Well (Chichen Itza)
more mystery in central America, though not as old!! (200-900 CE)
A brief background on the mystical Maya
The solar journey of Chak ek (Venus) played a significant role in Mayan ceremony and belief. Their calendar, called the long count, was more accurate than ours and they had an incredible system of mathematics. On a large playing field they participated in a ball game of life and death, light and darkness; a great sacred ritual which opened the doors of the fearsome underworld (Xibalba). There were 3 levels reaching upward from Xibalba, through the earth and to the heavens, all held together by a mystical tree on which souls traveled.
Caves were symbolically sacred to the Mayans and the root of the great tree can be seen in the cave Balankanche at Chichen Itza.
Only a few portions of their written “bible,” called codices, survive as “The Popol Vu,” thanks to one far seeing monk who understood their value and saved them at a time when the church burned everything in sight that was not Christian. How Mayan glyphs came finally to be translated is another story!
When I journeyed through the Yucatan from Tulum to Uxmal, along the Sac be and Ruta Puuc, I fell in love with the Mayan story and symbolic ritual and wrote a bit on this on my Journeys and Gateways Blog).
During a quiet period on the Chichen Itza site I received a special privilege invite by a kind curator to enter the “snail” ( caracol) which is off limits to the public. Like entering a church portal and touching holy water or a sacred icon on the wall, I instead reverently placed my hand on the painted hand print of an ancient astronomer-priest who reached through time and space to greet me.
After all, we didn’t have to come from any other place in the cosmos. All of the mysterious cosmos is in each one of us!! Sol is our star and we are starmen! So I leave you with words from Joni Mitchell’s song
“we are stardust, we are golden and we have to get ourselves back to the garden!”
and David Bowie’s
There’s a starman waiting in the sky, he’d like to come and meet us but he thinks he’d blow our minds
and the beautiful ( and underrated) film
The Fountain –
Death is the Road to Awe
based on Mayan myth –