Another chapter of Monochrome Madness and a Mayan Journey

Though busy, no way I’ll miss  Leanne Cole and Laura Macky‘s  weekly Monochrome Madness See all the wonderful submissions on Leanne’s site.(Tues, Aug 19)

I  revisited my journey through the Yucatan for my choice (though it’s a spooky one). More on Mayan Journeys.

tomb of ek balam (star jaguar)
the tomb of Ek’ Balam ( star jaguar)

I have an interest in the civilizations of the pre columbian New World, and especially the Mayan, which I have written about in an earlier post(Star Child Musings) and in my travel journal (In the Jaws of Kukulkan). Their art and architecture were astonishing, along with their mathematics and calendar. They were governed by kings and powerful astronomer/priests ( like in the Vatican observatory!) who interpreted cosmic events and seasons into sacred ritual.

Both terrifying and beautiful, their mythology begins in deep caves,  the underworld known as Xibalba (place of fear) where the dark gods live. There, the tree of life takes root and eventually reaches the heavens.  In some accounts Xibalba is also said to be found in the dark rift of the milky way. The tree of life is a journey of souls. Their mysterious culture of which we know only a little, and their mythology captured my imagination.

They had written codices –  which sadly were burned and destroyed by the Spanish monks. Mayans did embrace Christianity, partly because they could relate to a god who was willing to die in a blood sacrifice.

in the jaws of Kukulkan
the jaws of Kukulkan

A small piece of their poetic writing did survive as a sacred text called the Popol Vu and their glyphs have only recently been deciphered. In spite of the desperate darkness of the bloody sacrifices that marked the post classic period I found and  find their story very compelling.

I didn’t have a great camera at that time but I think I was able to capture some of  the magnificence and mystery anyway. Besides the well known Chichen Itza and Tulum, the ruins of their many cities are hidden in jungles all through the Yucutan and Guatemala. I traveled on the old Mayan road called the sac be and on the ruta puuc. The god Chac filled the skies with ominous clouds, jungle rain and finally appeased, allowed hot sun to pour down.

I think monochrome is very effective for these. I hope you think so too.

PS: For all who wonder, I did climb the pyramid- damn near killed me! and in Mayan my name is “Monkey Cloud” along with all their wonderful names of Star Jaguar, Smoke Mirror and 19 Rabbit!!  The god Kukulkan, was the feathered serpent.

62 Comments Add yours

  1. lemanshots says:

    Absolutely fascinating!!

    Like

    1. It absolutely is !! Thanks Leman!!

      Like

  2. Amy says:

    Fascinating, stunning! The lightening is incredible, Cybele!

    Like

    1. thanks Amy, the place was incredible!!

      Like

  3. Peter Nena says:

    Effective indeed. I too am fascinated by ancient civilizations. They have a sense of mystery, intelligence, and wealth. Thinking of the lives those ruins once protected and embellished that now are no more.
    Great posts, dear Cybele. Loved. Thanks for posting them. You have a wonderful weekend.

    Like

    1. Peter Nena says:

      Sometimes I wonder whether all these that we have built and cherished will someday become ruins as well, for archeologists to dig and study our remains and conjecture concerning our lifestyle, and be filled with wonder and mystery. “What happened to them?” they will ask. But we’ll be no more. I wonder.

      Like

      1. Peter that would make a wonderful story!! Am looking forward to your next!!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. thanks so much Peter!! Always wonderful to hear from you! You too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Robyn G says:

    Truly stunning images (even with your old camera) and such wonderful old places.
    What a journey to be able to go visit..and climb that pyramid!!
    So much mystery I am sure… these civilisations are so very interesting. Thanks for posting this.
    I started commenting here a day or tow ago and got called away… busy busy here too, but not packing for a very exciting trip 🙂

    Like

    1. It was a place of mystery and awe! I love your wonderful comments!! Thank you.

      Like

  5. Fantastic temples and history and amazing monochrome photos, fantastic Cybele!

    Like

    1. thanks Della! They really are amazing architectures!

      Like

  6. Mélanie says:

    awesome and interesting post, “Luna Bonita”… ❤ Lara Croft and Indy Jones… same here, Cappy dear! 🙂

    Like

    1. Gracias and merci carita!!

      Like

  7. Embracing a Wounded Soul says:

    Seriously spell-binding. I am in awe!

    Like

    1. It’s a spell binding place. Thank you Sam!!

      Like

  8. Maria F. says:

    Very suitable ambiance for those temples! I love the Palace at Sayil image!

    Like

    1. Thank you Maria, it is a moody place!!

      Like

  9. joshi daniel says:

    dramatic looking 🙂

    Like

    1. it is Joshi !! thanks for stopping by!!

      Like

  10. What a fabulous trip and photos recording it, Cybele. I love the history and stories that you put with it. It’s definitely a fascinating culture. 🙂

    Like

    1. thanks Linda, that it is!!

      Like

  11. You certainly do not need color to be dramatic and moody – such as in your shots here. Nice work!

    Like

    1. I so appreciate your comment! The place is so moody!! Thank you Robert!

      Like

  12. Fascinating facts and wonderful photos Cybele!

    Like

    1. thank you for reading Andrea and your lovely comment!! There is so much more mystery to be unraveled with the Mayans!

      Like

  13. I do hate this destruction of writings and beautiful artifacts in the name of so-called religion. So much knowledge, truth, and history have been lost that way. Maybe we would have made it to the stars by now, if we’d had respect for other people’s beliefs and cultures, and worked in co-operation with each other rather than waging constant wars.

    Like

    1. I’m with you on that!! But it seems we never learn!

      Like

  14. A magical place from a fascinating culture. Stunning photos, Cybele!

    Like

    1. thanks so much Debbie- it is so fascinating!

      Like

  15. I’ve always wanted to visit the Yucatan! So much history, geology and wildlife. As ever, I just love the processing you’ve done 🙂 The Mayan culture is truly fascinating!

    Like

    1. You must visit one day. You won’t be disappointed! Thank you Sarah!

      Like

      1. One day if can ever afford it! There’s so much I want to see and explore over there.

        Like

      2. I know about the money part!! 🙂

        Like

      3. If I won the lottery I’d be travelling the whole world, filming and photographing all the amazing sights for myself! I dream of a life like Sir David Attenborough’s!!!!

        Like

  16. Fantastic, I just love these 🙂

    Like

    1. I thought you would Ed!! Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh for sure, it just screams at me like a scene out of Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones, but much better. I would love to visit such places 🙂

        Like

      2. Yes, I’m a Lara Croft at heart!! haha ( more like Indiana Jones’ dad- I’m more likely to be pouring through ancient tomes not tombs)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Make a deal, you find em, Ill explore them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. deal but you must let me tag along anyway!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Of course, can always use some back up, in case I run into canibal natives 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Junior, our situation has become intolerable!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  17. suej says:

    Great images, I agree with Suzanne re your images conveying the mystery and culture of these places!

    Like

    1. It’s hard not to take a few interesting photos there!! Thanks so much Sue!

      Like

  18. Suzanne says:

    That was fascinating and your photos really convey the mystery of the culture.

    Like

    1. thanks Suzanne! I’m a history buff and amateur astronomer!! And of course I love a good mystery!! 🙂

      Like

  19. Stunning images, the mono really brings out what I would imagine to be a very spiritual place. I would love to go one day as I’m also fascinated by their technical brilliance 🙂

    Like

    1. oh you would be mesmerized by it I know!! I hope you can go some day. Thanks so much Lisa!

      Like

  20. Arl's World says:

    love your photos!

    Like

  21. kazg10 says:

    Definitely B&W and your angles sets the mood and it all looks very mystical. Love them 🙂

    Like

    1. kazg10 says:

      PS your lucky to be “Monkey Cloud”… imagine being 19 Rabbit, you’d want your money back then lol 🙂

      Like

      1. indeed!! 😀 19 Rabbit is too productive for me!

        Like

    2. thanks so much for the lovely compliment!!

      Like

  22. Ann says:

    The clouds and lighting in the temple photograph are stunning.

    Like

    1. yes, very dramatic!! like the place itself!! Thanks Ann!

      Like

Come on , don't be afraid to squeak up!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.