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An Unexcavated Maya Pyramid and Ancient Gods

I stood at the base of an ancient Maya pyramid still covered in a thousand years of old growth, almost unnoticed but for the fact that it stretched some 75 meters into the sky amid the thick jungle. At my feet was a small path among the unfriendly underbrush.

My guide held out his hand as I stepped on limestone outcroppings and scrambled over the roots of ceiba trees. The trail wound back and forth up the steep rise, squared off hand hewn stones occasionally poking their heads out from under masses of ferns and moss. Soon we found a small archway to nowhere. I climbed closer, minding the ground for snakes. An uncovered part of a low wall ran next to the arch, but nothing else gave away the secret of what might lie beneath.

Our goal was to reach the top of the ancient pyramid and sit quietly, listening to the voices of the ancients. It was a spiritual pilgrimage attainable only with help of a local guide. It was a day in Palenque for adventure, exploration, and most importantly, for connecting to the gods.

A hummingbird bird whizzed past and alighted on a branch. They usually flit about sipping nectar from brightly colored flowers. This day, he sat still. I watched as he stretched out a peacock-like array of tail feathers and did a little mating dance for me. Never have I seen such a display, so tiny, so elegant, and so rare.

We continued the arduous climb, me choosing every step consciously, aware  that a simple twisted ankle in these jungles would be a dangerous problem.

The day was hot, more than 40 degrees Celsius, and the humidity was intense. But I was determined to reach the top. Several times I stopped to catch my breath, never pushing myself too hard knowing that exhaustion leads to dangerous mistakes.

By mid-day, we reached a clearing of flat rock with a thin layer of moss and dirt at the top. I found a hand worked rock and sat for a few moments taking in the energy and slowing my breath. There was a feeling of ancient and powerful presences. As I closed my eyes, relaxed my body, and let my conscious mind drift, a strong wind picked up and howler monkeys began calling to each other in the distance.  

I had come with a question, “What direction should I take in life?”

All the way up the jungly path, my guide kept talking of plants and how he was sure I had something important to learn about them, something regarding healing. He even said I would be writing down a lot of things about jungle plants. Little did he know I had the opportunity to study with a Maya healer and record the healing properties of more than 500 types of jungle plants!

As I sat in that sacred space, wind and monkeys both howling, I felt a call from the ancient gods. I could almost hear them asking me if I was willing to take on the challenge they had placed before me. “Yes,” I answered. “I will do my best.”

When my guide asked for my thoughts, I told him about my opportunity. He was stunned. His intuition had been correct. We sat for a few moments and then he led me down different path on the other side of the secret pyramid. He led me back down past a toucan who sat on a high branch observing us and a huge iguana who refused to move off the path and let us pass. He led me to a shallow river with crystalline water.

And there he poured water over my head and neck in dedication to my answer. Together in silence, with only the bubbling stream as witness, we celebrated the wisdom of the ancients and the magical workings of the gods.

May you too discover your path through the jungles of life. And may you hear the ancient ones as they speak to your heart. And when you do, may you be at peace as you come into alignment with what the Universe has planned for your journey here in this realm.






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