Over winter solstice 2011 I was co-leading a women’s journey to Guatemala and we were participating in the Mayan Fire Ceremonies with the elders at the ancient site of Tikal. Upon returning home, MaryAnn a beautiful woman from the journey, called me with the deep desire to bring the Mayan Fire ceremonies back to our community. Yesterday, on Summer Solstice we did just that.

Over 30 men and women, from ages of 18 to 95, gathered at MoonBear Sanctuary. Each was saged by Tom and spritzed by Mary Elizabeth, for purification, as they entered a path carved by trees to enter a space that had formerly been a sweat lodge. The fire pit would be used in the sacred fire ceremony we were bringing back from the Mayans.

In preparation for the Mayan fire ceremony MaryAnn and I formed a ring of 20 stones to symbolize the 20 Nawales or Mayan Sun Signs from the Tzolkin calendar. We poured sugar in a large circle within the perimeter then making a cross within that and circles in each quadrant representing the four directions. Sugar represents the sweetness of life. This was the foundation for the fire, on top we covered it with pine cones picked up with love from a hike, then lavender and other herbs.

During the ceremony MaryAnn would pass around candles of different colors to signify different meanings as well as chocolate, cinnamon, herbs, birdseed and cornmeal. She spoke of the significance of each one. We would all step forward to place each item in the fire with prayers.

I started the ceremony speaking of the significance of the fire ceremony and the solstice. The fire is very important to the Mayans. They see it as light and life. It is an integral part of their ceremonies. The two solstices and two equinoxes are four of the most powerful times of the year still recognized by many indigenous cultures. The solstice comes from “sol” meaning sun and “stice” meaning “still”. For three days at the winter and summer solstice the sun appears to rise and set at the same time and place and stand still before turning direction. At summer solstice the yang or masculine energy turns to the yin or feminine energies as the days get shorter and the nights longer. The yin is a time of reflection and going inward.

June 21 2012, the day of the Summer Solstice the Mayan Sun Sign was Ajmaq and the Galactic tone was two – duality. Ajmaq is Earth and the spirit of the Grandfathers. Ajmaq can be broken down to “maq” which means smoke or is the illusion of life and the place we make human mistakes because we can’t see the smoke or veil. The greatest mistake or offence they see is not believing in Ajaw, the Great Spirit. “Aj” is the long journey through life, it is old age and the elder. 13 is a significant number for the Maya and they see the age of 52 as when one becomes an Elder. 13 X 4 = 52. This is a day to ask forgiveness to Mother Earth for any offenses and to ask forgiveness for anyone we have wronged. It is a day of introspection. It is the energy not only of forgiveness but of illumination. Look into your life and see what you want to forgive in yourself, with others and with offenses to our Mother Earth and what do you want illuminated, what dreams do you want brought forward. The energy of this day will be carried all the way to Fall Equinox. (find the energy of the day or your Mayan Sun sign here)

The Galactic Tone for the day was two- duality. This also showed up astrologically as being significant for this summer solstice. We have just had the two eclipses and the Venus transit all in Gemini, the twins who represent duality. Venus represents the feminine and love and beauty. In the mind we experience duality, polar opposites. Yet in the heart we love both twins both ends of duality. Venus is also at the higher octave and in Gemini for 584 days or nearly 19.5 months. This is a time for being able to bring duality to the heart for unity and oneness!

We connected to Robin and Cassidy and Tata Pedro who are in Rio for the Earth Summit. There are over 2000 Indigenous elders, youth and others holding the space through prayer while the Summit is taking place. Robin is there bringing forth the Rights of Mother Earth. What an exciting time it is on our planet! We also connected with loved ones and others around the world in sacred ceremony.

David, who wears many hats but all of truth and one being adept at navigating the many planes and realities as a Shaman, called in the directions and held vigil over the space on unseen realms. He also helped tend the fire. Each participant shared their Mayan Sign with the group and each participated throughout the ceremony giving significant objects to the fire in prayer.

After the fire ceremony we came into my house to share a traditional Guatemalan celebratory dinner of homemade tamales that had prepared by dear friends of my heart from Oaxaxa and a salad.

After everyone left I went to the back of my house and there was a large bat flying around. I opened the door to the outside to help it get out. Looking up the significance of the bat in Ted Andrews book “Animal Speaks” this is what I jumped out at me… Keynote: Transition and Initiation. From the early Meso-America traditions came a sacred book of the initiatory process in which bats hold a significant role. This book was called the Popul Vuh and describes the seven tests that the two brothers must undergo. The seventh test took them to the house of bats and Camzotz, the god of bats who was part human and part bat. It is a symbolic story that holds the promise of rebirth and coming out of the darkness. (The Popul Vul is the sacred text for the Mayans).

The Mayan elders tell us we are ending a 26,000 year cycle on December 21, 2012 and the ending of one cycle is the beginning of a new cycle. They tell us we are ending a time of darkness, wars, lies and power over others to move into a new cycle of love, collaboration and unity! May we each use this potent time we are in leading up to winter solstice and beyond to step into our unique gifts and be part of this powerful co-creation of a world of love that works for all life. We truly are the ones we have been waiting for and this is the time!!

My next sacred journey with women will be September 18th to October 2nd – over Fall Equinox – in Peru, co-lead by Luzma Ampuera. For more information go to SoaringInLight.com or Click here for more info