Path to the Yucatan / Caleb Hennessy
There a literally dozens of depictions of Quetzalcoatl.
the combination of the Quetzal bird and the rattlesnake.
I really wonder if Quetzalcoatl would agree
with the depictions of him as an dragon like monster.
If Quetzalcoatl was/is was a Spiritual Master
he would have preached, taught and practiced Love. Not Power.
But the artwork is fantastic.
Obviously still a lot of fervour for Quetzalcoatl
Path to the Yucatan / Caleb Hennessy
The recovery of the ancient Mayan cities – their Temple Pyramids – which are the Mayan churches –
has been a revelation to the modern Maya and a revival of Mayan religious traditions.
Video borrowed from YouTube
“According to legend, twice a year when the day and night are in balance, this pyramid dedicated to Kukulcan (or Quetzalcoatl), the feathered serpent god, is visited by its namesake. On the equinox, Kukulcan returns to earth to commune with his worshipers, provide blessing for a full harvest and good health before entering the sacred water, bathing in it, and continuing through it on his way to the underworld.”
Modern depictions of Quetzalcoatl/Kukulkan.
Said to be The God of knowledge and learning – among other things.
Creator of the Calendar and books.
Kukulkan / Quetzalcoatl obviously still has a powerful appeal.
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukulkan:
“The cult of Kukulkan/Quetzalcoatl was the first Mesoamerican religion to transcend the old Classic Period linguistic and ethnic divisions. This cult facilitated communication and peaceful trade among peoples of many different social and ethnic backgrounds. Although the cult was originally centred on the ancient city of Chichén Itzá in the modern Mexican state of Yucatán, it spread as far as the Guatemalan highlands.”
“A spiritual city in the highlands of Guatemala; one of the smaller communities of Spiritual Travelers who are still connected with the ancient civilizations of the Mayans;
promotes the ancient mysteries of the once powerful Mayans and Aztecs.”
– A Cosmic Sea of Words / Harold Klemp
“… in other traditions Quetzalcoatl was said to oppose human sacrifice. Mesoamerican priests and kings would sometimes take the name of a deity they were associated with,
so Quetzalcoatl and Kukulcan are also the names of historical persons.
He was known as the inventor of books and the calendar, the giver of corn to mankind, and sometimes as a symbol of death and resurrection.
Quetzalcoatl was also the patron of the priests and the title of the Aztec high priest.”
Path to the Yucatan / Caleb Hennessy
Here’s a phenomenon that occurred this year at Chichen Itza right in front of
the Pyramid of Kukulkan the day after the Spring Equinox
– which is a day that locals celebrate as the return of Kukulkan.
Call me crazy, but that looks just like a flying snake.
“Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind, air, and learning, wears around his neck the “wind breastplate” ehecailacocozcatl, “the spirally voluted wind jewel” made of a conch shell. This talisman was a conch shell cut at the cross-section and was likely worn as a necklace by religious rulers, as they have been discovered in burials in archaeological sites throughout Mesoamerica, and potentially symbolized patterns witnessed in hurricanes, dust devils, seashells, and whirlpools, which were elemental forces that had significance in Aztec mythology. In codex drawings, both Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl were pictured wearing an ehecailacocozcatl around the neck. There has additionally been at least one major cache of offerings with knives and idols adorned with the symbols of more than one god, some of which were adorned with wind jewels.”
Streisand / Somewhere
Kings of the Sun / 1963
Don’t know how they got permission to use the Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza,
Hope they got a some good gold out of it. But it shouldn’t happen.
No doubt who the Star was.
In his career George Chakiris did have his moments in the Sun (West Side Story, Diamond Head …)
Shirley Anne Field – beautiful, but not very Mayan.
Brad Dexter? Where have we seen him before?
In The Magnificent Seven (1960) also with Yul Brynner.
In Kings of the Sun, Brad gets a new hat.
Chichen Itza and the Pyramid of Kukulkan
Before CGI there was people!!!
Those steps are steep and jagged.
Here come the Toltecs.
Storming the Pyramid of Kulkulkan.
A dangerous stunt.
Many of the 91 steps are jagged and uneven – and over 12 inches in height.
The Pyramid of Kukulkan incline is also a steep 45 degree angle.
Combined with heat and/or wind and you can have a real problem here.
And a fall on these steps would not be a happy event.
Don’t know what pyramid this is, but it’s a typical Mayan Pyramid.
Coming down is even more treacherous than going up.
Imagine if this guy had fallen at the top.
Coming down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulkan.
You can see it’s no joke – even if you’re young.
I have to think that they stopped people climbing on the Pyramid for 2 reasons:
– It was destroying the Pyramid.
– Safety. People were getting hurt.
So look at this scene!!! This is insane!
I’m guessing they performed this slowly – then sped up the footage for the Movie??
But it doesn’t look like it.
Kings of the Sun Soundtrack / Elmer Bernstein
Kings of the Sun / 1963
Yes, there was more than one movie made about the Maya.
In 1963 Kings of the Sun ‘blazed across the screen’.
In the 60’s they loved these huge Historical Epic style films with hundreds
of Extras fighting in large battle scenes.
Not much CGI in those days.
Reviews were lukewarm. Yet I wonder if this won’t be one of those movies
that becomes more appreciated over time.
One thing you can say about the existing Studio systems of that era
is that they found and developed great Stars.
One of those great Stars was Yul Brynner.
Even in a lousy Movie Yul’s charisma dominated the Screen.
And guaranteed Box Office.
Between 1944 and 1976 Yul made about 47 Movies –
many of them were Epic style Action productions.
Just a few of Yul’s Epics.
Looks invincible doesn’t he?
Slain my lung cancer in 1985.
He was 65.
Next: Kings of the Sun / Part 2
Chichen Itza Mexico
Why did the Maya abandon their magnificent temple cities?
All of the above?
Maybe none of the above?
As the Spring and Fall equinox sun sets, a diamond-backed snake (shadow)
makes a snaky pattern on the way down the pyramid staircase.
Here people gather and celebrate.
The Mayan may have left their Temple Cities,
but they did not leave.
Many still practice their religions
such as Popul Vuh.
And speak their native language and dialects.
They are still here.
Ancient Mayan Music / Tsompantli
It would appear that Sound was deliberately built into a lot of Mayan architecture.
How they knew how to do this we may never know?
And the fact that the echo sound of the Quetzal bird
was discovered at the Pyramid of Kukulkan
and recreated is almost equally amazing.
Were those who reconstructed the Pyramid aware of this phenomenon?
And even if they were, what were the chances their reconstruction
would successfully achieve this result?
And since only 2 sides of the Pyramid have been restored
we don’t know what the the other 2 might have offered.
This brings us to the 2nd sound phenomenon:
The Sound of the Serpent
at The Temple of the Warriors
And since there was once a roof over that structure the sound/echo
would likely have been even more pronounced.
Apocalypto Soundtrack / Words Through the Sky / james-horner
“No one can outrun their destiny”
Must have been a very tough movie to make:
Jungle, mosquitoes, snakes, all kinds of crap/challenges/obstacles.
But it’s a good movie.
Graphic in places (of course). Mel never holds back on the heavy stuff:
Braveheart, Passion of the Christ, Hacksaw Ridge …
Made in 2006. And since we’re making discoveries about the Maya everyday,
(I’m not confident we’ll ever get a handle on them)
it’s pretty hard to get everything right.
This is NOT a documentary however.
Unusual Cast. No Yul Brynners or Elizabeth Taylors here. Most unknown.
Yet they do a very good job. Let’s give a nod to Director Mel for that.
Movie Making. Easy as pie.
The eyes of a child.
The ways of Men.
Something’s coming ….
Something not good …
About as bad as you can get.
Cometh butchers …
In guise of Gods.
But the Maya have never died.
Quetzalcoatl / Kukulkan
So this guy called Quetzalcoatl walks out of the jungle one day
and becomes a God.
To both the Aztecs and the Mayans.
He must have been a hell of guy.
Throughout Central America there’s temples and pyramids
dedicated to him all over the place.
So we have this beautiful bird called the quetzal
meaning “precious” or “sacred” in several Mesoamerican languages
that was associated with Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent
– a connection between Earth and sky.
Soooo … now we discover one of the (among several) wonders of the Pyramid of Kukulkan / Quetzalcoatl
an amazing thing that the Mayans created from sound / echo
that was built into the Pyramid of Kukulkan.
First listen to this recording of the Quetzal bird singing.
Now … watch and listen to this:
When you stand in front of the Pyramid of Kukulkan and clap your hands
you hear the song of the Quetzal bird.
Audio scientists don’t know how they did this.
Here is my own video of this experience:
It seems that many ancient civilizations knew some things about the power of SOUND that we don’t.
And this isn’t the only place at Chichen Itza where they engineered sound into their architecture.
We’ll look at a couple more next …
The Pyramid of Kukulkan
Some necessary knowledge:
“The Maya name “Chichen Itza” means “At the mouth of the well of the Itza.”
This derives from chi‘, meaning “mouth” or “edge,” and chʼen or chʼeʼen, meaning “well.”
Itzá is is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that gained political and economic
dominance of the northern (Yucatan) peninsula.”
“One other possible translation for Itza is “enchanter (or enchantment) of the water,”
from its, “sorcerer,” and ha, “water.”
Since Kukulkan / Quetzalcoatl, appears to have been a highly enlightened person,
“enchanter” and “sorcerer” makes sense.
In 2015 the Pyramid was discovered to have been built over a A cenote [seˈnote])
a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock
that exposes groundwater underneath. A natural well.”
I heard someone suggest that this may have been accidental. Really!?
It’s called “At the mouth of the WELL of Itza” for a good reason.
These people did nothing by accident.
In other words, we are still discovering things about the Mayans
that we didn’t know before.
Our guide, Carmen, showed us some recent photos of sun/celestial alignments
at Chichen Itza that were only recently discovered by Security Officers
who work at the site year round.
These discoveries are not yet common knowledge.
Kukulkan / Quetzalcoatl
“Kukulkan (/kuːkuːlˈkän/) (“Plumed Serpent“, “Feathered Serpent“) is the name of a Mesoamerican serpent deity. Kukulkan was worshipped by the Yucatec Maya peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula, in what is now Mexico. The depiction of the Feathered Serpent is present in other cultures of Mesoamerica. Kukulkan is closely related to the deity Qʼuqʼumatz of the Kʼicheʼ people and to Quetzalcoatl of Aztec mythology. Little is known of the mythology of this Pre-Columbian era deity.”
They got that right.
And since some of this knowledge may enter into the Esoteric arena
it’s unlikely that science will ever get the whole picture.
Per usual, getting Truth is always a personal endeavour. Don’t wait for Harvard.
Next: More …
Carmen – our Guide – shows us how Mayan Temples used to look – brilliantly colored and illustrated.
At last … there it is: The Temple Pyramid of Kukulkan!
So why is Pyramid of Kukulkan so special? There are others that are bigger and more impressive.
But there are several reasons that I will reveal shortly.
Our motley crew.
Up until recently they used to let people clamour all over this. And, of course,
everybody wants to do that. Me too.
BUT this is a very important artifact and thousands of people climbing on it
will eventually destroy it. So I’m glad they stopped that.
Getting the vibe.
91 steps …
Coming Next: Amazing things about this Pyramid
Fierce, Majestic, Mysterious
What can be said of the Ancient Maya? – a massive Civilization/Culture
that spanned beyond 3500 years throughout Central America.
Much, much more than I have room for here.
And much more to be revealed.
Recent aerial laser technology has revealed over 60,000 manmade structures in in Central America.
Many appear to be large pyramids. They don’t have the enough time, money, or people to investigate them.
Most will remain a mystery far beyond our lifetime.
The Mayans/Aztecs built immense Pyramids – several bigger than the Pyramids in Egypt.
Entering Chichen Itza
Looks like a fortress …
It was pretty hot so I opted to buy a hat.
I’ve had sunstroke once so this would protect the back of my neck.
Unfortunately this made me look more like Belloq – the Raiders bad guy – than Indy.
UNESCO Historic site.
Next: Temple Pyramid of Kukulkan
Warning: Geezer Alert
Quetzalcoatl / Caleb Hennessy
The Temple Pyramid of Kukulkan
One of the 7 New Wonders of the World
For me, this was the highlight of our Holiday to the Yucatan. It deserves special treatment.
As a kid I had wanted to be an Archeologist or Paleontologist. In the 60’s I had lived in the Drumheller, Alberta for 5 years – the Badlands of Alberta – and I had made many trips up into the surrounding hills to gather a large collection of Dinosaur Bones, Petrified Wood, Fossils, etc. Likewise I have always been very interested in Ancient History and civilizations. To go to Yucatan and Chichen Itza seemed like a dream beyond my reach.
Yet here we were.
Life has it’s wonders and mysteries. I ride the carpet.
Did I know I was going to see the Temple Pyramid of Kukulkan / Quetzalcoatl? No. Absolutely not. This was all arranged by Rose, my partner.
I don’t believe she could have known how much this would mean to me?
That’s another wonder in this world.
Truthfully though, I don’t know that I would have made a good Archeologist?
I’m not much for pecking in the dirt with a brush and trowel.
I’m more inclined to grab the loot and run for the door.
Maybe not such a good idea.
Anyway … I’ve called on a couple of friends to help me out.
We’ve got this.
Onward! Part 2