New sun ceremony at the cenote Ik Kil near Chichen Itza, 12/21/12

Below is a video of the group I was with in the Yucatan, on the morning of the winter solstice, December 21, 2012. We are in the magical cenote Ik Kil near Chichen Itza, a fabulous sunken and naturally round water hole where we held a ceremony at around 5:00 AM or so.

I was the lucky recipient of the very intense sounds of a crystal bowl being played by Yantara Jiro right near my head – that’s me in the blue sweatshirt in the video below. The experience was extraordinary, to say the least, as it felt like the bowl was blasting soundwaves through my brain and out into the cosmos, at that special opening into the Mayan underworld on that very auspicious day.

The excellent observation has been made that the cenotes serving as the peninsula’s main source of water – and therefore life – created a strong focus on the underworld as the place of creation, because there are no significant rivers in the area to provide water (and myths) otherwise. (H/t John Halsey)

Wow! What a way to usher in the new sun.

Unbeknownst to us and coincidentally, Mesoamerican anthropologist Dr. John Hoopes was above at the time, taking the image of our gathering above right.

Thanks to Steven Rogers for the superb video record of this extraordinary event.

It’s a pity the volume is so low on the video, because the beautiful bowl was very loud, echoing around that special cenote. Note that’s Mayan elder Hunbatz Men giving instructions to Yantara and Gregg Braden at the bottom left. Gregg’s short speech was very powerful and moving.

Further Reading

Adventures in Mayaland, December 2012
Preclassic Maya Funerary Patterns in Northern Belize (e.g., cross imagery)
World Tree as Milky Way growing out of the back of a turtle
A Basic English-Yucatec Mayan Dictionary
Why do the Maya believe Christ is the sun?
Jesus as the Sun throughout History
2012: A New Beginning
Our Lord and Savior Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl/Kukulkan and Christ
Maya watchtowers discovered to align with solstices and equinoxes
December 21, 2012 is coming – are we all going to die?
The Mayans and the Milky Way (radio program)
Astronomers catalogue 84 million stars from a new image of our Milky Way galaxy
The 2013 Astrotheology Calendar: The Wonders of the Milky Way
Parallels between Mesoamerican and Middle Eastern/Egyptian Religion and Mythology


  1. Mayan Memories and Cenote Silence.
    Wikipedia: Cenote.
    Cenotes, Underwater Sinkholes

    “The natural wonders of the state of Yucatán are innumerable and some of the most important and unusual are the cenotes, or sinkholes. It is estimated that there are more than 6000, although only 2400 are registered.

    The Mayas called them dzonot, which the conquering Spaniards translated as cenote. Geraldo Díaz Alpuche was a military commander in the 16th century who was greatly impressed with these underground caverns and pools, and he tried to explain the meaning of the word cenote in the Spanish language as meaning ‘deep thing’. The Motul dictionary, a dictionary of Mayan hieroglyphics, defines dzonot as ‘abysmal and deep’. 

Cenotes are magical, enigmatic and unique in the world and were once the only resource for fresh, sweet water in the local Yucatecan jungle. They were the sacred places of the Mayas for that reason, but also because they represented the entrance to the underworld.”

    Steven Rogers’ video captured the silence and stillness of that cenote.

    If you’re looking for absolute silence, visit a cenote in the Yucatan.

    The photo of Acharya in front of the pyramid is excellent. To me, Acharya’s extended arm is her outreach of recognition of not just the pyramid but of the entire Mayan civilization. Acharya, the 21st century woman, is standing on the ground that was once a beehive of activity of Mayan women, children and men religiously and franticly attempting to honor their God.

    Today there is silence in the cenote. And tourists. And Mayas with memories.

    1. Thanks, Jon, for the definition of a “cenote,” which I have now included in the original post.

      I replaced the image you are referring to with one of the cenote itself.

      Here’s the image:


  2. Hello Acharya, your ‘anointing’ at this moment of the New Age in the depths of the Mayan underworld has special meaning. Yantara Jiro is an extraordinarily special person who was able to open the feeling for the natural harmonic energy flowing through this time and place.

    The sense of connection between earth and cosmos in this solstice moment is central to an enlightened vision of reality, pointing towards how we can overcome the false separation of our constructed world from its natural context. All of us who were there could feel the power of the moment, the emergence of a new natural paradigm, as you describe the magic of the auspicious day.

    In using such language there is no need to suggest any unscientific claims, as the magical quality is even greater if we understand it as entirely natural. I was pleased that we celebrated the solstice moment in the cenote, as it symbolises the chthonic connection with the earth, an idea of rebirth with wide archetypal reverberation. The seed of corn must be placed in the earth in order to be reborn, a motif seen in myths from the Maya and from the Middle East.

    This specific moment, 5.11 am, 21 December 2012, marks the turning point of the Mayan Long Count calendar in terms of the symbolic link between their Baktun cycle and the solstice point, which is now located at the X Chi point where the zodiac meets the galaxy. In mythic terms, considering the solstice as beginning and end of the year, the heart of the tree of life (the zodiac) is now united with the heart of the river of life (the galaxy).

    Considered scientifically, the 13 Baktun period of 5125 years is close to one quarter of earth’s orbital climate cycle. Precession has dynamic effect on earth. The Milankovitch orbital cycles show that precession drives a glaciation cycle with period of about 21,600 years. This is how long it takes for the solstice to move around the orbit from perihelion to perihelion (ie when earth is closest to the sun). This climate period is shorter than the precession cycle itself (25765 years) because the whole orbital ellipse of the earth is also spinning slowly against the background stars. One quarter of this actual climate cycle is 5400 years, close enough to the Mayan Long Count period of 5125 years to justify a useful comparison.

    The actual low point (ie winter solstice) of the climatic Great Year was in 1246 AD, when the annual winter solstice crossed the perihelion point. The perihelion now happens on 2-3 January, as explained at The movement of the perihelion across the winter solstice point can be considered symbolically the depth of the Iron Age or Kali Yuga in terms of orbital dynamics, as it matches to the measured coldest periods of glacial cycles over millions of years, shown in ice core and sediment records.

    If we consider the Great Year as having four seasons, we are now at the equivalent of 3 January, in the depth of mid winter, but with days lengthening towards the next summer. The previous Long Count period of 5125 years can be considered as a cosmic fall, and the Long Count period now starting should be understood as a cosmic winter, the beginning of a slow ten thousand year return to a golden age of cosmic summer.

  3. Yeah …
    I’m jealous … :Pinch:

  4. Photos
    Hi Acharya

    Thanks for uploading the new photos at the cenote on the solstice morning. I am at the upper left corner and John Smetana is at the top right. The empty spot next to you reminds me of the famous Arthurian Siege Perilous claimed by Sir Galahad ([url][/url])!

    Best Wishes

  5. Fascinating sound.
    Absolutely fascinating sound.

    Something totally new for me, never seen anything like this before, although I am somewhat familiar with astrotheology.

    “how we can overcome the false separation of our constructed world from its natural context.” — Robert Tulip.

    On “false separation”….

    The idea that we are separate from the surroundings is an idea that tends to take over if we get overwhelmed by mundane tasks of life and living.

    If we were to focus a microscope on the junction between human skin and air……we would see NO BOUNDARY.

    Our bodies are seamlessly integrated with the environment.

    I suppose that would apply to our minds too.

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