My Trip to Chitzen Itza
I led a retreat to Chitzen Itza, Mexico for December 21st, 2012. We went for the cosmic shift, the galactic alignment, the big hooplah—because no matter what we say, we have all been entranced by Hollywood’s idea of galactic shifts.
Even though I know better, I secretly hoped for lightening bolts flashing in the sky. But, there were no space ships that landed. There were no beams of white light that shot out from our third-eye.
I know it was disappointing for some. We had heard of a crystal skull ceremony performed by Mayan elders. I had seen the videos online. And then, just two weeks before we were to arrive in Mexico, I saw an article that the Mexican government was forbidding the crystal skull ceremony from happening.
I was still hoping we would find the crystal skull ceremony, somehow.
In Mayan tradition, every one thousand years, they store the knowledge of their people in a crystal skull. Two individuals are chosen, one young and one old, who are both seen as the embodiment of the people. They are given all the learning of the Mayan tradition to receive.
And then, after years of devoted learning, in a special ceremony, their spirits are sent into the crystal skull. Supposedly, their spirit doesn’t die. They leave their body and inhabit the crystal skull.
Keep in mind, the Mayans are the same people who used to perform human sacrifices. As we learned from our tour guide at Chitzen Izta, in one ceremony each Spring, the heart was pulled from a young person while still alive. The heart was then placed, still beating, on a stone altar so that the first light of sunrise on the Spring Equinox could shine on it. This was considered a special honor to be chosen to give one’s heart for the people.
The Mayans say that the crystal skulls preserve their tradition. All the living knowledge of 1,000 years is stored in the crystal skull. And they repeat this process every thousand years. So, by the turn of the cosmic cycle, they have 13 crystal skulls that represent the 13,000 years of living knowledge. And, true to mythology, these crystal skulls were hidden by the Mayan elders to protect them.
It all sounds like an Indiana Jones movie. Crystal skulls hidden over the last 13,000 years, encoded with human knowledge performed during a ceremony of apparent human sacrifice.
And supposedly the Mayan elders were unveiling them all in one ceremony for the galactic shift of December 21st, 2012. There were articles and videos about it online. The council of Mayan elders toured America in 2011 and 2012 leading small private ceremonies with one or two of the crystal skulls, but not all of them.
So, this was the chance to experience all 13 of them. This was the big enchilada.
We wanted our Indiana Jones moment. We wanted our Hollywood experience. But, we never found the crystal skull ceremony. While we were at Chitzen Izta, we met two ladies who had participated in the crystal skull ceremony that was held at a secret location nearby Chitzen Izta. They showed us videos and pictures on their iPhones. At least it confirmed they were real. It was tantalizingly close, the mythical reality.
But, again I know better. I know the reason we went to Chitzen Izta was to experience our own personal shift of consciousness. The Mayan predictions are actually just that, to find our own personal transformation at the end of a great cycle and the beginning of the next. But, of course, the crystal skulls were the main attraction, and honestly my main incentive for offering a retreat in the first place.
There were 13 of us total on the retreat, myself included, which felt like a very auspicious number given that we were in search of 13 crystal skulls. I devoted an entire month to planning the logistics. I organized a tight schedule of events for the five days we would be there.
And, of course, the best-laid plans of mice and men don’t often match the mythology. Legends don’t include tails of getting stuck in the Cancun airport for two hours trying to clear passport control and customs.
Several people were meeting us in the airport to share the rental car ride to our hotel where others were waiting for us. We were terribly delayed. We finally arrived at our hotel at 7 p.m. On the schedule I prepared, we were all supposed to meet for an opening ceremony on the beach at 7 p.m. That obviously wasn’t going to happen. We hadn’t even checked in yet, let alone eaten dinner.
Our hotel turned out to be a massive Disneylike campus. There were shuttle cars driving people around to their rooms. That’s how big it was. The resort was “all-inclusive,” which means they were handing out free drinks everywhere. Everyone was drunk, except us. It was the only hotel that still had rooms available for all of us. It was not exactly the quiet, meditative place that would have best served a spiritual retreat. Picture gangnam-style, pool-side antics pumped from loud-speakers.
Upon first-arriving, we all met up in the lobby by some miracle. I suggested moving the opening meet-up back to 8 p.m. In response, my co-leader complained aloud that she would lose her dinner reservation. That set a tone and then we never actually all met up again at 8 p.m. anyway.
And that was how the mythological adventure began, in reality.
One person, who had come for the retreat, dropped out. He decided to just stay in his hotel room. Another woman demanded her money back. And, the stress of it all led to the disintegration of my own health. I came down with the flu, while on the beach in Mexico.
And yet, after it all, after the opening night debacle, the next morning we did find a quiet, shaded place on the beach together. We did yoga on the beach, in the sand, each morning. I taught people how to choose the life we really want. We meditated together. I showed people how to pray. We did a sacred fire ceremony on the beach. We shared. We bonded. We swam in Cenotes together.
We created magic, in our own way.
And on December 22nd we held a special prayer and meditation circle on the grounds of Chitzen Izta. The massive crowds that had been there on December 21st were gone. It was just us. There were no Mayan Elders. There were no crystal skulls. But, the energy there was palpable. For about 2 hours, we chanted and prayed together.
And afterward, after all was said and done. After all the logistical snafus, personality conflicts and missed Hollywood moments, here’s what we got from the adventure.
One woman told me that she really and truly found a new consciousness. She was inspired to make massive changes in her life.
Another person told me that it was the first time she ever really understood the power of prayer. It was the first time she truly experienced it for herself. Someone else told me it was the first time she had ever successfully meditated in her whole life.
New consciousness! First time to successfully meditate! First time to get the power of prayer!
And my own epic transformation that came is the realization of the Alchemist.
We had to journey thousands of miles in search of mythical crystal skulls in order to find inner transformation. Would we have even gone if it had not been for the allure of crystal skulls? Perhaps not. And, if not, we would have missed the epic transformations that came.
We never found the 13 crystal skulls. But the 13 of us who chose the adventure found exactly what we chose to find. It’s never “out there” in any external object or place, even something as fantastic as a crystal skull with a human spirit inside. It’s inside, in our own reality. And we always choose our own reality, no matter where we are.
It’s just that sometimes we need a stimulus to get us moving towards a new inner-reality and that stimulus can even be the much maligned Hollywood hooplah.
Alexander Dunlop is a Life Priest. From an ordinary deck of playing cards, he can show you your true purpose, your gifts, your challenges, your keys to financial abundance, your greatest lesson to learn, your relationship patterns, your shadow side, your lifetime reward and much more.
Alexander is the founder of the Center for Spiritual Nutrition. He created this Center to offer real nourishment for the life journey we are all on. He has worked as an Evangelical Protestant minister and been trained as a Roman Catholic priest. He is initiated as a swami and is practicing shamanic healing in the Lakota tradition. He is a Harvard graduate and former Wall Street Consultant.
Editor: Maja Despot
Like elephant Spirituality on Facebook.