Dear Being Energy Community,
Quetzal Calls – The Pyramid of Kukulcan Sings!
As Miles and I prepare for our second trip to the Yucatán, to the magical city of Chichén Itza, we have some information to share with you that will make the hairs on the back of your neck rise!
What do we know about the Maya? More than just a Mesoamerican civilization that began around 3,000 BC, the Maya were (and are) extraordinary, with a culture that was complex and magical. Known for mind-blowing astronomical, mathematical, artistic and architectural developments, the Maya built hundreds of cities that contained schools, libraries, hospitals, sports arenas and observatories (they predicted eclipses and the rising and setting of Venus). The ruins of their cities tell a story of stunning intelligence and a strongly developed artistic culture, and visiting these ruins can be life changing.
The Maya created the concept of zero before the Europeans—a BIG DEAL if you really think about it. They developed complex and accurate calendars that tracked the cycles of the sun, moon, and planets thousands of years into the future, correctly.
The Maya also invented chocolate from cocoa beans—(not the Swiss!) and a detailed writing system (only 4 other cultures ever did that!).
And… The Maya never vanished. Even though their largest cities were abandoned 1,000 years ago for reasons still unknown, the Maya survived. As don Regi a Mayan shaman, told us in Guatemala a few years ago “We are nomads that walk a path with heart. We were not conquered by anyone and we will never be. We are free.”
The Maya people and knowledge live today beyond national and linguistic boundaries. You can find Mayan people in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, for example. They speak many languages, including Mayan languages (Yucatec, Quiche, Kekchi and Mopan), Spanish and English.
Now here’s the amazing thing, the thing we want to tell you about: The Maya also built pyramids that sing!The pyramid Kukulcan (Quetzalcoatl, or the ‘plumed-serpent”) in Chichén Itza was built somewhere between 500 – 900 AC.
For the Maya, the quetzal’s feathers as well as its cry were sacred. The cult of Kukulkan spread beyond the Maya, though. It was the first Mesoamerican religion to transcend linguistic and ethnic divisions. In fact, this cult facilitated communication and peaceful trade among peoples of many different social and ethnic backgrounds.
The Kukulcan pyramid, also known as “El Castillo,” has four 80-foot-tall sides, each with 91 steps. A platform at the top adds the final step to equal 365 steps—one step for every day of the year.
A handclap at the base of Kukulcan’s staircase generates what scientists call a “chirped eco” that first ascends and then falls, just like the cry of the native quetzal—the very bird that the Mayans believed carried messages of the Spirit/Gods. Handclaps from different positions along the base of the staircase likewise trigger the echo—but with different musical tones spanning half an octave.
Also, during the spring and fall equinoxes, the sun projects a pattern of light on the northern stairway for a few hours in the late afternoon—it creates an undulating shadow that looks like a serpent, caused by the angle of the sun and the edge of the nine steps that define the pyramid’s construction.
How did they do this so very long ago, without Internet, phones, or even a simple calculator?
We will be there in a few days clapping and connecting to the Spirit and Magic of the Maya.
Join us in person or in spirit, Aerin & Miles