Unexpected Shaman (5) – Life and Death on Kukulcan (repost)


{(Reposted because of a scheduling error)}

The count had reached forty steps by the time the newfound realised what was happening. Below him, the rising air from the plateau smelled, newly, of summer grasses and deeply-perfumed flowers. 

The sun, near vertical overhead, beat down with a ferocity that touched skin which seemed naked; and yet fed, unburnt, from the sky-borne radiance. It was summer’s height and yet, at the same time, it was midday. Disbelieving eyes blinked, as the import of the snarling lines of light bore into what had been his brain.

Eighty steps, and the ground below seemed to be falling away. Ninety and it was a distant memory, yet still there. His legs were walking in the air, in large circular steps, as the Jaguar sought and weeded out the pale image of a calendar on his study wall, replacing it with a movement that involved his whole body in ecstatic, radial motion.

The fevered brain was halted in its numeric ascent at ninety one. A brief glimpse of a cube of stone, within which was a vast granite cup; then, his erect body was spun around another whole face of the cube to face the sun, vanishing into the earth in the north. The descent was called, each step counted again as the ground rose to meet his now-weightless form, blazing with the midsummer’s energies. The ground offered no resistance to the Jaguar’s physics, nor its bright passenger’s.

But, the limestone and darkness had a mass that slowed the exploded descenders, consuming their energy until the dark earth seemed to be so dense that all life must end… but it did not. In the moment of his charge’s death the Jaguar breathed its own stored measure of the Sun’s now-liquid gold into the mouth of the newfound.

“Chichen It-Za… Kukulacan…” chanted the distant, priestly voices:

“mouth of the well, voice of the water-magicians, egg of the feathered serpent.”

His frozen body pulsed with so much light that it broke open the earthen tomb to find he was rising from the base of the eastern side of the Kukulcan pyramid. He counted the rising steps without prompting, joyous in the arising from the dark earth into the light of a new day… it was only much later that he would realise that the light of that dawn was his own.

Forty, eighty… ninety one. The voice behind the relentless steps was now more urging than commanding.

And then he stood at the head of the eastern steps looking at the stone face of the upper cube. The Jaguar’s voice moved him right, left, then left again with a turn; and he looked down on the remaining ninety-one steps – the last untravelled space of Kukulcan.

“Two hundred and seventy-four steps,” he whispered, into Air so quiet he knew it waited. One face plus one step to complete it – the year… the great cycle of life and death on Earth.”

The Air waited.

“But these steps lead down, which will take me away from the cube?”

For the first time the Jaguar’s silent voice was gentle. “Perhaps you are not finished?”

He thought about that. He had seen the fullness of life and the darkness of death, but on none of these faces of experience had the motion ceased, or even slowed.

Not far away, Manuel was laughing. “So, now, before us, we have the vast space of the first kind of football!”

The gentle guide’s voice became joyous as it got louder, calling him to rejoin the party. Could they not see what was happening – what had happened here so vividly that it was etched into the very atoms of the place? The sense of regret was immense as he felt himself pulled from the top of the Kukulcan pyramid and into the air by unseen hands, and carried across the temple city to the place of the Ball Court.

Shaman Ball Court for blog

The body he should have had struggled, futilely, as he was taken through the heavy air of mid-afternoon.

“Do not rush to be back there,” said the new voice in his head. “Live while you can…”

It was only then that he realised that what held him had claws… and a voice that hissed; and that though he felt safe, he was living a trajectory that was anything but…

As the sense and presence of the Jaguar fell away, and he accepted this shadowy tunnel in the bright sun, the newfound realised he had said goodbye to many things.

To be continued…

Steve Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye school of consciousness. His personal blog is at stevetanham.wordpress.com

Other posts in this series:

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven – end

 ©️Stephen Tanham

32 thoughts on “Unexpected Shaman (5) – Life and Death on Kukulcan (repost)

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