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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Conscious Convergence & Mayan Fire Ceremony in Retrospect

Elements of a Mayan American Fire Ceremony
Each fire ceremony is it's own animal, and ours was no exception. Every detail flowed to create this Divine event: the people, the fire pit, the drumming, the offerings, the format, the weather, the feast that followed and the lack of mosquitoes. The seed for our idea occurred 4 months before it actually happened. During that time, we had "marching orders" and the guidance was crystal clear. What few obstacles we did encounter required complete surrender, giving us more practice with ever-more-important conscious co-creation skills. Click here to read more about this aspect of the odyssey, posted on the Mayan Calendar Portal.

We are happy and proud of what was created. For the sake of cross-cultural appreciation, what follows is the step-by-step process of the ceremony itself.
The Fire Pit
The event took place on a 13.Road/Path (E - pronounced "aay) day on the Mayan calendar so Shuni, our Mayan Daykeeper, directed us to draw the shape of this day sign out of sugar at the base of the pit. Pictured to the right, this glyph depicts the Path, the stones along the Path and the human ear which pays heed to the Path. Note the beautiful stones that surround the pit: geodes, Nebraska field stones, granite, even obsidian, all which came from afar and asked to be here.
The Ingredients

Next in the pit went four big logs, aligned with the 4 cardinal directions. Around them we placed different types of incense, (their careful corn husk packaging is what is next to the fire pit on the left-hand photo). There were big balls of pine sap called rax-pon, both large and small balls of copal, cacao beans, cigars, herbs and some smaller kindling called ocote. Had we not been successful bringing all these things in from Guatemala, we would have used local ingredients such as pine cones, rice and beans etc. It's the thought that counts.
Eventually we placed big color-coded candles all around: beige for the ancestors, yellow for peace, red for love, green for the Earth, white for purity, baby blue for little boys and pink for littler girls, royal blue for the sky and black for the offering. Once everything was in place, Shuni sprinkled corn meal and Florida water on everything, like icing on the cake.

The Ceremony
Everyone present knew their Mayan day sign (also called Nawal, Day Lord or spirit of the day) so Shuni and the helpers ensured that each person had at least one small candle, pictured right, the color of their Nawal. As the rays of the sun became longer and the light more sublime, Shuni began the Sacred Count of Days beginning with the spirit of the Road. After describing its attributes, we would count in unison to the number 13 (in Spanish) before she offered the 13 nuggets of copal into the flame. One by one, for the full count of 20 Nawales, each person stepped into the sacred circle when their personal Nawal was being called. Whether they realized it or not, they were stepping into their power (see photo below). This is no shy matter to the Maya. Our intentions were fueled into the candles as well as the small bits of copal that we also offered.
A little stash of black candles were dedicated to the Nawal for " Offering" (T'oj) which is emphasized in such a ceremony. When "Bird" (Tz'ikin) was called we offered sesame seeds which sizzled and popped in the fire. Shuni invited us to make bird calls, some of which were quite amazing. The Nawal for Ancestors (Kame) also received special attention. Once everything has been offered to the fire, we offered sacred myrrh and personal items. It was getting dark and the licks of the flames were now dancing with the Nawales summoned through the sacred Count. It was time for silence and awe.
The Closing
In all reverence, none of the materials get thrown away and no one leaves until the fire is out. We let our eyes and our hearts become the flame and then offered more prayers in unison. We all took 4 big breaths and then honored the Heart of the Heavens, the Heart of the Earth, the Heart of the Water and the Heart of the Wind whose presence, along with the Nawales, was palpable this night. Marimba music began wafting through the crowd and we lightened our steps, dancing around the fire. In closing, we connected to those others around our planet in Oneness consciousness. That served to boost our frequencies significantly. Later, we feasted, drank the sacred tea made from the Guatemalan nut called Ramon (also known as liquid gold) and shared more love and laughter.

Many thanks to Shuni, all of the helpers, those seen and unseen, who made this possible. May their force be with us as we heal ourselves and our world.

In Lak'ech,


Monday, June 7, 2010

Conscious Convergence Ceremony & Celebration, July 17-18, 2010

To support the ongoing, worldwide effort to reach a critical mass of higher frequency, unity consciousness, we are hosting a gathering for Conscious Convergence in my garden in Glen Ellyn, IL (near Chicago) on Saturday, July 17th, with the rain date being Sunday, July 18th. or 630.334.7826 for directions.

Here are the details:

  • Arrival and Sacred Circle Formation 5:30-6:00 PM
  • Drumming, Dancing, Chanting
  • Conscious Convergence Meditation
  • Mayan Fire Ceremony
  • Potluck Feast
  • Departure 10:30 PM
What to bring:
Please bring your instruments and nutritious contribution to the feast, if you wish.
Offering materials for the fire ceremony will be provided.

Monetary donation for the Mayan's environmental relief and cultural preservation funds are much appreciated.

Who is presiding:
Drumming - Karen Tlusty and Pamela Myers have brought their well-cultivated drumming group to many ceremonies for many occasions over the years. Always open to new rhythms, participants and instruments, this group rocks, creating an expanded healing space in so doing. Ahau!
Guided Meditation - Lead by BJ, inspired by Joseph Giove of Common Passion and guidance from her trusted nawales.

Mayan Fire Ceremony - Shuni Giron (aka Shunmantla-Fenix) is a native of Guatemala, proud mother and Mayan spiritual guide. Shuni studied with Tata Pedro Cruz, an Ambassador of World Peace in Guatemala and completed her thesis on the "Mayan Tree of Life" Tata Juan Ulin from the Ministry of Culture and Sports in Guatemala.
Besides her interest in Mayan calendars, she practices Naturopathic medicine, alternative therapies, is founder of a non-profit organization Kasa Kame (Kasa de Artes Magnificas y Espirituales) which produces holistic and artistic festivals. Shuni was a collaborator and spiritual guide for the Maya Unification ceremonies in Tikal in 2008-2009. Her current project is writing, performing and producing the puppet show "The Dance in Xibalba" taken from the Mayan sacred book the Popul Vuh. The debut of this production will be at 5:00 PM in the Crystal Ballroom at Navy Pier in Chicago on August 27, 2010.

Donations collected from the Conscious Convergence will be allocated to this and other Mayan service projects.

Words of Wisdom about the Mayan Fire Ceremony
"Here is where the elders observe the behavior of new generations. Around the sacred fire is where we invocate the spirit of Ahaw, the spirit of our ancestors and our collective spirit. With 260 movements, everybody becomes fire and time. Then, the highest wisdom of human behavior and the power of the sacred calendar manifest. First, it is like feelings and then it becomes wisdom. We accept who we are truly, with all of our possibilities and abilities made convenient to you.
Every ceremony is a meditation, the calendar is the key to activate our consciousness, to regenerate our body, mind and spirit. It is basically the understanding of the unity within the cosmos and the respect for the supreme Universal consciousness.
This experience can only be felt and never described. All together, this reveals pureness, sweetness, sacredness of the present time. To feel that the Earth is our Mother, she is alive, she speaks , she sings, she laughs and cries. She is very powerful.
Whoever gets this feeling will not remain the same. Desires will change to feelings. You can find the magic or reality, of something you never thought of before. This is contemplation without words. Each altar has it's center, the mythological umbilicus of the world, from it rises the sacred tree of life, La Ceiba, which is the communication between Earth and Sky. It is the fountain of wisdom of life.
Each material has a meaning, but it is really the intention what matters. It starts with a circle of sugar, symbolizing the unity, the Earth. The sugar is for our hearts, for a long life. A sweet one!
The six candles are for the six cardinal directions. The red, black, white and yellow are the four colors of humanity and the four kinds of maize in Mesoamerica. The Maya believe that the present generation of humanity are the men and women made from corn.
You can bring anything you like to offer the fire. Flowers, seeds, water, fruits, bread, tobacco, incense. Remember that this is a combination of intention and faith, but the most important thing to offer is yourself.
Each ceremony brings forth the magic of this and other worlds. You become carriers of the wisdom and will emanate it from your heart at all times.
May the heart of the heavens and heart of the earth, heart of the water and heart of the fire lead and protect you on your journey back home.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Summer Solstice Journey to Guatemala, an Opportunity to Pray and Serve , June 16 - 29

Mayan Shaman Don Juan presiding over fire ceremony

This Mayan journey has been modularized into two parts, Pray and Serve, each emphasizing a different approach to understanding the contemporary Maya while renewing personally and spiritually in the process.
Some may wish to participate in Part One "Pray" hosted by BJ Sadtler (pictured right) and/or Part Two "Serve" hosted by Allison Haynes (pictured with the El Remate garden club below) depending upon interests and budgets.
These two endeavors will all come together at the sacred site of Tikal on Summer Solstice, June 21. All aspects promise to be rewarding and heart opening experiences, right in the spiritual heart of the hemisphere, Guatemala.

Part One: Pray
A Spiritual Tour in the Highlands and Lowlands of Mayaland
June 16 - 24

In the Guatemalan highlands:
  • Explore the highlands in a traditional Mayan Quiche village famous for vegetable growing on the emerald green slopes of sacred volcanoes, sacred hot springs and praying to Maximon, the venerated folk saint.
In the Guatemalan lowlands:
  • Swim, relax, bask and meditate on Lake Peten, a beautiful body of water near Tikal
  • Visit the Mayan sacred site of Tikal on Summer Solstice at sunrise
  • Pray in the sacred circle and fire ceremony conducted by Mayan shamans
  • Learn and/or participate in the empowerment of women gardening project (see more below)

Part Two, Serve June 19 - 29
Empowering women to build and maintain their vegetable gardens the village of El Remate
on the shores of Lake Peten
near the sacred site of Tikal
in the lowlands of Guatemala

We will learn, laugh and love as we work with local women to build and maintain vegetable gardens for the care and feeding of their families. Empowering ourselves while empowering others, working with the NGO Ix-canaan helping Guatemalans for 17 years.

On summer solstice, we will journey to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal, where we may listen to ancestral voices among the stones. This is an auspicious day for a Mayan fire ceremony. Sacred Mayan time calculates June 21 as 13/Transformer.

When it comes time to relax and renew we will be at a wonderful lakeside hotel Gringo Perdido. A great place to meditate, swim, practice yoga on the new deck and eat two delicious and nutritious meals a day.

Part 1, Pray

Pay as you go, budget $75 per day for lodging, food, transportation, donations. Plan on double occupancy. This does not include airfare or discretionary spending (shopping, tips, healing, or park entrance fees, etc.).

Part 2, Serve

$1200 for 10 days of accommodations at Gringo Perdido, transportation, two meals per day. Does not include airfares, tips or donations to guides, shamans, healers or BJ's teachings or services.

Deposit: 50% required upon registration by Monday, May 3, 2010
Balance Due: 50% required by Monday, May 31, 2010
Fee does not include airfare, gratuities, or other discretionary expenditures.

Need more info?

Contact BJ at 630.334.7826 or

Allison Haynes at 714.271.5103

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

8 Batz Ceremony, Momostenango, Guatemala

The Maya, Supreme Keepers of the Sacred Fire

Momostenango is in Quiche country, a village way up in the highlands where Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj was born and where Barbara and Dennis Tedlock were initiated as Daykeepers. Momos has become known as the place where ancient Mayan traditions are lived most purely.
on the way to Momo

Every 260 days, the Mayan sacred calendar, the Tzolkin, completes a cycle. On 8/Batz (monkey, weaver of time, this year held Feb 4-6) very important ceremonies take place in Momos. Mayan Daykeepers are initiated at this time, performing fire ceremonies at 5 different locations, located at the top of the mountain all the way down to the fire pit, right in front of the Catholic church and next to the market. Thousands of Maya come from all corners of Maya-land, but Westerners had not een openly invited until recently. As it turned out, only 11 Westerners were present at this ceremony which was so expertly performed by Don Rigoberto and wonderfully filmed by Jim Reed, of the Institute of Mayan studies.

Have a look at this video to realize that the Maya are supreme keepers of the sacred fire.
In Lak'ech,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yoga In Guatemala - Mayaland Feb. 13-20, 2010

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala "The most beautiful lake in the world."
-Aldous Huxley
A Yogadventure in one of the most spirited lands of this hemishphere
Co-hosted by BJ Sadtler and Vinnie Hunihan
7 nights, 3 meals a day, yoga, meditation and Mayan teachings
Trip Registration Information

14 people maximum
Basis: Double occupancy in luxurious, bungalow styled rooms for 7 nights plus 3 vegetarian meals yoga and other activities. Solo travelers may be paired, but if special needs require single occupancy, an additional $250 fee will be required.

Complete details (travel tips, activities and registration info can be found at
Need more info? Contact

Deposit: 50% required upon registration by Monday, January 4, 2010
Balance Due: 50% required by Monday, January 25, 2010

Fee does not include airfare, ground or water transportation, gratuities, or other
discretionary expenditures.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

ANNOUNCING The Shift of the Ages Film Project

Shift of the Ages Film

Presently, my focus on the Maya and the Mayan Calendars is expanding. For the next several months, I am committed to work on the launch of an unprecedented film about Don Alejandro, an extraordinary man in extraordinary times, the Grand Elder of the Maya. This is the Elder whom I have been quoting. It is his wisdom that I have shared with you in my presentations.

The launch of this film is daunting. This is a low-budget, indie film managed by the Mayan concept of time and a team of talented like-mindeds. I've seen much of the footage. This work will educate, entertain and mobile the masses towards the birth of a new world age. The story and prophecies of Don Alejandro deserve direct transmission with humanity, and Shift of the Ages is the vehicle that promises to assuage the fears and frustrations inherent in modern society.

My efforts with the outreach of this message are open to anyone listening. Now, we need assistance from every spriritual activist we can find. I daresay that you fit the profile. You are the choir!

Click on the image below to learn more about the film and how you can participate in this grassroots movement. This is exciting. More evidence that we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Shift of the Ages Film

In Lak'ech, I am another you,


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mayan Calendar Events - Winter, 2010

Discovering Your Soul's Purpose with the Mayan Calendar
Clarus Center, Warrenville, IL
SATURDAY afternoon January 23, 2010, 1:00-3:00 PM
COST: $30 in advance-$35 at the door

register by calling 630.334.7826 or

Chicago Daykeeper Community, Anahata Center, Lombard, IL
Vernal Equinox Celebration
Saturday, March 20 details to follow
$10 donation