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Spirit Meet I opened up the email and was quickly excited. The trip invitation offered trance dance and shamanism in the Yucatán, Mexico. I had never trance danced, and mask making, shamanism, warm weather in a new place and jungle all called to me. I looked forward to working with this teacher for the first time. Days before departure to Cancun, email delivered the news that the lead teacher cancelled due to low attendance for two workshops. I was already hyped to get away, and I wanted this break. I did not care what we would do instead of the advertised rituals, I communicated my intention to continue on the journey. It was a spirit meet. It could only be choreographed by spirit. Four of us attended; women only, of similar age. We were all in transition. We all needed a break from our current routines. Getting to know you conversations revealed that we were all doing some sort of spirit journey or soul searching. We decided to make up each day as we went along - deciding in the moment, or at least early in the day, how we would spend the day. That worked just fine for my usual method of operation which is "make it up as I go along." For this I am called free spirit by some. I was happy to be in comfortable jungle surroundings at a very comfortable, accommodating hotel - Oka'an. No TV, no phone, no radio/clock in my room suited me well. I wanted that retreat from my routine. No rush to workshop for a specific hour focused all day participating to get what I came for - suited me just fine. I thanked the universe many times for getting me to the Yucatan jungle when I could have cancelled once the agenda changed or I could have never said yes for fear of what I hear about violence in Mexico. I neither saw nor experienced violence during my stay. The one word to generalize my experience of the people and the experiences of the Yucatán - generosity! From our retreat host, who was one of our group of 4, to the hoteliers, presenters, trip guides, taxi driver, hotel employees, man on the street giving direction - always generous. I learned that Maya people still live today, and that their culture is not extinct. Before I traveled to the Yucatán, I had little interest in pyramids and some interest in the Maya - but not enough to make me travel to check out this culture. Two presenters set the tone for our introduction to the jungle and Maya civilization - hmm - who knew - nothing like we have heard over the years. We visited several sites which house pyramids. We did a simple ritual atop a pyramid at Yaxuna. We walked on at least one feminine (round) pyramid. We visited cenotes - my first visit ever - amazing that some are so well kept for visitors (Ik Kil, X’kekén.) We went into the ceremonial cave at Balankanche. There we cleansed and did impromptu, simple ceremonies for each other as we found cenote water had seeped onto the floor of the cave from earlier heavy rains. Without my hat, I got my vitamin D at Chichen Itza. If like me you forget your hat in the car, I recommend buying one before entering. We visited Coba which allowed for a real stretch of the legs and more pyramids - bike rentals and taxi options are available. We kept our full moon ritual close to home via use of "heaven" (the highest point at our hotel.) I saw the rabbit in the moon. We returned to Yaxuna to welcome the equinox with our individual meditations each wrapped up in her sarong hiding from the sun. We treated ourselves to a Maya massage - strong and focused, and we sought healing with a fire ceremony from a local Shaman - powerful. I asked to have a Maya wheel reading and was treated instead to a 5-6 hour workshop across 2 days learning the basics of the Maya wheel. Yea! I spent 2013 studying numerology, so this new information fascinated me as I looked for parallels as two of the group expertly translated into English for the two non-Spanish speakers as we went along. So much is available in the Yucatan region; so much to explore; so much to learn. I am still full from my experiences, and I see one trip is not enough. From our Maya wheel studies we learned that the 4 of us in the group each sit at a different cardinal point representing a different element on the Maya wheel. We feel sure spirit called us together. And so it begins.

- Gylnis

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