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Travelers' Stories from Previous Maya Trips
Mexico Jungle

Entering the Maya Mysteries was born for me back in the mid-1980s, although I didn't know it then. I had a dream, in some ways quite similar to the one Frostie recounts below, but a different site. At the time I didn't even know the Maya existed. Over the years there were sychronicities and waking visions that I couldn't make sense of — until in January 1995 I went to Palenque for the first time. Magic happened — continuing to draw me back time and again. I'm now able to offer that entrypoint to others. See some of our travelers' stories below.

Carla Woody
Founder, Kenosis LLC

What a magical time in Chiapas. I am well aware of the exceptional and extraordinary nature of that journey. I do feel that something inside of me shifted and remains to unfold in unknown ways. I am well aware that our experiences were beyond the norm and I am very, very grateful that I shared this experience with you and all of our group. I am blessed and the gratitude I feel for your work and commitment to honoring those who dwell in spirit is immense.

Linda Sohner
Columbus, Ohio

... to travel to a wonderful place of our Ancestral Roots. And also to see how the Ruins, Temples of the Sun, Moon, Rain, Germination, Spider Woman & the Twin war gods, Wind, Living Agricultural & Ceremony, Food... is similar to the ways of Hopi. I'm thankful for the Shamans & the Healers to show a little of their healing and their Ceremonies with us. Praying for them to keep their Traditions & Practices Alive. And also the rain and beautiful green landscapes, mountains & trees that are sacred to us. Help Preserve Our Land. Kwah-Kwah!

Merle Namoki
Shungopavi, Second Mesa, Arizona

This last January I had the pleasure to be part of Carla Woody's "Maya Mysteries" program in Chiapas, Mexico. I have accompanied Carla for many years on different trips throughout the Andes of Peru. This was my first journey with Carla in Mexico. This trip allowed me to get a glimpse of the ancient Maya cosmology and the current richness of cultures that exist there today. We were fortunate to also be guided by Carol Karasik and Chip Morris, incredibly knowledgeable anthropologists and authors, with decades of experiences and stories that enriched our understanding of the Maya culture. Carla's years of traveling throughout this region has brought her in contact with incredible people who really enriched our experiences. We were fortunate to participate in ceremony with many local Maya elders. My favorite ceremony was with the Lacandón Maya elder, Don Antonio, who is the last to practice the ancient rituals of his people. Throughout my time there, I frequently commented that it felt "surreal." One moment we would be in the ancient ruins of Palenque, and the next moment we would be sitting in an open-air restaurant in the rain forest watching fire dancers under a dried thatched roof. And speaking of fires, participating in a fire ceremony with Doña Flori was a fascinating experience. I swear, as she prayed over the fire, the flames appeared to be talking back to her. It is hard to capture all that we experienced on this trip, but I can say that it was full of rich encounters and experiences from beginning to the end of the journey. The Maya culture is not an extinct culture, but one that has ancient roots, and is also very much of alive in the Maya villages we visited. This was a journey where the past and present blended to create a rich blend of experiences in the spiritual, cultural and historical lives of the Maya people.

Oscar Panizo
Napa, California

I found myself engaged in this journey on many levels (spiritual, mental, physical, emotional). I "danced" with aspects of my Self that I had forgotten, by beginning to re-member what I know... I laughed until I couldn't breathe, cried and didn't always know why, saw so much love in the eyes of the Maya children that my heart melted, and remembered with awe the amazing healing ceremonies that I experienced. I felt safe, well-supported and deeply grateful for this blessed opportunity... Step over your fear and show up. Lean into it. The rest will unfold without you orchestrating it...

Jan Brendes
Martelle, Iowa

I count "Entering the Maya Mysteries" program as one of the highlights of my life! I felt so blessed by Doña Panchita's spirit, Shaman Don Xun and his family's beautiful offering of food, blessings, and teachings to us. I find myself falling asleep and thinking of the lake in Najá, the god pot guardians and wondering how Don Antonio, Joaquin, and the others of the village are doing. Then, I remember once more Doña Flori's beautiful ancestor-honoring fire ceremony in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. My heart certainly returns to Chiapas... hopefully, my body will, too!

Betina Lindsey
St. George, Utah

What an adventure!... This journey to Mexico and Guatemala reaffirmed the Hopi migration and some history from the South for me and the Hopis. My father talked about Palatqwapi, the Snake Serpent, the Twin Warriors and their Grandmother, and more that they brought with them when migrating from the South. These are all still very much alive today in the Hopi Way of Life.

My father always emphasized that we need to keep faith and continue the Hopi Way to keep the world evolving. I feel very humbled to have participated in this journey and to be able to honor my father and his knowledge and wisdom in this way.

Charlene Joseph
Coyote Clan, Moencopi, Arizona
Go here to read the complete version of A Hopi Spirit Keeper's Travel in Mayalands.

It was a marvelous trip! Thanks for all your planning and excellent logistics on top of the great cultural and spiritual opportunities.

Ed Patterson
Prescott, Arizona

I can't remember a time I ever felt that happy. The journey truly touched my soul and heart in so many ways. I feel an immense peace surrounding me, and a heart that is full of love for this beautiful planet that I am lucky to walk upon.

Julie
England

The trip was all that I'd intended and more... I've been putting Doña Panchita's and Flori's words into action, and that's only the beginning. You planned an absolutely wonderful series of events! Many thanks for your hard work.

Sandy Prins
Austin, Texas

Such growth! Such clarity!

Faith Moody
Lafayette, Louisiana

It was such a beautiful experience! I know I feel different but can't put my finger on it yet. I felt so awake and just wanted to cry (don't know why) which I did and still do in my quiet times.

Estela Carrillo
San Jose, CA

From the experiences of these trips, I was able to verify many of our cultural and spiritual connections to the Indigenous people in Mexico and Peru... It is very important that these experiences are shared with our people and also our friends from North America so that we can continue to strengthen our understanding of our history as pueblos of North America.

Harold Joseph, Jr.
Snow Clan, Shungopavi, Second Mesa

These places we have visited are held in great awe by the Hopi. For they are in our stories of creation, which are told to us as youngsters and as we mature into adulthood. Understanding myself was the first lesson I received. Now healing has begun... We should continue the visits to these mystical and sacred places, because it is important that we encourage other Indigenous people to continue to practice their ancient ways for the good of all... Kwak-Kwa!

Gerald Lomaventema
Bear Clan, Shungopavi, Second Mesa

This experience deepens my belief and confidence in the power of positive transformations in the world... To truly understand we need to go into our hearts. That's the lesson, if I am to pick one, that I have learned on this journey. Our minds can see some things, but we cannot see all, and we reach into our hearts to understand at a deeper level... I take pictures, I write, and I know I can't fully capture the depth of experience here in Chiapas, Mexico. I will carry not only a deep appreciation for this experience, but also the rich lessons, insights and understandings — of myself and the world...

Bob Moore
Prescott, Arizona

I went to Chiapas on two occasions, with two very different intents and two very different outcomes, both intents came to fruition. I love this program for many reasons that are dear to my heart. This experience connects people in a deep spiritual way, a way that is unforgetable, unforeseeable, inescapable, at times unnerving, and always magical! Many thanks to Carla for creating this unique opportunity to engage with healers, teachers and writers that enriched my life!.

Cindy Heath
Prescott Valley, Arizona USA

I am still in awe of what I have gained from the trip. I have stopped trying to analyze how or why, and am just enjoying the progress. I had been in such a stuck place and couldn't move on... Well, I definitely went through a threshold, but as I said, I don't know how I got here... it is much better on this side... You all helped make this a magical and mystical journey.

Pam Smith
Prescott, Arizona USA

The Maya Journey had so many effects on me that it would be impossible to talk about them all... I learned that I can be a lot more independent than I think I can... the confidence is there. I just needed to work on it a little... This was the most accomplished I've felt in years. I hope to keep that with me, and continue applying it to my life and realize that I can do anything I want to. I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to go on this trip; I would go again in a heartbeat. Next stop: Peru!

Heather Harrison
Prescott, Arizona USA

How many times has someone experienced something so awesome that it will stay with them for the rest of their life, and feel the need to share it with others over and over? This happened to me recently, on a trip to Chiapas, Mexico with Carla Woody's Kenosis group.

(When the group first gathered) I told them that I had been having a recurring dream for months. I saw a huge pyramid, which I mistook for Machu Picchu. I kept asking relatives and friends to climb it with me, but nobody would. Once I knew what I was going to do on this trip, the dream made more sense. On the final dream I saw a huge face in front of a temple or pyramid. It covered almost the entire front of this ruin. I had absolutely no idea where this face was located, but I somehow sensed I would find it.

(When) we took a trip to Piedras Negras, Guatemala... I was up front with the guides, talking as if there was no tomorrow, and feeling the beauty and energy of the jungle... As we walked I started seeing the beginning of a large group of ruins, most of which were still being excavated. I didn't know what was going to happen next, but Alonso did. (Later I heard that) he told Carla to watch my face when we came upon one of the sites. I saw it and remember saying "wow", but I said that each time I saw a ruin.

But when I got right in front of it, there was the face in my dream!!!! It was exactly as I had seen it, even though I had never seen a picture or heard of this site. I started crying, and the rain started coming down hard, but I didn't care. I guess the sky was crying with joy, too.

The experience was mind boggling... spiritual and so beautiful... For my part, this only touched the tip of the many moving moments on this trip. It was important to me only because I followed my dream. Now I know what that really means. There were too many good things that happened to mention them all, one must go and experience it yourself. Follow your dreams and keep an open mind, you will be touched in a way that you didn't think possible...

Amelia "Frostie" Torres
Napa, California USA

The (Maya) trip was very profound for me... and I have been affected on so many levels... and cannot begin to say when I will have integrated all that happened to me. I can say, that I would not have missed going for anything! In fact, it's been one of the biggest highlight in my life...

Julianna Hamilton
Prescott, Arizona, USA

A deep personal bow from me to you for an outstanding outcome... The sense of adventure, changing some direction, unexpected outcome all shows me what life is about... I appreciate you making this possible for us. Your sensitivity to what opens us up is acknowledged!

The intimacy of thirteen people mostly unknown to one another and unfamiliar with what we were to see and experience became a pull to go deeper into the jungle and just take what we get. Spontaneity and accepting just what happens in life for the moment propelled me to soak up the moist air and breathe in a place so exquisite. Our guide, direct, attentive, and participating, allowed for education and an opening of respect for life as it is, on the terms of those we are with, be it humans or animals. I was honored to be present.

Sandy Pickens
Prescott Valley, Arizona USA

Let me sum up my Mayan experience in a nutshell. Go!! Take in the beauty, romance, and the simplicity of their ways. Hold that in your heart, so when you come back to the real world, you can put part of your experience into each day of your life.

Penny Roberts
Prescott, Arizona USA

Mayan Mexico... soft, sensual, mysterious, magical and metaphors for life one after the other. This is how we would describe our recent spiritual foray into the jungles of Mexico. Once again Paul and I were able to merge one of our Sacred Stone Symbol Journeys with one of Carla's spiritual tours. We were going there anyway so why not put the two journeys together.

Much has changed in the region since Paul was first there 16 years ago but the mystery still remains. Starting with the easy way we just relaxed into the softness of the jungle as well as the climate, a metaphor for the abundance of life.

Yes! We all did amazingly physical things liking climbing stairways that seemed to go up forever, forded rushing streams and tramped through the ever encroaching jungle. Some swam in whirling pools under crashing waterfalls and we all rode down and up the rushing, swirling Usamacinta River — me with a big smile on my face because I felt so alive and so blessed to be there.

Yes! We went into areas that may have seemed dangerous to someone on the outside looking in, but with the intent that we all carried, there was no danger. Every bite, bruise and scratch was a testament to commitment, the fun being had and the satisfaction of another challenge faced and overcome. There were also the beers and Banana Coladas at the end of the day. Some days saw us all on the move from dawn to way past dusk, tired but full to overflowing with the experience from that day including the food from the restaurants or that which Cathy lovingly created for us.

... and then there was Alonso, a metaphor for passion and focus about work, his quiet softness... his knowledge of the Maya and their ancient cities held us spellbound as he told story after story of how and why and when, so we felt we were truly there. That big smile that spread across his face as we looked horrified as he told of his personal adventures and about all the things that could and had gone wrong, especially if it had to do with insects and snakes and throwing of one's self into powerful rivers.

Don Antonio, a metaphor for the preservation of ancient knowledge to help us all as we now stand on the precipice of massive world wide change. If we don't use it, we lose... forever.

... then there was Frostie... by the time she had fallen over for the ... I don't know time, we all lost count we just had to burst into hysterical laughter... she kept us reminded of the need to stay in balance, to make light of our challenges and to hold onto the messages in dreams as we watched one of hers come true.

Penny was a metaphor for moving ahead, still new in her grieving, she shone brightly, said I am not doing that(!)... faced and acknowledged her fears — and did it anyway.

To quote Sandy who was quiet perseverance personified, as was Marianne, "I feel as though we are on the set of an Indiana Jones movie." Surreal... but oh so real.

Cindy Heath.. take out the last "h" and she becomes a metaphor for how to blend your sensuality with the jungle and become one of its beautiful flowers.

Lalo (formerly known as Ed) who grew so quickly and changed so much was a metaphor for facing life with boundless enthusiasm and learning to slow down and take it all in instead of racing on through.

Julianna — a metaphor for having the courage to accept that which we cannot change.

Carla — a metaphor for moving ahead even if your body isn't so sure.

Nancy, another metaphor for grasping life with joy and letting in change even if it scares the heck out of you.

Cindy Lee whose "binoculars" recorded forever the releasing of the stone ceremony... a metaphor for... you can record it on your video and in your camera but that which your heart and mind sees will outshine it all.

The Mayan Journey was one that we will want to recreate in our lives over and over again.

Phoebe and Paul Hoogendyk
Lismore Heights, New South Wales, Australia


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