Xibalba is the Mayan underworld, the “place of fear.” The prophets and day-keepers of the Yucatan described this as the dark rift in the Milky Way. This is the place of our beginning and of our return. An according to lore, the gates of Xibalba would open before the great planetary alignment that would occur on December 21, 2012.
Recently I read an article entitled “Milky Way’s Giant Black Hole Awoke from Slumber 300 Years Ago” authored by scientists Robert Naeye and Rob Gutro of the Goddard Space Flight Center. It seems that the gigantic black hole at the center of our galaxy, with a mass that is more than 4 million times that of our sun, has awakened from a long sleep, and begun to emit huge outbursts of radiation.
Black holes in space are so dense that not even light can escape from them, as they gobble up anything and everything in their path. But it appears that they also play an important role in the birth and formation of galaxies, and seem to be at the center of many of our nearby constellations. How did ancient astronomers know that this was the source of beginnings and endings? And why did they refer to it as the “place of fear”?
One of the meditation practices of shamans-in-training consists of finding your “star”. To do this, you scan the night sky and find a distant sun that calls to you in some way. Then you sit quietly and gaze at the point of light, following instructions to direct your awareness along that beam of starlight back to its source. Even though it took millions of years for that light to reach the earth, the seers of old believed that the mind could travel instantaneously. Just like in dreams when we are able to journey to distant lands, or even visit relatives and friends from the past, the shaman’s discipline allowed them to ride a beam of starlight to its source. Once you found your star, it would protect you and guide you throughout the rest of your days.
The lore of the shamans say that even as you can travel along a beam of light, then you can also travel along a beam of darkness, of the invisible starlight. We know that the black hole at the center of the galaxy has woken up from its long slumber and started to emit invisible radiation, massive outbursts of X-rays. Could the seers of old have made this fantastic journey to the center of the Milky Way, to the “place of fear”? As I was musing about this, I asked myself if even consciousness would be trapped in the immense gravitational pull of a black hole. How close could you come to the edge of infinity?
The galactic center is 26,000 light years away. On December 21, 2012, our solar system came into perfect alignment with the center of the galaxy, an event that occurs only every 26,000 years, and that the Maya and other indigenous peoples of the Americas prophesied would be a time of tremendous upheaval, the end of one way of life and the birth of a new one. They foresaw the journey back through Xibalba and through the time of fear that many are experiencing today. And they left us a message of hope.
This is a time of birth, of beginnings, a moment in history fraught with opportunity. It is a time for courage, for purity, for integrity, and for holding forth our highest dreams and hopes. A time of the dawn of a new day.