The Maya lived in a geographical block covering all of the Yucatan Peninsula and modern-day Guatemala; Belize and parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas and the western part of Honduras and El Salvador.
According to the Mayan prophecies, the cosmos is composed of three main elements: heaven, earth and the underworld, which is symbolized by a sacred tree, called Ceiba. The roots of this tree lead to the dark lands of the lord Ah Puch, the lord of death and disease.
The Mayan word “Xibalba” literally means “the place of fear” and in their mythology, it is the lowest of the nine underworlds and the realm of the dead. To go there it is necessary to overcome a series of obstacles. After crossing the rivers of scorpions, blood and pus, the shaman has to pass six tests or houses.
The first is the Dark House, where not a trace of light penetrates and the visitor must feel their way around obstacles. A dark age at the level of the individual we have stopped communicating and we are collapsing into darkness. The jaguar shaman can wake up and pass these tests and become the new human.
The second is the Cold House, the house of isolation and separation. We are shivering and in the collapse of the collective. Everything is about the “I”. The jaguar shaman can wake up and see that is about the “we” and that all lives matter. The invitation is to allow the “I” to cease to exist.
The third is the House of the Hungry Jaguars, filled with hungry felines eager to rend any intruder. Here we find out how to satisfy the deep hunger in your soul for spirit. We must be fearless in the dark. Anything that needs to hide in the dark has no true power of its own. When we see this, the jaguar shaman learns to practice wisdom with fearlessness. When we are in right relationship with all of life then we return to the care of the great mother, the journey of renewal.
The fourth is the House of Bats, filled with dangerous shrieking bats with sharp beaks. The bats represent the dark, and this current epidemic may have come from bats. As you enter into the dark of the mother, they may fly at you and bite you. You are challenged to face your fear and learn to love and feed the bats and turn them into assets and allies. A metaphor for loving all the parts of us, our light and dark shadows.
The fifth is the House of Blades, filled with blades and razors that move about of their own accord and slash anything in their way. We are stripped down to our core, everything is taken away, our identity, jobs, community, all cease to define us. All we possess, including name and job description, possesses us, so we clear all of our identities because whatever defines us also confines us.