For those who like to travel, the Mayan community of Guatemala will be hosting their 6th ceremony of Unificacion Maya in Tikal, Guatemala, which Anne Lossing points out is “the very centre of the Americas.”
She says: “Each year until 2012 we are holding 7 Sacred Mayan Fire Ceremonies in 7 Sacred Sites over 7 days, ending on the winter solstice, December 21st,  in the Central Plaza of Tikal.
“There is no registration cost (just a small daily fee to cover transportation, lunch, etc.) and everyone is invited to attend. I can send you more information by e-mail or you can find information and photos from past years at www.unificacionmaya.com.”
“The goal of Unificación Maya is to bring together a great number of like minded people, synchronizing their energies through a week of music, dance and ceremony, gathering finally in the Central Plaza of Tikal at the winter solstice, the time of rebirth, to link themselves with the Earth, with the Center of the Universe, and with each other in a giant web of energy as we move through the steps of the Dance of Unificación which will act like a key turning in a lock to open the gateway to the next dimension.
“Unificacion Maya is hosted each year by Project Ix-canaan (www.ixcanaan.com) and Hotel Gringo Perdido (www.hotelgringoperdido.com).”
Here is a magazine interview from 2007 on that year’s event.
Winter Solstice Festival in Tikal
An interview with Anne Lossing By Nick Cumbo – Blue Rhythmic Night, 2007
Situated in El Remate, in the rainforest of Northern Guatemala, Project Ix-Canaan offers programs of Health, Education and Opportunity, to enable the people of the jungles to become truly: “Ix-Canaan – the Guardians of the Rainforest”. In this interview we ask project coordinator Anne Lossing about Unificación Maya – a cultural and spiritual festival being organised as a ‘portal to the new cycle’.
NICK: Hi Anne. Thanks for coming on board for this episode of 2C: ‘Living the Vision: Dream, Prayer and Intuition’.
ANNE: Hi Nick … thanks so much for this opportunity to let people know what is happening in the land of the Maya, and how they, too, can participate, as we approach the key date of 2012.
NICK: Having recently returned from a short stay in Mexico and Guatemala, I was excited to discover an email outlining your plans for Unificación Maya – a cultural and spiritual festival to be celebrated in the area around Tikal, Guatemala between December 15th-21st every year until 2012.
You’ve been celebrating this festival since 2005? Can you tell us about its origins and how it’s evolved over time? What’s the plan for this year?
ANNE: The roots of Unificación Maya grew from a vision. Fifteen years ago, when I first drove into Peten to visit Tikal, the roads were like dusty washboards and after jouncing slowly along for about 200 km., we were forced to overnight at Finca Ixobel, a famous stop for backpackers along the route. That night, under the full moon in February, I sat in a jungle clearing to meditate, and I saw a bright beam of Light, shining like a beacon up into the Center of the Universe from Peten. This brilliant Light was made up of the combined intention of many people that would gather together here in the jungle homeland of the Maya. I knew in that moment that I had reached the end of my journey … and the seed of Unificación Maya had been planted.
I spent a number of years getting acclimatized to living in this incredibly powerful place, and it wasn’t until early 2005, when I met Guatemalan Shamaness AumRak Sapper, that the pieces started falling into place that led to the first actual ceremonies in December of 2005. That year (and each year since), Tata Pedro Cruz, from San Pedro, Guatemala, brought with him a group of Mayan Spiritual Guides who have performed the Sacred Fire Ceremonies each day for the week of Unificación Maya.
They are joined each year by flautist extraordinaire Pablo Collado, Ayah and the dancers who lead the Dance of Unificación, Danny Diaz who leads the Sweat Lodge experience, Mayan guide Danilo Rodriguez, and a wide range of musicians, shamans and ceremonialists from many other countries. This past year, it became possible to bring in a second group of Mayan Spiritual Guides for the week of the ceremonies … a group from a poor village located here in the rainforest of Peten. This group had lost much of their Ceremonial teachings when they were evicted from their original homes in VeraPaz during the Guatemalan Civil War, and their Elders were killed, so they were thrilled with the opportunity to participate and connect with other Tatas and Nanas and reconnect once again to the sacred energies of their Calendar.
This year, in December 2009, we plan to bring together 100 – 150 Mayan Spiritual Guides from all over Guatemala. We will hold Mayan Fire Ceremonies over 7 days in 7 Sacred Sites … including the Topoxte/Yaxha Archeological Sites, the Ixlu Archeological Site, the Actun Kan Caves, and the Lake Sal Peten Ceremonial Site, finishing with the final ceremony at 11 a.m. on December 21st in the Central Plaza of Tikal.
The goal of Unificación Maya is to bring together a great number of like- minded people, synchronizing their energies through a week of music, dance and ceremony, gathering finally in the Central Plaza of Tikal at the winter solstice, the time of rebirth, to link themselves with the Earth, with the Center of the Universe, and with each other in a giant web of energy as we move through the steps of the Dance of Unificación which will act like a key turning in a lock to open the
gateway to the next dimension.
NICK: In previous years you’ve had some very interesting presenters show up. What kind of ceremonies and talks do you expect to attract for the gathering in 2009?
ANNE: Yes, there are always a variety of interesting ceremonies and workshops, and we expect this year to be even better. Each morning begins with an informal Fire Ceremony on the shores of Lake Peten Itza, with music and singing to greet the dawn. That is followed by the main Sacred Fire Ceremony each day in one of the 7 Sacred Sites. A Pranic Healing will be conducted by the Pranic
Society of Guatemala, led by president of the society, Rosa Maria Gomar, and on the day before the equinox, there will be a purifying Sweat Lodge Ceremony on the banks of Lake Sal Peten led by Danny Diaz. Many of the classes and workshops focus on Mayan Ceremony, Mayan Calendar and Mayan Cosmology, however, there will also be classes offered for those who want to participate as dancers or musicians in the of today’s inhabitants of final ceremony, or for the jungles arrived here those who would like during the last 50 years to make their own that have been scattered far and wide by invasion and war, and make the Mayan Calendar once again accessible to all.
NICK: Does the Mayan calendar continue to bear much significance on local culture?
ANNE: Here in Peten most of the traditional teachings have been lost. During the war, jungle villages were bombed out of existence so they wouldn’t harbor the guerrillas, thus many rattle, medicine bag or talisman for the final day. More information will be available on the website as plans formalize.
NICK: In 2012, the Gregorian calendar date December 21 marks the occasion of the winter solstice and the conclusion of one Great Cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar. You have timed the festival to coincide and work with the power of this time. How is the dawning of the new cycle understood by the Indigenous Maya you have spoken to and worked with?
ANNE: The Indigenous Maya believe that this is the dawning of a new Age for mankind … an age of Brotherhood … a time of Unificación … the coming together of the Eagle and the Condor. They believe they must begin by bringing together the Mayan tribes
after being driven from their lands in other parts of Guatemala. Years of persecution caused many of the people in the larger communities to deny their Mayan roots and they no longer wear their traje (Mayan clothing) or follow their Sacred Calendar. Amongst the others that still live in their remote jungle communities, so many of their Shamans were butchered by the army that many have lost their connection to the Calendar and retain only the vestiges of their practices.
That said, there is a resurgence all over Guatemala of interest in the Mayan Calendar and Sacred Fire Ceremonies. The President of Guatemala, Alvaro Colum, has been initiated as a Mayan Spiritual Guide. The Mayan Shamans from the mountains and lake area are accepting more and more “novices” for training every day (both local and foreigners) and are being asked to travel internationally to speak and do ceremony. This past year, Tata Pedro spent a month touring the United States, and a month in Germany and England.
NICK: Tikal is a very magical site that attracts many visitors from around the world. What can you tell us about it?
ANNE: The “Transfer Hub for Atlantean Energy”, Tikal is a “Crystal City” and a major point in the “Crystalline Grid”. The energy here is of the Earth. This is the “Seating Place for the Councils of Light” and home to the “Gatekeepers of Time”.
Covering over 222 square miles, with over 4000 structures, Tikal has the most elegant pyramids in the world, some of which are over 200 feet high. This incredible city, dating from 800 BC to 900 AD is built in the image of the Pleiades; the “Seven Sisters.” Tikal is one of the most important ancient city- states in the Maya world. It is a Sacred Initiatic Center, corresponding to the 7th Crown Chakra. Not only is it located exactly in the middle of the landmass that forms the pinwheel of the American continents, but
Tikal, and the other Mayan cities of the jungles are also built on land that is heavily webbed with crystalline structures. These two factors ensure that the energy that is generated here is incremented and dispersed universally.
NICK: What information and directions can you provide for people who want to attend the festival?
ANNE: A volunteer is now building a new website for Unificacion Maya at www. unificacionmaya.com where interested people can go to see photos and videos of previous years ceremonies, as well as information about the plans for Unificación Maya 2009 as they become available.
You can get to El Remate by taking a short flight (or a long bus ride) from either Guatemala City, Belize City or Cancun, Mexico … start thinking about your journey now to be sure to get the best flights.
There are hotels in a variety of price ranges here in the village. I can be contacted for reservations at Hotel Gringo Perdido, where Tata Pedro and his group from San Pedro are headquartered and where the morning Sun Ceremony is held daily. The website has a full listing of hotels.
“This is the group of Mayan Spiritual Guides from here in Peten. They are originally from a different Mayan tribe than Tata Pedro. This was the first year that they have been able to attend. Usually we have a small group of Mayan Spiritual Guides from Lake Atitlan (Tata Pedro and his group). This year, a participant from a previous year sent a small amount of money to help us to be able to pay their transportation, accommodations and food so we could bring in this group as well. This coming year we have decided to look for the funding to bring in about 100 to 150 Mayan Spiritual Guides. They are ecstatic about this possibility as the winter solstice is a very important date for them to celebrate, and they have really taken to the idea of a “Mayan Unificación.” – Anne Lossing
If anyone has any further questions, they are welcome to write me at [email protected]
NICK: Are there any closing remarks you’d like to share with our readers?
ANNE: Everybody is welcome to come and participate in Unificación Maya. There is no registration fee to attend. Not only will you be able to learn about and participate in Sacred Mayan Fire Ceremonies, but you will be able to meet and talk with the Mayan Spiritual Guides, learn more about Mayan Culture and Cosmology, dance, drum and sing on the ancient temples of energetically powerful Mayan sites and join with the others who are coming together over these years, year after year, to prepare the way for Unificación.
Anne, her 10-year old son, and the family dog set out from Calgary, Canada in 1994 seeking to fulfill a lifelong dream of a home with palm trees and thatched huts. Their journey eventually led to the Mayan jungles of Peten, Guatemala, where she co-founded Project Ix-canaan with partner Dr. Enrique Chapeton. Anne is the coordinator for Project Ix-canaan, Mayan for Guardians of the Rainforest, a social development program that includes a free medical clinic, the coordination of visiting international medical and dental professionals, a computerized library and a Women’s Center. Anne manages Hotel Gringo Perdido, a beautiful lakeside eco-lodge in the heart of a Mayan wildlife preserve.
Anne is also the lead organizer for the annual gathering known as Unificación Maya, and the author of numerous electronic publications describing life in the jungle, including a food blog describing the creation and modification of recipes using jungle ingredients.