Magic, Mystery and Sorrow in the Yucatan

Posted on Friday 20 February 2015

I am thrilled to offer you a few fascinating perspectives on our recent Yucatan Journey, facilitated by my husband Gary Stamper, myself and Carolyn Baker….I don’t have the time to write at the moment, and both authors Jo Ann Heydron and Carolyn Baker have said it all:

Guadalupe In The Laundry Room: A Yucatan Epiphany           Our Lady of Guadalupe
By Carolyn Baker from  Speaking Truth To Power

Knowing that each of us has our own experience of our amazing journey to Yucatan and that each of us makes sense of it differently, I would like to offer my perspective in the light not only of our journey, but our re-entry as well. Some of us have had strange if not bizarre re-entries. Many of us have returned feeling ungrounded and off-center, and this may be more than the result of jet lag. Perhaps something more profound happened to us in Yucatan than we yet understand.
My own experience with traveling to sacred sites and entering the territory of indigenous ruins is that they are anything but dead and inert. In fact, they are very much alive, and the spirits of the ancestors living there have never left. If we are open to their presence and their power, we may actually receive the wisdom we came there to discover, and perhaps even more instruction than we bargained for. If we’re serious about this “evolution thing,” it seems that it behooves us to be very curious about what happened to us in Yucatan and what might continue to happen. As middle class Anglo citizens of industrial civilization, all of us, including myself, would love to hold hands and dance around the many sacred sites of the world feeling bathed in light and love, but what if the spirits inhabiting those places have another agenda? What if they really want to teach us that suffering and light are not separate, just as none of us is separate from each other or from the earth? What if they need, to some extent, to kick our butts to make their point? I’ve personally had my butt kicked a number of times during and after visits to sacred places, and when I stay open to the possibility that that is precisely what is happening, the upheaval feels less bothersome.
Some of us got sick on the journey. Some of us had weird re-entries to our homes or perhaps became ill after the journey or just felt peculiarly ungrounded. Might this be part of what some call “a fiercely unwanted growth experience”? Our journey began with a psychic surgery performed by Israel. He knew what each of us needed in order to cleanse our psyches and open to the mysteries of Mayan tradition. Could he have been a messenger of greater forces wanting us to break down in order to break through?
Along the way in rural Yucatan we witnessed extreme poverty and heart breaking suffering of animals. The rational mind wants to separate this from the heart warming community we witnessed among the people and their devotion to the sacred. They are poor economically but rich in many other ways, yet those many other ways do not erase the excruciating reality of their suffering. We were immersed in opposites—poverty/richness; kindness/animal neglect; Mayan/Hispanic; indigenous/Catholic. One of the most difficult skills for any human being, but I believe the most crucial, is the capacity to hold the tension of opposites.
This was emblazoned on my mind on Saturday night when I walked into the disaster that was my room at Dos Playos and found a small lake beside my bed. Immediately next to my room was the laundry room where women apparently worked all hours of the day and night to provide clean towels for the hotel. In order to wipe up the mess on my floor, I wandered into the laundry room where many of these women were toiling, and at the entrance was a very large image of the Virgin of Guadalupe framed with flowers, and embellishing the image on the altar below was a cluster of burning candles. Clearly, Lupe’s presence was invaluable to these women who probably earn less money than we can imagine. Once again, the suffering alongside the sacred. After receiving my towels for wiping up the mess, I stood for a moment in the corridor of the laundry room, my eyes alternating from Lupe to the women and back to Lupe. For a moment, I got it: The suffering and the sacred are always inextricably connected.
As I write this missive today, I feel weird and ungrounded. Last night I came home to eight inches of snow and was locked out of my house. I spent the night with a neighbor who keeps her house icebox cold. Other than the two hours’ sleep I managed to get, I did little but compare the warmth I had just come from with the chill I had entered. I don’t know what other weirdness I’m going to encounter in the days ahead. But I know one thing: When Israel placed a warm crystal on my forehead and then on my heart, the ancestors expected me to pay attention, and they still do.

From Jo Ann Hedron at Talking to Strangers: An Introvert Hits the Streets

I promised myself that when I came back to this blog, I’d write about books and writing and nothing more. Whoops.

Israel May

My husband and I just returned from Mexico, where we and fifteen others met at the Cancun airport and traveled west by bus to the colonial city of Izamal. We spent a week there driving out to visit Mayan ruins and learning from a Mayan shaman. Gary Stamper, Anyaa McAndrew, and Carolyn Baker–all people I hope to know for the rest of my life–planned the trip. I don’t think any of them would object to my saying that the shaman we spent the week with, a quiet, modest man named Israel May, was our teacher and leader. With Israel we visited Mayan ruins in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo states of Northern Mexico–Chichen Itza first, then Ake, Tulum, and the Temple of Ixchel.

From 1800 BC to 1500 AD, the Maya thrived in stages in Central America, primarily in areas that now lie in Mexico and Guatemala. As you probably know, they developed written language, higher mathematics and astronomy, as well as skills that allowed them, without benefit of pack animals or metal tools, to build communities both beautiful and functional, and feed their people. A powerful mystical tradition also grew up.

Why the Maya “disappeared” is a topic of some interest to people in the collapsing cultures of the global North. We know that Mayan cities from the classic period (about 250 AD to 900) were deserted long before Spanish soldiers and priests began their invasions in the 1500s. There is no consensus as to precisely why these communities failed. Some guesses are that a long drought stressed the primary crop, corn, that too many rich demanded service from too few poor, that forests were overcut to clear land for farming and to fuel preparation of the limestone plaster used to ornament buildings.

From the jungles of the south, the Maya moved north. Although the north was dryer, they could tap into water tables at shallow depths. In magnificent cities like Chichen Itza and Tulum, the Maya maintained a culture remarkably uniform through the centuries until the Spanish tried their best to wipe it and them out.

Chichen Itza, Pyramid of Kukulcan, “The Castle”
Ake, roof of marketplace missing. Although Ake is Early Classic, older than Chichen Itza, it is not yet completely unearthed.
Tulum, El Castillo

 

Temple of the Goddess Ixchel, Isla Mujeres
The Mayan people, however, have not disappeared. We saw them, small in body, forthright in gaze, everywhere we went. Israel learned his shamanic skills from his grandmother and now educates northerners in ancient ways, doing as much good as he can for visitors who have trouble benefitting from what they don’t understand.
Anyaa McAndrew @ 5:30 pm
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Las Vegas: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Ugly

Posted on Friday 18 July 2014

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Gary & Anyaa in Vegas

By Gary Stamper & Anyaa McAndrew

Wow, we just returned from five days in Las Vegas, and we are reflecting today on why we went, what the highlights were, including the hotels, the food, and the entertainment…in other words, the good, the bad and the ugly of Las Vegas and our trip.

First, why would we go to Las Vegas in the first place? After all…We consider ourselves “conscious” and “spiritual,” and, let’s face it: Vegas represents everything that is wrong with our materialistic culture, the epitome of over-the-top decadence. (Continue reading…)

Anyaa McAndrew @ 11:16 am
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Calling All Priestesses and a FREE Gift!

Posted on Saturday 11 January 2014

Enjoy this the beautiful blog below by my sacred sister, Amrita, and a 1-hour audio 2014 overview from The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School, co-sponsor of Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine: Re-Dreaming the Magical Link Between Land and Sky, Soul and Spirit  journey to Scotland April 13-21, 2014. (link here)

2014 Shamanic Overview Pt. 1



2014 Shamanic Overview Pt.2

The cosmic events in April of 2014 are sure to provide a context for powerful

internal & external inspiration and transformation……Enjoy!

We have just 6 spaces left in our magical mystery tour!

Shamanic Blessings,

Anyaa
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 The Priestess in the Mirror by Amrita Grace

divineFeminine-queenWhen I look in the mirror, I see many things. I see a woman who has reclaimed wholeness after childhood trauma. I see a breast cancer survivor who is thriving. I see a happy and contented wife. And I see a high priestess of the renaissance of the divine feminine.

What does a modern priestess look like? Do they wear robes and special jewelry? Will you find them in sacred temples and at sacred sites? The modern priestess is as diverse and individual as today’s women are, and we each hold the capacity to embody the priestess within ourselves if we so choose. Formal initiations, trainings, and ceremonies are available in myriad forms by a wide range of teachers and leaders, but they are not required. I chose a path of initiation and ordination thirteen years ago that served me well as I learned to access my inner landscape and began my path of becoming conscious of the true being hiding behind the human pain and suffering. That path is a lifelong journey, and I’m grateful for that auspicious beginning.cauldron

Having been involved in circles of women and priestesses for many years, both as participant and facilitator, I released them all when I moved to Maui in 2006. I was called to Maui to work with the Divine Feminine Institute, and that felt like a new manifestation of my contribution as a priestess… more practical and less esoteric. While my outer priestess morphed into an administrator, my inner priestess continued to have initiations and give birth to her priestess arts in the form of the book and body of work known as Reclaiming Aphrodite. The Divine Feminine Institute came to a close, and breast cancer brought new insights and inquiries about my work in the world. Reclaiming Aphrodite is currently at rest, though the book continues to be offered as a free download and as a .99 Kindle book.

The imagery and symbolism of my years of priestess work continue to feed and embrace me. Honoring the dark time of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere), I find myself in a space of not-knowing. A cauldron or womb space, where what is gestating has not yet been born. My previous work has fallen away, and what is next has not revealed itself. I’m grateful to have some work to do in this interim time, work that I enjoy and that I’m good at and that supports a dear friend in her contribution to the renaissance of the divine feminine. My commitment to myself is to be with and in this state of not-knowing without pushing for answers or imposing my will. This is my greatest takeaway from my breast cancer experience: I trust that all will be revealed and that I will be perfectly guided. callanish-standing-stones-17

I’m experiencing a growing excitement as I answer a call to the depths of my priestess being to attend a very special gathering in Scotland this spring at the Callanish Standing Stone complex. I knew the moment I read the announcement that I was supposed to be there, and I set my intention to have it happen. Originally, I thought I would go alone and just to Scotland. This trip has now evolved into my first ever exploration of Europe with my husband. We’ll spend a few days in Amsterdam, Belgium, and Paris before heading to Scotland for a few days in Edinburgh. Then we’ll drive to Inverness for a night and fly to the Isle of Lewis, northwest of the Scottish mainland, to the tiny two-airline airport in the town of Stornoway. The week-long, expertly facilitated event will be held at the Doune Braes Hotel in Carloway near the Callanish Standing Stones. Unlike Stonehenge, Callanish is not fenced off, and is accessible to the public.Sacred Feminine by Cristina McAllister

The event is called Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine – Re-dreaming the Magical Link Between Land and Sky, Soul and Spirit. It will be facilitated by Anyaa McAndrew, High Priestess; Nita Gage, Shamanic Breathwork facilitator; and Daniel Giamario, Shamanic Astrologer, who has a deep relationship with the Callanish stones. Daniel has been to Callanish eight times, and he says, “It is my belief that the Callanish complex is the largest and most important of the ancient lunar ceremonial sites on the planet, the veritable prototype of all the rest.  It’s a massive building project of more than 20 stone alignments, all oriented to Sun, Moon, and stars, and all in harmony with the sacred landscape itself.”

The event is very reasonably priced to make it accessible for people, and between that and airline miles, I’m able to pull this off. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to connect to my Celtic roots and heritage, not just in my ancestry, but also in my priestess lineage. I sense that there is important information for me in this sacred place. I anticipate a magical time of deep connection with my priestess self, the land, the stones, and with the community of people I’ll be sharing this experience with. If this gathering calls to you, please click here for more information.

Wishing you a very expansive and abundant 2014!

Love & blessings,

Amrita

 

Amrita Grace is a High Priestess, Author of “Reclaiming Aphrodite-The Journey to Sexual Wholeness” and founder of Reclaiming Aphrodite® workshops, Amrita is a living example of wholeness on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and mystical! Visit Amrita’s Blog, “Reclaiming Aphrodite,” at blog.reclaimingaphrodite.com/2014/01/05/the-priestess-in-the-mirror/

Anyaa McAndrew @ 10:19 am
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What In The World Are You Drinking?

Posted on Wednesday 18 December 2013

What’s In YOUR Water?
Chlorine? Fluoride? Pharmaceuticals? Chemicals? Plastic?
Don’t think you’re safe if you drink bottled or filtered water.
This is the water that Gary and I drink in our home because it’s simply the best in the world..
Anyaa

Here are some great resources for looking at alkaline and acid water (the by-product of the alkalizing and ionizing process), its health benefits and it’s uses! Disclaimer: We are distributors of this amazing product and we get paid when you buy a unit. You can also become a distributor. Learn how.

www.ionways.com/watershamaness

Anyaa McAndrew @ 9:05 pm
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For the Love of Soul and the Music

Posted on Monday 21 October 2013

Anyaa McAndrew 10-20-13

I tu20131007_010211rn 62 in less than a week. I am in the midst of a bunch of Uranus, Jupiter and Saturn Transits that are pushing me to break out, break open and get free-er. So, in July when Gary & I were returning from an Eagles 40th year anniversary concert we happened upon the Soul Train Cruise, leaving San Diego in early October. Wow! Wouldn’t that be incredible? Then looking at the cost, we knew it just wasn’t doable, but we could get on the mailing list to wish and want and intend anyway. Then, later in the summer the price dropped to 40% off, and we had to do it. We flew out of Charlotte on October 5th and boarded the luxurious (really!) Holland America Westerdam in San Diego with 1,999 other lovers of soul music for The Hippest Trip at Sea. (Continue reading…)

Anyaa McAndrew @ 6:04 pm
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