Video: Documentary Filmed in Belize at Lower Dover, Cahal Pech, and Caracol about Maya Equinox Celebration

Last September we went to the Maya city of Caracol for the Fall Equinox celebration that was being preformed by a Maya Itza Leader from Peten Guatemala. It was a very special event that we were extremely fortunate to witness and document on film. Hopefully the Belize Film Festival will accept the picture so we have an excuse to visit Belize City for the party.

The Maya leaders told us we must stay up all night if we were to experience the ritual the proper way.  Pretty plainly this was the most trying part of the trip because we were not planning on staying up, but camping and waking up before dawn for the fire ceremony. Special thanks to the park ranger Mike for sharing his coffee and making it possible.

Also we would like to thank John Chuc of Kin Winik Tours, Dr. Jamie Awe from Belize Archaeology, Maria Garcia from San Antonio Village, and especially the Marimba players from Succotz who got up at 3:30am to start jamming until the ceremony was finished after sunrise and the fire was out. Finally our condolences to the family and friends of Don Beto Cocom who was supposed to be there holding hands with us.

Outside of the trip to Caracol, the documentary contains some interviews with our family and a bit of archaeology talk about the possible correlation between Lower Dover and the Maya city of Cahal Pech located in San Ignacio.

 

Maya Full Moon Ceremony at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

On June 6, 2012 the transit of Venus was celebrated at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize, with the aid of Maya spiritual guide Don Beto Cocum. The transit is when the planet Venus appeared as a small, dark disk moving across the face of the Sun.  Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable celestial phenomena and occur in pairs, eight years apart, which are themselves separated by more than a century: The previous transit of Venus took place on 8 June 2004 (preceded by a pair of appearances December 9, 1874 and December 6, 1882), and the next transit will occur December 10/11, 2117. So if you missed it this year you have to wait another 105 years! 

It was a special moment for a number of reasons. First, the actual ceremony preformed by local Maya Yucatec decedent and spiritual guide, Don Beto Cocum, was also celebrating the full moon which took place immediately before the transit. Because the two dates coincided, we decided to go forth and celebrate both.

Also this was the first time Lower Dover formally asked permission, in the spiritual realm from the Maya gods, to disturb the ancient Maya’s rest. Since archaeology is dealing with the deceased, Lower Dover requested for the God’s favor in the excavations that were on going from the start of 2010. Perhaps this lack of acknowledgement was why so little progress had been made during the first two years.  I believe the Maya spirits gave us a sign at the end of the dig season…more soon!!!

Don Beto Cocum, a Maya spiritualist second, and a true bush healer first, was very encouraged by the positive energy he felt at Lower Dover. Good news in a world void of much these days. He assured us the Maya spirits were in our favor and offered us no obstruction.

Unfortunately Mr. Don Beto passed away unexpectedly of natural causes, shortly after this event. Those in the Belize Maya community lost a very knowledgeable and well respected member. All of us at Lower Dover were definitely touched by his presence and grace in handling his craft and we will forever remember him for his kindness, patience, and for dedicating his life to keep the Maya culture alive today.

Fortunately we were able to get some of these photos for everyone to see how a Maya shaman sets up his full moon ceremony. Don Beto asked us not to film during his prayer session. At the closing of the ceremony he did individual blessings which we were able to capture. Rest in peace Mr. Don Beto Cocum and thanks for your help in Belize and at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge. 

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