Will we actually find this hidden ranch in the dark? Will we be arriving too late? Will we miss our opportunity to join the ceremony? I am filled with questions as we move along these unfamiliar roads, unable to see any of the landmarks noted for us.
Though Stephen and I planned to arrive before sunset, time has slipped through our fingers and we find ourselves feeling our way through the darkness. My white ceremonial dress clings to my curves in the warm night, as I try to decipher the sparse directions that were sketched for us on a tattered slip of paper. Hmmm . . . .
Suddenly, we see a sign for the ranch. We made it it! Finally.
As we enter the property, we are quickly guided to park our car and settle in. There are a few familiar faces, but mostly new ones in this New Year’s gathering. But there is no sign of Abuelo Antonio. Where is he??
Eventually, Stephen and I are guided over to a side porch where there is a small private ceremony underway. Abuelo is there, along with a very old Mayan elder who is sharing prayers in the Mayan language. There is a large altar filled with a variety of icons that appear to be a mixture of Christian and Mayan symbols. There are also bowls with fresh chicken meat on the altar, offered to the Gods and later to be eaten by the community.
As we sit in silence we bear witness the prayers and blessings that are being poured onto Abuelo Antonio by this elder Mayan man — who appears to be oldest man and the true grandfather of the community.
Eduardo, a man we’ve come to know, whispers in my ear, “They have been offering prayer after prayer since 6am!”
I glance at the clock hidden in the folds of my black macramé purse, and I see it’s now 7pm. That means they’ve been praying for 13 hours non-stop! Wow!
The ceremony seems to be coming to an end, and Abuelo Antonio calls us over to him. His sweet round face is wet with tears. He pulls us both close into his chest at the same time.
“Do you know what just happened?” He inquires looking into our eyes.
“No, please do explain.” We reply.
“I did not realize the PURPOSE of today’s ritual. I just new that my Mayan elder, who is a total living saint, has been pestering me for the last 7 months to do a very specific ritual. I have been resisting him, until today.”
“Yes, we can understand, it’s quite a long ritual!” We nod in agreement.
Abuelo Antonio continues, “I just found out that the purpose of this ritual was for this elder to transfer his powers to me. He just told me that he doesn’t expect to be alive on this planet much longer, and he has selected me to be the next spiritual leader of this Mayan Community.”
“Wow, what a deep honor has been bestowed upon you, Abuelo” we reply.
“Yes, it’s true. It’s a huge honor, and also a huge responsibility.” The tears continue to stream from Antonio’s eyes as he allows us both to just hold him in our arms.
He then says, “I am so deeply pained that this elder will be leaving us soon. Few people outside our community realize what a true saint he is. His whole life is truly dedicated to prayer and serving the community.”
When the time comes to release Abuelo Antonio from our embrace, we witness him re-engage with his elder. The two men are hugging each other and sharing such deep love and respect. Stephen and I both realize what an immense occurrence has transpired before our very eyes, and how blessed we are to have witnessed it.
The experience made us think more about the value of having a long-term mentoring relationship. I’ve benefitted so deeply from my spiritual mentors, and I aim to be a great mentor to my clients and those beings in our Feminine Alchemy Immersion.
But in our Western world, where many folks are so scattered and busy, true mentorship can be very hard to come by. Yet it is so deeply needed in order to really learn from our elders and stand upon on their shoulders.
We often really DO need the support of those who have experience with navigating the tricky waters of life and who can give us good advice and ongoing reflection.
So as you are making your list of resolutions for this new year, perhaps you might consider finding yourself a serious spiritual mentor, if you don’t already have one. I can promise that you life will be much richer for the experience.