Magic In the Trees: Part 3 TreeHouse Homecoming
Upon returning to Antigua for a day before going to Lake Atitlan, I was fortunate to visit the cemetery with Denise, her mom, and daughter, to light some candles and remember Carlos, her father, my friend, and the humble Mayan Ajq'ij spiritual guide to many. Carlos is the author of "The Book of Destiny", one that I continue to recommend to anyone interested in an authentic representation of the Mayan world view and spitrtual traditions. The day Tz'ikin was the same as Carlos', his "Mayan Birthday", and a beautiful concordance of time to be able to share in observing the day with Denise and with his family. The image of the candle flames rising from the green grass on his grave beneath a jacaranda tree--sharing memories and laughter together, cleaning off his grave, and lighting candles for him-- will remain with me forever.
From there it was off to Lake Atitlan. After an incredible experience in Tikal, I have been desiring some time to really relax and fully reflect on my experiences there. My friend Nancy offered me a home-away-from home, perfect for me, so accustomed now to living in the forest, most relaxed and at home when I am among the trees. A week in a tree house in the forest at the foot of volcano San Pedro was the perfect place to really reconnect.
Nancy has been a friend and big supporter of my work since we met in the early days of Cafe la Puerta in 2008 or so.
I've had the opportunity to create a number of fun mosaic art works for her over the years. One of those commissions, a mosaic sculpture of Kwan Yin, the buddhist goddess of compassion. Kwan Yin has been presiding over Hummingbird Heaven for many years, under the shade of a beautiful mimosa tree. Over time, she had lost a few of her mosaic details, so a renovation was in order.
After fixing her up, a new bamboo "temple" was created by Nancy's groundskeepers, Juan and Frank.
Giving Kwan Yin a renovated home perfectly reflected my own inner renovations. In the treehouse up behind Nancy's and Kwan Yin, I was blessed with some deep rest. I felt the whole earth supporting me, holding me, nurturing me as I slept each night. Though I was high above the ground, something about being held by the branches of that Jacaranda really connected me to the deep heart of Mother Earth.
It also connected me to Carlos. I felt his kind, generous heart around me a lot while I was there. I felt a tenderness, as if he were there watching over me. And at night, I felt that there were changes happening inside me that I could only associate with his presence. After a couple of nights there, I realized a connection between this jacaranda and the one in the cemetery where Carlos was "sleeping". I remembered lighting the candles on his grave, and I a strong, energy of renewal inside me.
As the days and nights proceeded, I rested and slept in a lot more than usual. I even began to feel restless, an eagerness to action welling up inside me. "There is a name for spirituality in our times, and it is ACTION," I recalled Carlos often quoting his teacher Don Pascual.
During this time, I put together the details for a few projects that I will be sharing more with you in the days to come. Retreats, new mosaics, and more.
The first of these projects is coming together and taking place next month in September. Denise and I have put together a couple of retreats in McCall, where I live, to help share some of the wisdom, teachings, practices, rituals, and stories passed down by her father, Carlos, and the thousands of Mayan Daykeepers since, well, time eternal!
Finding Balance, Purpose, and Healing through the Mayan Ch’olq’ij Calendar
with Denise Barrios and Blake Sherlock
On Magical Lake Payette in McCall, Idaho
Are you seeking new awareness, healing, or guidance during these challenging times? Would you like to see the world and these stressful times in a new light? Are you interested in finding a deeper connection with nature, finding more balance in your life? Would you like to find a deeper connection to nature, more fulfilling relationships, and a clearer sense of your life purpose? Please consider attending these special workshops we’ve put together with my friend, Denise Barrios, who will be traveling to Idaho from Guatemala this September. We'd love to have you join us!
Finding Balance, Purpose, and Healing
through the Mayan Ch’olq’ij Calendar
with Denise Barrios and Blake Sherlock
On Magical Lake Payette in McCall, Idaho
September 9-11, 2022:
Igniting Your Inner Fire: Connecting with the sacred energies in our relationships and our Life’s Purpose
September 16-18, 2022:
Opening the Portals of Energy: The Sacred Calendar in your body and life
Please join us for this special series of classes and workshops put together with my dear friend Denise Barrios. Denise is an Ajq’ij, or daykeeper, in the Mayan spiritual tradition and the author of “The Mayan Count of the Days”, a Journal of the Energies of the Sacred Cholq’ij Calendar. Denise is the daughter of Carlos Barrios, and was his translator for many years when he visited the US to share the Mayan world view and the wisdom of the sacred calendar. For many years, I read and used Carlos’ book as a guide to my investigation and understanding of the Mayan world view. When I lived in Antigua in 2019, I had the opportunity to meet Carlos, and his daughter, Denise. We became great friends, and after her father’s death in 2020, Denise and I were simultaneously inspired to initiate walking the spiritual path of an Ajq’ij. Together, Denise and I have experienced not only the death of her father, but the rebirth of this spiritual path inside each of us. We are fortunate to be able to accompany each other on our individual paths, and we have had the great fortune to join our paths at times, celebrating fire ceremony together in Tikal only the most recent of our journeys together.
Denise will be visiting Idaho for the first time this year. We are putting together a spiritual retreat here in the Gem state that we are excited about. We’re looking forward to sharing with you the traditions, secrets, healing, and magic of the ancient Maya on which the Cholq’ij calendar is based. The Cholq’ij is the “count of days” in the spiritual, energetic or galactic calendar. This is not a calendar of linear time, but a recounting of the energies of 260 days which comprise our reality.
We’ve created two retreats. You are welcome to take part in either or both.
September 9-11: Igniting your Inner Fire
In this three-day workshop we will dive into an exploration of the 20 sacred energies, called Chumil. In addition to learning about the 20 energies, will do meditations with the Chumil, and we will do fire ceremony including the Chumil to invoke their energies in our lives, to induce healing, and to reconnect us to our purpose, our passion, our creativity, and connect us more deeply to Mother Earth--and each other. We’ll introduce you to the Mayan deities, the Mayan cosmology or “world view”, and history. We will discuss and share stories about the origin of the fire ceremony, experiences with healing, divination, and connecting to ancestral wisdom. We’ll share with you the history behind the materials used, and how to collect the materials for your own ceremonial fire. We will incorporate the natural world around us as our classroom, and provide opportunities for you to use your artistic creativity.
Participation limited to 12 people.
September 16-18: Opening the Portals of Energy
In this exciting, weekend workshop, we will explore the way that the 20 energies in the Mayan sacred calendar, or Cholq’ij, manifest and affect the 20 portals of energy in our body. We will learn techniques for unblocking energy in the body to facilitate health and wellbeing. We’ll explore the use of crystals, so if you have some of your own, please feel free to bring them with you! We will also explore the unique map of our destiny laid out in our Mayan Cross, and we will explore our human relationships from this perspective. We will also share a fire ceremony together in which we ask for the sacred, ancient energies of the Cholq’ij to open up our paths in life, to bring healing, balance, and harmony in our lives.
Please contact me for information about participation, costs, including all classes, workshops and materials. We have limited lodging available, but will help you with other accommodations, camping recommendations, etc.
All activities take place at the Sherlock family home on Lake Payette in McCall, Idaho. We are nestled amongst giant Ponderosas, Douglas Fir and Tamarack trees. There’s lots of nice walking and hiking, and you can swim in the lake. We have some hot springs nearby and plenty of outdoor activities nearby should your decide to make a longer trip out of it. There will be time for exploring on your own and eating out in quaint little McCall as well.
Workshop and Activity schedule each weekend:
Friday 5-9 pm
Saturday 9 am – 4 pm
Sunday 9 am – 1 pm