This is the fourth in a series of short stories written by Mayan Ajq'ij (spiritual guide) Lina Barrios from Guatemala. These stories are meant to share the knowledge and wisdom of the Mayan peoples with the world.
B'alam was pretty excited to go with his grandfather to the mountain. They left very early in the morning, to the Sacred Mountain of Alux, to pick some Tz'ite'. These are the red beans used to communicate with Chuchqajaw (Mother and Father of the Universe). B'alam went to bed early so that he would wakeup as soon as his grandfather called him.
"B'alam, B'alam," his grandfather's soft voice called still in the darkness of the early hours.
"Coming grandpa," B'alam answered.
He dressed quickly and went with his grandfather to the family altar to ask for permission and blessings for the day's activities. Tthey asked specially to find many Tz'ite' seeds. Â
Grandfather and grandchild were walking along a path filled with fog of the Sacred Mountain of Alux. They were tukos, meaning they shared the same name, B'alam. For this reason the elder taught him with much love and dedication, for he will be his successor upon this earth. He told his grandson, "remember the Tz'ite' should always be picked up with the first rays of the Sun, so that the communication with the energies will flow." They continued climbing for a while. Â When they reached a clearing, the first Tz'ite' tree appeared. The pods were open with plenty of red seeds coloring the brown ground. They both kneeled and thanked Chuchqajaw for the beans had ripen and could be picked.
"Son, the Tz'ite' beans are picked with a lot of respect." B'alam looked up and his wide black eyes lit with intrigue when he asked the elder: "Why grandpa?" "Because they are sacred," the grandfather answered with a tranquility that comes with his years, "and before you touch sacred things you blow the palms of your hands, to clean them so that your energy will not take away the strength of the sacred."Â "What do you mean?" B'alam asks with more curiosity. "If the beans are on the ground they are dirty, why should I clean my hands before touching them?" "The beans are not dirty, they fell from the tree and are absorbing strength from Mother Earth, for us to communicate with the energy of Uk'u'x Ulew (Heart of the Earth)" "So through the beans we can only communicate with the energy of earth?"
"Of course not, the sacred red beans are very sensitive and they can communicate us with the Uk'u'x Kaj (Heart of the Heavens), Uk'u'x ja' (Heart of Water), Uk'u'x I'q (Heart of the Air).Â Because of this, their energy can see events that happen faraway and nearby, great events and small events. They can see the past and the future. The sensitivity of the red beans was discovered by the two times grandfather Ixpiyakok and the two times grandmother Ixmukane, and they left this inheritance to us. Remember, we eat black beans every day and sometimes we eat white and brown beans, but we never eat the red beans for they are sacred. The Tz'ite' is the means of communication with all the creation energies. They answer all doubts to give you clarity on your path, and tell you what is favorable and what is not, for this it is sacred. But remember B'alam' only the Ajq'ijab (spiritual guides) can ask to the Tz'ite', for it has its secrets and if its energy is not used appropriately, it can harm you.Â It's like giving a knife to a two year old. First one has to learn how to use it."
Lina Barrios is a Mayan Ajq'ij (spiritual guide) and anthropologist from the highlands of Guatemala, where she currently resides. For nearly 25 years she has worked tirelesly for the preservation of traditional Mayan langages, women's rights, dress, culture and spirituality in her homeland. She is also a published author and universit professor.
Denise Barrios is Lina's Neice and author of The Energies of the Day, a day planner based on the count of days of the Sacred Mayan Calendar. Her website is www.mystic-maya.com
Saq' Be': Organization for Mayan and Indigenous Spiritual Studies
is a non profit organization based in New Mexico, US. Saq' Be' works to bring
young adults, together with ancient traditions for the purpose of cultural
and spiritual preservation and to open the doors of opportunity for those
traditions to share their teachings with the rest of the world. More information
can be found at: www.SacredRoad.org, or by email at: saq...@gmail.com.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.