The Mayan Culture

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The Mayan Culture

With the hullabaloo being created due to the fact the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, there is much interest concerning the Mayan culture, Mayan religion, and Mayan symbols. Existing mainly in Central America, Belize, and Mexico, they have a varied and interesting history.

Everything you would want from BELIZE.

The 2012 Mayan Calendar does not signify the end of the world, it only signifies the beginning of a new era or age, a new level of consciousness and time.

The Maya believe the cycles are approximately 5,000 years in duration and the year 2012 only signifies the end of a particular era, as that era ends, a new cycle will begin, a change most humans won’t even notice.

According to Mayan belief the Cosmos was made up by nine underworlds, this belief was expressed very powerfully in their pyramids, which were all built based on nine different stories.

The traditional Mayas believe in the existence, within each individual,of  various sub souls, usually described in quasi-material terms(such as ‘shadow’, ‘breath’, ‘blood’, and ‘bone’). The loss of one or more sub souls results in specific diseases ( such as heart disease, cancer, etc.) They were very adept at natural healing, using herbs and plants from the surrounding jungle to heal and nourish their bodies.This art is still evident today, although it is dying out as the old medicine men pass on.

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The Mayas accomplished a lot of “firsts” in this era. Not only did they build a lot of pyramids and temples, they were experts on building roads and also knew how to make rubber. Thus, they built the most advanced road system of their time.

They had the first advanced system of writing in the western hemisphere and had two calendars, one with 365 days.They used their system of writing, (hieroglyphics), to record information in books made from the bark of fig trees.

They developed a mathematical system based on the number 20 and were the first to use the number 0.

It wasn’t a life of all work and no play. They had developed a form of the modern day game of basketball, where a gourd  or other round object was attempted to pass through a hoop high on the wall. They took this game very seriously, as the losers were often sacrificed to the Gods. In some instances, the victors were sacrificed as a way of appeasing the Gods for some ill conceived misfortune that had befallen the tribe. In this circumstance it was an honor to be chosen as a sacrifice and most athletes willingly volunteered.

Astronomy was very much a part of their life as was the calendar, and mathematics.. Social class was determined by economics, religious beliefs and politics. As evidenced still today in the beautiful art work displayed throughout Central America and Mexico, there were many talented potters, sculptors and artists with abilities in carving jade and other semi precious stones. The Mayans were intelligent farmers and architects as well.

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The earliest evidence of the Mayan existence was in A.D. 250.Geographers soon found that in A.D. 900 the Mayan had abandoned their cities and thus their civilization slowly vanished.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments welcome
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Mayan book

 

It doesn’t take long to discover that Belize is a land of contrasts. From the poverty and disarray of the cities to the quiet countryside, many differences are soon found. With poverty and crime running rampant in cities such as Belize City and Belmopan, the traveler has to be constantly aware of his surroundings and protect whatever is being carried. Remember,that camera hanging around your neck is worth more than the average Belizean earns in a year. All that aside, the Mayan people are wonderfully warm people many of whom go out of their way to please visitors. Traveling into the countryside one discovers thatch roof homes with no doors or windows. Because of the warm climate , they can live comfortably all year with a gentle breeze flowing through the open windows and doors. I was struck with the concept that although no utility lines were visible, a lot of homes had a satellite dish in the front yard

 

Why Water Boarding Makes Sense

Why Does Water Boarding Make Sense?

The issue of water boarding has been turned into a political football. The liberals are using it as political fodder against anything the conservatives would want to accomplish. Many half truths and down right lies are being perpetrated by them to discredit anything the right would want to do, all the while jeopardizing our national security .

They keep saying it is torture, the only torture I see is trying to listen to these people and hoping that eventually they would say something that makes sense. They are the same people who would want to try enemy combatants in civilian courts.Have they ever heard of someone being acquitted because of an error made by law enforcement, am enemy combatant isn’t read his rights, (and shouldn’t be), when captured on the battlefield, that fact alone would be cause for acquittal. I move that any enemy combatant who is acquitted in a civilian court be given a house to live in next to one of these jokers, let’s see how long it takes for them to change their minds .

The argument is made that people will say anything under duress to stop the punishment, there is a certain element of truth in this, however, when these techniques are used , the information  taken from several captives is corroborated and  then it is determined which information is true, much like when an individual is trying to make a decision in some aspect of his or her life. One seeks advice from many people, determines which advice applies to them and would be the most beneficial, then a decision is made as to the proper course of action to take. It is the same way with interrogating prisoners, when  several combatants come up with the same story, than that is most likely the truth.

I suppose one could define water boarding as torture much in the same way that listening to loud music to be torture. If that is the case than any one with teen age kids in the home is being subjected to torture as well. It is just a matter of what each individual would determine to constitute mistreatment.

If we are to survive as a free society and not succumb to terrorism, then our government needs to find a way to extract vital information from our would be enemies before they can harm us. Sitting down with them for a cup of tea ain’t gonna make it. They know exactly what they are doing, they know how to work our system and play on our sympathies. We need to find a way to figuratively clean their clock.

Many are highly educated rich ,spoiled, Arabs who have lead a life of abundance. The rest are uneducated and have been taught from birth on to hate our western culture and everything it stands for. No amount of  hot tea and cookies is going to change their minds. Regretfully the only thing they know is violence and many are beyond rehabilitation.

The only way to deal with these people is through fear, many talk a good line , but like most bullies, they are cowards. They may say they want to die for Allah, but when the rubber hits the road, they want to live just as much as we do. It seems to me pouring a little water over their nose and making it seem like they re going to suffer some extreme punishment, while doing no actual harm to them is a perfect way to extract the information needed to keep us safe. We have to remember, America  was just minding it’s own business on September 11th when these savages attacked us and killed over 3000 dads and moms who were just trying to earn a living for their families. Now we have  thousands of kids without a mom or dad, wouldn’t it be worth it to protect them by pouring a little water over someone’s head?

Gary is a travel writer and photographer living in Sarasota, Florida. He maintains a website featuring some of his travel photos and markets a line of products featuring many of his photos.

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Belize Culture: Land of the Mayan Indians

Written by :Gary Wonning

Belize: Land of the Mayan Indians

It doesn’t take long to discover that Belize is a land of contrasts. From the poverty and disarray of the cities to the quiet countryside, many differences are soon found.
With poverty and crime running rampant in cities such as Belize City and Belmopan, the traveler has to be constantly aware of his surroundings and protect whatever is being carried. Remember ,that camera hanging around your neck is worth more than the average Belizian earns in a year. All that aside, the Mayan people are wonderfully warm people many of  whom go out of their way to please visitors.
Traveling into the country side one discovers thatch roof homes with no doors or windows.With the warm climate , they can live comfortably all year with a gently breeze flowing through the open windows and doors. I was struck with the concept that although no utility lines  were visible, a lot of homes had a satellite dish in the  front yard. Asking my guide about this he stated that the TV’s and VCR’s were powered by a car battery. No wonder  the video stores were the largest stores in town.
He stated that when the battery ran down , it would be taken into town and recharged at the local gas station. Jokingly , I asked why he just didn’t switch batteries with the tour van we were traveling in to re-charge it? His reply, “I couldn’t do that, it would be stealing from my employer.”
Too bad more people don’t have that attitude!

There are many things to see while visiting this tiny Central American country, including Mayan temples, many exotic animals and birds, including Jaguars, and a variety of snakes and parakeets.
The Cays, located just a short distance off shore are beautiful with white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. Some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving can be found  along this, the second longest barrier reef in the world.
The food was surprisingly good,the first evening,dining in a bread and breakfast frequented by Earnest Hemingway I enjoyed a Red Snapper wrapped in a banana leaf , whilst sipping on a quart sized $5 margarita. Although the sandwiches we consumed for lunch were not very appetizing. I finally settled for my old favorite , a peanut butter, mayonnaise, lettuce and cheese sandwich. As a child , it took me years to perfect this masterpiece. Not sure why, but the waitress turned green when I ordered it. And she was an African American, never saw that before!
Fillet Mignon was to be enjoyed several nights, and to celebrate the complete of  our expedition, the grand finale! Sweet and sour lobster kabobs were enjoyed while over looking the Caribbean Ocean from the top floor of a waterfront hotel.

With the Belize annual rainfall ranging from 80 inches to 180 inches a year, it was rather difficult to imagine a day without rainfall,due to the large amount of rainfall most of the roads are nearly impassable even in good weather. Be sure to take along a chain, after getting stuck five times, the closest thing to a chain we saw was a Texan cowboy driving a Ford Bronco 2 equipped with a winch on the front. The normal procedure is to wait along side the road until enough people come along to push the vehicle out of the ditch,with the ditches being quite deep, some times this can take a while.
Looking at a Belize map it can be realized how small the country really  is, only approximately 180 miles from the southern end to the northern border with Mexico, it is hard to imagine the rainfall could vary that much in  such a short distance.
If planning a Belize vacation, be sure to bring along a rain parka and boots. And a chain.

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

Your comments appreciated

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The Cocoa Tree

The Cocoa Tree

 
The cultivation and use of cocoa was began  early in Meso-America.Studies suggest the tree was domesticated and originated in Amazonia.

Cacao or Kakaw, according to Maya belief was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also held other delectable foods that were used by the native Mayas. Mayan mythology states that after humans were created from maize the Plumed Serpent gave cacao to the Mayas. Cocoa was regularly given as a sacrifice to the many Mayan Gods , often times priests would lance their ears and cover the cacoa with their blood as a sacrifice. This ritual was only performed by the men, as cacoa was thought to be toxic to women and children.

Soon the Maya learned to flavor the cocoa by mixing it with maize,chili, vanilla, peanut butter and honey. (Cookies and Cream came later.) It is believed the Aztecs learned to grind it and mix with tobacco .

Christopher Columbus was the first European to encounter cocoa after capturing a canoe at Guanaja and finding a large quantity of odd looking almonds. From this encounter cocoa naturally spread throughout Europe and became a popular drink the world over.

Cocoa trees produce the cocoa bean that is responsible for making chocolate. The trees are known to grow naturally within 15 degrees of the equator all around the world.Growing the cocoa plant is very difficult because they are so picky about the care that they need and will not survive in all conditions,but a healthy cocoa tree growing 20 or more feet tall can produce fruit for 75 to 100 years. The cocoa tree needs a well-draining and slightly acidic soil, at least 80 inches of rainfall or water a year and it needs extremely controlled sunlight, preferably covered shade from taller trees and vegetation.

Chocolate contains many chemicals, among them are , caffeine,serotonin , theobromine,and phenylethyamin are anti-depressant and anti-stress agents.

Gary is a travel writer and photographer living in Sarasota,Florida, and has recently published a book featuring the Maya Indians and their culture.

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The Beliefs of our Founding Fathers

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 The Beliefs of our Founding Fathers

You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence.

To contemplate the above statement leads one to understand how much things have changed over the last 200 years, more especially the last 40 years. The values and principles this country was founded on are slowly disappearing and being replaced with principles that won’t stand the test of time.

The first lessons our ancestors were taught took place in Plymouth Colony, when Governor Bradford thought a form of socialism would be a wonderful idea. He soon learned the folly of that adventure,  soon many people no longer wanted to work, why should they, someone else would provide for them, everything was to be shared equally. There being no incentive for any one to work hard to provide a better life for themselves and their family, people naturally became lazy and assumed they were entitled to a free ride, sound familiar?

Capitalism and free enterprise were two of the main tenants of our country, established so one could accomplish as much as they desired or were capable of attaining, not relying on someone else to carry the load. People looked after one another and helped the downtrodden until they were capable of making it on their own again, people who relied on the government for help were looked down upon.

As can be discovered by anyone who reads anything of the founding of our country, God had a very important role. Many came here so they could practice the belief of their choice without the fear of prosecution.Try to state your beliefs today and see what happens, especially if your beliefs are something that would be considered normal and mainstream.

 All endeavors were undertaken with the blessing of Deity. Contrary to popular belief, Our country was founded on the principle of Freedom of Religion, not freedom FROM religion. We should keep God in our government, but allowing politics in a place of worship can only be detrimental to everyone.

Our Founding Fathers set up a form of government whereby the majority of the governing would be on the state or local level, the only duties of the federal government would be issues too large for the local governments, such as printing money and national defense. My, how that has changed!

Government was to stay out of the way, the individual was thought to be intelligent enough to make the decisions necessary to ensure his own well being and prosperity.

Congressmen were supposed to be citizen legislatures, serving for a few years, then returning to their private lives, it was never thought there should be such a thing as a career politician.

Sometimes things have to get really bad before it can get better, if anything good can come out of the election of 2008 it would be if voters finally decide our thinking has to change and elect responsible leaders who have the best interest of the country and the people at heart, and not elect people who only think of themselves and how wealthy and important they can become. If the elected politicians become corrupt, we have term limits, there is an election every four years, vote for somebody else, getting re-elected should be a reward for a job well done, not a guarantee of a lifetime job or a popularity contest.

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The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments welcome

 thinking

America is in serious trouble, many no longer realize what values and principles our country is founded on and have strayed from the common sense and creative thinking of our ancestors, how can we fix it?

The Best Way to Save Social Security

The Best Way to Save Social Security

I remember way  back in 2004, when George W. Bush wanted to reform social security. All the democrats practically swore on a bible that social security was sound and it was having no financial problems. Any moron should have known they were lying.
Now these same people are now saying that social security is insolvent, what happened in just five or six short years to change things?

Nothing happened , except business as usual in Washington. Social Security was in trouble then as much as it is now, it’s just the democrats don’t understand economics and they didn’t want to give G.W. Bush credit for anything. They have been stealing money from us , the taxpayers for years, money that was supposed to be rat holed for our retirement was placed in the general fund and spent, thus making the deficit seem less than it actually was.

It was bad enough before the sixties when money was actually kept in reserve for future retirees, Lyndon Johnson and his merry band of socialists passed laws whereby the money didn’t have to be saved, it could go into the general fund and thus finance his “Great Society”.

George W. Bush wanted to privatize the system by putting a small portion of the payroll taxes deducted from an employee’s check into an investment fund where it would collect interest and grow, regardless of what social security did.The democrats would have no part of it .They don’t want to lose the Golden Goose and the ability to spend money that isn’t theirs.

The only way to save the social security system is to raise the retirement age,exempt current retirees from any changes, and give anyone under 50 the ability to invest their money into a secure conservative retirement fund where it can earn compound interest and grow over the years.

For anyone over 50, the government will just have to take their losses, and plan for the future when the people who have invested in private fund’s and the losses from social security begin to diminish , as the older citizens pass away.We can’t cut them off with nothing , their money was invested in good faith and that should be honored.

At this time and place, this is the only way to save the program, I wonder if congress will wake up and do the right thing, or will it be business as usual in this time of change and hope.

The definition of stupidity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Gary is a travel writer and photographer living in Sarasota, Florida. He maintains a website featuring some of his travel photos and markets a line of products featuring many of his photos.

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Belize, The Panti Mayan Medicine Trail

 Written by; GARY wONNING

Belize, The Panti Mayan Medicine Trail

Ix Chel was founded in 1983, the first major step was to clear away the high bush in the area. It was founded with the desire to be of service to those interested in learning of the useful plants in Belize and their role in healing and tradition. The whole farm is a nature study center that is self sufficient in food, medicine, and the conversion of solar energy.


Dona Eligo Panti The Maya Indians were very knowledgeable in the healing capabilities of plants and herbs. One  off the last remaining medicine men , or H’men was Don Eligio Panti of San Antonio , Cayo  District.

 H’man is an ancient Mayan term used to designate one who is both a doctor and priest. The m

 medicine men were very influential in the lives of the Mayan Indians.

 The Mayan herbalist is adept at combining medicine and religion according to ancient healing  traditions.The procedures all contained nine different medicine leaves. Nine being a most vital  number in the Mayan civilization, as there are nine Mayan Spirits who watch over all the Mayan  empire, there are nine Lords of the underworld, nine levels of the underworld, and most ancient  Mayan Temples had nine tiers of nine steps each, also the rituals are repeated nine times.

 


Ix Chel Herb FarmThe Ix Chel Medicine Farm was founded mainly by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, after being an apprentice of Don Eligo Panti for several years. She wanted to  learn of his knowledge, to preserve the tradition of ancient remedies and the Mayan medicinal system of intermingling the physical and supernatural worlds to create what is called a medico-religious system, before it was lost to the world.

Twenty-five percent of the world’s commercial medicines come from plant based chemicals  found only in tropical regions. In the future the research could reveal cures for cancer, high blood pressure and many other diseases. 

Dr. Rosita says, “They are participating inn the National Cancer Institute’s program to scour the tropical world in search of medicinal plants to be tested against one hundred types of cancer cells and three AIDS viruses.Through holistic medicine stressing  manipulation , herbal remedies, diet therapy, and Back Flower remedies , Dr. Rosita Arvigo and her staff hope to continue their work and find cures for many diseases affecting modern man.”

Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com

Your comments appreciated

Maya Culture

It doesn’t take long to discover that Belize is a land of contrasts. From the poverty and disarray of the cities to the quiet countryside, many differences are soon found. With poverty and crime running rampant in cities such as Belize City and Belmopan, the traveler has to be constantly aware of his surroundings and protect whatever is being carried. Remember,that camera hanging around your neck is worth more than the average Belizean earns in a year. All that aside, the Mayan people are wonderfully warm people many of whom go out of their way to please visitors. Traveling into the countryside one discovers thatch roof homes with no doors or windows. Because of the warm climate , they can live comfortably all year with a gentle breeze flowing through the open windows and doors. I was struck with the concept that although no utility lines were visible, a lot of homes had a satellite dish in the front yard

Available in both Hard Cover and Ebook format.

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