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Blocked from Chichén Itzá, new-age pilgrims congregate in Uxmal

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Chichén Itzá and several other Maya archaeological sites are known to attract all sorts of people, including new-age practitioners who see in the ancient ruins a source of ancient power. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Both Chichén Itzá and Dzibilchaltún were closed to the public during the fall equinox due to concerns over COVID-19 infections, as well as land disputes

But this did not keep new-age practitioners from recharging their cosmic energy in Yucatán.

Among the people who visited the state for this purpose was a group of a dozen women from Toluca who traveled over 1,350 kilometers to the Uxmal archaeological site.

Grand Wizard’s Pyramid as seen when you enter Uxmal. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The group joined other similarly inclined individuals to celebrate a harvest festival, which “helps to recharge the soul with the energy of the cosmos,” according to one of the women, Ontiveros Santana.

During the fall equinox and spring solstice, a handful of Mesoamerican archaeological sites including Chichén Itzá, Dzibilchaltún, Teotihuacan, and El Tajín exhibit phenomena involving the casting of light and shadows. 

Though Uxmal does not exhibit such features, followers of new-age traditions argue that the ancient ruins are still a great place to recharge one’s batteries.

Earlier: The grand ancient city of Becán — a microcosm of Maya history

Chichén Itzá is the most visited archaeological site in Yucatán and one of its biggest tourist attractions. The site reopened to the public today and will be operating as normal — however, the use of facemasks is still compulsory. 

The serpent — symbolizing the feathered serpent god Kukulkán returning to Earth and heralding the spring planting and fall harvest seasons — returns each September for the fall equinox.

Uxmal is also a large archaeological site that derives its name from two Mayan words: ux, which means three; and mal, to build. Therefore, we refer to Uxmal as the thrice-built city. 

In reality, there is clear evidence for at least five distinct building periods. Evidence of this can be seen on several structures where archaeologists have partially excavated sections of buildings to reveal previous elements of construction. Most of the temples in the ancient city are believed to have been erected between the fifth and tenth centuries CE.

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