“You are a Red Magnetic Skywalker”, said the hippy guy working hovering over our dinner table in Tulum. He determined my Mayan galactic identity with a calculation that compared my birth date, month and year against 260 possible combinations which were written on a tattered sheaf of papers in his hand. The Dreamspell is a complex concoction of moon cycles and chakras. It is meant to synchronize human beings with our “galactic roots” and give us more creative scope.
Mystical Mayan Tulum
This Mayan astrological galaxy blah blah is the very sort of flakey mystical crap that tends to turn up at certain places on the travelers trail. The kind of places where Elizabeth Gilbert wannabes go to “feel the vibes” and “find themselves” with a yogi and a dose of patchouli oil. So I was very skeptical but my friend Pete just grinned and gave the guy a tip.
I like to think that I’m far above it. I’m way too contrarian and practical to buy into that sort of stuff. But then I looked at a Canoe.com listicle extolling 35 of the world’s most mystical destinations. It includes places like the Stonehenge, Lourdes and Ayers Rock. As I flipped through the slideshow, I was surprised to find that I had already visited seven of these mystical wonders. This got me thinking about the appeal of these sites and has me reflecting upon what I found at the sites that I have visited.
Vatican City & St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome Italy
For starters, Vatican City is a country within a country and since I’m working on bagging new countries, it was an easy score. My husband and I wanted to see the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica without waiting in the long tourist lines. We avoided the lines by choosing a walking tour with a cheeky lapsed Irish-Catholic as our guide. He gave a largely respectful tour but was happy to point out juicy bits of papal gossip such as which particular Popes had flouted their chastity vows and which were more politician than pontiff. The history lesson served as a good reminder of the historical wealth and broad global reach of the Catholic church. The Basilica in general and Michelangelo’s Pieta in particular were indeed lovely, but I didn’t come away feeling mystical.
Sedona is located in beautiful red rock country. There is good food, good culture and, apparently, a number of “energy vortexes”. These vortexes purport to bestow a beneficial source of energy upon those who visit. My college girlfriends friends bought in. I hid in the corners of the new age store rolling my eyes as my friends giggled and purchased crystals to place at the vortex. Holly, a real estate agent, was particularly excited to score a crystal specifically designed to help her sell houses. Really. Crystals in hand, we then hiked up to a vortex where they carefully placed their crystals onto the red rock cliff ledge while also hugging it. I sighed and paced around waiting for them to finish so that we could conclude our hike. It was indeed a lovely hike. I did have a great sense of well-being afterwards resulting from both the exercise and the company of such great long-time friends. Perhaps the vortex worked it’s magic on me after all.
Poulnabrone Dolmen, The Burren, Ireland
This Dolmen (or portal tomb) is believed to date from 3600 BC, plus or minus 600 years. There is uncertainty about its method of construction and the whether its name is accurately translated as the “Hole of Sorrows”. There’s also disagreement regarding a possible Druidic or Egyptian connection. But beyond a doubt, it’s lovely proportions and stark location do have a transformative effect. Perhaps the mystery of its origin and the miracle of it’s continued existence do indeed qualify it for the mystical.
The Cathedral of Santiago, Santiago Spain
The cathedral is said to be the resting place of St. James (although there are some doubters). It is also the traditional conclusion of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. I did the Camino Solo, which was a life changing walk with a special pilgrim’s mass at the end. That, as an agnostic, I would be so keen to attend a mass and then find myself overwhelmed and crying during the ceremony is indeed a mystery. There is power in a place that is fueled by faith and the energies of exhausted pilgrims.
Best known as either the most stunning example of the human engineering genius in the Americas OR the Yavin 4 rebel base which was saved from destruction by Luke Skywalker and his swift trigger finger in the original Star Wars movie. And as a fan of both Star Wars and stunning Mayan archaeological achievements, the huge site was amazing to visit. From the top of Temple IV, we could see the acres of ruins and jungle spreading below us. I swear, I could visualize the Millenium Falcon flying by. Mystical? Maybe. But a marvel for sure.
Mayan Tulum is also a ruin, but set against the beautiful backdrop of the Caribbean. Tulum and nearby Muyil were both coastal trading outposts for the later Mayan Empire. They lack some of the engineering genius of Tikal and Chichen Itza. But Tulum’s beautiful and convenient location on the Riveria Maya has made it a popular tourist destination. The town of Tulum has a laid-back vibe offering a solar-powered, yoga-loving beachcomber somewhere to stay far from the all-inclusive hell that clutters up the beaches further up the coast.
Which brings me back to my hippy in mystical Tulum. He seemed quite confident in his diagnosis of me as a Red Magnetic Skywalker. And I do like Luke Skywalker, so that helped to convince me. The clincher came with a full reading of my Mayan Dreamspell persona:
I unify in order to explore
I seal the output of space
With the magnetic tone of purpose
I am guided by my own power doubled
I can identify with that. I have the itch to explore, I like to move through my life with purpose and I am certainly guided by my own power. OK darn it, I’ll own it. I am a Red Magnetic Skywalker. I will walk the earth with a magnetic tone of purpose. May the Force be with you.
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