The Spring Equinox

Without question the morning of the 21st March has to be one of the most magical mornings of my life. Sunrises are always pretty special, but this time I was lucky enough to witness the wondrous Spring Equinox at the beautiful Mayan site of Dzibichaltún.

We arrived at the site just after 4am under the shroud of night and followed a scattering of lanterns through the undergrowth to reach the grand pathway that leads to the Temple of the Seven Dolls. In the pitch black we had to feel our way along the rocky ground towards a congregating group of people waiting with anticipation in front of the temple.

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This special archaeoastronomical event brought together all sorts of people; tourists from all over the globe, locals who made it a habit to come every year, spiritualists practicing meditation, yogis doing their sun salutations, people alone, people together, families, oldies, babies and even one guy dressed as a jaguar.

What we all had in common was a desire to share in a moment that has been appreciated every year at Dzibichaltún since it was a thriving trade hub of the Mayan people.

At every equinox, Spring and Autumn, the rising sun aligns with the eastern gateway of the Temple of the Seven Dolls. During this event, the solar disc is precisely framed by the gateway for a few minutes, when seen from the west side of the temple, an event first discovered in 1982 by the late archaeologist Victor Segovia Pinto.

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The alignment was obviously very special, and visually stunning, but more than anything I was awestruck by the extreme beauty of the morning colours seeping slowly onto the palette of black as the sun steadily rose up alongside the temple, revealing the intricacies of the temple piece by piece. It was as if we were the lucky witnesses watching the temple emerge from the past, an object being illuminated by our present light but which really belongs in the mystery of the darkness.

I’ll never forget that morning, welcoming Spring into the Yucatan.

(some photographs by Ivan Uribe Sosa, my talented Mexican Equinox partner)

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