Synthesis 2012 Festival in Chichen Itza
Synthesis 2012 was held from December 20 to December 23, 2012 near Chichen Itza. Since the time when the festival ended, there have been a few different Facebook groups created to share the experiences – positive & negative (though mostly negative) – as they related to what was expected and what went down at the festival.
At first, I found myself getting pulled into the drama of these Facebook posts like a juicy soap opera. I had to stop, as I saw it becoming a ridiculous time-consuming addiction. What I will say is that I am surprised, when I learned the man who organized the festival had been leading groups throughout the Yucatan for over 7 years, had not prepared for the typical contingencies that are typical of the Mexican government – local & federal – as well as the other issues that can come up when hosting a large number of foreigners in a 3rd world country.
Finding Purpose in the Chaos
When our group of Ac Tah followers arrived at the pueblo of Piste, about 2 miles outside of the Chichen Itza pyramid, I found that our group was not the only unprepared and disorganized crew in town.
In unloading the mats on which we would be attaching magnets and performing the body movements, we quickly found that our group t-shirts, immediately identifiable by the purple tie-die and sacred geometry, got me into the Hacienda where things were being organized, but separated us from the rest of the festival, as this location was VIP. Upon the next exit and attempted entry, the security guards refused to grant me access. I asked if they would at least let me get to my bags and tell my friends – who were assembled near the pool – that I had to wait outside. He begrudgingly escorted me the 30 paces to our assembly area, and seeing the others in purple, decided I wasn’t a huge security risk, and perhaps I was indeed telling the truth.
In my next trip to the Pyramide Inn to help our crew lock up a mis-behaving motorhome door and get more supplies, I encountered one of the most disorganized check-ins of any ceremony, gathering, or festival. Those who had will-call couldn’t find their names on the list. Those who wanted to buy tickets were impeded by the fact that the credit card machines needed the internet which wasn’t working. Those who wanted to volunteer and help organize and be of service couldn’t find the leadership to get assigned a role, or found leadership who had no idea – in the chaos – how or where to use this valuable resource.
I took a deep breath, and found myself, after re-explaining myself to the guards at the Hacienda, chomping at the bit to get our mats embedded with magnets and start on the pyramid; however, the leadership within our small group was not present. And when I did see them briefly, they looked so confused and bewildered, I knew asking for an assignment to be of service would not have actually been of any service, whatsoever.
As our small group of gringos assembled, not knowing where any of the Mexican nationals or any of the others we had seen earlier that day at Ac Tah’s family compound or in the caravan had disappeared to, we complained about the lack of organization. I thought this a wonderful time to step into our gifts of whatever we felt we were here to do and just get it done.
Synthesis 2012 Opening Ceremony
As the sun began to set, a small circle of festival goers assembled, and the MC and wisdom keepers from around the world began to share their blessings and intentions for the ceremony. Our spirited and passionate martial arts teacher and producer of the Ac Tah Magnetic Movement YouTube videos, Terry, was given the talking stick and shared the movement and intention of the Ac Tah group.
I found myself on the periphery of the circle, interested in what was being said, but wanting to direct my entire being to this Ac Tah group, and vigilant with my awareness so that if I was needed to move any equipment or setup, I would see the need arise before it was even asked.
Meeting an Angel
I would occasionally lean in to hear and then step back to scan for the rest of the group. As I did, the invocation circle grew in size and focus. I met eyes with a beautiful blonde American whose eyes magnetized my whole being to her. I learned that she was from Northern California, and for her anonymity, will refer to her as Miss Cruz, a reference to a small town on the coast, not too far from her city of origin.
We spoke briefly, but I was quickly enchanted by her eyes which beamed her present state of being. Not knowing if the universe would bring us together again amidst the chaos of this festival and the possible different focus of our time here, I quickly got her email address and fantasized about a trip up the California coast to connect more deeply with this angel.
The point of this pilgrimage, for me, was to allow the universe to speak to me about where I was most needed, and what I was most needed for. In a way I can’t explain but only embody, I shed my desire for alcohol and marijuana because I knew those intoxicants were not of service to my bigger vision and purpose on this planet. I was recently asked after New Year’s, if I might find myself challenged by being among friends who made this this normal way of celebrating life. I can honestly answer, “No,” feeling that it has been a shift of my mentality. An empty hole that was previously occupied by the need to be altered is filled by the want to be as present and on task for my life as possible.
And though I know one of my purposes in this world is relationship in all of its myriad of forms, I was clear that my exploration with women on this pilgrimage would not serve, but rather distract from the real clarity I was searching for on this trip.
Teaching Magnetic Movement
15 minutes after my brief but powerful introduction with Miss Cruz, the Ac Tah crew had set up mats and we were instructing any curious festival-goers waiting in the dinner line how to do the 6-step movement and the explaining the purpose behind it. It was during this teaching that I really felt in my gift: I felt excited, embodying my purpose, and confident in what I shared.
People were picking up on the movements quickly and were appreciative of what was happening. A constant stream of people inquired as to what we would be doing, where we would be located, and when it would be happening. I was clear it would be going on all weekend and told them about our purpose & intentions, but location was still a mystery to all of us.
I got clear that so much of what has not worked for me in so many of the New Age communities I’ve encountered is this: there is an abundance of amazing philosophy and plans, with little to no action to put it into practice, and usually less organization of bringing it into the physical world with the same integrity and brilliance with which it exists in these people’s minds & spirits.
I am clear that when the momentum of a vision or idea is powerfully pushing forward, it is better to take action and fail or have a general plan that changes as it is being executed, than to have a group of hungry people who want to be of service to this vision who have nothing to focus their energy on, eventually get bored or frustrated, and turn their attention to something less appealing, and ultimately, less powerful than their original desire.
Breaking Bread with International Wisdom Keepers
Some of our group made their way into the dining hall and I eventually joined the masses, happy to finally be eating. Within minutes, the orientation and introduction began. Wisdom keepers from all over the world, representing the Mayan, the Aztec, Africa, India, Asia and even an Emissary to the Galactic Counsel (more on him later), spoke about their worldview and brought in their intention and traditions to the crowd.
As the African wisdom keeper sang his traditional song and chant, my eyes began to tear up. My mind and heart immediately brought my friend and mentor, Mtuaswa, into presence. He gave me a divination a week earlier from the Dagara tradition, taught by Mali Doma Some, one of my favorite authors whose book, Of Water and the Spirit, opened my eyes to the possibilities of what rites of passage can bring to the community.
As I looked around the room, I began to see the representatives here at this festival who represented my friends and family back home, reminding me in the midst of my seemingly distant location to their 2012 Winter Solstice celebration & ceremonies, I was not alone. From the moment that I met the Ac Tah group, I felt immediately accepted and welcomed into the group and only continued to build those connections as the weekend unfolded.
I sat next to a beautiful, petite yoga instructor who, at one time called San Fransisco home, but had recently opened up a yoga retreat in Central America. For her anonymity, I’ll refer to her as Miss Rica.
When she and I met in the parking lot of the Merida convention center, I immediately felt a connection to her. She, like me, had been seeking to connect with Ac Tah for December 21, 2012, and had to overcome many hurdles in distance and communication to arrive there. We both were traveling alone, but had the clarity of arriving home when we discovered this group.
As we sat next to each other at the dining hall, listening to these men and women share their stories, I began to quietly weep. Right now I can’t recall what it was that penetrated my heart so deeply, but it reflected to me that sense of arriving home after so much unknown wandering for the week, and perhaps years, leading up to is event. My heart felt so supported in what was being spoken on stage, my spirit so fed by the new soul family that I was growing here. She gently reached over my chair and put her hand on my back directly over my heart. After the appreciation and grief had passed, I looked at her through my watery eyes and gave her a smile of appreciation.
A few minutes later, I caught the eyes of Miss Cruz across the room and we smiled at each other, glad to be finally embarking on this journey. We had both arrived at this place quite synchronistically, with the right people, places, conversation and timing literally falling into our lap.
Ac Tah Speaks
Ac Tah finally made his way onto the stage to join the rest of the wisdom keepers, spending his time mostly surrounded by his new & old friends at the tables with the rest of the festival attendees. His words pointed not to the past of the Maya, but the future: the technology, geometry and magnetics of the pyramid we were building and the activation of a new solar human being.
As the speakers finished up, we spread out a few mats on stage and taught the movements to those who stuck around to learn. Within minutes, everyone was ushered out of the building so that the clean-up crew could get things ready for the next day.
Everyone still wanted to know: where, when? Unbelievably, we still didn’t know anything more than it would be somewhere on the Hacienda grounds.