Thanks to the teachings of indigenous healers in the Americas, people are waking up to the sacredness of the tobacco plant. Many people associate sacred tobacco with the North American pipe ceremony or know of its role in Amazon shamanic traditions.
But many people don’t understand the role of sacred tobacco in the Mayan and Aztec creation story and history. The Maya were also part of this important indigenous ritual practice. Over time, they integrated a native “cigar” into some of their rituals. Today, the sacred use of cigars span traditions as widespread as the veneration of Maximón in Guatemala and the Santeria faith in the Caribbean. And the misunderstood Mayan sacred calendar or tzolk’in is woven into all aspects of Mayan life, including Mayan astrology.
Join Kirsten and Merissa Lovett for a webinar on Mayan Sacred Tobacco and the Sacred Calendar, Tuesday, September 25 and Wednesday, September 26 from 11:30 AM – noon at Shamanic Earth Medicine.
On Day 1, Kirsten will offer examples throughout Mayan and Aztec history of the sacred role of tobacco. Sacred Tobacco is featured throughout Mesoamerican creation stories, in stones or temples, and as offerings in ceremonies today.
On Day 2, Merissa will introduce the Mayan sacred calendar, some traditional approaches to “keeping the days”, and an overview of Mayan astrology.
Anyone who signs up will receive a free gift and the replay of the webinar.
Over the last five years or so, I have become more aware of sacred sites both locally and abroad. In an effort to understand my experiences at sacred sites, I have looked for information about the native cultures that lived at those sacred sites.
What is the tourism industry doing to block legislation that promotes the destruction of the environment? Not much on a large scale. There has been some efforts by the National Parks Conservation Association to protect public lands from fracking, but we know that it takes big money to influence legislation, and it also doesn’t help that some environmental groups gave almost a million dollars in support of Keystone XL. In addition, various oil companies spend a lot more than a million dollars to influence legislation in their favor.
What does this have to do with tourism? To put it in business terms, the environment is the tourism industry’s “product.” Let’s take the product of the Gulf of Mexico, for example. Wildlife Tourism in the Gulf of Mexico generates $19.4 billion in spending— and that’s just wildlife tourism, then one would assume the tourism industry would want to protect its investment. It is for this reason that I wish there was a large scale effort on behalf of the tourism industry to combat every single legislation that is a threat to the environment.
I don’t personally view the environment as a “tourism product”, except within the context of this article. From a business perspective, it’s insane to let national wonders such as Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, or the entire Gulf of Mexico to be destroyed by the effects of fracking or other environmentally destructive policies.
How many people are going to want to visit the Florida beaches if the water is contaminated from fracking? I don’t think people will want to wear gas masks on the beach.
Yes, there are many organizations that do excellent work to preserve protected places which benefits the tourism industry. However, I have yet to see a large scale effort on behalf of the tourism industry to protect its “product”– the environment.