Taavi is embraced by the steam heat of thermal water shooting from a hot spring over the cliff and into the pool he stands in. A rainbow graces the mist from the cascade that pelts him. The colors are a sign of Ixchel the Mayan goddess of love whose name in hieroglyphics is Chak Chel or ‘large rainbow.’
The risk of getting caught in the swell of tropic desire makes him step out of geyser rain. But the rainbow goddess summons him back and again he feels her pour liquid sunshine upon his rise toward heaven.
The society of women bathers convenes with him under nature’s shower. Coeds go there for rain on sunny days with the only thunder, their hearts beating and better yet naked under the downpour.
His most highly favored lady, Itzel, takes him
for a tussle in a nearby patch of quinoa. They are wrestlers in a love match ordained by her who knows only love and blesses lovers from above. They lock horns until nature takes its course for only the blackbirds to witness.
Itzel says, “The Popol Vuh is a treasure that I would fain bring into disrepute. But I have read it with my own eyes. I need no priest to tell me what God ordains.”
“Yes my love. Surely the Gods who breathed into life this planet with their miracle of creation would not wish harm upon their children. Yet it is a great honor to be chosen for the offering.”
Itzel replies, “Please don’t do this to yourself. The howler monkey God is our deity. The great monkey is the God of artisans. Let’s elope to live among his furry kin and paint coconut shells with the colors of the earth.”
Taavi’s foreskin was left intact like a male hymen for a bloody offering of his virgin crimson. While the pain would be great he rejoiced for the fields would yield a great bounty from his scarlet drops. The blood of the genitals was the most sacred and had extraordinary fertilizing powers to
replenish the crops according to the Mayans.
But there was another more intense penile bloodletting. There was a ceremony in which men and women formed a line in front of a statue to the Sun God. They pierced each other’s members with cord upon cord until it was unbearable. Thus they were strung together by their genitals like beads in a prayer necklace. Each scarlet droplet anointed the stone idol with a shattering of ruby tears.
Taavi was an usher for these people whom he could only hope to one day be as devoted. But the look of anguish on their faces as the ritual unfolded made him wince. And so one day he hid in the jungle with his friends talking quietly about what they thought would happen if one day their tribe abandoned the blood sacrifice. They all agreed that it would cause a stir among the clerics but beyond that nothing bad would occur.
During one such meeting, the head priestess entered their circle. She gently took Taavi and Itzel aside for a private powwow. While sitting on the roots of a banyan tree they talked as softly as if they were in the temple in the middle of worship.
The priestess says, “Taavi and Itzel, I have a
quorum in the council of chieftains. Blood sacrifice is ended. We will take the official vote tonight. But I want you both to speak before the assembly on the urgency of this matter. The natives are restless and revolution is in the air. Can you feel it? There are dangers. A coup d’état is brewing among the priests. But the people are with us. A populist uprising is in the works. We need a king and queen to represent the duality of the cosmos which is both male and female.”
Itzel says, “Look at the orchid whose flower is a universe unto itself that bears seeds yet also possesses the anther for pollen. Our kingdom needs a regency of both genders like the Orchid.”
Taavi and Itzel sat in the sacred hoop to address the men in loincloths whose cigarette smoke had an acrid scent that irritated his nostrils. But they were determined to keep their cool. Itzel opened with, “God doesn’t want your blood. The energy that issues from our loins is for procreation and to bring each other joy. The ritual is blasphemy of our very own mothers and fathers who brought us forth onto this earth. Shed no more crimson to the false God who desecrates all creation.”
Taavi concludes, “He is an idol of stone, only lifeless rock devoid of all that is love and life. Put down those cords and seek salvation in Spider-Woman who requires only that we love one another as she loves us. Now, yes this very moment, take a stand.”
The next morning the elders watched on in horror as the throngs toppled the statue and the elders cried to the sky while flute players serenaded the revelers. A lone jaguar entered the plaza but when parakeets rose in a cloud from a mangrove tree it was a sign that the jungle was celebrating with them. Itzel came forward with a prayer.
Itzel intoned, “There is a manuscript from the Yucatán known as ‘Ritual of the Bacabs’ that speaks poetically of lovemaking. The author says, ‘I dip, my wick with the petals of she who gave birth to you and the stamen of he who planted your seed.”
Taavi finished, “Thou art the yearning of the offspring of the womb, the pining of the progeny of the seed planters.” The whoop of howler monkeys enlivened the crowd to chant “amen” and join hands to dance like flowers in the wind.