A God that smokes and drinks !!! … This is a god I can relate to: so on my birthday (this Friday) I visited Santiago Atitlan to pay homage to the mighty Maximon.
Who? He’s a very cool deity revered through-out the Guatemalan highlands by the Maya. and by many Ladinos (Guatemalans of white / mixed descent – who know him as San Simon).
Like ancient death gods this God also smokes and is a wild blend of Maya ancestral-worship twisted with Catholicism and local folklore.
He’s assumed to be mix of many Mayan gods, and strangely, a portion of Pedro de Alvarado – the cruel: as in burning Mayan chiefs alive – Spanish Conquistador of Guatemala, and then a toxic chunk of biblical traitor Judas … But he is many things to his followers: including Saint Andrew, Saint Michael ( no – not me; the other one! ) and maybe even Saint Peter … And he was also Lord of Diviners and Day-keepers and all who spoke to Holy Earth. Maximon was Lord of Sexual Matters and could make barren wombs bear. Maximon watched over wives when husbands were away but sometimes he slept with them himself … *1
[ So he likes to drink, smoke, and – fuck ! Surely this is the God for my needs … ? ]
Anyway, Maximon of Santiago Atitlan is hidden within a private house a few km outside of town, for now, as each year his guardians rotate his abode between themselves.
These guardians are an influential group known as the Cofradia (Mayan Catholic Brotherhood) and shape the ceremonies around Maximon.
His big public appearance is during Easter Week.
I went there with a young local guy by rickshaw – Guatemalan ones are Indian auto-rickshaws, except painted red – to visit Maximon at his current residence.
The whole scene was amazing
There he was looking composed, regal, smoking a cigarette, a Mayan family submitting, making offerings, asking blessings …
I offered – this my holy day – a bottle of local firewater, to Maximon, this God of gods, hoping that my blessings will continue …
[ 1* source: Time Amongst the Maya by Ronald Wright, which just have read whilst staying here on the shores of Lake Atitlan ]
Join the journey !