Valladolid (Part I)

hotel-el-meson-del-marques restaurant entrance

For the past four years, we’ve taken our young family on a Yucatán vacation.

At a soothing, restorative pace, we watch the sunrise, play in the tide pools, make sand castles and snorkel along the shallow reefs.

Then we’re ready to depart the tourist-flocked beaches to find a more authentic Mexico.

My husband knows Mexico better than most Mexicans.  At least that’s what our Mexican friends tell us.  I never bother to read up on the itinerary before we travel.  I’m spoiled. He’s my walking guide book. My Spanish gets a little better each time as we tool around, visiting archeological sites, Mexican towns, freshwater cenotes and other highlights in this culturally rich region. In turn, I’m the tour guide when the past comes to life.

But I’m getting ahead of myself …
Situated in the heart of Mayaland between Mérida and Cancun, Valladolid (vye-yah-doe-leed) has been a mid-day stop-over on our yearly sojourns.  It’s a gem of a small colonial city: sedate, clean, cultured, and full of character.

The highlight is the central Zócalo, in the oldest part of town, where huge gnarled trees drip veils of Spanish moss, well-dressed locals chat on elegant white wrought iron benches, beautiful black-haired children play on the grass, and a towering Cathedral has its doors flung open in welcome.  This central square is surrounded by a busy shop-lined thoroughfare and old neighborhoods with walled streets painted in vivid colors.

This town feels no pressure to deliver a “tourist attraction.”
Everyday life here is the experience.  And in all our trips, that’s about all I’ve learned about this place: It’s a window into Real Mexico.  Yet most tourists don’t bother to detour off the main highway to get a glimpse of authentic Mexican life.

Admittedly, we’ve only ventured into Valladolid for lunch on our way to someplace else.  Each year we hazard the maze of one-way streets to the Hosteria El Mesón del Marqués that sits facing the Cathedral on the Zócalo:  The noise and heat of the busy main square disappear as you pass through El Mesón’s thick stone walls and enter into the hushed cool atmosphere of its inner courtyard restaurant.

This year we’ve decided to stay two nights in Valladolid.
We drive by the 4-star El Mesón del Marqués hotel, opting instead for laid back accommodations at the nearby Casa Hamaca B&B that’s more suited to our young family’s noise and needs.

After a good night’s sleep, our B&B host Denis steers us in the direction of Casa de Los Venados, a recently restored private residence near the square. It opens its doors for just two hours each Sunday morning to guide a handful of tourists through the largest collection of Mexican folk art in private hands. It’s just one of many local treasures we discover during a big day exploring the old town on foot. Tuckered and hungry, we end our tour at the door of El Mesón for what just happens to be my birthday dinner.

It’s a balmy Sunday evening.
My husband leads us to a table away from the kitchen, yet near El Mesón’s tiny open-air courtyard garden.  There are no other patrons in the place. We settle in. The lights are low and the candles burn softly in wrought-iron candelabras around the restaurant. A trickling water fountain is the only sound in this intimate setting.  It’s gentle and romantic. It soothes my soul. Mathilda pulls out her Leapster from our day-trip bag.  Playing “I Spy” soothes HER soul.

The mesero welcomes us to Hosteria El Mesón del Marqués and hands us each a thick menu that lists a featured array of traditional Mayan dishes.  As I glance up at the waiter, my eyes inadvertently float above his shoulder to a Juliette balcony that overlooks the inner courtyard.

And there she is.
She’s dressed in a flowing gown from a bygone era – white with mutely colored ruffles – very understated and obviously beautifully made.

The waiter silently pads away on soft-soled shoes to place our order of bebidas, while we return to the extensive menu.  I stare at the menu, but my mind is wandering.

On our first visit here four years ago, I briefly saw an ethereal young woman looking down on the courtyard from an upper hotel room. On our subsequent visits, she’s remained unobtrusive.  But when she appears, she’s leaning over an upper balcony or peeking out a window watching the proceedings below.  She seems to move from room to room above the inner courtyard arcade. She’s never interacted with us.  Is this a spirit haunting, or is this a residual imprint?

It’s a big question I’d like to answer.
A highly charged past event can be imprinted on the environment, and is known to stay there for hundreds of years in the form of an energetic recording:  If a residual imprint is present you are watching a playback of that recorded emotional event.  The characters in this imprint are consistently viewed in the same place, at the same time. They don’t see or hear or interact with you. It’s not an earthbound spirit haunting.

Some of the most famous hauntings – like the ghost of Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London – are said to be imprints,  not hauntings at all. Nobody knows what causes these events to play back: There is a theory that the energy of empathic intuitives can get this psychic recording to start looping. So, is this woman an imprint or an earthbound spirit? Either way, why is she here?

I’m jettisoned out of my daydream.
Kate is sitting beside me, quiet and centered, with her back to the courtyard. She’s now leaning into me, whispering calmly:  “Mom. That lady’s here. I can feel it. Can you tap in? Let’s try! I want to find out more about her. Why is she here? What happened?”

Kate and Mathilda are still learning to fully stand in their power and be discerning when they have to deal with spiritual encounters on their own.  I help them to understand that we have control on this side but we need to exercise that control. It’s easier for some than others. Six-year-old Mathilda naturally blows off a lot of the heavy low vibrating energy of earthbounders.  Mathilda is full of love but she’s not an Empath like her sister.  For Kate, it’s much harder: Kate absorbs the emotions of those around her. An Empath’s boundaries are easily permeated.  This can be a little overwhelming for an 8-year-old.

I agree with Kate.
When a ghost appears, it’s always a learning opportunity.  While this woman is not trying to interact with us (it could be a residual imprint) she’s immediately made her presence known. And it feels right. The energy here is very calm, even with an apparition in the balcony.  It’s quiet. It’s full moon. The veils between dimensions are thin. It’s magic.

I whisper back to Kate, “Okay. Let’s wait until the waiter takes our dinner order – then we’ll tap in – then wait and see what happens.”

“What do you mean, Mom??” Kate likes things nailed down. She likes to know where she’s going.

But mediumship is not like that.
We cannot control things such as what spirit comes in when and how, or what questions they’ll answer.  Mediumship involves setting an honorable intention, creating sacred space for the intention to manifest, and trusting the universe to step in and support this process. Holding onto a desired outcome can actually block the process and stop the universe from coming in with something even better than we could possibly imagine.

“We’ll open up to the energy here.  It’s up to her to link in. Maybe she will. Maybe she won’t. Maybe someone else will come in.”  I don’t feel it’s necessary to tell Kate about a possible imprint. Too much information.

We munch on a customary appetizer.
Our mesero has brought us Pico de Gallo (a fresh uncooked condiment of chopped tomatoes, white onions and jalapenos) served with thick cut tortilla chips and home-made hot salsa.  As I order a Sopa de Lima con Pollo (a hearty Mayan Lime Tortilla Soup with Chicken), I casually ask our waiter about the history of this beautiful building. Has the same family always owned this building?  Who were the original owners? What did they do for a living? The mesero has no more details other than the brief history found in the menu. He departs for the kitchen with our dinner orders.

In this peaceful setting, Mathilda has her nose in her Leapster. Hubbie is relaxed and happily sipping a Don Julio margarita-on-the-rocks. Somehow we’ve got the old hacienda courtyard all to ourselves.

Kate and I begin. 
We hold hands. We close our eyes. We consciously connect to our breath. I set our intention and whisper a prayer. I wrap us all in white light. I call on Archangel Michael to protect our boundaries. My guides are already present.   I ask that the messages be clear, accurate and for the highest good of all involved. I expand my aura to fill this room and beyond. I feel Kate’s sweet energy so present, and supporting our intent.

I’ve kicked off my Ipanema flip-flops and feel my bare feet on the cool uneven stone floor. I take a few more deep cleansing breaths. My breathing slows. My consciousness drops down into my heart space.  I create a beautiful empty room in my mind. I expand that room. And expand. And expand. For a brief moment, I feel that familiar sense of falling forward. My consciousness has shifted.  I feel lighter.  I wait calmly. Receptive. My mental screen appears in my head.

And then the movie begins.

Her name is Sophia.
She is the only daughter of a wealthy land-owner – at least that’s how she is portraying herself. She may be the only daughter left behind – all the others may have married. Marriage is a priority for her.  She has a young man on her mind.

Sophia watches from her aerie above the courtyard. There’s an underlying sense of upheaval and apprehension in the air. Yet this hacienda is clearly a busy spot. I see merchants bang on the massive front door to peddle their wares; Farm produce is delivered; Squawking chickens are being chased around the courtyard; A grand party is being planned for the cool inner salons by several older women dressed in long gowns; This home is a stop-over for many well-to-do people.

This is what I see.
In my head, I ask Sophia to come down to us. She understands my question: She shakes her head. An emphatic “No”.

“What’s going on, Mom?” Kate quietly urges me. She’s sensing but not seeing.

I tell Kate what I’ve picked up so far. Then like a simultaneous interpreter, I start to blurt out snippets of Sophia’s tale as I receive them.  I know now that Sophia is not an imprint. She interacts. She’s telling us her story.

“She’s moving about. Pacing.”
She’s showing me her sleeping quarters are there…“ (I open my eyes to point to the corner courtyard room with Juliette balcony above the hotel kitchen). “And her ‘living’ quarters are here… “(My finger has outlined an ‘L’ shape that starts at her room at the far corner of the courtyard and ends directly above our heads.)

“She’s showing me that she leans over her balcony to talk to a young officer. I’m getting there is definitely romance involved.  He looks up at her all “googly-eyed.”  (I use my girls’ terminology to emphasize that the young man is definitely into our gal Sophia.)

Mathilda looks up from her I Spy game to bat her eyes and giggle, “OOooooooooooh!”

I continue the simultaneous translation.
“He’s a soldier. They are betrothed – they are supposed to get married. They don’t know each other well. He’s a bit younger than she is. But…? oh.  This is a memory from long ago.  He’s not around now.”

I pause to try and make sense of the messages that are now flowing fast.  I close my eyes to focus on my screen while connecting to the energy around me. I feel Hubbie and Mathilda’s energies have locked into ours.

“She’s asking herself a bunch of questions: Where has the boy gone? She’s been looking for him. Every day! Where is her family?  She’s upset. This is painful…

“I feel there’s a strong military presence. There always seem to be soldiers in the background. It doesn’t feel that safe sometimes. Sophia is not allowed downstairs very often, especially when there’s lots of activity in the courtyard.  I can’t’ tell if the owner – her father – is he in the military? Or if he just hangs out with them? Perhaps both.”

My husband is listening intently.
He’s read a ton of books on the history of Mexico and has traveled extensively throughout the country. For our edification though, he’s always steered our family towards the Yucatán, in the general direction of the stunning Mayan world he loves. The Maya were phenomenal pyramid builders, powerful warriors, and controversial calendar makers. We don’t talk much about the Spanish.

I carry on. “I’m being shown Sophia’s been very sick. I am feeling this intense scraping inside my own my body. It reminds me of the time I got food poisoning. “

“What happened to you, Mom?”  Kate doesn’t know this story.

“A long time ago, I ate a take-out lunch from a salad bar. But in less than a half hour I got really sick. I started throwing up. Uncontrollably. I was sick for three days. Hallucinating. Vomiting.”

As I listen to myself speak, a thought floats in that ‘this is not great talk for the dinner table’. But of course I continue.

“I felt that poison pumping through my body.  My body was trying to clean it out. My blood vessels felt like they were being scraped raw on the inside with sharp knives. That’s what this feels like –Sophia’s got some kind of poison in her blood.”

I pause.

“But it’s not murder. “ I blurt. 
I listen to my own words and comment, “Murder? That’s weird. Why would I be told that?”

More words drop in: “malaria….. dengue.”  These words aren’t churning out from my logical brain.  They are sliding into my mind, like a CD into a CD player. I observe them while commenting aloud.  “I can’t tell what she died of. It feels like food poisoning, but I just heard ‘malaria’, then ‘dengue’. Maybe Sophia doesn’t know what she had, has.”

My husband comments, “I don’t think they had dengue back then.”

I don’t know. This is not my area of expertise.
None of this is. I don’t mention this – but I see Sophia crying softly.  Sometimes, not so softly.  I say, “Sophia likes to watch the diners below – the courtyard is always busy and distracting during the day. But it’s at night that she has time to think about her painful situation. She’s at a loss about what to do.”

This is the underlying nature of many earthbound spirits. Loss. Lost.

(This story continues in Valladolid Part II).

- With thanks to Spirit for infinite return.
(c) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013  The Accidental Medium. UltraMarine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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