Welcome guest writer Cora Ramos. Mine and Cora’s paths crossed earlier this year as classmates in an online course. When I first drank of Cora’s ‘eclectic cool-aid’ (read one of her blog posts) I knew I had to feature Cora on Psychological Sizzle. This August, as critique partner Sharon Clare’s reincarnation-themed paranormal fantasy, Love of Her Lives, and Cora’s particular brand of sizzle feels exactly right.
Cora is an award winning author of short stories of mystery and suspense that straddle the edge—whether that edge is the paranormal, a deadly decision, or the place where science ends and magic resides.
Read on for a little Mayan mystery, Cora-style.
I did a post not long ago on Perfumes, Plots and Past Lives. It covered a very enjoyable book I had read on the subject of a perfume that could elicit past life memories. What a lovely thought. Go to your perfumer and secure a scent that would help you recall another life by simply taking a whiff. Convenient, huh?
Then Sherry asked me to do a post on past lives and I decided to share an experience I had in the jungles of Mexico, the impetus for my novel about a past life that intrudes into the present one, creating a tsunami of trouble for my protagonist.
In August, 1987, my husband and I were vacationing in the Yucatan with plans to visit the ruins at Coba, outside of Tulum. Many strange, mystical things happened on that trip, including what happened to me at the pyramid at Coba.
We met another couple who also planned to visit the Coba ruins so we went together. On that day, the jungle was hot, humid and filled with mosquitoes. We poured on the Deet and forged ahead. There were no guides at that time so we wandered through the jungle by ourselves looking for the ruins, all the while howler monkeys screamed and jumped through the trees and tarantulas wandered across our path.
When we finally got to the ruins it was just like those very old jungle movies where the adventurers approach a mist-blanketed site in the jungle. Through the overgrown trees, vines and vegetation they see the moss covered stones of a long forgotten pyramid, now fallen into ruin. It was exactly like that and I was aghast. Everyone began scampering up the stones to the top when a déjà vu feeling came over me that I had been there before.
Now, if I were psychic, I would have seen or heard something, but I had a clairsentient experience—like a hiccup, that catches you by surprise. It felt so strongly—no, I knew—there was a doorway to the inside of this pyramid around the side.
Let me say right here, I never heard about or read about going inside of a Mayan pyramid through a side door before, and I had studied Mesoamerica and the Mayans. The urge was so strong I had to tell my friend that I needed to go around the side first and I would follow her up the pyramid later, but she followed me.
When I went around the side, sure enough, there was a black opening that some very small Mayan must have used, because I had to bend down to enter. My friend was trying to discourage me from going into the dark hole (there was no hint of light coming through and didn’t look like it went anywhere) but, again, I knew it was a passageway so before I could be talked out of it, I ducked inside pushing away fears of god-knows-what could be crawling on those walls. As I hurried in, following a right turn passageway, ending up in the open sky, in the middle of the pyramid.
I had this clear thought that this was where the priests burned the bodies of the sacrificed victims. The walls were dark, as if from many years of smoke. I got very uncomfortable and nauseous so we left. Again, I never read that the Mayans had places inside of pyramids where they burned the bodies—not in 1987 (or since for that matter, but I have not kept up on the newest findings so maybe they did).
This could all have been my vivid imagination gone wild, but whatever the reason for this experience, it was the impetus for my first novel, Dance the Dream Awake (awaiting publication).
Have you ever had a déjà vu experience that was so real that you were convinced that it had happened before, to the point of proving it to yourself by taking further steps to check it out?
Or, maybe you’ve had the overwhelming sense that you’ve been to a place that you know you’ve never visited before. Sherry and I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Thanks for the invite, Sherry. This was fun.
Viscerally through your telling of the tale, this story of deja vu was fun, Cora, but live and in person, my skin would be crawling with heebee jeebies! Thank you so much for sharing your talent and your campfire tale.