Mayan Interaction with Plants

The Chiapas shade cuphea, one of the rainforest’s exotic flowers. Photo by Dick Culbert (CC BY 2.0)

The ancient Mayan people believed that all plants and trees were sacred conveyors of the life force. They called this life force Chu’lel. We would say this is similar to the Chinese Qi or chi.

Chu’lel was also the word for “soul.” Mayans believed this life force came from the gods.

Because plants came from the earth, the Mayan believed they had a soul. This made it possible to talk with them and invite their help in healing.

Following their ancient tradition, today’s Mayan healers do not talk TO plants, they talk WITH plants to learn the healing capabilities of each plant species.

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