Guenia, Lanzarote’s sacred mountains.

Did you know that the indigenous people of Lanzarote (the Mahos) worshiped the universe from sacred mountains while probably performing rituals? 

Well, one of these beautiful examples is Montaña de Guenia.

Guenia is an area of Lanzarote, belonging to the municipality of Teguise, intermediately between Guatiza and El Mojón, and whose main characteristic is an especially important mountain, specifically called Montaña de Guenia, which, in turn, has a perfectly developed and well-known caldera (crater) such as the Caldera de Guenia. I cannot say for sure, but it is greatly plausible that the mountain was named after the area, due to its orographic relevance and because, as has recently been demonstrated, it must have been the site of religious practices or rituals of the Mahos. 


Guenia, in the middle of the 19th century, was an almost depopulated village "as a result of the aridity of the soil that produces almost nothing due to the lack of rainfall." However, a century earlier, in the middle of the 18th century, Antonio Rivere granted it had a population of 12 neighbors, as it was not affected by the lava and volcanic ash from Timanfaya.

The first record that is known of the word Guenia is from 1618, in a document of a sale of a slave by which lands, and houses are placed as a mortgage. 


The Astronomic sanctuary and ceremonial center of Guenia

Guenia’s mountain structure, on its right side, has a perfect pyramidal shape. On your left, you can see some of his ancient works on the edge of the crater. Guenia was chosen by the Mahos to become a kind of spectacular place of worship. 


The red lines indicate the winter solstice alignments, perfectly achieved between various important observation points and some artificial markers built on the mountain, the yellow lines the summer solstices, the blue lines the equinoctials, white those of the mahor stop of the moon, and violet line the minor stop of the moon. This is only a slight sketch of the exhibition that can be seen in this work. The objective of the wise intervention carried out on this mountain had the aim that from this magical place the position and movement of several important stars could be observed and determined, all of which was carried out with such extraordinary precision that even today it does not cease to amaze us.


The research that led to this discovery is framed in the discipline of archeoastronomy, never before had been discovered in a prominent place of nature, like a mountain, something so spectacular from the point of view of ancient astronomical sacredness, where thanks to the wisdom of a particular culture, and in such abundance in one place, they could interpret positions of stars like the sun and the moon from Astronomical scientific point of view, as well as from the spiritual and religious approach that from the worship of these stars offered the ancient cosmogony of this island.



The island of Lanzarote and the ancient astronomic practices 

The island of Lanzarote has no remains of ancient palaces, or vestiges of perfect pyramids, not even on this island, the most northeastern of the Canary Islands has so far revealed magnificent funerary rites of that great mummification technique.



What comes from Lanzarote's oldest human past is more consistent with a rustic world full of rock manifestations, crude representations of an ancient culture framed in an "almost megalithic era", with marked features.



It is also true that together with its neighboring island of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote has the proven argument of use by its ancient populations of two different writings, having concluded by scholars of the subject that these two different writings were exercised by the same people, at the same time. found in various rock manifestations on the island a mixture of the two disparate alphabets in the context of the same written panel. 


I strongly recommend visiting Guenia and observing the man-made structures. The hike is difficult and there is no visible trail, please be incredibly careful climbing up the mountain since it is very steep. But trust me, it is very well worth the effort. Especially when you can stare at the beautiful sunset from above, making you almost worship it, just as the Mahos did. 


Now go have fun and explore!

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