Discovery of the Ancient Maya “Triptych Temple” Religion

Mayan Triptych Temple

In the past few decades, the ancient Maya culture of Mexico has been described as “violent,” “bloodthirsty,” “savage,” and “horrific” by mainstream scholars, professors, historians, and Mayanists. But a closer look at Maya art and architecture indicates that these labels may not be fully correct (or even correct at all) and that there is much more to the Maya story.

After studying the Maya culture for the past three decades, I believe the Maya were as deeply spiritual and philosophical as the ancient Hindus, Chinese, Celts, Etruscans, and even the Egyptians. This is plainly evident in their architecture, visible not only in their pyramids but also in their “Triptych Temples”:


My definition of a “Triptych Temple” (a phrase I coined) is a temple with three main doorways, with the doorway in the middle either taller or wider—or both taller and wider—than the twin outer doorways flanking it.

I discovered the ruins of Triptych Temples all over the ancient world in the late 1990s, and, as I theorized in my book Written in Stone, I believe these temples all celebrate the same Universal Religion that was shared not only across the Americas but across all of Antiquity.

As we can see in the image below, every Maya city had a main pyramid surrounded by a series of Triptych Temples: 


It is well known that the ancient Maya were an extremely advanced civilization, with a sophisticated understanding of math, science, sacred geometry, astronomy, engineering, and architecture. Considering their prolific usage of Triptych Temples—and “Third Eye” symbolism (see my article “Discovery of the Ancient Maya Third Eye Religion”)—I believe it´s safe to say we can add “metaphysics” to this list.

Like the Triptych Temples built by other civilizations (including the Egyptians, Chinese, Khmer, and Hindus) Maya Triptych Temples convey a complex metaphysical doctrine that is based on an occult science known as the “balance of opposites”: 


There is abundant evidence that the ancient Maya had linked their Triptych Temple architecture to this “balance of opposites” wisdom. Perhaps most telling is the fact that they laid out some of their Triptych Temples to coincide with the Solstices and Equinoxes. One example is the ancient Maya temple complex of Uaxactun in Mexico, a gigantic three-in-one Triptych, which marks the Equinoxial sun rising over the Triptych´s center temple—perfectly conveying the concept of the “balance of opposites”! 


There are two Solstice days and two Equinox days every year. The Solstices occur in December and June, kicking off the beginning of winter and summer. The Solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year; thus they mark the “extremes” or “opposites.” The Equinoxes occur in March and September, marking the beginning spring and autumn. The Equinoxes mark the two days of the year when the day (light) and night (darkness) have the same exact length; thus they convey the idea of “balance.” 

As we can see here, the observatory’s three temples are clearly shaped like a Triptych—two symmetrical buildings flanking a third larger building of its kind. The three temples are archaeo-astronomically aligned to the sun’s rising on the two Solstice and two Equinox days when viewed from an observation point atop another pyramid directly across from the complex. The sun rises over the center temple of the Triptych on the two Equinox days, which are the two days of “equilibrium” or “balance.” This is when day (light) and night (dark) are of equal length, exactly twelve hours each. Similarly, the sun rises over the two “opposites” temples on the two Solstice days. These are the days of the extremes or contraries, when darkness and light are opposite (i.e., the longest and shortest days of the year). I explain more about these alignments in my 2011 book, Written in Stone.

In summary, there is no doubt evidence of a kind of “dark element” in Maya culture that scholars widely recognize and that this author is not trying to refute. The purpose of this article is to show that this dark side was known to the ancient Maya, but it was perfectly balanced by a light side which most scholars seem to ignore, and which is evident in their Triptych Temple architecture.

Journalist Richard Cassaro ( is the author of two thought-provoking and richly-illustrated books that explore deep connections between secret societies and ancient civilizations. Written In Stone: Decoding The Secret Masonic Religion Hidden In Gothic Cathedrals And World Architecture gives the best account available in print about how religion began and how struggles over the meaning of spirituality shaped the world we live in today. The Missing Link: Powerful New Evidence of an Advanced “Golden Age” Culture in Prehistoric Antiquity solves one of the greatest mysteries in archaeology by explaining how a religious icon common to ancient civilizations scattered across the earth helps us to understand the nature and origins of powerful ideas that have come down to us through the millennia.

Mysteries of the Maya


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