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Bunches of the candles are then taken and placed in the hole itself for even greater sanctity. Traditional shamans ply their trade at the side altars of the church, presenting the candles to the images which stand there — saints, gods and other sacred icons. Manifestations of the numinous — sacred holes, sacred caves, images or bundles — all can open onto the spiritual realm. As Peter Brown, the historian of the Late Antique wrote of Byzantium, "The icon was a hole in the dyke separating the visible world from the divine…Icons were active." For the Maya, their world is filled with such openings — portals which can take many different forms.

Inside the church — a mass of candles.