The women of the city wore their hair unbound, and shook and tossed it so that by sympathetic magic the maize might grow correspondingly long. Hymns were sung to the earth- goddess Chicomecohuatl, a variant of Coatlicue, and hilarious dances were nightly performed in the teopan temple , the central figure in which was the Xalaquia, a female captive or slave, with face painted red and yellow to represent the colours of the maize plant.
She had previously undergone a long course of train- ing in the dancing-school, and now, all unaware of the horrible fate awaiting her, she danced and pirouetted gaily among the rest. Throughout the duration of the festival she danced, and on its expir- ing night she was accompanied in a kind of ballet by the women of the community, who circled round her, chanting the deeds of Chicomecohuatl. When day- break appeared the company was joined by the chiefs and headmen, who, along with the exhausted and half-fainting victim, danced the solemn death- dance.
The entire community then approached the teocalli pyramid of sacrifice , and, its summit reached, the victim was stripped to a nude condition, the priest plunged a knife of flint into her bosom, and, tearing out the still palpitating heart, offered it up to Chicomecohuatl. In this manner the venerable goddess, weary with the labours of inducing growth in the maize-plant, was supposed to be revivified and refreshed. Hence the victim's name Xalaquia, which signifies " She who is clothed with the Sand. The most remarkable of these was Quetzalcoatl, the grand enchanter.
Indeed, some modern authorities have proved to their own satisfaction that he was a veritable human per- sonage, and with this view I am in general agreement. Perhaps the best account of his history is that of Sahagun, a Spanish friar of the sixteenth century, who had exceptional opportunities of collecting the traditions of the Aztecs. Quetzalcoatl, he tells us, was a great civilizing agent, who entered Mexico at the head of a band of strangers, the Toltecs.
He imported the arts into the country and especially fostered agriculture. In his time maize was so large in the head that a man might not carry more than one stalk at a time, and cotton grew in all colours without having to be dyed. He built spacious and elegant houses, and inculcated a type of religion which fostered peace, and the rites of which included the drawing of blood by way of penance. But sor- cerers came against Quetzalcoatl and his people, the Toltecs, and these, we are told, were the gods Tez- catlipoca, Uitzilopochtli, and Tlacuepan.
Tezcatli- poca visited the house of Quetzalcoatl in the guise of an old man, but was told that he was sick, and was at first refused entrance. Later, however, he was admitted, Quetzalcoatl observing that he had waited for him for many days. Tezcatlipoca then produced a draught of medicine which, he assured the sick king, would intoxicate him, ease his heart, and carry his thoughts away from the trials and fatigues of death and departure.
This latter statement inspired Quet- zalcoatl to ask whence he must go, for that he had a premonition of departure seems clear. He and you shall speak together, and on thy return thou shalt be as a youth, yea as a boy. That which he had drunk was the wine made from the maguey-plant, called teoncetl " drink of the gods ".
And so great a longing to depart came upon him that at length he arose and went from Tollan. Ere departing, Quetzalcoatl burned his houses of shells and silver and buried many precious things in the mountains and ravines. He reached the coast after many adventures, inci- dentally losing all his servants, who perished through cold whilst traversing the snowy sides of a volcano. At length he came to the sea, where he commanded that a raft of serpents should appear, and in this he seated himself as in a canoe, and set out for Tlapallan, the mysterious country whence he had come.
Another Spanish friar, Torquemada, says of Quet- zalcoatl and his comrades that they came from the north by way of Panuco, dressed in long robes of black linen, cut low at the neck, with short sleeves. They came to Tollan, but finding the country there too thickly peopled, passed on to Cholula, where they were well received. Their chief was Quetzalcoatl, a man with ruddy complexion and long beard.
These people multiplied and sent colonists to the Mixtec and Zapotec countries, raising the great buildings at Mitla. They were cunning handicraftsmen, not so good at masonry as at jewellers' work, sculpture, and agriculture. Tezcatlipoca and Huemac conceived an enmity to Quetzalcoatl, and as he did not wish to go to war with them he and his folk removed to Ono- hualco Yucatan, Tabasco, and Campeche. Mendieta, a Castilian author, alludes to the manner in which Quetzalcoatl originated the astrological calendar.
Cipactonal thought that her descendant Quetzalcoatl should be consulted, and she called him into counsel. He, too, thought the idea of a calendar good, and the two addressed themselves to the task of making the tonalamatl, or Book of Fate. To Cipactonal was given the privilege of choosing and writing the first sign or day-symbol of the calendar.
She painted the cipactli or dragon animal, and called the sign ce cipactli " one cipactli ". Oxomoco then wrote ome acatl " two cane " , and Quetzalcoatl " three house," and so on, until the thirteen signs were completed. We will also find Quetzalcoatl in Maya lore when we come to consider it, under the names of Kukulcan, Gucumatz, and Votan. Quetzalcoatl later became sanctified in godlike guise, and was worshipped as the god of the trade wind which brings the fructifying rains to Mexico. It was in this character that he was supposed to depart to the land of refreshment to seek the new rain.
But that originally he was a real man we cannot doubt, as indeed Dr. Spinden has proved, and in my belief he was a primitive wizard or medicine-man who introduced the magical art and astrology into Mexico and Central America. Regarded as the inventor of the tonalamatl, or Book of Fate, he gained a reputation as the possessor of profound wisdom, and came to be looked upon as the magician or sage par excellence.
The name implies " feathered serpent," or, according to some other authorities, " Precious Twin. These speak of him most definitely as a magician, and the cult of the Nagualists, a magical society, regarded him as its peculiar patron. This stone had an especial sanctity for the Mexicans, as it provided the sacrificial knives employed by the priests, and we possess good evidence that obsidian in its fetish form was worshipped even so late as the eighteenth century by the Nahuatl- speaking Chotas, who comprised it in a trinity with the Dawn and the Serpent.
But another important link connects Tezcatlipoca with obsidian. Bernal Diaz states that they called this stone or vitreous glass " Tezcat. Sahagun says that it was known as aitztli water obsidian , probably because of the high polish of which it was capable. Another such stone he men- tions was called tepochtli, which I would translate " wizard stone," and from which I think, by a process of etymological confusion, Tezcatlipoca received one of his minor names, Telpochtli, " the youth.
It is possible that the " smoke " which was said to rise from this mirror symbolized the haziness which clouds the surface of a divinatory glass prior to the phenomenon of vision therein. Thus from the shape beheld in the seer's mirror Tezcatlipoca came to be regarded as the seer. That into which the wizard gazed became so closely iden- tified with sorcery as to be thought of as wizard-like itself ; for Tezcatlipoca is, of all Mexican deities, the one most nearly connected with the wizard's art, the art of Black Magic.
From him all ominous and uncanny sounds proceed : the howl of the jaguar in which we per- ceive Tezcatlipoca as the wizard metamorphosed into the wer-animal , and the foreboding cry of the uactli bird, the voc, the prophesying bird of Hurakan in the " Popol Vuh," the magical book of Central America. Tezcatlipoca, at the period of the Conquest, had developed attributes of a more lofty kind than any of those deities already described.
Like Quetzalcoatl, and because he was a god of the wind or atmosphere, he came to be regarded as the personification of the breath of life. In the mind of savage man the wind is usually the giver of breath, the great storehouse of respiration, the source of immediate life. In many mythologies the name of the principal deity is synony- mous with that for wind, and in many languages the words " soul " and " breath " have a common origin. But it is as a sorcerer that we must regard Tez- catlipoca in this place, and that side of his character is well depicted in the myths concerning the manner in which he plagued the Toltecs.
Sahagun recounts a myth which tells how, disguised as a peddler named Toveyo, he behaved much as did the Pied Piper. A numberless multitude gathered to Tollan. He sang, too, singing each verse to the dancers, who sang it after him, though they knew not the song beforehand. Then was to be seen a marvellous and terrible thing. A panic seized the Toltecs. There was a gorge or ravine there, with a river rushing through it called the Texcaltlauhco.
A stone bridge led over the river. Toveyo broke down this bridge as the people fled. He saw them tread and crush each other down, under-foot and over into the abyss. They that fell were turned into rocks and stones ; as for those that escaped, they did not see nor think that it was Toveyo and his sorceries that had wrought this great destruction ; they were blinded by the witchcraft of the god, and out of their senses, like drunken men.
He called himself Tlacave- pan, or Acexcoch, and came and sat down in the midst of the market-place of Tulla, having a little manikin said to have been the god Uitzilopochtli dancing upon his hand. There was an instant uproar of all the buyers and sellers and a rush to see the miracle. The people crushed and trod each other down, so that many were killed there ; and all this happened many times. At last the god-sorcerer cried out on one such occasion : " What is this? Do you not see that you are befooled by us? Stone and kill us.
But when the body of the sorcerer had lain in the market-place for some time it began to stink and to taint the air, and the wind of it poisoned many. But the ill-smelling corpse was so heavy that they could not move it. Then a crier made a proclamation, saying : c Come, all ye Toltecs, and bring ropes with you, that we may drag out and get rid of this pestilential carcass. It was utterly in vain. Rope after rope broke with a sudden snap, and those that dragged on a rope fell and were killed when it broke.
Then the dead wizard looked up and said : ' O Toltecs, a verse of song is needed. They repeated the verse after him, and, singing it, pulled all together, so that with shouts they hauled the body out of the city, though still not without many ropes breaking and many persons being killed as before. All this being over, those Toltecs that remained unhurt returned every man to his place, not remembering anything of what had happened, for they were all as drunken. A white bird called Iztac cuixtli was clearly seen flying over Tollan, transfixed with a dart.
At night also the sierra called Zapatec burned, and the flames were seen from afar. All the people were stirred up and affrighted, saying one to another, " O Toltecs, it is all over with us now ; the time of the end of Tollan is come ; alas for us, whither shall we go? In- deed the derivation of his name, " Humming-bird wizard," makes this plain enough. He was, too, the brother of the " Four Hundred Southerners," the stars of the Southern Hemisphere, who were regarded as demons, and seem to have been the same as the Tzitzimime demons, to be alluded to later.
Clavigero, relating this myth, says : " Huitzilo- pochtli, or Mexitli, was the god of war ; the deity the most honoured by the Mexicans, and their chief protector. Of this god some said he was a pure spirit, others that he was born of a woman, but without the assistance of a man, and described his birth in the following manner : There lived, said they, in Coatepec, a place near to the ancient city of Tula Tollan , a woman called Coatlicue, mother of the Centzonhuiz- nahuas or Four Hundred Southerners , who was extremely devoted to the worship of the gods.
One day, as she was employed, according to her usual custom, in walking in the temple, she beheld descend- ing in the air a ball made of various feathers. She seized it and kept it in her bosom, intending after- wards to employ the feathers in the decoration of the altar ; but when she sought it after her walk was at an end she could not find it, at which she was extremely surprised, and her wonder was very greatly increased when she began to perceive from that moment that she was pregnant. Her pregnancy advanced till it was discovered by her children, who, although they could not themselves suspect their mother's virtue, yet fearing the disgrace she would suffer upon her delivery, determined to prevent it by putting her to death.
As soon as he came into the world he displayed a twisted pine, and commanded one of his soldiers, called Tochchancalqui, to fell with it Cojolxauhqui, as the one who had been the most guilty ; and he himself attacked the rest with so much fury that, in spite of their efforts, their arms, or their entreaties, he killed them all, plundered their houses, and presented the spoils to his mother.
Mankind were so terrified by this event that from that time they called him Tetzahuitl terror and Tetzauhteotl terrible god. They raised to him that superb temple, so much celebrated, even by the Spaniards, in which were annually holden three solemn festivals in the fifth, ninth, and fifteenth months ; besides those kept every four years, every thirteen years, and at the beginning of every century. His statue was of gigantic size, in the posture of a man seated on a blue-coloured bench, from the four corners of which issued four huge snakes. His forehead was blue, but his face was covered with a golden mask, while another of the same kind covered the back of his head.
His body was girt with a large golden snake and adorned with lesser figures of animals made of gold and precious stones, which ornaments and insignia had each their peculiar meaning. They never deliberated upon making war without imploring the protection of this god with prayers and sacrifices ; and offered up a greater number of human victims to him than to any other of the gods.
It was an image of wood like to a man, set upon a stoole of the coloure of azure, in a brankard or litter, in every corner was a piece of wood in forme of a serpent's head. The stoole signified that he was set in heaven. This idol had all the forehead azure, and had a band of azure under the nose from one ear to another.
Upon his head he had a rich plume of feathers like to the beak of a small bird, the which was covered on the top with gold burnished very brown. He had in his left hand a small target, with the figures of five pineapples made in white feathers set in a cross. And from above issued forth a crest in gold, and at his sides hee hadde foure dartes, which the Mexicaines say had been sent from heaven, which shall be spoken of. In his right hand he had an azured staffe cut in the fashion of a waving snake.
All those orna- ments with the rest hee hadde, carried his sence as the Mexicaines doe shew. Cinteotl, the young god of the maize-plant, has certain affinities with witchcraft. A song in his honour says : " I came to the place where the roads meet, I, the Maize -god. Where shall I now go? Which way shall I take? The god complains that he has a difficulty in finding his way at the cross-roads. This was the precise reason for which they were made, so that the witches should be puzzled by them and know not which route to take to approach their victims. Witches all the world over are baffled by cross-roads, and formerly the bodies of suicides and vampires were buried beneath them, so that, did their evil ghosts arise, they would be puzzled by the multi- plicity of directions, " wandered," as the Scottish country folk say, and baffled in their intent to haunt the living.
Cinteotl's mother, Tlazolteotl, as we shall see later, fulfilled the Mexican idea of the Queen of the witches, and he was the husband of Xochiquetzal, who may be described as the ruler of the Mexican Fairyland. Cinteotl must also be regarded as one of the plutonic deities, as, indeed, most grain-gods are, a figure associated with the Underworld, the place of the dead, the realm in which the seed germinates ere it sprouts above ground.
A terrible and phantom-like goddess was Ciuacoatl, or " Serpent Woman," another of the deities of grain. She is depicted as dressed in gorgeous robes, but with the face of a skull, her headdress ornamented with sacrificial flint knives. She was wont to appear to men in the guise of a richly dressed lady, such as frequented the court.
Through the night she wan- dered, howling and bellowing. Occasionally this ghost-like divinity was seen carrying a cradle, and when she vanished, examination showed that the resting-place of what was believed to be an infant contained nothing but an obsidian knife, such as was used in human sacrifice. Xipe Totec was a dismal god of human sacrifice, who had likewise fiendish or ghostly characteristics. He was the god of penance, once a man, who betook himself to the mountain Catcitepulz, a height covered with thorns, to lead a life of seclusion.
The inter- preter of the " Codex Vaticanus " says of him : " They hold him in the utmost veneration, for they say that he was the first who opened to them the way to heaven ; for they were under this error amongst others : they supposed that only those who died in war went to heaven, as we have already said. Whilst Totec still continued doing penance, preaching and crying from the top of the mountain which has been named, they pretend that he dreamed this night that he beheld a horrible figure with its bowels protruding, which was the cause of the great abomination of his people.
On this, praying to his god to reveal to him what the figure signified, he answered that it was the sin of his people, and that he should issue an order to the people, and cause them all to be assembled, charging them to bring thick ropes and to bind that miserable spectre, as it was the cause of all their sins, and that, dragging it away, they should remove it from the people, who, giving faith to the words of Totec, were by him conducted to a certain wild place, where they found the figure of death, which, having bound, they dragged it to a distance, and drawing it backwards, they fell all into a cavity between the two 60 THE MAGIC AND MYSTERIES OF MEXICO mountains, which closed together, and there they have remained buried ever since ; none of them having effected their escape, with the exception of the inno- cent children, who remained in Tulan.
The whole may allude, in the ultimate, to mound-burial. It is strange too or quite natural, as we believe in, or doubt, the penetration of America by alien influ- ences to find in Mexico an incomplete variant of the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. I should not be surprised to find that Xipe piped the Toltec people into the Underworld, for Tezcatlipoca, with whom he was identified, or at least the captive who represented that god at the Toxcatl festival, and who had a year of merriment in which to prepare himself for his fate, went through the city at intervals, playing upon a flute.
We know, too, that the whistling of the night wind through the mountains was regarded by the Mexicans as of evil omen, and that Yoalli Eecatl The Wind of Night was one of the names of Tez- catlipoca. Xipe was also the " night drinker," the vampire- being who sucked the blood of penitents during the hours of slumber.
Few deities were more dreaded by the wretched Mexican peasants, by malefactors, and by the tribal enemies of the Aztecs, who were usually sacrificed to him after a mock combat. Itzpapalotl, the horrible " obsidian-knife butter- fly," was a supernatural being who combined attri- butes of the butterfly, or soul, with the knife of sacrifice. The butterfly in many mythologies is the ghost of the dead, and in this ghastly creature we find it associated with the horror of the altars of blood.
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Indeed the very name appears as of deathly and hideous omen. This goddess of weird propen- sity has butterfly wings edged round with stone knives.
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Her dreadful face is tricked out with the cosmetics of the Mexican court ladies, rubber patches and white chalk. Her claws are borrowed from the jaguar, and sometimes she is represented as having a skull instead of a face, in the nasal orifice of which is set a sacrificial knife. In other pictures she is painted as wearing a naualli, or disguise of butterfly form, a magical cloak worn by all necromancers to change their appearance.
She also wears the witches' loin-cloth trimmed with a hem of human teeth, probably taken from a grave- yard. When she " appeared " to men they could see only her claw-edged feet. That she was a demon is plain not only from her general appearance, but from the fact that she is enumerated along with those who fell from heaven, Uitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca among the rest. That Itzpapalotl was associated with the story of the fall from heaven or paradise is plain from the account of her furnished by the interpreter of the " Codex Vaticanus A," who, however, errs in regarding her as a male deity.
He says : " Yxpapalotl signifies a knife of butterflies. They represent him with the feet of an eagle, because they say that he occa- sionally appears to them, and they only see the feet of an eagle. They further add that, being in a garden of great delight, he pulled some roses, but that sud- denly the tree broke and blood streamed from it ; and that in consequence of this they were deprived of that place of enjoyment and were cast into this world because Tonacatecutli and his wife became incensed, and accordingly they came some of them to the earth, and others went to hell.
He presided over these thirteen signs certain symbols of the calendar , the first of which the house calli they considered unfortunate, because they said that demons came through the air on that sign in the figures of women such as we call witches, who usually went to the highways, where they met in the form of a cross. I believe her to have been developed from the idea of the deer, which is, after all, a surrogate of the dragon, and indeed she is identified in one tale with the mythical deer Itzcueye. We know, too, that the butterfly, or ghost-symbol, was associated with the Ciuateted or dead witches, to whose spirits the people offered cakes stamped with a butterfly symbol.
The gods of death and the Underworld naturally had a plutonic and magical significance. At the head of these was Mictlantecutli, or " Lord of Mictlampa," the region of death, or Hades. He was depicted as a skeleton, the arms and legs of which were painted white with yellow spots pricked in red to symbolize the bones of a newly flayed person. The interpreter of ' 'Codex Vaticanus A' ' says of Mict- lantecutli : " He descends for souls as a spider lowers itself with its head downwards from the web. They painted this demon near the sun, for in the same way as they believed that the one conducted souls to heaven, so they supposed that the other carried them to hell.
He is here represented that is in the codex with his hands open and stretched towards the sun to seize on any soul that might escape from him. The fact that he presides over the eleventh hour the hour of sunset indicates that he was in a measure identified with the night, as indeed certain aspects of his insignia would appear to show. In a manner he must be regarded as the earth which, in its form of the grave, yawns or gapes insatiably for the bodies of the dead.
His terrible wife, Mictecaciuatl, strongly resembles him. Tepeyollotl, another of the Tzitzimimes, seems to have represented both ghost and grave, earthquake and cave, a horrid blending of the attributes of mor- tality.
But he seems also to have been the jaguar in his form of wer-beast, something devouring, annihilating. From all this we clearly discern the true tendency of Mexican magic. We have a similar example in ancient Britain, where Merlin, the supreme wizard, came in time to be regarded as a deity, and the whole island as his " place " or " enclosure," the area of his magical scope. Small wonder, then, that the ignorant among the Mexicans, the people at large, feared and dreaded the gods. But the instructed classes and the priest- hood regarded them very differently.
They strove to understand the magical system which these beings were thought to have initiated, and to wield it for the general behoof according to their lights. They were men engaged in the effort of comprehending and eluci- dating a vast system of philosophical magic, contained in myth, symbolism, and astrology, just as the European magicians, astrologers, and alchemists of the Middle Ages were in a similar manner devoted to the study of a magical system of more various origin bequeathed to them from the past in East and West, which they attempted to standardize and use.
In the Mexican occult system, which was also the Mexican religion, we behold a stage of the develop- ment of magical science not at its most delectable, perhaps, but rather at such an evolutionary phase as all such wisdom-religions or occult philosophies must pass through on the road to perfection, and there is every indication that, had it not been cut short by the Spanish invasion, it would have in time developed into a system of magico-religious thought such as is to be observed in earlier Brahmanism or in the philosophy of ancient Egypt.
The one means by which they considered it possible to enlist the sympathies of the agencies in which they believed was by regaling them with human sacrifices. We see in the earlier form of British Druidism a similar condition and belief. We know that the ancient system of worship once in vogue in our islands inculcated the need for human sacrifice, but that it also contained the germs of much loftier ideas, that, in the course of centuries, it excogitated a large philosophy of occult lore of a most sublime character.
Similarly, then, the Mexican dispensation in vogue at the time of the coming of the Spaniards contained within itself the seeds and promise of greatly higher development. In the exalted prayers to the gods, in the explanations of the priest- hood, in the extraordinary mythology of the Aztecs, we can trace the underlying conditions and psychology of a great magical lore slowly coming to fruition.
Twisted and distorted out of all semblance to its original form as it has been by the worthy friars who have bequeathed to us its broken fragments, is it remarkable that we have not so far estimated it at its true worth, but have regarded it as the mere devil-worship of degenerate barbarism? Let us probe beneath the surface and try to discern the inner significance of what was actually a well- considered body of occult learning.
In the first place we find an ancient and well-founded belief in a supreme being, an all-father, a god behind the gods, who, however, appears to have adopted a somewhat remote attitude towards human affairs. The myths regarding the creator of the universe are somewhat conflicting, but display a belief in the various demiurgic processes familiar to most mythologies, and scarcely concern us in this place.
A myth of wide acceptance was that which told of the periodic or epochal destruction of the world and of man by the agencies of fire, air, earthquake, and flood at dates the most distant and remote. At the time of the Spanish invasion the Mexicans were awaiting with considerable dread the advent of a fifth cataclysm of the kind, and every fifty-two years the possibility of such a catastrophe came round and might only be avoided by sacrifice on a grand scale. But the grand arcanum or secret of the Mexican priests seems to have resided in the belief that the balance of the universe in which they lived could be held only by the observance of penitential pro- prieties which included not sacrifice alone, but the study of omens and portents.
Augury and astrology were, indeed, the chief means by which humanity might be safeguarded from destruction or sorrow. Nevertheless, the entire wisdom of the priesthood by no means resided in the proper use of the tonalamatl, or Book of Fate, or in the observance of auspices, as has too hastily been concluded.
Side by side with them the hierophant cultivated mysteries which con- cealed and enshrined a system of thought of which the astrological and divinatory systems were merely the outward symbols, as will be shown later on. Regarding the powers of this caste, we possess sufficient information to give us a good general indication of their beliefs and practices.
The Spanish priesthood has bequeathed to us certain notices regarding the naualli which, however, give us a somewhat confused notion of their attributes. They can also make a stick look like a serpent, a mat like a centi- pede, a piece of stone like a scorpion, and engage in similar deceptions. Others of them will transform themselves to all appearance into a tiger, a dog, or a weasel. Others, again, will take the form of an owl or a cock. Dost thou suck the blood of others, or dost thou wander about at night, calling upon the Demon to help thee?
Hast thou drunk peyoil, or given it to others to drink, in order to find out secrets? Dost thou know how to speak to serpents in such words that they obey thee? The Aztecs were said to have derived their knowledge of it from an older race who preceded them in the land. The intoxication it caused lasted several days. The natives masticated it and then placed it in a wooden mortar, where it was left to ferment. Another medi- cine employed by the naualli for the purpose of induc- ing ecstatic visions was an unguent known as teopatli, or " the divine remedy," a compound of the seeds of certain plants, the ashes of spiders, scorpions, and other noxious insects.
Magical enterprises and experiments were usually timed by sorcerers to take place during the second, fifth or seventh hours of the night, which were naturally the most dreaded by the common people because they were presided over by gods of evil repute, and thus were considered favourable to the appearance of demons or phantoms and the assemblies of witches.
Night, too, was naturally the heyday of the sorcerer or naualli, and certain members of this caste seem to have practised vampirism and to have taken the shape of wer-wolves, or rather wer- coyotes. Those who desired to injure an enemy by spells and other enchantments would go by night to the dwelling of the naualli and bargain for the drug or potion by means of which they hoped to be revenged.
MEXICAN MAGIC 69 From certain passages in the old authorities it would seem that these sorcerers lived in huts built of wooden planks gaily painted perhaps a development of the lodge of the medicine-man with its brightly coloured symbolism. During the hours of darkness the priestly occupants of the teocallis or temples carefully replenished the braziers, whose fires were supposed to exercise a deterrent influence upon all evil visitants to the earth-sphere.
At stated intervals, too, they beat drums and sounded conch-shells to drive off the demons of gloom, and the trembling peasant as he lay in his reed shack and listened to the reverberation of the tympani of serpent skins, the gongs, and the rude horns of the sacred guardians of his peace, must have been heartened by the distant and reassuring clamour.
All the terrors of Spanish ecclesiasticism could not put an end to the practice of magic among the Mexi- cans. The minor feats of sorcery flourished in every Mexican town and village. Sahagun tells us how a class of professional conjurers existed who could roast maize on a cloth without fire, produce as from nowhere a spring or well filled with fishes, and after setting fire to and burning huts, restore them to their original condition. The conjurer, asserts the chronicler, might on occasion even dismember himself and then achieve the miracle of self -resurrect ion.
Perhaps a higher caste of the naualli were the " master magicians," who were also known as teo- pixqui and teotecuhtli or " sacred companions-in- arms," and the nanahualtin, " those who know. He acted as the guardian of the city against sorcerers, and gave warning of famine or pestilence.
The naualli caste were therefore not only suspect of vampirism but had associations with witchcraft, as we shall see. They also practised divination and astrology, as indeed did the Mexican priesthood as a whole. The Spanish priesthood quickly discovered that it was not so much a religion from which they had to wean the native mind as an elaborate ritual mingled with magical practice. The dusk of magic which shadowed the bizarre, crowded cities could almost be felt by those courageous priests.
AZTEC ASTROLOGY - QUAUHTLI - The Eagle (burnished gold color)
It was easy enough to combat an idolatry regarding the higher conception of which the people had only loose ideas and legendary glimmerings. But the more popular devil-worship which accompanied it had a far stronger hold on the native affections. The Aztec was enthralled by it. His whole life from the cradle to the grave was ordered by its inevitable and ghastly provisions. No sooner had the Mexican aristocracy been accounted for by slaughter or conversion than a significant change took place in the tendency and character of the native faith.
The Aztec priesthood, realizing that if its doctrines were to survive at all it must make a powerful appeal to the mass mind of the nation, threw every ounce of energy into the task of shaping the superstitions of the lower orders into a deadly instrument of vengeance against the whites.
In this new movement magic of a repellent kind was joined with political conspiracy against Spanish supremacy, and the extraordinary cult thus developed had for its chief deity Satan himself, if we are to credit the writings of those who opposed it and laboured untiringly for its destruction.
MEXICAN MAGIC 71 This mysterious secret society had branches in all parts of the country, and its members were classed in varying degrees, initiation into which was granted only after prolonged and rigorous experience. Local brotherhoods or lodges were organized, and there were certain recognized centres of the cult.
At each of these places was stationed a high priest or master magician, who had beneath his authority often as many as a thousand lesser priests, and who exercised control over a large district. The priesthood of this guild was handed down from father to son. The highest grade appears to have been that of Xochimalca, or " flower- weaver," prob- ably because its members possessed the faculty of deceiving the senses of votaries by strange and pleasant visions.
Indeed, the Spanish clergy never were quite posi- tive whether a native Mexican was a Christian or a pagan, and in many cases where it seemed the Indians were of the most devout character, subsequent in- vestigation proved them to be unrepentant demon- worshippers. Father Burgoa describes very fully a case of this kind which came under his notice in in the Zapotec village of San Francisco de Cajonos. He encountered on a tour of inspection an old native cacique, or chief, of great refinement of manners and of a stately presence, who dressed in costly garments after the Spanish fashion, and who was regarded by the Indians with much veneration.
This man came to the priest for the purpose of reporting upon the progress in things spiritual and temporal in his village. Burgoa recognized his urbanity and wonder- ful command of the Spanish language, but perceived by certain signs which he had been taught to look for by long experience that the man was a pagan.
Shortly afterwards, however, a wandering Spaniard perceived the chief in a retired place in the mountains performing idolatrous ceremonies, and aroused the monks, two of whom accompanied him to the spot where the cacique had been seen indulging in his heathenish practices. They found on the altar " feathers of many colours, sprinkled with blood which the Indians had drawn from the veins under their tongues and behind their ears, incense spoons and remains of copal, and in the middle a horrible stone figure, which was the god to whom they had offered this sacrifice in expiation of their sins, while they made their confessions to the blasphemous priests, and cast off their sins in the following manner : they had woven a kind of dish out of a strong herb, specially gathered for this purpose, and casting this before the priest, said to him that they came to beg mercy of their god, and pardon for their sins they had committed during that year, and that they brought them all carefully enumerated.
They then drew out of a cloth pairs of thin threads made of dry maize husks that they had tied two by two in the middle with a knot, by which they represented their sins. They laid these threads on the dishes of grass, and over them pierced their veins, and let the blood trickle upon them, and the priest took these offerings to the idol, and in a long speech he begged the god to forgive these, his sons, their sins which were brought to him, and to permit them to be joyful and hold feasts to him as their god and lord.
Then the priest came back to those who had confessed, delivered a long discourse on the ceremonies they had still to perform, and told them that the god had pardoned them and that they might be glad again and sin MEXICAN MAGIC 73 Acosta, the Spanish chronicler, writing of the Mexi- can priests and their magical customs, says : " The priests of the idols in Mexico were anointed in this sort ; they anointed the body from the foot to the head, and all the hair likewise, which hung like tresses or a horse's mane, for that they applied this unction w r et and moist.
Their hair grew so, as in time it hung down to their hams, so heavily that it was troublesome for them to bear it, for they did never cut it until they died, or that they were dis- pensed with for their great age, or being employed in governments, or some honourable charge in the com- monwealth. They carried their hair in tresses of six fingers breadth, which they dyed black with the fume of sapine, of fir trees, or rosin ; for in all antiquity it hath been an offering they made unto their idols and for this cause it was much esteemed and reverenced.
They were always dyed with this tincture from the foot to the head, so as they were like unto shining negroes, and that was their ordinary unction : yet when as they went to sacrifice and give incense in the mountains, or on the tops thereof, or in any dark and obscure caves, where their idols were, they used another kind of unction very different, doing certain ceremonies to take away fear and to give them courage. This unction was made with divers little venomous beasts, as spiders, scorpions, palmers, salamanders, and vipers, the which the boys in the colleges took and gathered together, wherein they were so expert as they were always furnished when the priests called for them.
The chief care of these boys was to hunt after these beasts ; if they went any other way, and by chance met with any of these beasts, they stayed to take them with as great pain, as if their lives depended thereon. To make an ointment of these beasts they took them all together and burnt them upon the hearth of the temple which was before the altar, until they were consumed to ashes : then did they put them in mortars with much tobacco or petum being an herb that nation useth much to benumb the flesh that they may not feel their travail , with the which they mingle the ashes making them lose their force ; they did likewise mingle with these ashes scorpions, spiders, and palmers alive, mingling all together, then they did put to it a certain seed being ground which they call ololuchqui, whereof the Indians make a drink to see visions, for that the virtue of this herb is to deprive man of sense.
They did likewise grind with these ashes black and hairy worms, whose hair only is venomous, all which they mingled together with black, or the fume of rosin, putting it in small pots which they set before their god, saying it was his meat. And therefore they called it a divine meat. By means of this ointment they became witches, and did see and speak with the devil. The priests being slobbered with this ointment lost all fear, putting on a spirit of cruelty.
By reason whereof they did very boldly kill men in their sacrifices, going all alone in the night to the mountains, and into obscure caves, contemning all wild beasts, and holding it for certain and approved that both lions, tigers, serpents, and other furious beasts which breed in the mountains and forests fled from them, by virtue of this petum of their god.
This petum did also serve to cure the sick, and for children : and therefore all called it the divine physic : and so they came from all parts to the superiors and priests, as to MEXICAN MAGIC 75 their saviours, that they might apply this divine physic, wherewith they anointed those parts that were grieved. They said that they felt hereby a notable ease, which might be, for that tobacco and ololuchqui have this property of themselves, to benumb the flesh, being applied in manner of an emplaster, which must be by a stronger reason being mingled with poisons, and for that it did appease and benumb the pain, they held it for an effect of health and a divine virtue.
And therefore ran they to these priests as to holy men, who kept the blind and ignorant in this error, persuading them what they pleased, and making them run after their inventions and devilish ceremonies, their authority being such, as their words were sufficient to induce belief as an article of their faith. And thus made they a thousand superstitions among the vulgar people in their manner of offering incense, in cutting their hair, tying small flowers about their necks, and strings with small bones of snakes, commanding them to bathe at a certain time ; and that they should watch all night at the hearth lest the fire should die, that they should eat no other bread but that which had been offered to their gods, that they should upon any occasion repair unto their witches, who with certain grains told fortunes, and divines, looking into keelers and pails full of water.
The sorcerers and ministers of the Devil used much to besmear themselves. There were an infinite number of these witches, diviners, enchanters, and other false prophets.
Aztec astrology quauhtli
There remains yet at this day of this infextion, although they be secret, not daring publicly to exercise their sacrilegious devilish ceremonies and superstitions. Some twenty grains were cast upon a cloth. If they fell in circular shape it was held to typify a grave, and therefore death, but if in a straight line, leaving two on each side, the illness would have a happy issue. If a knot tied in a string could be loosed by pulling it, recovery would ensue.
A sick child would be held over a vessel of water. If his reflection was dim he might not recover, that is his " soul " or shadow was unhealthy. Regarding these practices Father Clavigero says : " Besides the usual unction with ink, another extraordinary and more abominable one was prac- tised every time they went to make sacrifices on the tops of mountains, or in the dark caverns of the earth. They took a large quantity of poisonous insects, such as scorpions, spiders, and worms, and sometimes even small serpents, burned them over some stove of the temple, and beat their ashes in a mortar together with the foot of the ocotl, tobacco, the ololuchqui, and some live insects.
They presented this diabolical mixture in small vessels to their gods, and afterwards rubbed their bodies with it. When thus anointed they became fearless to every danger, being persuaded they were rendered incapable of receiving any hurt from the most noxious reptiles of the earth or the wildest beast of the woods.
They called it teopatli, or divine medicament, and imagined it to be a powerful remedy for several disorders ; on which account those who were sick, and the young children, went frequently to the priests to be anointed with it. The young lads who were trained up in the seminaries were charged with the collecting of such kind of little animals ; and by being accustomed at an early age to that kind of employment they soon MEXICAN MAGIC 77 lost the horror which attends the first familiarity with such reptiles. The priests not only made use of this unction but had likewise a ridiculous superstitious practice of blowing with their breath over the sick, and made them drink water which they had blessed after their manner.
The priests of the god Ixtlilton were remarkable for this custom. At the festival of the Ochpaniztli, sacred to the goddess Tlazolteotl, the rite of the mys- tical birth of her son Cinteotl was celebrated. Her priest was decorated with her insignia, and thus attired he came to the teocalli of Uitzilopochtli, where, representing the goddess, he lay down to be impreg- nated by the spirit of the god. Another priest, representing Cinteotl, stood by, and was regarded as the son conceived from this intercourse.
Thus, by the aid of sympathetic magic, the new maize-spirit was born. The power of sympathetic magic was also invoked in the horrible human sacrifices to Tlaloc, the god of water, when the infants whose hair seemed to the priests to resemble the eddies in the lake were cere- monially drowned so as to ensure " life " to the waves and whirlpools. Magical, too, was the sham fight indulged in at the festival of Tlacaxipeualitzli, when young men, clad in the skins of the wretched sacrificed victims with others, typified, perhaps, the struggle of the renewed earth with the forces of dearth and drought, a drama similar to that of Osiris in Egypt.
Thus at the festival of Tepeilhuitl, sacred to the gods of rain and moisture, little serpents and moun- tains were made of maize paste which were symbolical of the legend that the rain-gods dwelt in the hills and that they took the shapes of serpents, which typified water. Several women, called after the goddesses of fruitfulness, were sacrificed to give their representa- tives new life along with one man who typified water.
The paste images were afterwards broken up and eaten so that the people might partake of their qualities. But the very apogee of sympathetic magic is reached in what I will call the Obsidian Religion of Mexico, for in this strange cult, which I personally discovered, the obsidian stone was regarded as a magical substance which came to wield an extra- ordinary power over every department of Mexican life. As everyone engaged in research is aware, there comes a time when the subject of study assumes an aspect so thoroughly at variance with one's original conception of it that the student is aghast at the extraordinary change presented.
Generally, such an experience is the fruit of prolonged application and contemplation. In my own case it required more than twenty years of research and groping in the difficult field of Mexican religion to realize that underlying what I had always believed to be the official faith of the Aztecs was a still earlier cult connected with the obsidian stone.
I was, of course, well aware that obsidian played a certain part in Aztec religion as a ceremonial object in use on sacrificial and other occasions, but the full measure of its importance did not dawn on me until I began to arrange the gods of the Mexican pantheon MEXICAN MAGIC 79 into groups. During this process I observed that the names of at least three of these included the Mexican word for obsidian, itztli. One of these gods, indeed, was known as Itztli, the other two being Itzpapalotl " obsidian butterfly " and Itzlacoliuhqui " curved obsidian knife ".
I knew that Tezcatlipoca, one of the principal Mexican deities, was frequently repre- sented as an obsidian knife, and that the native Aztec paintings were crowded with pictures of this symbol, which occurred so frequently that I could scarcely be mistaken in placing a high value on its religious significance. I had before me at least one other analogy. The importance of jade in Chinese Religion and Folklore afforded me much food for thought. I knew that the implications of the beautiful jade stone permeated the whole of Chinese legend, folk-belief, and theology.
Then I observed that several of the Mexican gods were represented as wearing sandals made of obsidian, and the sandal, I had formerly discovered, must often be taken as an indication of the significance of a Mexican god. In fact, the longer I searched the more traces of obsidian did I find in Mexican lore. The image of the god Tezcatlipoca, the mirror in which he beheld the doings of humanity, his death-dealing arrows, were all of obsidian. The very cloak he wore was, I found, merely an adaptation of the net bag in which the Aztec hunter carried his obsidian arrow- heads.
I found, too, that such deities as were connected with obsidian were exclusively those worshipped by the Aztec or Nahua tribes of Mexico, and that the cults of Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc, the deities of older precedence in the land, were associated with it in a secondary manner only, and very slightly at that that, indeed, their associations were with the chal- chihuitl stone, or native jadeite.
The principal quarry of this volcanic glass was the mountain known as the Cerro de las Navajas, or " Hill of the Knives," near Timapan, and from this centre obsidian was widely distributed by barter over a very considerable area. There would seem to be proof that this mineral, so suitable for the purposes of the nomadic hunter, was anciently known far to the north of Mexico.
The observations of Dr. Dawson in British Columbia about satisfied him that trading inter- course was engaged in by the coast tribes with those of the interior along the Frazer River Valley and far to the south. From the remotest times embraced in their native traditions, the Bilquila of Dean Inlet have possessed a trade route by way of the Bella Coola River to the Tinne Country, along which trail broken implements and chips of obsidian have been found. Many of the routes in British Columbia have also yielded chips and flakes of obsidian.
The coast tribes of British Columbia have been traders for untold generations, exchanging oolactin oil for such materials as they could make implements from, and there seems to be no doubt that the Mound-builders of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Kentucky were also acquainted with obsidian, which they could only have obtained through the process of barter. It was thus either to be found in the regions from which the Nahua of Mexico are thought to have come, or else obtainable through the channels of trade.
The Nahua were thus probably acquainted with obsidian and its properties before their entrance into Mexico. It was naturally as a hunting people that they employed weapons of obsidian. The herds of deer, on the flesh of which they chiefly lived, roamed the steppes, and proof abounds that the customs of the chase strongly influenced the religious ideas of the early Nahua. Certain of their gods, indeed, seem to have been developed from deer forms, for among barbarous races the animal worshipped is frequently that which provides the tribe with its staple food, or, more correctly, a great eponymous figure of that animal is adored for example, the Great Deer who sends the smaller deer to keep the savage in life.
These deer-gods, or hunting-gods in some way con- nected with the deer Itzpapalotl, Itzcueye, Mixcoatl, Camaxtli had also stellar attributes. The deer was slain by the obsidian weapon, which, therefore, came to be regarded as the magical weapon, that by which food was procured. In the course of time it assumed a sacred significance, the hunting-gods themselves came to wield it, and it was thought of as coming from the stars or the heavens where the gods dwelt, in precisely the same manner as flint arrow-heads were regarded by the peasantry of Europe as " elf- arrows " or " thunder-stones " that is, as something supernatural, falling from above.
When the nomadic tribes, of which the Aztecs were one, adopted an agricultural existence, obsidian had doubtless been regarded as sacred for generations. It was by virtue of this supernatural stone that the nourishment of the gods was maintained by the sacrifice of deer. By the aid of lances and arrows fashioned from its flakes, deer were more easily slaughtered than with clumsier stone weapons. But when the Nahua embraced a more settled existence the nourishment of the gods had neces- sarily to be maintained by other means than the sacrifice of deer, which were gradually disappearing.
Only two ways to be savior, Venus heralds your presence, or Venus is absent so they think youve come down from heaven. So again if YOU people all say day 1 Reed is that weekend, it is you who have to explain why 1 Ben is not there for it but rather 13 days later.
Last time i checked Gregorian dates are only 10 days of AD later not 13, so the dates must be Julian. Sources verify by saying Thursday for April 21 and Friday for April Senor, only a Catholic could look at the whole world and presume that when you say Savior and destruction that you only mean Jesus every nation and every culture and every religion as its creation its savior and its predicted destruction. I dont feel it admirable for scholars to be accusing as a white man's twist to Mayan theology. Such printed media is merely a flip in power of who gets to say what.
This reminds me of how american schools taught that Catholics were stupid thinking the world flat while Columbus a genius when in fact they had accurate round globes that showed the Pacific-Atlantic ocean 3 times bigger without an America in it. Columbus made discovery by believing his own lie that the earth was smaller. Yet our schools lied and claimed the Greeks did not know the earth was round years before Jesus.
I kept my geometry book from which gives the Greek measurements of the round spherical earth. Now we have people doing the same thing with this 1Reed date of which explains why i couldnt get any dates fixed in I am seeking competent sources and if none of you people are such, that isnt my fault. Rambling is to say things that are empty. YOU may not understand me, but i say more in each sentence here of mine, than whole paragraphs of unproven texts in your supposed sources.
A source must be mathematically correct, not just some quote from an author worshipped with clout. Unless of course you have ignorant students, you gave degrees to, and they think the day difference that we have now, is also 13 days back then. And yes much stupid ignorance is posted in this Wikipedia, and not edited, while truths like the factual positions of the Sothic star are ignored.
I have three IPs and you treat one like a nut case while you admire a different one. So if the Aztec regard 1Acatl as a year bearer and as a calendar round, it is because it falls on Mayan 1Ahau. Yacatecutli Yacatecutli was the patron of travellers of the merchant class, who worshipped him by piling their staves together and sprinkling on the heap blood from their noses and ears. They did so, and procured his admittance.
Perhaps Topiltzin, son of Mixcoatl, was born on a One Reed day. From all the facts we must not arrive at the conclusion that only 4 signs recur infinitely during the whole history of the Aztecs. The day having arrived, the penitent provided himself with a mat, copal gum to burn as incense, and wood whereon to burn it. That doesnt make me the fool, because i dont change personalities with IPs. Actually according to sources Cortez who met the Totonacs never met the Aztecs because at Tenochtitlan he met the Mexica.
The Aztecs are the same Mexica people in the city of Aztlan. I would like to know the value of the 1Reed Year and the 1Reed day. A value means its equivalent new year date and equivalent day of whatever event. I have just read an article that says Cortez landed Veracruz in ad March 4, and came to Tenochtitlan Nov 8. How does this skip over April 1Acatl which falls on Mayan 1Ahau.
The fact is simple that days earlier 1Acatl falls either on 1Ahau 13Pop or 13 days later on 1Ben 6Uo. How is either one a year Bearer, and if you go days forward you get ad for a 1Acatl that's either 1Ahau 8Chen or 13 days later 1Ben 1Yax, of which i have never heard anyone yet display a new year at the half year even though Genesis implies the whole world had flipped the calendar with leap days in bc. One source claims the 1 Reed date is landing the shore of the Aztec at Veracruz were shifted 13 days earlier than of Tenochtitlan Mexico City.
Everything I beleive about origin from both oriental and Egyptian sources verifies the Mayan existed in their form of calendar before the Aztec date for Cortez. The claim that Year Bearer is a certain day expects that date to be the Aztec new year. Using the Aug 11 epoch to appease YOU, the choices are for days:. I would not be inclined to make claim that Cortez should be dated as the rising Venus of ad January, though i take note that 1 Yax is the half year which so many cultures of the world had flipped days.
Who says the Aztecs added 6 days to the solar year for leap year correction? It sounds logical but evidence is against it the tonalpohualli, that is interlinked with the xiuhpohalli was thought to be inline with the Mayan calendar. The Mayan day year did not use leap correction although the mayans were aware of the solar year not being days and used corrections for this in calculations , so the Aztecs did not if they did use in it the xiuhpohullia, the name bearer-system would have gone wrong, or correlation with the mayan would have shifted.
I remnoved the 6 days stuff. This calendar doesn't really work. Many many books out there are propagating this lie about leap day in Mayan or Aztec calendars. Please refer to Wikipedia's Aztec calendar, since it was the best known Mesoamerican calendar for the Europeans I doubt this is true. I think Maya calendar is more basic than mentioned one.
It was perhaps best known to Europeans in the past, but now comes the time, this won't be true anymore. This article is something of a mess, with a mixture of good info and some dubious points. I don't have time to do the research to rewrite the whole thing now, but I wanted to go on record with this. As some of Wikipedia's other Mesoamerica articles are improved, this article is looking worse in comparison. It starts out with a statement at least dubious, I'd say false, about it being derived from the Maya calendar. It waunders around, sometimes specifically talking about the Aztec calendar, and sometimes about Mesoamerican calendars in general, not being clear when it discusses one of the other.
Let's begin with a basic factual description. When we have a decent article, let's move that here, then move what is in the article now here to talk. The Aztec calendar , which was derived from the Mayan calendar , is perhaps the best known Mesoamerican calendar today due to the famous Aztec monument in Mexico , the Piedra del Sol which means the Stone of the Sun.
The text under Aztec calendar offers a new solution to it, including its starting point October 23, BCE. This below was taken from Z. Some of it is disputed by mainstream scholars of ancient Mesoamerica. Most of our largest libraries have a few dozen books on the history of Mexico , but these books usually interpret the Aztec calendar very briefly.
Besides this, they often emphasize only those scientific achievements that are important for their authors. The wide range of different opinions can be illustrated by one example. Bernal adds that one of them is the Stone of the Sun , and falls into the error of attributing to the stone a calendrical significance, though he never claims that it was used as a calendar.
In this situation, despite the correct but brief information of the encyclopeadias, the reader might get easily confused. In addition to this, some sources introduced certain new terms without proper consistency.
Other denominations were superseded, including a few calendrical miscalculations of amateur writers. Due to the apparent lack of coherence, the new results of some interesting papers have been neglected or ignored by the editors of many popular books. Therefore, a detailed description of the Mexican Aztec calendar is necessary for a complete understanding of the question. Therefore we will give that description before examining what experts have said about the problems.
It will be concluded with the author's solution and its implications. It is well-known that the Mayas and Aztecs had a highly developed calendar system. The two basic time cycles that governed Mesoamerican life were the solar calendar and the ritual calendar. In other words, the Mexican calendar is twofold, and comprises a ritual calendar, with a round of days, which was employed in divination and in fixing "movable feasts"; and a solar year, with a round of days, according to which the seasonal feasts were held Muser, The solar calendar of days, called the Vague Year or Civil Year , was composed of 18 months of 20 days each, with a period of 5 or 6 days added at the end.
The final unlucky days were called " Nemontemi " in Nahuatl, and "Uayeb" in Mayan. So I would like to see the proof that there was just one Aztec calendar and not to each his own city. Further 1Ben is said to be the 13th year of the calendar round, so that 1 Acatl is also said to be the 13th year of it, both being 1 Reed. However, how does a calendar round end and start on Year 1 Acatl for Cortez if it is year This article believes Aztec uses a creation Adam of bc Oct 23, but then let me add my own religious knowledge, the year Venus measures from Noah's Flood to AD.
Mayan Noah's Flood bc and actual Noah's Flood bc. It is 16x year Venus from bc to AD, actual data? The evening Venus of Cortez is bc which is tun from bc which two years after the Flood is Arpaxad and sets better as Venus than using haab which produces bc April to bc Jan 6. Just because it fits, doesnt make it true; but it does uncover how ancients miscalculate reconstructions just as modern scholars do.
Each month had its own special name, and the days were numbered from zero to nineteen. The days of the last month, Uayeb, were numbered from zero to four. In this calendar the Maya counted the days starting from zero rather than from one Ivanoff, This solar calendar was inseparable from the Sacred Round, or Sacred Almanac. The priests used this ritual calendar of days, called Tonalpohualli by the Aztecs and tzolkin by the Maya, primarily for divinatory purposes. The concurrent permutation of the solar and ritual calendars produced the Calendar Round. An exclusively lowland Classic Maya calendar achievement was the Long Count , which permitted an infinite computation of time, backward or forward, from an established starting point Muser, By the passing centuries, this simplified system may have became dominant, but we want to know its original form.
As we have already mentioned, in both solar and ritual calendars, time elapsed in parallel fashion, simultaneously and continuously. The numbers 1 to 13 were also personified as the heads of the gods they represented. The use of this day calendar was in no way arbitrary. Tompkins adds that to these calendars, which all fell into the day pattern, were added more refinements, in order to calculate the synodic returns of the moon and the planets.
In Mesoamerica the planet Venus looms in the dawn sky with extraordinary brilliance. Both the Maya and the Nahua astronomers devoted special attention to the planet, and particularly to its heliacal rising. Venus revolves around the sun every As 5x is equal to 8x , the Maya considered five Venus years equal to eight solar years. And as x is equal to both x and 65x , the sacred, the solar, and the venus calendars become coincident every 37, days, or years. That is, two Mesoamerican "centuries" of 52 years.
Actually, the Maya knew the Venus cycle to be Hope this helps in how many years it took them or not to note this. As astronomers are quick to point out, such an accurate knowledge of the cycle of Venus, whose revolutions are by no means regular, points to a long and careful observation. Furthermore, the Mesoamericans devised a lunar calendar that would fit with the others.
Calculating that lunations or 11, days was exactly divisible by or, x 46 , they obtained a lunar period of This would give them a lunar calendar accurate within a day over a period of years. Returning to the ritual and the solar calendars, the method of naming the individual days was the same for both, and consisted in the combination of twenty pictorial signs, with the numbers one to thirteen. The signs, according to the four cardinal points, were as follows:.
By combining both series, one gets 1 Alligator as the name of the first day; of the second, 2 Wind ; of the third, 3 House , until we reach the day 13 Reed. The following day is called 1 Jaguar ; the next is 2 Eagle , and so on. When the day Flower is reached, it is necessary to start counting the day Alligator over again, with its corresponding number. Conjointly with them were repeated the numerals one to thirteen, e. There being no common factor to the numbers 13 and 20, a period of 13 x 20 days, or , would elapse before the sign 1 Cipactli would recur. This period of days constituted the divinatory or ritual calendar , known as tonalamatl.
The tonalamatl was subdivided in various ways; in some manuscripts each of the twenty day periods, or weeks , is shown separately, together with the figure of a god who was especially associated with the first day, but whose influence was supposed to extend over the whole "week". In some manuscripts the tonalamatl is arranged on a different system: Each row, and each vertical column of five days, is provided with a presiding deity symbol, the influence of which must be assessed. In other words when Mars is regarded as one-quarter the sky in 52 years 24 orbits 1.
Mar 21 to G. Jun 21, the equinox to the solstice is actually G. Mar 20 to G. Jun 23 , then this quarter sky whole sky is a Mars of tun being Julian years is days short of 52 haab of the day year, so the former concept that the year was with Mars and days must be corrected in 52 years by adding days to be 52 years of days. This days are not of 9 months. So you have no choice but to use the number 13 and 20 which seems divinely appointed because another 13 days as 13 leap days will amouint to be 52 Sothic Julian years.
So 13 is all wrapped up in the difference between 52 tun and 52 haab and 52 Julian forcing the days to be 20 of the 13, and so also reversal as 13 of the So a 13 day-number cycle is created, and forces the day year to become 18 of those All becaus eof Mars whose days is thrice The Mexicans reckoned days to the solar year , which they divided into 18 months of twenty days each, and a nineteenth period of five days, considered extremely unlucky, at the end of the year. As the days were known by their tonalamatl names, it is obvious that the first days of the year recurred at the end, after the day period.