Quetzalcoatl In His Mexican Form

(20), and a hand (maitl). The phonetic values employed by the scribes varied exceedingly, and they certainly conveyed their ideas more by sketch than sound.

A piece of Nahua literature, the disappearance of which is surrounded by circumstances of the deepest mystery, is the Teo-Amoxtli, or " Divine Eook," which is alleged by certain chroniclers to be the work of the ancient Toltecs. Ixtlilxochitl, a native Mexican author, states that it was written by a Tezcucan wise man or wizard, 011c Ilue-matzin, or " Lord of the Great Hand," about the end of the seventh century, and that it described the pilgrimage of the Aztecs from Asia, their laws, manners, customs, religion, arts, and magic. In 1838 the Baron dc Waldeck stated in his " Voyage Piitoresque " that he had it in his possession, and the Abbe Brasseur de Bourbcurg dent if;cd it with the "Maya Dresden Codex" and other native manuscripts. Bustamante also states that the native chroniclers had a copy in their possession at the time of the fall of Mexico. But these appear to be mere surmises, and it seems un'ikely that the Tco-Awoxili ■was ever seen by a En ropes n.

The "Codex Fejervary-Mayer," or at least one side of it, is known to Mexican speeialists as " the Wizards' Manual." Its origin is unknown, and it is the property of the Liverpool Public Museums, to which it was bequeathed by a Mr. Joseph Mayer in 18C7. One side of this manuscript is generally alluded to as the " day or " priests' " side, and the other as the " night " or " wizards' " side, as it deals with the lore of darkness, sorcery, and the occult. The. whole is divided into forty-femr sheets.

Let us examine these passages devoted to arcane matters :

Sheet 1 represents the five regions of the world and their presiding deities, and the four quarters of the tonalarnatl, or " Book of Fate " as well as the nine lords of the night, in a direction opposite to their usual sequence. The gods goverrrng the five regions in this sheet are :

Centre—Xiuhteeutli, the fire-god.

East—-Mixcoatl, god of the chase ; Tlaloc, the rain-god.

North—Itztli, the stone-knife god ; Xuchipilli, god of flowers and games.

West—Iztac Tezcatlipoca (the white or fruitful Tezcatlipoca); Quetzalcoatl, the wind-god.

South—-Macuilxochitl, god of pleasure ; Xipe, god of sacrifice.

Sheets 2-4 deal with the nine lords of the night hours.

Sheets 5-14.—In these sheets are depicted the gods of the five regions in a different sequence from that shown in sheet 1, that is, the deities represented pose as patrons of the reversal of things, otherwise of the Black Art. They are :

Centre—Tezcatlipoca ; Iztac Mixcoatl.

South—Xopilli; Xochiquetzal.

West—Tlaltecutli; Chantico.

North -Centcotl; Xolotl.

East —Tlauizcalpantecutli; Patecatl.

These gods introduce a series of pages (sheets 15-18) which deal with sorcery and occult lore, especially with the subject of death by magic.

Sheets 38 43 (lower half).—The six earthly regions are symbolized in these sheets. A tonalarnatl resembling that just described is shown, and in each p'eture the earth-demon with a head like that of a badger is depicted. The sequence is probably East, North, West, South, Above -Below.

Sheets 41-42.—According to Seler, these show the four forms of the god of the planet Venus In his relation to the cardinal points. In the eastern section the hat-god is depleted ; in the northern, Mixcoatl; in the western, Xochipilli; and in the southern and last, the eagle.

Sheet 43 once more depicts the five regions of the universe, which here take the form of a crossway showing the cardinal points and a double manual indicator for the Above and Below regions.

Sheet 44 represents Tezcatlipoca as a wizard, surrounded by the twenty " weeks " of the tonalamotl.

If we seek light on these magical pages we find that Sheet ] depicts the influence of the nine lords of the night or the five quarters of the world. Xuihtecutli, lord of tire, rules the centre, that is the hearth of the world, for the hearth in Mexico usually occupied the centre of the native dwelling. Mixcoatl, god of the chase, rules the east, the direction of the rising sun. He was the Toltec Abraham, or patriarch, and symbolized wisdom and knowledge. Tlaloc, the rain-god, accompanies him, bringing the beneficent showers which caused growth and prosperity. These gods are of good omen.

But from the dreadful north, the House of Fear in Mexico, descend Itztli, god of death and the stone knife of sacrifice. As a mitigating influence he is accompanied by Xochipilli, the god of pleasure, so that this world-direction was not regarded as altogether ominous of evil. The west quarter takes Tezcatlipoca, in his white or fruitful form, a beneficent side of him, and Quetzalcoatl, always a good sign. The south holds the picture of Macuilxochitl, a pleasure deity, but is darkened by the figure of the gnastly Xipe, Lord of Sacrifice, in his dress of human skins. These beings ruled the fort unes of the several earth-regions or compass-directions over which they presided.

The Lords of the Night Hours who appear in sheets 2-4 have been dealt with ia the chapter 011 Astrology.

Jn sheets 5-14 the gods of the five regions are shown in reversed sequence. Thus in the centre region stand Tezcatl'poca, the god of vengeance, showing that here he governs the heart of things. Wit h him is Mixeoatl in his " white " character as a mitigating influence. The South is ruled by Xopi'ii and Xochiquctzal, both gods of pleasure, so that it is especially of good omen in this place. The West, with Tlaltecutli and Chantico, is not particularly fortunate, as being under the influence of rain in the evil sense, the deluge of fire which fell from heaven at the. end of the water-sun age. Chantico, moreover, represents the volcanic fire imprisoned in the centre of the earth, so that he has a plutonic and therefore a sinister significance as a tonalamatl figure. As the North is governed by Centeotl and Xolotl, it is favourable and fruitful of good. The East has Tlaaizcalpantecutli, a sacrificial god, and Patecatl, a drink deity, usually an unfortunate symbol, therefore it can scarccly be said to be of happy auspices. It is likely that this sequence represents the five regions as used astrologicallv for the night hours* whereas the former were similarly employed by the augurs during the day.

Sheets 41-42 hold the bad influence of the bat-god, which is, however, mitigated by the cheerful presence of the god of sport and by the wisdom of Mixeoatl. Sheet 43 is indicative of the whehes' meeting-place, the cross-roads of the terrible Ciuateteo, and shows the downward terrestrial influence in cor junction with that from the above-worid.

There is no question that the " books " of ancient Mexico which dealt with sorcery were quite as much in demand bj the naualli or wizard class as were the grimoires of the Middle Ages by the sorcerers of that era. But they were more mnemonic than explanatory, that is, they held only the huits and outlines of magical knowledge and procedure rather than a full exposit ion of them. It could scarcely be expected that such a system of writing and symbolism as the Mexicans possessed could have achieved more than such a sketch of any department of knowledge, and the fanaticism of the Spanish conquerors has spared us merely a fraction of that.

.Before undertaking a magical act the naualli consulted his tonalarnatl and satisfied himself that the astrological omens were favourable. He then applied himself to the study of the ritual procedure, as illustrated by pictures in such a book as the " Codex Bologna," the only surviving manuscript which gives us a hint that such books actually existed. These preliminary steps accomplished, he next betook himself to a desert place, and called upon one or other of the presiding deities of magic, and possibly the god of the hour, for assistance in his task.

If he had been " retained " by a client to employ magical power upon a third party, he did so by means of intense concentration. Sitting in his cavern or on some wild hill-side, he; brought all his mental powers to bear on the idea of the person whom it was desired to influence either for good or evil. Instances are on record of Mexican wizards who pitted their wills and magical influences against one another. Says Brinton :

" In these strange duels d Voutrance, one would be seated opposite his antagonist, surrounded with the mysterious emblems of his craft, and call upon his gods, one after another, to strike his enemy dead. Sometimes one, ' gathering his medicine,' as it was termed, feeling within himself that hidden force of will which makes itself acknowledged even without words, would rise in his might, and in a loud and severe voice command his opponent to die ! Straightway the latter would drop dead, or yielding in craven fear to a superior volition, forsake the implements of his art, and with an awful terror at his heart, creep to his lodge, refuse all nourishment, and presently perish."

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