The Flower of the Dead

Invoking Souls to the Altar

Orange and amber leaves, exotic diffusion of strong aroma – to call the dead to celebrate their lives and ours… it is time once again, dear readers, for the Day of the Dead, November1 & 2.

We are happy to say we received a legend that we, in turn, offer to you, in honor of our dead in this special season.

The Storyteller known as Saltamontes, Grasshopper, eternal apprentice of ancestral wisdom and  life, a healer who resides and practices in the Albuquerque area, shared this legend and we are grateful for this reminder of this sacred flower of blood and tradition.

Marigolds

Legend Turned Flower

Xochitl and Huitzílin loved each other since they were children. Both Flower, Xochitl, and Hummingbird, Huitzílin, grew up together, their bodies, their minds and mostly, their great love. Every afternoon they climbed the mountain to offer flowers to the Sun, Tonatiuh.

The Father smiled at the gift of lovers who swore to love each other beyond time, beyond distance, and beyond death.

One day war came, and the lovers separated.  Sadly and suddenly came the news that Huitzílin had died in the war. When Xochitl found out she felt her heart beating with so much pain, she climbed the mountain and desperately complained to Tonatiuh, “What happened? I cannot live without him!”

Father Sun, knowing the girl and her pain, spread one of his rays to touch and caress the young woman and at that moment, she transformed into a flower of colors so intense, like the rays of the Father Sun – orange and amber rays.

Then came Huitzílin already in hummingbird form. He lovingly settled in the center of the flower and joined eternally with it. Instantly, the flower opened into thick petals, shedding an intense and mysterious aroma… warm and attractive.

Thus, they say that the flower of Zempaxochitl was born, the Marigold, the flower of the dead.

Thank you, Grasshopper

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La Flor del Muerto

Invocando Las Almas al Altar

Hojas naranjas y ámbar, exótica difusión de olores fuertes, para llamar a los muertitos, así celebrando sus vidas y las nuestras…ya es hora, queridos lectores, del Día de los Muertos, 1 y 2 noviembre.

Nos alegra decirles que nos enviaron una leyenda que le ofrecemos a ustedes, en nombre de nuestros muertos.

La cuentacuentos Saltamontes, eterna aprendiz de la sabiduría ancestral y la mera vida, es una sanadora que reside y practica en los alrededores de Albuquerque. Estamos agradecidos a Saltamontes por recordarnos de donde vino esta flor de nuestra sangre y tradición y nos pinta el amor que le dio vida a la flor cempasúchil…

Cempasúchil

Una Bella Leyenda Convertida En Flor

Xochitl y Huitzílin se amaban desde que eran niños. Juntos crecieron la Flor y el Colibrí, y también su amor. Cada tarde subían a la cima de la montaña para llevar y ofrendar flores al Sol Tonatiuh.

El Sol padre parecía sonreír al regalo de los amantes que juraron amarse más allá del tiempo, más allá de la distancia, y más allá de la muerte.

Un día llegó la guerra y los amantes se separaron. Tristemente y pronto llegó la noticia de que Huitzílin había muerto en la guerra. Cuando Xochitl se enteró sintió que su corazón latía con demasiado dolor, subió a la montaña y desesperadamente le reclamó a Tonatiuh y le preguntó ¿Que sucedió? ¡Que ella no podría vivir sin él!

El padre Sol, conociendo la niña y su dolor, extendió uno de sus rayos para tocar y acariciar a la joven y en ese momento, ella se transformó en una flor de colores intensos como los rayos del tata Sol – rayos naranja y ámbar.

Entonces vino Huitzílin ya en su forma de Colibrí. Amorosamente se instalo en el centro de la flor y se unió eternamente en ella. Al instante, la flor se abrió en tupidos pétalos desprendiendo un aroma intenso y misterioso … acogedor y atrayente.

Así dicen que nació la flor de Zempaxochitl, la flor de los muertos.

Gracias, Saltamontes

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MESOAMERICAN KEYSTONES:

A Contribution of the Fasting Coyote

One of our great Aztec Speakers, the Tlatoani Nezahuacoyotl – Fasting Coyote – left Earth, gratefully, prior to the coming of Columbus and Cortez. As a “King,” the word the Conquerors offer, Nezahuacoyotl left much evidence of our Toltec heritage. When the Spanish invaded every “written” thing we had, he is noted both as a significant historical figure and an early Mesoamerican Poet. Here is an early poem with thoughts to the purpose of life, in three languages. Just something we’d show if you came to the house.  

ZE ILNAMIKIZ NINEZKAYO

Ika tlen niyazki?
Amitla ni ten yotiliu tlakuitlapan tlaipan?
Kenim ki chiua no yolohtzin?
Azeh motopalli tiulah nemliliz?
In kueponiz tlalipan?
Ti nezakayotitiuh xochimeh,
Ti nezakayotitiuh kuikameh.

UN RECUERDO QUE DEJO

¿Con que he de irme?
¿Nada dejaré en pos de mis sobre la tierra?
Como ha de actuar mi corazón
¿Acaso en vano venimos a vivir?
¿A brotar sobre la tierra?
Dejemos al menos flores,
Dejemos al menos cantos.

A MEMORY THAT I LEAVE

With what shall I go?
Shall I leave naught in my place over this earth?
How shall my heart act?
Did we come to live in vain?
To grow on this earth?
We leave at least flowers,
We leave at least songs.

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MESOAMERICAN KEYSTONES

FROM

We’re privileged to share this link with our readers. Mexicolore, a serious organization out of the UK, publishes an amazing amount of information on Aztekas and Mayas in formats friendly to anyone: teacher, student, curiosity-seeker. In search of a source for myth, we found Mexicolore beyond adequate. Our thanks to Mexicolore for permission to provide our readers a copy of “The Origin of the People,” a well-researched and authentic version of this Mesoamerican Keystone. Read it here with some pictures from the Mexicolore original, and/or click the link above to see all that they have to offer.

Enjoy and Make Art.

The Origin of People

Part of the Mesoamerican myth of the creation of the Fifth Sun (world era) in which we live today; here is the story of the origin of people, based on one (the Leyenda de los Soles) of the different colonial versions written down after the Conquest. Taken from The Aztecs by Michael E. Smith (2nd. edn., Blackwell Publishing, 2003)…

The creation of the fifth sun, the current age, fell to Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca (top picture). In one version of this myth, the two gods found the earth completely covered with water from the flood that ended the fourth sun. The giant earth monster Tlaltecuhtli (‘Earth Lord’ – pic 1), a crocodile-like creature, swam in the sea searching for flesh to eat. The gods turned themselves into serpents, entered the sea, and tore Tlaltecuhtli in half. The upper part of her body became the land, and the lower part was thrown into the sky to become the stars and heavens. Plants and animals grow from the back of Tlaltecuhtli and rivers pour from her body.

With the land and sky in place, the gods were ready to create people. They sent Quetzalcoatl to the underworld, Mictlan (‘Place of the Dead’), to retrieve the bones of the people of the fourth sun:-

And then Quetzalcoatl went to Mictlan. He approached Mictlantecuhtli (pic 2) and Mictlancihuatl [Lord and Lady of the Underworld]; at once he spoke to them:

’I come in search of the precious bones in your possession. I have come for them.’
And Mictlantecuhtli asked of him, ‘What shall you do with them, Quetzalcoatl?’
And once again Quetzalcoatl said, ‘The gods are anxious that someone should inhabit the earth.’
And Mictlantecuhtli replied, ‘Very well, sound my shell horn and go around my circular realm four times.’
But his shell horn had no holes.

The false conch horn was the first of several tricks that Mictlantecuhtli used to block Quetzalcoatl’s mission. Quetzalcoatl called upon worms to drill a hole in the shell, and bees to make the horn (pic 3) play. When Mictlantecuhtli heard the horn, he at first allowed Quetzalcoatl to gather the bones, but later changed his mind. His helper spirits dug a hole, and a quail appeared and startled Quetzalcoatl, who tripped and lost consciousness. The bones were scattered and broken, and the quail chewed on them. Quetzalcoatl finally rose, gathered up the bones, and escaped from Mictlan.

Quetzalcoatl carried the bones to Tamoanchan, a place of paradise. The old goddess Cihuacoatl (‘Woman Serpent’ – pic 4) ground them on the metate [grinding stone] and placed the powder in a jade bowl. Quetzalcoatl and the other gods gathered around and shed their blood upon the ground bones, and the first people of the fifth sun were made.

Infinitas gracias to Mexicolore, once again. We look forward to sharing more of your fine work.

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