Sabtu, 14 Juni 2008

Understanding the The Terrestrial Plane

From Ometeotl the four Tezcatlipocas were born, each identified with a cardinal direction. Of the four, the Black Tezcatlipoca was the god Tezcatlipoca (Smoking Mirror); he was the most venerated and feared. Quetzalcoatl, or the white Tezcatlipoca, was the Black Tezcatlipoca’s polar opposite, for Quetzalcoatl was a benevolent god and was associated with the color white and with the west. However, because of their dual natures, possessing both good and bad qualities, representing black and white, and life and death. Quetzalcoatl and the Black Tezcatlipoca were constantly engaged in a cosmic struggle, a struggle that would result in both the end and the beginning of worlds. The Earth and the universe were thus created from this cosmic struggle and would therefore comprise both benevolence and evil.
The terrestrial plane was thought of in terms of five cardinal directions: the east, north, south, west, and center, or axis mundi. Each direction had a particular god, symbol, and color and often had its own bird, plant, or tree. The east stood for the region of Tlapallan, symbolized with a reed as it was associated with Xipe Totec, the Red Tezcatlipoca, god of vegetation and renewal of nature. The Black Tezcatlipoca could be seen in the north ruling over Mictlampa, the region of the dead, symbolized by flint. The Blue Tezcatlipoca, also known as Huitzilopochtli, the god of the Sun and of war, corresponded to the south, the region of Huitztlampa, signified by the rabbit. The White Tezcatlipoca was commonly identified with the west, called Cihuatlampa, represented by the calli, or house. At the center of the Earth was the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan. Tenochtitlan corresponded to the concept of cemanahuac, the idea that the primordial homeland consisted of a tract of land (tlalticpac) surrounded by water. Tenochtitlan also resembled the original Aztec city of Aztlan, which had also been erected on land surrounded by water. Within Tenochtitlan was the ceremonial enclosure of the Great Temple, with two altars of Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc atop .
The two most important celestial bodies were the Sun and the planet Venus, also known as the Morning Star, whose arrival was anticipated with fear. The gods of the Sun and Venus were invariably conceived as masculine, whereas the Moon and the Earth were both masculine and feminine. Humans lived in Tlalticpac, which means “on the Earth.” The Earth, in addition to being on the back of a marine monster, was also thought to be a gigantic toad, whose face formed the entrance to the underworld, and who devoured the dead.

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