Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Tzotltlan, the unclean city
Tzotltlan is home to the gatekeeper and guide of the underworld of Mictlan, the great Xolotl. He is the evil twin brother of Quetzalcoatl who guides not only the souls of men to the underworld, but the Sun itself through its daily passage every night. In western terms he is Charon to Ra. He is both an evil version of Venus and a god thoughtful of the interests of mankind. He created man alongside Quetzalcoatl and helped it emerge from the shadows of by giving mankind the fires of wisdom.
Legend says that in the beginning of this era, the fifth sun, Xolotl went to the underworld Mictlan with Quetzalcoatl and together they stole the bones of past men from the underworld god Mictlantecuhtli. From these remains the made race of men was made. Then, to set the fifth sun in motion, the gods sacrificed themselves to start the new era, but Xolotl, fearful of death, fled from the executioner. First he transformed into a plant of corn, but when discovered he ran again only to transform himself into a maguey plant and once again hide from his executioner. When his executioner found him again he fled into the waters transforming into a axolotl ( a salamander like amphibian ) and was finally captured and killed in this form. He is a god that fears death and rejects it at all costs, using transformations to escape it. So do Xolotl's followers who live in Tzotltlan seek to escape death by the power of transformation.
Unlike other cities in which death is an accepted aspect of life that both closes and opens the cycle of life, those living in Tzotltlan reject this destiny preferring that others pay the price of this cycle of life. Tzotltlan is full of nahuales, shapeshifting sorcerers, warlocks and witch-priests who use their powers to extend their lives beyond their natural limit. This is usually in the form of rituals involving human sacrifice of the most horrible nature so that others may fill their place in the underworld of Mictlan and please the undeworld's god Mictlantecuhtli thirst for new souls.
Tzotltlan also houses the Ahuiateteo (or macuiltonaleque) the five hunchback dwarven gods of vice. They are: Five Vulture (Macuilcozcacuauhtli) god of gluttony, Five Lizard (Macuilcuetzpalin) god of pride, Five Weed (Macuilmalinalli) god of lust and envy, Five Flower (Macuilxochitl) god of gambling and games, and Five Rabbit (Macuiltochtli) god of alcoholic beverages. Rituals, offerings and sacrifices are done to gain the favor of these gods and fill the ever emptier lives of those who live forever in Tzotltlan. If this were not enough the common folk or unaware traveler may directly fall prey to these gods, as it is known of them to come out during certain days of the calendar.
There are nine great pyramids that stand above all other pyramids and structures in Tzotltlan. One for each of the nine circles of the underworld, and each is said to hold a portal or gate into their corresponding circle. Through them the priests can bring back the dead, condemn the living and obtain information from wandering spirits of the underworld. This is a place were the barrier between life and death fades away and the dead are thought to be as alive as the living. Great undead armies have been seen rising from these pyramids. Horrible tortures have been performed on the dead relatives of traitors and enemies in the interest of obtaining information and knowledge that will further the city-state's interests.
In Tzotltlan this morning's sacrifices are the evening's armies. Death is the currency paid to perpetuate life. Those who live in Tzotltlan have become masters of this skill and this has made Tzotltlan the longest standing empire in Itza, an empire spanning millennia.
Eons of rituals have harnessed, within these teocalli (9 temple pyramids), the powers of life and death, even the supreme powers of dusk and dawn. Control the rise and setting of the Sun and you control the destiny of every man in Itza. While Tzotltlan is a religious and intellectual superpower plagued with vice its military might should not be underestimated.