Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Divine Serpent, the spirit world & ancient Mayans


I made the above graphic in tribute to the Mayans, i'm making a lantern which should be available in my shop during the next couple of days.

It depicts the 'The Divine Serpent' at both far ends, 'Quetzalcoatl' the feathered serpent in the centre & 'Xochipilli' God of archiculture & flowers either side of him During blood letting rituals, participants would experience visions in which they communicated with the ancestors or gods. These visions took the form of a giant serpent (The Divine Serpent) which served as a gateway to the spirit realm. The ancestor or god who was being contacted was depicted as emerging from the serpent’s mouth.

Maya religion was far more complicated than the simple worship of gods of nature. The Maya world was composed of 3 layers - the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld.The Mayas conducted ceremonies to keep the demons, creatures and gods in the Underworld, where they belonged.

During certain religious ceremonies, priests dressed up like jaguars and wore masks as they faced the inhabitants of the Underworld to present themselves as equally scary and powerful.

Also,all of the men, but none of the women, used mirrors. In the ancient Maya world, looking into a mirror was an act of courage. The Maya believed that monsters from the Place of Awe could reach through the mirror, and yank you into the Otherworld.

About AD 300 to 900the major centers including Palenque, Tikal, and Copán were mysteriously abandoned. The reasons are still unknown

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