Legends of MesoAmerica


Religion is the centre and core of a civilisation. In both Egypt and America the chief gods were the sun-god, the moon-god, a subsidiary rain-god and there was a bird in association, a condor in Peru, the Quetzal in Mexico, the Horus in Egypt. In both regions the insignia of the priest-king was a serpent on the brow. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

Mayan legends tell us the Mayan people came from a land to the east at the time of the Great Flood. Quetzalcoatl, the bearer of their culture, also came from the east. Likewise, the Aztecs refer to their original home, Aztlan, as being to the east. The Aztec empire's capital city, Tenochtitlan, was laid out in a pattern said to resemble that of Aztlan, which must have been an island because the Aztec capital was an island in the middle of the relatively shallow Lake Texcoco. (The Genesis Race)

The Mexican civilizations attributed the arrival of corn to Quetzalcoatl and his entourage, who lived with them for a decade. After creating the ancient people from milled corn, he later taught them the arts of cultivation. Similarly, the Peruvians claim that it was Viracocha, a man with the same description as Quetza1coatl, who gave the people the blessings of agriculture at Lake Titicaca through his daughter Mama Oella. The potato was developed at Lake Titicaca, the site of Tiahuanaco, which many people believe was Earth's first city. (The Genesis Race)

The peoples of Mesoamerica also had a system that divided human existence into five ages, which they called Suns. The Aztec calendar, or sunstone, is actually the best artifact we have of the system used by the Maya and other ancient Mesoamerican civilizations; although the Aztecs used different names, it depicts the Five Suns and the exact temporal proportions used by the Maya--the implied numerical calculations for both the Aztecs and the Maya are identical, as we know from the chronicles of Bishop de Landa. We should remember that after the conquistadors met both the Aztecs and the Maya and questioned them about their traditions, they destroyed the Aztec temples and the Mayan codices. (The Genesis Race)

The calendar, a 13.5-foot basalt relief weighing 25 tons, is currently housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Mexico City and is both a visual representation of the Mesoamerican creation myth and a very large clock of the Ages of Man. It seems that the cycle of time it presents correlates with the Greek and Hindu ages and agrees with their regard of the present period of time: We are in the final age of a grand cycle. (The Genesis Race)

The stone itself is circular and depicts four suns surrounding a fifth sun, a complete cycle embodying a time span of about 26,000 years, which is equivalent to an equinoctial precession. Each of the four suns--Jaguar, Wind, Rain, and Water--corresponds to a different age of man that preceded Tonatiuh, the Fifth Sun, or Motion. The names of all five suns are significant in that they tell how the ages came--or will come--to an end. For example, the Fourth Sun (Water) ended in a deluge and the Fifth Sun (Motion) is predicted to end in a violent series of global earthquakes and impacts from cosmic objects. (The Genesis Race)

Encircling the sun glyphs on the stone is a ring representing the 20 day signs of the 260-day sacred calendar. A second ring consisting of 52 segments--the number of years in a Calendar Round--lies outside the first. The outer rim of the stone is formed by fire serpents whose tails come together at the top of the stone and whose heads--from which two human heads emerge--meet at the bottom. Each of the serpents is made up of 10 segments labeled with the numeral for "ten" and the New Fire glyph, which together represent 100 calendar rounds, or 5,200 years, equivalent to one sun. Five such suns comprising a full cycle of the ages of man-thus equals 26,000 years, or an equinoctial precession. (The Genesis Race)

As noted above, to the Maya, the 26,000 years of the precession encompassed the cyclical series of five suns or the time equal to a precession. The Hindu Yuga cycle coincides with the zodiacal/pre-\precession cycle, which lasts about 2,200 years. The Western system of astrology is also based on the equinoctial precession. It becomes easy to see that all of these many cycles or systems of reckoning converge on the grand astronomical cycle of the precession. (The Genesis Race)

According to Mayan mythology, the ancient ancestors of the Maya came "from the stars" to four areas of the world. One of those areas was ancient Khemit, where they were called the Naga Maya. It is Hakim's belief that the word naga is from the ancient Khemitian word ng or nag, which means tribe. Naga Maya, therefore, possibly means "the tribe that came from across the water."(Before the Pharaohs)

Both the Egyptians and the Maya chose a winged circle to symbolize the divine in man. In hieroglyphic inscriptions, on the royal cartouches, and on the entranceways of temples, the winged circle appears throughout Egyptian architecture. In Egypt it was originally a pair of falcon wings symbolizing the ethereal, but during the fifth dynasty two serpents and a sun disk were inserted between the wings, representing Horus of Behdet. Although the artistic depiction of the winged circle is slightly different for the ancient Maya and Egyptians, the underlying principles and meaning as well as its representation in art are nearly identical. (Before the Pharaohs)

Quetza1coatl reportedly taught the primal Toltecs how to grow maize. Quetzalcoatl, the source of seminal knowledge for the Toltecs, reportedly taught their earliest ancestors how to measure time and study the progression of the stars. He allegedly invented the calendar that tracked their movements. (Gods, Genes, and Consciousness)

Quetzalcoatl is the plumed serpent, the combination of bird and snake. Quetzalcoatl is also (like Itzamna in Mayan theology) the great benefactor of mankind, really the source of all science and technology. …Quetzalcoatl “is the very essence of saintliness; his life of fasting and penitence, his priestly character, and his benevolence toward his children, mankind, are evident...but side by side with this aspect of saintliness we find also in Quetzalcoatl an aspect of sin; and sin, to the indigenes, meant drunkenness and failure to observe sexual abstinence.”(Gods of the Cataclysm)

And so, we are not surprised to learn that the great high priest and monarch of the Golden Age in the Toltec city of Tula, the City of the Sun, in ancient Mexico, whose name, Quetza1coatl, has been read to mean both "the Feathered Serpent" and "the Admirable Twin," and who was fair of face and white of beard, was the teacher of the arts to the people of pre-Columbian America, originator of the calendar, and their giver of maize. His virgin mother, Chimalman - the legend tells - had been one of three sisters to whom God, the All-Father, had appeared one day under his form of Citlallatonac, "the moming." The other two had been struck by fright, but upon Chimalman God breathed and she conceived. She died, however, giving birth, and is now in heaven, where she is revered under the honorable name of "the Precious Stone of Sacrifice," Chalchihuitzli. Quetzalcoatl, her child, who is known both as the Son of the Lord of the High Heavens and as the Son of the Lord of the Seven Caves, was endowed at birth with speech, all knowledge, and all wisdom, and in later life, as priest-king, was of such purity of character that his realm flourished gloriously throughout the period of his reign. His temple-palace was composed of four radiant apartments: one toward the east, yellow with gold; one toward the west, blue with turquoise and jade; one toward the south, white with pearls and shells; one toward the north, red with bloodstones - symbolizing the cardinal quarters of the world over which the light of the sun holds sway. And it was set wonderfully above a mighty river that passed through the midst of the city of Tula; so that every night, precisely at midnight, the king descended into the river to bathe; and the place of his bath was called "In the Painted Vase," or "In the Precious Waters." But the time of his predestined defeat by the dark brother, Tezcatlipoca, was ever approaching; and, knowing perfectly the rhythm of his own destiny, Quetzalcoatl would make no move to stay it. (Primitive Mythology)

The Aztecs of Mexico had a frequent and unpleasant practice of flaying a man alive in religious ceremonials, the priest thereafter wearing his skin over his own. There are figures displaying this. Flaying a man alive was also a common Assyrian punishment later taken over by the Persians and used extensively by them. Marsyas was the Phrygian or Middle East god flayed alive at the behest of Apollo. Cambyses slew Sisamnes...flayed him from head to foot, and made his skin a covering for the judgment seat. Are we to imagine the Mexicans spontaneously invented this ritual or did they copy it? (The God-Kings & the Titans)

The practice of self-laceration, of being prepared to offer up their own blood, was common to the zealous of both Mexico and Phoenicia. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

Corresponding to the Phoenician rain-god, Hadad, the Mexicans worshipped an equivalent deity called Tlaloc. Both figures carried a thunderbolt in the right hand, and both were robed and bearded, although Mexican Indians do not grow beards. Tlaloc with bolt of lightning, a rain-god similar in appearance to Hadad, the Phoenician rain-god. Head of baked clay found at Balsas in Mexico looking like the Phoenician god, Melkarth. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

The reputation Quetzalcuatl, the plumed water-serpent, left behind him was of a teacher who taught that no living thing was to be harmed and that sacrifices were to be made, not of human beings, but of birds and butterflies. His teachings, as stated above, were essentially civilised and the impression gained from the tales of Peru and Mexico is one of an early, enlightened morality at the start of their civilisation, which faded as the civilised centres were overthrown by less instructed tribes from outside. Ultimately the Aztecs dominated at a time of great moral decadence. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

The Maya and the Mexican, in common with the peoples of the Middle East, had divided the history of the world into four or five ages, of which four had passed. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

The Maya, as we have already seen, had memories of several white culture-heroes; the first in time was Itzamna and he came across the ocean from the east. He taught the people, and was looked upon as their guide, instructor and civiliser: he was the patron of healers and diviners and disclosed to the people the mysterious properties of plants. West of the Maya were the tribe called Tzendal, whose white culture-bringer was called Votan. He possessed much the same amiable qualities as Itzamna; invented hieroglyphic signs, taught them how to cultivate maize and cotton, and collected them into villages. Votan, according to the Handbook of Central American Indians, was a man deified by the Indians. He is also said by them to have measured the earth. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

...in the PopolVuh, the sacred text of the Quiche Indians of Guatemala, there is a graphic account of violent catastrophes on a grand scale, for it tells us that: "The waters were agitated by the will of Hurakan, the Heart of Heaven, and a great inundation came...Masses of a sticky material [pitch ]fell...The face of the Earth was obscured, and a heavy darkening rain began. It rained by day, and it rained by night...There was heard a great noise above, as if by fire. Now men were seen running, pushing each other, filled with despair. They wished to climb upon their houses, but the houses, tumbling down, fell to the ground. They wished to hide in caves, but the caves caved in before them...Water and fire contributed to the universal ruin at the time of the last great cataclysm which preceded the Fourth Creation. (From the Ashes of Angels)

All in all, it has been estimated that the number of sacrificial victims in the Aztec empire as a whole had risen to around 250,000 a year by the beginning of the sixteenth century. The Aztecs believed that to prevent the destruction of the universe, which had already occurred four times in the past, the gods must be supplied with a steady diet of human hearts and blood.: This same belief, with remarkably few variations, was shared by all the great civilizations of Central America. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

...one pre-Colombian myth collected in Mexico by the sixteenth-century Spanish chronicler Juan de Torquemada asserted that Quetzalcoatl was 'a fair and ruddy complexioned man with a long beard'. Another...described him as a mysterious person...a white man with strong formation of body, broad forehead, large eyes, and a flowing beard. He was dressed in a long, white robe reaching to his feet. He condemned sacrifices, except of fruits and flowers, and was known as the god of peace...When addressed on the subject of war he is reported to have stopped up his ears with his fingers.' According to a particularly striking Central American tradition, this 'wise instructor...came from across the sea in a boat that moved by itself without paddles. He was a tall, bearded white man who taught people to use fire for cooking. He also built houses and showed couples that they could live together as husband and wife; and since people often quarreled in those days, he taught them to live in peace.' (Fingerprints of the Gods)

In some parts of Central America (notably among the Quiche Maya) he was called Gucumatz. Elsewhere, at Chich en Itza for example, he was known as Kukulkan. When both these words were translated into English, they turned out to mean exactly the same thing: Plumed (or Feathered) Serpent. This, also, was the meaning of Quetzalcoatl." Votan, a great civilizer...was also described as pale-skinned, bearded and wearing a long robe. Itzamana, the Mayan god of healing...was a robed and bearded individual; his symbol, too, was the rattlesnake. All the legends stated unambiguously that Quetzalcoatl/Kukulkanl Gucumatz/Votan/Itzamana had arrived in Central America from somewhere very far away (across the 'Eastern Sea') and that amid great sadness he had eventually sailed off again in the direction whence he had come. The legends added that he had promised solemnly that he would return one day - a clear echo of Viracocha it would be almost perverse to ascribe to coincidence. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Quetzalcoatl/Kukulkan/Ttzamana was quite explicitly portrayed in many of the Mexican and Mayan accounts as having been accompanied by 'attendants' or 'assistants'. 'Kukulkan,' stated another tradition, 'came with nineteen companions, two of whom were gods of fish, two others gods of agriculture, and a god of thunder...They stayed ten years in Yucatan. They were men of good carriage, well-dressed, in long robes of black linen, open in front, and without capes, cut low at the neck, with short sleeves that did not come to the elbow...These followers of Quetzalcoatl were men of great knowledge and cunning artists in all kinds of fine work. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Quetzalcoatl was depicted as having brought to Mexico all the skills and sciences necessary to create a civilized life, thus ushering in a golden age. He was believed, for example, to have introduced the knowledge of writing to Central America, to have invented the calendar, and to have been a master builder who taught the people the secrets of masonry and architecture. He was the father of mathematics, metallurgy, and astronomy and was said to have 'measured the earth'. He also founded productive agriculture, and was reported to have discovered and introduced corn - literally the staff of life in these ancient lands. A great doctor and master of medicines, he was the patron of healers and diviners 'and disclosed to the people the mysteries of the properties of plants'. In addition, he was revered as a lawgiver, as a protector of craftsmen, and as a patron of all the arts. As might be expected of such a refined and cultured individual he forbade the grisly practice of human sacrifice during the period of his ascendancy in Mexico. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

\...the enlightened and benevolent rule of the Plumed Serpent had been brought to an end by Tezcatilpoca, a malevolent god whose name meant 'Smoking Mirror' and whose cult demanded human sacrifice. The supposed stage for these events, now known as Tula, was not believed to be particularly old - not much more than 1000 years anyway - but the legends surrounding it linked it to an infinitely more distant epoch. In those times, outside history, it had been known as Tollan. All the traditions agreed that it had been at Tollan that Tezcatilpoca had vanquished Quetzalcoatl and forced him to quit Mexico. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Ever-young, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, Tezcatilpoca was associated in the legends with night, darkness and the sacred jaguar. He was 'invisible and implacable, appearing to men sometimes as a flying shadow, sometimes as a dreadful monster'. Often depicted as a glaring skull, he was said to have been the owner of a mysterious object, the Smoking Mirror after which he was named, which he made use of to observe from afar the activities of men and gods. Representing the forces of darkness and rapacious evil, Tezcatilpoca was said in the legends to have been locked in a conflict with Quetzalcoatl that had continued over an immense span of years. At certain times one seemed to be gaining the upper hand, at certain times the other. Finally the cosmic struggle came to an end when good was vanquished by evil and Quetzalcoatl driven out from Tollan. Thereafter, under the influence of Tezcatilpoca's nightmarish cult, human sacrifice was reintroduced throughout Central America. This poignant moment of departure was supposedly staged at a place called Coatzecoalcos, meaning 'Serpent Sanctuary'. There, before taking his leave, Quetzalcoatl promised his followers he would return one day to overthrow the cult of Tezcatilpoca and to inaugurate an era when the gods would again 'accept sacrifices of flowers' and cease their clamour for human blood. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

[Diego de Duran] visited Cholula in AD 1585, a time of rapid and catastrophic change. There he interviewed a venerated elder of the town, said to have been more than one hundred years old, who told him this story about the making of the great ziggurat: In the beginning, before the light of the sun had been created, this place, Cholula, was in obscurity and darkness; all was a plain, without hill or elevation, encircled in every part by water, without tree or created thing. Immediately after the light and the sun arose in the east there appeared gigantic men of deformed stature who possessed the land. Enamoured of the light and beauty of the sun they determined to build a tower so high that its summit should reach the sky. Having collected materials for the purpose they found a very adhesive clay and bitumen with which they speedily commenced to build the tower...And having reared it to the greatest possible altitude, so that it reached the sky, the Lord of the Heavens, enraged, said to the inhabitants of the sky, 'Have you observed how they of the earth have built a high and haughty tower to mount hither, being enamoured of the light of the sun and his beauty? Come and confound them, because it is not right that they of the earth, living in the flesh, should mingle with us.' Immediately the inhabitants of the sky sallied forth like flashes of lightning; they destroyed the edifice and divided and scattered its builders to all parts of the earth. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Looking at my map, I could see the blue line of the Coatzecoalcos River running into the Gulf of Mexico more or less at the midpoint of the legendary Olmec homeland. I remembered that Coatzecoalcos meant 'Serpent Sanctuary'. It was here, in remote antiquity, that Quetzalcoatl and his companions were said to have landed when they first reached Mexico, arriving from across the sea in vessels 'with sides that shone like the scales of serpents' skins'. And it was from here too that Quetzalcoatl was believed to have sailed (on his raft of serpents) when he left Central America. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

In both Ancient Central America and Ancient Egypt, it was believed that the deceased's voyage through the underworld was made in a boat, accompanied by 'paddler gods' who ferried him from stage to stage. Is it a coincidence that the passengers in the barque of the dead pharaoh, and in the canoe in which Double Comb makes his final journey, include (in both cases) a dog or dog-headed deity, a bird or bird-headed deity, and an ape or ape-headed deity? All this finds a strange, distorted twin in Mexico. We have seen the prevalence of human sacrifice there in pre-conquest times. Is it coincidental that the sacrificial venue was a pyramid, that the ceremony was conducted by a high priest and four assistants, that a cutting instrument, the sacrificial knife, was used to strike a hard physical blow to the body of the victim, and that the victim's soul was believed to ascend directly to the heavens, sidestepping the perils of the underworld? ...their similarities may be the remnants of a shared legacy received from a common ancestor. The peoples of Central America did one thing with that legacy and the Egyptians another, but some common symbolism and nomenclature was retained by both. ...Quetzalcoatl, in his incarnation as the creator deity, took the role of Marduk while the part of Tiamat was played by Cipactli, the 'Great Earth Monster'. Quetzalcoatl seized Cipactli's limbs 'as she swam in the primeval waters and wrenched her body in half, one part forming the sky and the other the earth. From her hair and skin he created grass, flowers and herbs; 'from her eyes, wells and springs; from her shoulders, mountains'. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

The Pyramid of the Magician was by no means unique in being associated with the supernatural powers of dwarves, whose architectural and masonry skills were widely renowned in Central America. 'Construction work was easy for them,' asserted one typical Maya legend, 'all they had to do was whistle and heavy rocks would move into place. A very similar tradition, as the reader may recall, claimed that the gigantic stone blocks of the mysterious Andean city of Tiahuanaco had been 'carried through the air to the sound of a trumpet'. In both Central America and in the far-off regions of the Andes, therefore, strange sounds had been associated with the miraculous levitation of massive rocks. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

The Maya knew where their advanced learning originated. It was handed down to them, they said, from the First Men, the creatures of Quetzalcoatl, whose names had been Balam-Quitze (Jaguar with the Sweet Smile), Balam-Acab (jaguar of the Night), Mahucutah (The Distinguished Name) and Iqui-Balam (jaguar of the Moon). According to the Papal Vuh, these forefathers: were endowed with intelligence; they saw and instantly they could see far; they succeeded in seeing; they succeeded in knowing all that there is in the world. The things hidden in the distance they saw without first having to move...Great was their wisdom; their sight reached to the forests, the rocks, the lakes, the seas, the mountains, and the valleys. In truth, they were admirable men...They were able to know all, and they examined the four corners, the four points of the arch of the sky, and the round face of the earth. The achievements of this race aroused the envy of several of the most powerful deities. 'It is not well that our creatures should know all,' opined these gods, 'Must they perchance be the equals of ourselves, their Makers, who can see afar, who know all and see all?...Must they also be gods? Let their sight reach only to that which is near; let them see only a little of the face of the earth...Then the Heart of Heaven blew mist into their eyes which clouded their sight as when a mirror is breathed upon. Their eyes were covered and they could only see what was close, only that was clear to them...In this way the wisdom and all the knowledge of the First Men were destroyed. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

The overwhelming message of a large number of Central American legends is that the Fourth Age of the world ended very badly. A catastrophic deluge was followed by a long period during which the light of the sun vanished from the sky and the air was filled with a tenebrous darkness. Then: The gods gathered together at Teotihuacan ['the place of the gods'] and wondered anxiously who was to be the next Sun. Only the sacred fire [the material representation of Huehueteotl, the god who gave life its beginning] could be seen in the darkness, still quaking following the recent chaos. 'Someone will have to sacrifice himself, throw himself into the fire,' they cried, 'only then will there be a Sun.' A drama ensued in which two deities (Nanahuatzin and Tecciztecatl) immolated themselves for the common good. One burned quickly in the centre of the sacred fire; the other roasted slowly on the embers at its edge 'The gods waited for a long time until eventually the sky started to glow red as at dawn. In the east appeared the great sphere of the sun, life-giving and incandescent...' It was at this moment of cosmic rebirth that Quetzalcoatl manifested himself. His mission was with humanity of the Fifth Age. He therefore took the form of a human being - a bearded white man, just like Viracocha. In the Andes, Viracocha's capital was Tiahuanaco. In Central America, Quetzalcoatl's was the supposed birth-place of the Fifth Sun, Teotihuacan, the city of the gods. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

According to Aztec mythology only two human beings survived: a man, Coxcoxtli, and his wife, Xochiquetzal, who had been forewarned of the cataclysm by a god. They escaped in a huge boat they had been instructed to build and came to ground on the peak of a tall mountain. There they descended and afterwards had many children who were dumb until the time when a dove on top of a tree gave them the gift of languages. These languages differed so much that the children could not understand one another. A related Central American tradition, that of the Mechoacanesecs, is in even more striking conformity with the story as we have it in Genesis and in the Mesopotamian sources. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

The Mayan Popol Vuh associates the flood, with 'much hail, black rain and mist, and indescrible cold'. It also says that this was a period when 'it was cloudy and twilight all over the world...the faces of the sun and the moon were covered. Other Maya sources confirm that these strange and terrible phenomena were experienced by mankind, 'in the time of the ancients. The earth darkened...It happened that the sun was still bright and clear. Then, at midday, it got dark...Sunlight did not return till the twenty-sixth year after the flood.' (Fingerprints of the Gods)

It is striking that many of the myths, traditions and liturgies that have come down to us concerning Teotihuacan are deeply concerned with the immortality of the human soul and the hard work that the initiate must do in order to attain it. (Heaven's Mirror)

The ultimate mystical moment of transition, according to the Papal Vuh, arrives when the Lords of Xibalba have apparently succeeded in beheading Hunahpu--only to set the stage for his miraculous resurrection as the sprouting maize plant. It is during this interminable night of waiting that Ixbalarnque, alone in the midst of the infernal beings, exemplifies the functions of the Lunar goddess who unaided defends humanity against the monsters of the night when sun has disappeared below the horizon. From that time on the jaguars (balam), nahuals or alter egos of the female deity, watch over the Indian's village and his roads and lands during the night. (The Secret of the Incas)

The miracle of the transformation of the dead god into maize is fully mirrored by the miracle of the social transformation from the horticultural cycle to that of agriculture. The jaguar, to this day a terrifying demon to those peoples whose culture conforms to the Third Age of the Papal Vuh, had become for the Maya a protector, an ally of the night. It is certainly noteworthy, and hardly coincidental, that this process is in all aspects identical to that described in depth in psychology, where repressed elements of the psyche constellate as demons until brought to consciousness, where they may be redirected, and enlisted as allies. This saga of the transformation of cruelty into love--the once-terrifying jaguar now marshaling all its fierceness to protect the sleeping children of the Maya villages--is one of the most beautiful stories in the annals of the world's literature. It is authentic testimony not to the pious hope, but rather to the living reality of the relative perfectibility of human nature. It comes straight from the heart of the Americas, where truth and beauty, like Sun and Moon, are twin aspects of the same reality. (The Secret of the Incas)

…the Popol Vuh, an original document of the ancient Quiche Maya of Guatemala, based on pre-conquest sources, also speaks of a flood and associates it with “much hail, black rain and mist, and indescribable cold.” It says, in a remarkable echo of the Zoroastrian tradition, that this was a period when “it was cloudy and twilight all over the world … The faces of the sun and the moon were covered.” Other Maya sources confirm that these strange and terrible phenomena were experienced by mankind “in the time of the ancients. The earth darkened … It happened that the sun was still bright and clear. Then, at midday, it got dark …” Sunlight was not seen again “until the twenty-sixth year after the flood.” (Magicians of the Gods)

…in signaling the decades around 2012 as the end of a great cycle, the Maya were not speaking of the end of the world, as such, but rather of the end of an age—“a time of great transformation and world rebirth”—that would be followed by the beginning of a new great cycle or world age. This, in the Mayan scheme of things, is the turbulent and dangerous time of transition we live in today. (Magicians of the Gods)

…the Popol Vuh makes mention of “fish-men,” exactly like the Apkallu Sages of Mesopotamia (“who had the whole body of a fish, but underneath and attached to the head of the fish there was another head, human, and joined to the tail of the fish, feet like those of a man”). Exactly like the Apkallu, too, these fish men reported in the traditions of the ancient Maya possessed magical powers and “worked many miracles.” (Magicians of the Gods)

The people of Central and South America also hold rich mythologies about the lost island paradise and its destruction in a Great Flood. The supposed gods who brought agriculture to the vicinity of Lake Titicaca were said to have come “out of the regions of the south” immediately “after the deluge.” (Atlantis Beneath the Ice)

The great cosmic symbols of the ancient Maya are a map of the sky, but the sky itself is a great pageant that replays Creation in the pattern of its yearly movements. Sunset on August 15 darkens the sky to reveal Itzam-Yeh (Seven-Macaw) falling from the tree after he has been shot by the firstborn twin, One-Ahaw (Hunahpu). Then the Crocodile Tree transforms into a canoe. This canoe runs east to west, propelled by the Jaguar Paddler and the Stingray Paddler, or by Itzamna, the original shaman. As the canoe sinks under the water, it brings the Maize God to the Place of Creation, the space between Gemini and Orion. The Paddler Gods and other Itz'at of the Sky center the sky by setting the three stones of Creation. This is also the hearth where the first fire is drilled. They draw the picture of the turtle and the peccaries on the earth and the sky simultaneously, at First-Three-Stone-Place at Lying-down-Sky. There also, Hun-Nal.-Ye, the Maize God, rises reborn from the cracked turtle shell. The copulating peccaries of Gemini (remember that the Creator Couple in the Popol Vuh were called Great White Peccary, Great White Coati) Iie nearby. Perhaps the Maya also once shared the Aztec definition of Gemini as a star ballcourt--the one where the Maize God stayed after he was reborn so that humanity could worship him. As the Maize God is reborn from the Turtle-Peccary of Orion, his umbilicus stretches out to become the ecliptic on which his sons, Venus and the Sun, and his wife, the Moon, will travel through the new Creation. When the day dawns, the first acts of Creation come to fruition. On February 5, sunset finds First-Three-Stone-Place still at the center of the sky. It sinks toward the west, taking the handful of seeds (the Pleiades) to be planted in the earth. This is also an image of the four hundred boys falling to their death. After midnight, the Black-Transformer appears and from this great sky-wide portal the Wakah-Chan rises, along the entire eastern horizon until it is arching from north to south across the heavens. First Father has raised the sky in the form of the Milky Way, a great tree with its buttress roots in the south. This Wakah-Chan arches north to touch the heart of heaven, the black void that was celestial north in ancient times. When he raised the sky, First Father created a house in the north made of eight partitions. On earth these unfold as the kan tzuk, kan xuk "four partitions, four corners." When all was finished, First Father started the constellations moving in the circular motion "that sustains the very vault of heaven until the end of time"--until the next Creation. The gods wrote all of these actions in the sky so that every human, commoner and king alike, could read them and affirm the truth of the myth. (Maya Cosmos)

So we find that the Olmec and the early Maya defined sacred space in fundamentally similar ways: plazas shimmered with the hidden currents of the Primordial Sea, stairways descending from the summits of Creation mountains shaped paths between worlds. Threshold buildings and ballcourt alleyways marked out the liminal space for dance, ritual sport and...for sacrifice. In each case, we find evidence for centering the world and anchoring it in the original moments of its birth. (Maya Cosmos)

The stakes of war may have been control of resources, population, and power, but the Maya did not think of it in that way. To them it was a holy obligation, tied to the beings who created the world. Most of aIl, it was a battle between the spirit companions of the people who fought it. Victory not only secured wealth and power for the winners, it demonstrated to all that the gods were on their side. (Maya Cosmos)

...In Egypt, as amongst the Maya, the stellar context involves Orion and the Milky Way. In Egypt as in Mexico a journey through the netherworld must be undertaken by the deceased. In Egypt as in Mexico religious teachings assert that life is our opportunity to prepare for this journey—an opportunity that should under no circumstances be wasted. (America Before)

No one definition can embrace Quetzalcoatl. He had several representations or aspects. He was the feathered serpent king and rainmaker god in Central America. Quetzal (bird or plurne) and coatl (serpent) signified a connection between bird and snake. The snake was supposed to be a kind of evil dragon guarding the well of life. He contained or imprisoned the life-giving moisture. An eternal conflict existed between him and the great bird who nested in the tree of life and would wrestle with and devour the snake, thus releasing the rains, the fertilizing waters necessary for men and crops. The origin of this serpent-devouring bird lies in Africa. The plumed-serpent myth and all lts highly arbitrary abstractions and interconnections (such as the winged disc motif) evolved through ancient Egypt's contact with black Africa and because of special political circumstances in the Egyptian dynastic period. (They Came Before Columbus)

Quetzalcoatl is associated with a tree. The Dasiri and kore are ! inseparable from a tree. The Dasiri is supposed to live on a specific tree, which is sacred. In like manner Quetzalcoatl is repre- ' sented as a hummingblrd kneeling on the top of a tree. The Dasiri is also worshiped on an altar of a conical or truncated form, which supports a clay bowl. The bowl, whlch receives libations, is placed under a tree or on the first branches of the tree. This same tree is represented in America. (They Came Before Columbus)

Another notable correspondence between the cultures of Mexico and Mali may be found in "the priestly cap of the Magi." This is a conical hat with a neck-flap whlch was a distinctive headgear of kings and priests in ancient Persia. It was passed on from Persia to the Arabs and perpetuated among the magicians of West Africa. It reappears in America as a crown worn by the black- bearded Quetzalcoatl. Its shape is not its only distinctive feature. It was the representation of the visible heaven, and so was painted to represent stars.That this kingly and priestly cap of the Magi, with its conical shape and star decoration, should have been preserved in America in its identical form and should also have kept almost the same name which was current for it among the Mandingo, strongly, suggests that the cap represented the influence of the fourteenth-century African visitors. (They Came Before Columbus)

Rainmaking ritual in both Central America and West Africa, for example, included dancing with water-filled perforated pipes in the mouth and blowing the water through the perforation at the sky, throwing water from a vessel held high in the air so that the falling spray descended on the drought-stricken land or the supplicant crowd, squirting water in a fine stream from the mouth onto a field and watering the graves of twins, who were thought in both cultures to have some mysterious connection with the weather. The rainrnakers in both culture areas made use of black rainstones, and in their sacrifices slaughtered black animals. This was also the case in South Arnerica, which the Africans visited either before or after fllterlng through into Mexico. A Peruvian oral tradition tells of black men coming to them across the Andes. To procure rain the Peruvian Indians sacrificed black sheep in a field. The Africans of West Africa sacrificed black  sheep, black fowl, the blood of black oxen and black cattle. (They Came Before Columbus)

This burial ritual involved the placing of a green stone in the mouth of the corpse. Both the Egyptians and the Mexicans saw this green stone as a symbol of the heart and as the prolonger of life. The green stone in the mouth of the dead...is a very prirnitive ritual indeed--one may even say primordial. It precedes Egyptian civilization by thousands of years. It was found between the teeth of some of the Cro-Magnon skeletons in the Grimaldi caves near Menton. (They Came Before Columbus)

The Aztecs attributed their whole system of knowledge to the god-king Quetzalcoatl and his companions, who were also the first inhabitants of the land and initially sowed the seeds of humankind. He was also believed to be an enigmatic light man with a beard, of strong stature with a high forehead and big eyes, who arrived from behind the sea in a boat that floated without oars. Quetzalcoatl was thought of as the god of the world. This bearded man taught people how to use fire for cooking. He also built houses and taught families  how to live together as husband and wife. It is Quetzalcoatl that is credited with the invention of the improved calendar. He brought to Mexico all the crafts and sciences necessary for the transition to civilized life, which ensured the advent of the new Golden Age. As a brilliant builder, he revealed the secrets of masonry and architecture. He was the father of mathematics, metallurgy, and astronomy and was said to have measured the earth. Likewise, as teacher of agricultural science, Quetzalcoatl introduced corn, a staple crop in these ancient lands. The great healer, he was the patron of physicians and sorcerers and taught the people how to use medicinal plants. Additionally, he was revered as a giver of law and patron of technology and high culture. His cult was filled with mysteries related to life after death. It was also believed that Quetzalcoatl himself had traveled to that light and returned to tell people about it. (The Anunnaki Connection)  

The Chilam Balam of Chumayel spoke of an almighty cataclysm during which the `Great Serpent' was `ravished from the heavens, together with the rattles of its tail', so that its `skin and pieces' of its `bones fell here upon the Earth. Since we know that in Maya astronomy the seven stars of the Pleiades were viewed as its seven-fold rattle, does this imply that the celestial serpent responsible for the destruction that brought to a close the previous world age originated from the direction of the Pleiades? (Gateway to Atlantis