The Wheel of Time

On more than one occasion the cards prompted me to get out old diaries and pictures and reminisce.

X = Wheel of Fortune is certainly one of them.

It actually shows 2 things from 2 very different sites and cultures in Central America:

1. The enigmatic Aztec Sun calendar from the valley of the Mexica and the terrifying Chac Mool sacrificial altar from Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula

It is always quite intimidating to stand before the Reloj de Montezuma = Montezuma’s watch, as the inhabitants of Mexico City jokingly call the 24 ton colossal and envision its significance as a wheel of their worldview and sense of the cosmos, time and space.

The center face is that of Tonatihu, the Aztec sun god with his tongue that doubles as a knife that slices time and flesh and lets blood and life flow freely through Nāhui Olin, the Nahuatl name for the Era of the Quaking Sun, our times right now.

The stone also has the symbols of previous Eons, the wheels of the days of the Aztec month, the symbols of the 4 cardinal directions and the feathered Serpents that in the end devour everything, the night symbolized by Xiuhtecutly, the fiery god of the Sunset and the day itself, symbolized yet again by the Sun god Tonatihu.

In the worldview of the Aztecs everyone and everything must perish and the only choice man has is, to decide when and how. Suicide and becoming a sacrifice were the most honored ways, while dying of illness and old age were frowned upon and in some traditional circles of the Mexica of today still are.

This general world view was widespread in pre-contact Mesoamerica and signs and symbols of it are found in all the cultures. Of which the Aztecs were just the last and probably the best known today.

2. The place for a sacrifice would undoubtedly be the altar of Chac Mool in the temple complex of Chichen Itza of the earlier and unrelated Maya culture. Here in the jungle of the Yucatan peninsula the priest would place offerings including the still quivering hearts of a sacrificial victims onto the tablet on the lap of the stone Spirit in order to beseech the gods to bring rain, fertility for the crops and protection from enemies.

I well remember splendid Full Moon nights spent on the Pyramid of Kukulkan, (the Feathered Serpent) and looking across to the Chac Mool on top of the Temple of the Warriors watching the eery shadows dance to the sounds of the jungle like a thousand Spirits in for a visit from Forever….

Mystique at sunset

Sadly nowadays the site is closed up and guarded and visits like these are a thing of the past. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I am not quite sure why these 2 relicts are shown on the same card.

Did the artist not know they are from different cultures?

Is it just for effect?

But then it is not one Sacred Site anymore…….but feels more like modern pop culture…. 😦

I guess most people would not know…

I like the Sun stone as a symbol for the Wheel of fortune.

We all will be eaten by time….

And the Chac Mool – is still waiting for a true sacrifice – like the ones of time past – and not the Bananas and Pepsi bottles today’s tourist put on top of his plate to snap a picture….

picture from google images

2 thoughts on “The Wheel of Time

  1. Oh, man, that is extremely disappointing if so. I thought that this deck honored each individual culture instead of just smashing “lesser known” things together as if people wouldn’t care. Hopefully this is the only incident of that. (I still dont have it yet)

    • Sadly, it is not 😦 the card with the Olmek colossal head at the pyramid of the Masks at Uaxactun is another one and then today I “took a little journey” to the Bodhi Tree and …. it showed me, …No head like the on the card there either….
      Then the Galapagos Turtle on Easter Island – could have been a Sea turtle , but… and….. others….. 😦

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