Tlaloc part 2

Despite being a day late, I decided to make a symbolic offering to Tlaloc – I just happen to have a small Mayan clay fertility figure, often buried as an offering to the Gods by those wanting a child. It’s as close to a child sacrifice as I’m ever going to get.

mayan_fertility

The tea light candle burned a circle into my altar… in all the time I’ve been offering votive candles, this is the first time that has ever happened. Okay, so Tlaloc has left a lasting reminder.

I was still uncertain why a Mesoamerican deity would be trying to grab my attention when I already have an analogous god in my native tradition. Then again, the mix in “mixmage” should give you a hint that I’m not exactly averse to working with whatever tradition or belief system best suits the desired outcome. Thinking about it, the Mayan fertility figurine wasn’t the only Mesoamerican icon knocking about.

This jolly looking fellow has been in my house for the past decade and a half. Prior to that he had been living at my wife’s family home ever since she was a little girl, moving with her to wherever she lived. He’s taken a few knocks over the years – as you can see from his missing fingers – and I was more than happy for him to live on the bookshelf in the upstairs hall, next to selected works from my occult and graffiti collections. It wasn’t until very recently that I realised he is actually Ekeko, god of abundance and prosperity. Although I’ve yet to manage to remember to offer him a smoke on the 24th of January the last couple of years (since I found out who he was), I have stashed folded banknotes in Euros, Sterling and US Dollars into his luggage.

Ekeko

In addition to the two figures above, I have also been gifted a “Mayan Circle of Friends” candle holder years ago. It’s never really been used, since (despite the “mixmage” aspect) wholesale cultural appropriation isn’t really my thing. In other words, it just didn’t feel right. Go figure.

CircleFriends

Recently, however, I have repurposed it to represent the four dwarves from Norse mythology who hold up the dome of the sky, fashioned from the ur-giant Ymir’s skull. Underneath the base, I have carved their names Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri in runes, and burnt candles as offerings to the Dwarfs. As a goldsmith and maker of magical paraphernalia, they are the ideal people to blót to.

And here is where the Tlaloc connection chimes again:

“In Aztec cosmology, the four corners of the universe are marked by “the four Tlalocs” (Classical Nahuatl: Tlālōquê [tɬaːˈloːkeʔ]) which both hold up the sky and function as the frame for the passing of time. Tlaloc was the patron of the Calendar day Mazātl.”[link]

Mazātl means “Deer”, which are strongly associated with Freyr, especially the Stag, since it is with antlers that Freyr is armed at Ragnarok. In the Aztec Calendar the day signs of Deer and Rain (represented by Tlaloc) are both associated with the West – which is where Vanaheim is said to lie in the Nine Worlds of the Norse. Good coincidences.

So when I woke up the next day and it was chucking it down (raining heavily), the edges of my awareness were on the rain god and these slowly-forming realisations. Rain and darkness had been hampering my progress for the last few weeks. Since Storm Doris kindly flattened half of the fence panels around our small back yard and scattered the piled  firewood I spent a day chainsawing and stacking last year, the dogs (we have three) have been exploring next door’s yard and deciding it’s more fun to take a dump over there. Fortunately next door have their curtains closed most of the time and very rarely use their yard (only in the hottest part of summer), so I have managed to get away with it… taking whatever chance I can get to sneak in and clean up after my dogs but, unable to fix the 185cm square fence panels back into their posts on my own, it’s been a losing battle. For the last four days the rain had been too hard in the morning to want to go out, and it had been too dark when I got home from work. That’s 4×3 dog-days of dumps in 2x back yards and 4x fences (and a devastated 2m high wooden gate) all waiting for me.

So we decided to have a  late and leisurely big family breakfast: pancakes, bacon, blueberries, syrup and fresh coffee. I opened a fresh can of grounds, then managed to slit my fingertip on the ringpull  lid – not deep or long, but very painful and just would not stop bleeding.

We sat down to eat at the kitchen table under the soothing sound of rain beating down on the skylights. It was nice to get to sit and eat a leisurely breakfast together, since weekdays are generally such a rush and usually just cereal and a quick mug of tea. I had to change the elastoplast on my finger because the stupid cut just wouldn’t close and kept on bleeding.

Then, miraculously, just as we finished stacking the dishes in the washer and putting away the fixings, the rain suddenly stopped and a beautiful clear blue sky and spring sunshine broke over the house. I got my outdoor shoes on and headed out to pick up after the dogs, quickly bagging kilos of dog waste from both yards. With the crappy job done and the patio hosed down, my wife joined me outside and we managed to retrieve our fence panel from next door and slide it back into the vertical channels of the concrete posts, a cheeky gust of wind threatening to cause havoc just as we got it hoisted up nearly 2m in the air.

With the panel refitted, wedged and nailed in, the gate shored up and held by large rocks and a judicious length of garden wire, there was time (and sunshine) left to sort out the logs. Taking down the wet outer layer, we found an amazing amount of perfectly dry timber, which we moved into the outdoor covered wood store. With that fully stacked, we passed more dry stuff through the living room window and filled the log wall. The rest got restacked by the fence.

After all this good work, washing my hands and changing my plaster again, I realised that my blood was possibly what Tlaloc wanted – he is used to blood sacrifices after all. I was pondering this as we finished up and piled into the car to go and watch Cirque Du Soleil (I know! Lucky, lucky people!). Just as I was starting the engine the rain recommenced as suddenly as it had ended after breakfast. It was clear that the rain gods had looked favourably upon us and given us the perfectly timed break in the downpour we needed.

Hail Tlaloc!

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