The Journey through the Underworld
Today we will talk of Mictlan and the other mansions of death.*Look at the bonfire*Time to start the # LeyendasMexicas.Are you ready?
Today I will talk of the Four Houses of the Dead. In particular the journey we have to do while reaching Mictlan.
But, before that, you need to know that Mictlantecuhtli, the God the Dead is the supreme ruler of Mictlan.
At sunset, Mictlantechutli, along with Tonatiuh, takes place upon the sun, to illuminate the world of the dead.
Tonatiuh, the Star God, becomes Tzontemoc at dusk to light the world of Mictlantecuhtli at night.
The legend says that, after creating the day and night, were created the god of the dead, and his wife Mictalntecuhtli and Mictlancihuatl.
The counterpart of Mictlan is the paradise known as Tlalocan, the home of the god Tlaloc, where the people dead from drowning or lightning would arrive.
So, as I said, there were four houses of the dead:
- and Ilhuuicatl-Tonatiuh.
The Chichihuacuauhco was the first mansion, the place of the dead children. In its middle there was a large tree, whose branches dripped milk, so the children could feed and gain strength.
These children would return to the world when the race that is inhabiting the earth, our world of the Fifth Sun, will be destroyed. That is why it was necessary their death, because they were chosen to populate the earth in the future, when no one will be left alive.
It was believed that these children reincarnated after their death in this mansion, where they lived physically until they were called by the gods.
The Mictlan was the second house. In order to reach it one has to make a long, long journey, passing through various daunting tests.
First, the dead would come to a place where a great river called Apanohuaya roared along, wide and gushing, intimidating and impossible to swim across.
To cross it one needed the help of a Itzcuintli (xoloitzcuintle), a special dog each family raised and buried alongside the mourned deceased.
Upon recognizing his dead master, the dog would bark, then rush to help the deceased to cross the river, carrying its master upon his back while swimming.
After the crossing, the deceased was stripped of all his clothes, beginning the second part of his journey between two mountains that conflicted with each other. This pass was called Tepetl Monamiclia, and the deceased would make his way warily, haunted by the fear that the two mountains would clash, crushing the passing traveler.
At the end of the pass, the deceased would be forced to walk down the hill strewn with flints and sharp obsidian, made of the same material as our knives, called Ilztepetl. The stones would cut the dead them as they passed, merciless and relentless.
The next stage was the walk through Celhuecayan, eight mountains, covered with perpetual snow that would fall on and on, whipped by strong winds. It was said that the winds in these moors were so cold and strong it would cut the body as obsidian blades.
After this the dead would arrive at the foot of the hill, the last stop in the first part of the journey called Paniecatacoyan. These moors were cold and large, where the dead would have to walk endlessly, crossing the desolated land.
Done with the first test, the dead would take a long path, where they would be struck with arrows. This place was called Temiminaloyan and the arrows were fired by unseen hands, trying to harm the passersby.
At the end of the path, they would arrive at the place inhabited by thousands of fierce beasts. When any of the beasts reached them, the passersby would have to throw open their chests and let the beasts eat their hearts, Tecoylenaloyan.
Afterwards, they would be force to dive into the Apanuiayo, where the water was black, and where the lizard called Xochilonal had lived. The dead would have to swim in this lake, dodging the animals, including the terrifying lizard to get to the next test.
Next, they would have to wade through nine rivers, on a path of mist and dark, called Izmictlan Apochcalolca. The sun never rose in this place.
Finally, tired, injued and exhausted with suffering, they would reach their final destination on Chicunamictlan, where they would meet Mictlantecuchtli, the fierce God of the Death, who would receive them with vengeance.
Here the cycle would end forever and here they would live until their bodies and their lives would extinguish.
The long journey lasted for four years, in which the deceased came to his eternal rest.
This was the mansion to which came most of the dead, people who would die of natural causes.
The third house was the Kingdom of the Sun.
Here the warriors, slaughtered at the hands of their enemies, would rest.
This place was outside the time, a wonderful infinite place, a beautiful plain, and every time the sun would come up, they would hear the sound of the warriors beating their shields.
After four years, these warriors would turn into rich bird-feathers, small, living creatures eating the flowers.
Upon the earth, in out word of the Fifth Sun, these birds were treated with honor, because we knew they were the souls of the warriors who had died in a battle. These birds are hummingbirds.
The fourth house was what Catholics took for a paradise.
Those who had died by drowning, lightning, and other deaths related to water and rain would arrive at Tlalocan, the Mansion of the Moon.
This place belonged to Tlaloc and the dead arriving here would live happy, fresh and unconcerned. These dead were not cremated, but buried. Here people enjoyed food and fruits in abundance, a luxury deserving the realm of the God of Rain.
And so, between those mansions the dead Mexica were divided, each person going to his designated place in the Mexican Underworld.
There were other pseudo-mansions to which people arrived if killed in special situations. For example, noble women dead in childbirth were going to Cihuateteo.
Mictlan was located below our world.
The Ilhuuicatl-Tonatiuh was upon the sun itself.
Tlalocan on the moon.
The Chichihuacuahco location was unknown, but it said it was out of this world.
And those were the mansions of the dead, and the journey that the dead suffered when they were in Mictlan.
And so today ends the night of # LeyendasMexicas.
The original lecture can be viewed here: