Tlalocan: Warrior’s Paradise

Western philosophy–I’m thinking Catholicism here specifically–can be so hurtful and awful in difficult times of grief. This is another reason why non-modern philosophies and cultural practices just make sense. It is life blood sometimes. Do you have any non-modern or alternative rituals or practices for grieving, understanding someone who has passed?

Represented in art of the Teotihuacan civilization, Tlalocan is the space of eternal spring, abundance and wealth for warriors.
Represented in art as early as the Teotihuacan civilization, Tlalocan is the space of eternal spring, abundance and wealth for self-sacrificing warriors.

“Book 3 of the Florentine Codex describes a celestial paradise. In sharp contrast to the victims of disease dwelling in Mictlan, this region was occupied by warriors and lords who died by sacrifice or combat in honor of the sun god Tonatiuh. The bodies of the slain heroes were burned in warrior bundles, with birds and butterflies symbolizing their fiery souls. These warrior souls followed the sun to zenith in the sky, where they would then scatter to sip flowers in this celestial paradise. The setting western sun would then be greeted by female warriors, which were the souls of those women who died in childbirth. In Aztec thought, the pregnant woman was like a warrior who symbolically captured her child for the Aztec state in the painful and bloody battle of birth. Considered as female aspects of defeated heroic warriors, women dying in childbirth became fierce goddesses who carried the setting sun into the netherworld realm of Mictlan. In contrast to the afterworld realms of Mictlan and Tlalocan, the paradise of warriors did relate to how one behaved on earth, as this was the region for the valorous who both lived and died as heroes. This ethos of bravery and self-sacrifice was a powerful ideological means to ensure the commitment of warriors to the growth and well-being of the empire.”

Karl Taube on death in cross-cultural context

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