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Soustelle - Aztecs and Mexica - Diagnosing disease

Identifier

011457

Type of spiritual experience

Hallucination

Background

This is cause based medeicine and not sympom based, which makes it extraordinarily advanced.

The drugs help in seeing auras and thus being able to see what is wrong via the aura

Turbina corymbosa, syn. Rivea corymbosa, the Christmas vine, is a species of morning glory, native throughout Latin America from Mexico as far south as Peru and widely naturalised elsewhere.  Containing ergontine or LSA, an akaloid similar in action to LSD, its seeds and the drug they contain are known as ololiuhqui or ololiuqui.

The water vessel is to enable the healer to get into a trance state without drugs, like gazing into a crystal ball, suppressing reason.

Lophophora williamsii is a small, spineless cactus with psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline. The Spanish common name, also used in English, is peyote; from peyōtl, the Nahuatl word for the plant, said to be derived from a root meaning "glisten" or "glistening".Native Americans have used peyote, often for spiritual purposes for at least 5,500 years

A description of the experience

The Daily Life of the Aztecs – Jacques Soustelle

When an Indian became unwell, the first thing to do was to find the reason for his illness, and the diagnosis was made by divination, not by any observation of his symptoms………….

To know whether a sick child had lost its tonalli, for example, the healing-woman held it over a vessel filled with water and looked into it as into a mirror while she called upon the water-goddess.

In other cases the ticitl turned to the holy plant called ololiuhqui whose seed produced a kind of intoxication and visions. Sometimes peyotl or tobacco was used, being taken either by the doctor or the patient, or by a third person. The hallucinations that these plants induced were thought to bring revelations as to the cause of the disease…..

The source of the experience

Aztecs and the Mexica

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities