Aztec Codex Magliabecchiano - Aztec rebirth
Type of Spiritual Experience
It is often difficult to tell whether the records of ritual practises, such as this Tongue and ear piercing by two priests in the Aztec Codex Magliabecchiano, are symbolic or actual and merely symbolic re-enactments of a rebirth.
The most detailed accounts of Aztec culture are provided by the Spanish chroniclers, many of them priests, who wrote a description of Aztec culture in the decades immediately following the Spanish conquest.
The work of one chronicler, Friar Bernardino de Sahagún, stands as the most detailed and systematic supposedly first-hand account of Aztec culture. Sahagún was born in Spain in 1499 and travelled to New Spain as a Franciscan monk in 1529. In his chronicles he documents Aztec ‘human sacrifices’ that he theoretically witnessed.
But I suspect we need to treat such chronicles with extreme caution. In the first place much of what he knew was gained by interviews with surviving Aztec nobles. In the second place a monk from the catholic church knows nothing of rebirth. Thirdly, many of the accounts serve as a glorification of the Spanish actions and a justification for their ill treatment of the Amerindians. So what we may actually be seeing is a rebirth experience – not a human sacrifice.
A description of the experience
The source of the experienceAztecs and the Mexica
Concepts, symbols and science items
Pierced with swords