Aztecs and hummingbirds
Type of Spiritual Experience
Aztecs both wore hummingbird costumes and also humming bird talismans - both representations and ornaments made from humming bird feathers or parts. In Aztec society the attributes being admired were similar to the ones I have described in the symbol section – its hum, its energy, its link with the spiritual world.
But the Aztecs also used their sharp beaks as emblematic of the instruments of rebirth. Symbolic bloodletting and tongue piercing seem to have been part of many rebirth experiences, for example, legend “speaks of a hummingbird piercing the tongue of ancient kings. When the blood was poured on sacred scrolls and burned, divine ancestors appeared in the smoke”.
Hummingbird talismans were “prized as drawing sexual potency, energy, vigor, and skill at arms and warfare to the wearer”. So a slightly different cultural interpretation of humming bird potency.
The Aztec god Huitzilopochtli [shown right] is often depicted as a hummingbird. Given that the ‘gods’ in many shamanic societies were humans with extraordinary shamanic powers, it may be that Huitzilopochtli was a humming bird shaman.
A description of the experience
Quetzalcoatl with humming bird