Divine Dance

In the Aztec calendar today, December 6, 2022, is Ce Ollin (One Earthquake) and therefore a very special day for me. Here’s why:

I’ve often enough run on about my love of dance and long Terpsichorean history—ever since the pudgy age of ten dancing squares. I    t’s been seventy years now of twinkling toes and many styles in the interim, also amply discussed elsewhere in ethnic detail. For the past thirty years, I’ve danced (mostly by myself) in a variety of gay bars—the only place one could usually find good dance rhythms—and four or five years ago discovered ecstatic dance in a peaceful, ceremonial environment. One moves as moved by the music, and the resulting ecstasy can be of a very spiritual nature, or at the very least psychically exhilarating.

As a reasonably logical consequence of my decades-long fixation on Aztec mythology and iconography, I began in my dance to personify Aztec deities. First, for some years, it was, Xochipilli (the Flower Prince), god of arts, etc. His concocted image in my old calendar book has gotten a lot of attention, and it is exceptional, if I do say so myself. Last June I drew a new image of Xochipilli for Gay Pride 2022, also often viewed and praised ever since. Also exceptional, this image was my ecstatic avatar for most of the past summer.

Oddly, my concocted image of Huehuecoyotl (the Old Coyote) has been at least as popular and even had its copyright infringed—truly sincere appreciation. (But I don’t believe in copyrights anymore.) Among other spiritual and corporeal things, he’s the god of dance, and in August, I found myself dancing him instead—like the image of him in my Icon #6 for the YE GODS! coloring book:

My Vision of Huehuecoyotl, the Old Coyote

At times I’ve even danced Five Flower, another god of dance and music and a manifestation of Xochipilli. A couple weeks later, I got to feeling instead like a descendant of this famous Huehuecoyotl—like a new deity named Pilzincoyotl (the Young Coyote)?

One night in an exceptionally divine dance, I manifested Pilzincoyotl with rattle and pennant, enacting the image I’ve been drawing of an Aztec dancer. For the meditative afterlude of tonal crystal bowls, we leaned along the wall, and he revealed our divine lineage: Seems we’re a composite nagual (manifestation) of Xochipilli and Huehuecoyotl, born of their well-known romantic liaison, on April 26, 1942, with the ceremonial day-name Ome Acatl (Two Reed). That means the god Tezcatlipoca (the Smoking Mirror) of the same day-name is our patron-godfather.

Naguals only mature after they’ve lived a full cycle of 52 standard years. Then we became a full-fledged nagual in 1994—right when I went back to a regular regimen of dancing. Our formal divination was by Tezcatlipoca on the day Ce Ollin (One Earthquake) in that year, ordaining us as Pilzincoyotl (Young Coyote), spirit of dance. A half-cycle later (26 years) in 2020—just before the onset of the pandemic—we ceased being Young Coyote and became an official deity of dance named Quetzalcoyotl (or Quetzal-Coyote, the Quetzal being an exotic plumed bird). According to our day-name, we’re also worshipped as Ollintecuhtli (Lord of Motion, esp. Earthquakes—when the earth itself dances).

One evening divine Quetzalcoyotl danced in waving quetzal plumes and displayed our power (inherited from Huehuecoyotl): to transform into all sorts of animals. We prefer dancing as birds, like the majestic Cuauhcoyotl (Eagle-Coyote) with striped pinions sweeping high across the sky. Hummingbirds, though mini-minions of mean old Huitzilopochtli (Hummingbird of the South), are quite fun to dance, flitting dizzily around the floor. We don’t enjoy dancing as dogs—they’re such slavish creatures and smell as bad as crazy Uncle Xolotl (Evening Star). Though obscenely limber, they sadly lack agility and physical grace. Once we danced a big, feathered snake, impersonating Uncle Quetzalcoatl (Quetzal-Serpent) in sinuous undulations of flaming plumes. Then, since Quetzalcoyotl had never seen one, we danced my vision of a Kwakiutl raven, rejoicing in our obsidian wings.

Many evenings now, Quetzalcoyotl and I have danced and hopefully will for many, many more. On a recent evening, he revealed that at our ordination as Pilzincoyotl, we were also designated the deity of the rainbow, Cozamalotecuhtli. When I eventually finish drawing us as the colorful Pilzincoyotl dancing in the Flower World, I’ll draw our self-portrait as Quetzalcoyotl in plumed magnificence.

Please don’t take my remarks about naguals as a sign I suffer from psychotic delusions. They’re not delusions but illusions, sur-realities. (Besides, reality itself is simply a construct of illusions.) You may also call my illusions of divinity psychotic, but they’re perfectly harmless. I don’t need anyone else to worship or believe in me. Just knowing I’m a god is plenty good enough. Precious few folks realize that they’re in fact deities.

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