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Forums -> Other Paths -> Re: Song of Naguals
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by: Sillieh on Aug 15, 2014

Hello everybody , i'm Sillieh. I've chosen to relay into this thread my knowledge of the Aztec concept of Nagualism and the Nagual signs. Which i will be Updating as time goes in relation to individual signs.

Disclaimer: This is a singular viewpoint post of Nagualism mainly pretaining to the Aztec empire , this does not include all the ideas behind it , nor all tribe or empire related variations on the Subject. This is a collective of my knowledge of Nagualism both from archeological and sociological research material read on the subject , to my personal experiences and the knowledge of it relayed to me by the Aztec Deities themselves. (This does not include the common todays views of Naguals being supernatural entities with various physical powers as are present in many regions of mexico and the yucatan peninsula).

Disclaimer 2: This is a short summary of something that is far far far far far larger than this post , but its meant as a starting point and base understanding. Any questions you wish to ask in relation to this Nagual sign , you can state below. Also these characteristics are stated in the sense of full Naguals , rather than people who have slight influences or fragments of it , which can turn out completely differently then what is stated above , in relation to other signs and influences.Also every nagual is slightly different from each other , this does not take into account their other birth influences , but this is the crux of the nagual influence in them.

So , what is Nagualism one might ask themselves. Nagualism is a concept in many mesoamerican cultures that pretains to an idea that a person can have an animal aspect or "part" of ones soul. However unlike todays common views of spirit animals and animal guides or totems a Nagual is not something everyone has. Naguals are not a common thing and usually require a person to be born under specific Tonalpohualli (aztec sacred ritual calendar) signs [To the Maya it was known as Tzolk'in] or correlations. And in some cases a Nagual is a gift from the Aztec deities themselves.

A Nagual is however much more than just an idea of an animal part , its a definer of personality and an understanding. Strong Naguals who learn how to utilize their nagual in magickal practices can use it to a great extent. But its more than just a tool , its about knowing a part of yourself.

So to kick this off i will first speak of the 10 Nagual signs.

The nagual signs in the tonalpohualli are as follows:

Cipactli - Crocodile

Cuetzpalin - Lizard

Coatl - Snake

Mazatl - Deer

Tochtli - Rabbit

Itzcuintli - Dog

Ozomahtli - Monkey

Ocelotl - Jaguar

Cuauhtli - Eagle/Bird of Prey

Cozcacuauhtli - Vulture/Carrion Bird

Along with these Nagual signs there are other Naguals for example Turkey or Hummingbird. However these are not entailed in the Tonalpohualli and the only way to obtain one of these naguals is from a deity that lords over it themselves.

So , one of the ways to "obtain" a nagual is to be born with it. Being born under both a Daysign and Tercena sign of the same Nagual sign is an indicator of a nagual. For example Someone born under Coatl , Coatl , Tecpatl would have a Coatl (Snake) nagual.

In my personal experience i've learned that people who are born with only singular signs for example Coatl , Ehecatl , Tecpatl , who do not have naguals have fragments. Fragments of this understanding and connection. Which albeit still affect their persona and life , through the influence of the sign itself. A person can nurture this fragment into something useable , in order to "fill in" the void of this understanding and connection with proper effort one can achieve a seemingly similar connection as a person born with a nagual. However this will never be as strong a connection or as deep an understanding as someone born with it. However if one is to foster a nagual fragment they have to be willing to change themselves , because to foster this aspect of yourself is to change your way of thinking , mentality and personality , change is the cost of this understanding and connection.

This can be achieved with devotion and working with specific deities who lord over the nagual sign whose fragment one possesses , changing specific habits and ones mentality , doing specific practices more than others , ect.

The protector and patron of Nagualism is the God Tezcatlipoca , he has many naguals but his most prominent ones are Tepeyollotl who is his Jaguar Nagual and Chalchiuhtotolin who is his Turkey Nagual. Ocelotl (Jaguar) is the 'highest in regard" of all Naguals to have and utilize.

Among other deities who have Naguals are Itzpapalotl whose nagual is Mazatl (Deer) and Tlaloc whose nagual is Cueyatl (Frog).

So lets kick it off with info about the Singular Signs

Cipactli the Hungering Beast

Cipactli the crocodile is the first of the 10 nagual signs and also the first of all the Tonalpohualli signs. Hence its deep association with beginnings and ambitions.

Nagual of Tlaltecuhtli , the earth goddess. Tlaltecuhtli is the earth , during the creation of the fifth sun the gods Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl chose to create the world on the back of a gigantic crocodile that is Tlaltecuhtli. However there was an issue , Tlaltecuhtli would often dive into the abyss which would destroy anything created on her back. So they devised a plan to stop her from diving , for good. They tricked Tlaltecuhtli by baiting her with Tezcatlipoca's foot and in the daze cut off her lower jaw so that she could no longer submerge , but be forced to stay on the surface forever. This however caused her great pain , a pain she to this day feels , so for all the ambition and new life , she still bears the pain of the past , for all eternity. Her cries echo through the world , and only the sacrifice of blood gives her some consolation.

Cipactli is characterized by 5 primary elements:

Ambition

Related to the person that wants to go on even through anything that happens , and will like a crocodile bite off huge chunks at once and grab any lucretive oppurtunity they find. This element is intrinsic in maintaining the incomprehensive duality of pain and happiness , ambitions and looming self doubt. They hunger for success and to repair any of the damage caused by their past.

Beginings

A constant need to begin more ambitious ventures , more attempts to prove themselves , even if its just proving themselves to themselves. Their lifeblood is continuality , even when they seem static lurking for their prey , they are in truth deliberating a plan to bring them closer to their goal.

Turmoil ridden past

Most often for high or many influences of Cipactli in a person (especially a nagual) the issues with the past usually stem from their parents or close family , usually in relation to their ambitions and the view that their dreams are obsolete or pointless. Which can scar these people deeply.

Consolation through something specific

Usually only a few things can cause them to temporarily forget about the pain and everything that has happened. Which in many of their cases can be caused by having a few people who understand their pain. However they often find consolation in ambitious and often artistic ventures. They often become entrepreneurs.

Incomprehensive duality

Their greatest pain stems from their dual nature , which most people cant even comprehend , they have issues with letting people in due to this , because they feel like its the same story over and over. For every cipactli their "incomprehensiveness" is unique and stems from the mix of their choices and ambitions which makes it difficult to narrow the statement down.

Even though Tlaltecuhtli is an earth goddess she is deeply related to the sun Tonatiuh and the goddess of the bodies of water Chalchiuhtlicue.

A Cipactli nagual can with understanding take on this essential force in themselves and harness what once caused them pain into their ambitious plans. Calling on this nagual will often cause a burst of inspiration or determination in order to complete a task , in a sense of tunnel vision in relation to anything that may cause them damage or distract them during this task.

Cuetzpalin the Hissing Trickster

Cuetzpalin the Lizard is a sign of Mischief with a Negative Acconotation , hence its deep connection with the god Huehuecoyotl.

One of the Naguals of Huehuecoyotl , the god of mischief , merriment and dance. Cuetzpalin is the expression of his crude and unforgiving side , which is most often related to people who deny what he is expressing , not because its not real , but because they see it as unimportant or irrelevent , which the god of merriment cannot stand for. And unto himself he took the form of a Lizard , an expression of crudeness and repulsive actions , that demands a place of their own in the world and time in the grace of the Sun. Cuetzpalin wont allow itself to be denied. Those who deny merriment and humor , Huehuecoyotl will grace with his presence int he form of Cuetzpalin , crude distasteful humor on their expense.

Cuetzpalin is characterized by 5 primary elements:

Humor that seems crude to others

Cuetzpalin is a sign of mischief with a "negative" acconotation to most. Their humor can seem crude or harsh to others. Some of them use this crude humor to shoot down any possible competition or just to make themselves feel superior to others. Others use it as a vent of their own anger and discontent for receiving such humor on their expense. But in general their crude humor stems from an issue with themselves.

Territorial and jealous tendencies

They have an underline need for a place of their own where they ''lord'' from behind the scenes. They want thier "rock" where they can bathe in the sun and be ackowledged without having to get rid of nuisances or potential competition. Others who may seem akin to them which they can register as an attempt to replace them they will relentlessly batter into submission until they are free to own their "happy place" once more.

The need to be acknowledged

The need to be acknowledged , or "stand in the sun" is very important to them , many of them have felt that their deeper selves were not worth of such praise or didnt get it. So their crude humor which appeals to some and does not to others is acknowledged either way , which empowers them. Like a lizard they search for their own place where they can bathe in the sunlight when they so desire.

Difficulty expressing their "true" self

A rather difficult thing for Cuetzpalin nagual is to express their true feelings , which they often deny because they start to believe their current "tendancies and views" are them , which are just an illusion which they can get caught up in. They need someone who will look past that crude outer shell and hissing demeanor in order to get into what they are truly within.

Unrelenting determination

Even though this determination is usually focused on the wrong things , like jealousy or getting rid of potential "threats". They if they work on it can utilize this characteristic to excell at pretty much anything they do. They will always try to be the best at it and better themselves , so with proper assistance and understanding they can become very successful and amazing people.

Huehuecoyotl the god of mischief , merriment and dance is also closely related to Xolotl , his only friend among the gods the one who accepts him in all his glory , BFFs!

A Cuetzpalin nagual can with understanding take on this essential force in themselves and harness their unrelenting determination and capability to stand in the spotlight without discomfort while cutting out their territorial or jealous tendancies , and humor which seems distasteful to others , because its a veil over their true feelings.

Coatl the Twin Fang

Coatl the Serpent is a sign of manipulation and constant seeking of knowledge , hence its deep connection with the god Quetzalcoatl

A Nagual of the god Quetzalcoatl , the feathered seprent god of creation , knowledge , life. Coatl an expression of his manipulative and knowledge seeking side. At the creation of the fifth sun , the two brothers Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca created the world on the back of Tlaltecuhtli , both prideful , both powerful , neither would give the position of pinnacle god to the other. They fought in the sky , until Quetzalcoatl won , Tezcatlipoca fell unto the earth and adorned his Jaguar skin and ran away. However they were not equals in strenght , Tezcatlipoca was weak , and lost his foot to Tlaltecuhtli , Quetzalcoatl used this against his brother , in order to overpower him. From that dawn of time to this day Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl fight over the position of pinnacle god , in power they are equals. So instead they try and beat each other with Wit. Deception became their tool to the wavering periods where they lorded over the pantheon , which with deception and wit , they traded periodically by outwitting each other and gaining the love of the people.

Coatl is characterized by 5 primary elements:

Mastery of manipulation and influence

They understand deception , how to manipulate , how to read others and how to utilize others in their search of knowledge and influence. The venom of their influence , especially if they are in a position of power can become an issue. Lest the snake bite its own tongue and infect itself with the fear of deception. Their positions and understanding often attracts people who think they can outwit the serpent and utilize their influence for themselves , while in other cases their position and influence scares good people off.

Difficulties with trust and a fear of deception and machinations around them

Due to their knowledge of deception , they are quite apt at seeing it , machinations and lies are easily noticed by them , but if they focus too much on such things , they can infect themselves with their own "Venom of influence" effectively becoming paranoid in the sense of seeing lies and machinations of others even when they are not there , they loose their capability to trust and to read others properly , friend or foe becomes blurry for them. They need to be snapped out of this state , usually by close friends/family or acts that cannot be interpreted as deceptive or in a line of machinations in order to manipulate these people.

Seeking knowledge

Coatl is the sign of the seeker , they seek illumination , knowledge , revelations and understanding. They will stop at nothing to obtain it , and due to such knowledge sometimes being only in the hands of the elite or "influencial" members of a group or society , their wit and mastery of manipulation helps them greatly in this pursuit. Their lifeblood is knowledge , their thirst is wisdom.

Internal change , without external change

They are characterized by a seemingly non existant peripheral change , they will seem as the same person , even though they "shed their skin" quite often in their pursuit of knowledge. In truth they change very quickly and almost out of root ,but what they put out peripherally seems the same as it always is , fearful to some , amazing to others.

Preference of Wit to Physical excellence

Coatl naguals prefer the art of wit far more than physical strenght or skills. They see knowledge as the best weapon there is , through knowledge they manipulate , through understanding they become , through wisdom their hearts are filled.

The god Quetzalcoatl is closely related to his counterpart Tezcatlipoca , even though they dont see eye to eye , he still loves his brother.

A Coatl nagual can with understanding take on this essential force in themselves and harness their manipulative skills and powers of deduction in their path of seeking knowledge without fear of the machinations of others or attempts to manipulate them.

Mazatl the Wary Observer

Mazatl the Deer is a sign of the Wary Observer , always poised to defend what they must. Hence its deep association with the goddess Itzpapalotl , the Ruler of Tamoanchan.

The Nagual of Itzpapalotl the Obsidian Butterfly , the Ruler of Tamoanchan , one of the 13 heavens , in which the Gods created humanity. She proud and stout a warrior goddess without comparation. Holds her duty to guard the souls of the first humans and those who died during infantcy. She tends to and watches the Suckling Tree , which gives the souls of the infant souls strenght so that she may send them back into the world , to live the life they lost too quickly. Her valiant eyes , that ward off intruders are those of the Doe and Stag , through their eyes she knows , she sees , she plans. The Deer in the forest , knows you're there , the Deer in Tamoanchan , knows why you're there.

Mazatl is characterized by 5 primary elements:

Observation and Deduction

Auspicious observers with an impecable ability to deduce events and how they unfold. They are always watching from the sidelines , they may know how things are to play out , but if its not their duty or if its not relevent to their cause , they will rarely intervene. Because they are observers and guardians , they have "more important" things to do.

Planning and Memorizing

Through their observations and deductions , they memorize and plan how events will unfold , steering away those that might hurt their query. They have the capability to make plans which will unfold as they made them , but they have little motivation in using this capability in most cases.

Slow but Wrathful Anger

They are hard to anger , but if its continious or relates to their "Query" be it a goal , group , person , they will explode into a pure force of anger , which a few things can stop without causing damage , in a figurative and literal sense.

Trouble with "Observing" and changing themselves and their habits

Observing others is their forte , but sadly they dont stare at a mirror enought. They can have many habits that need changing , but will rarely even notice them , because they are so focused on others , they rarely focus on themselves. Usually a person close to them has to snap them out of this.

Vailant defence of the things they are entrusted with

They set a goal to themselves , a sense of "destiny" if you will , be it an achievement , protecting and being with a group of people , or a single person. Whatever it is , they will protect their "query" with fury and will try everything to stop anything from playing around with what they hold important.

The Goddess Itzpapalotl is a loner , a "warrior queen" if you will , but she is also a very passive deity , meaning she tends to her duties and does not concern herself with mortal toils. Her priority is Tamoanchan and she will rarely intervene or act in relation to anything else but her duties.

A Mazatl nagual can with understanding take on this essential force in themselves and harness their ability to observe , deduce and plan into great effect for anything in their life , but stay away their fury , lack of motivation or inability to focus on their own wrong doings or habits that need changing.

Tochtli the Drunk Mystic

Tochtli the Rabbit is a sign of the Drunken Mystic , uncohesive and hard to comprehend , underlaid with mysticism and secretive knowledge hidden behind a veil of confusion. Hence its deep association with the Centzon Totochtin the rabbit gods of drunkness and mysticism.

The Nagual of the Centzon Totochtin the 400 rabbit gods of drunkness , mysticism and pulque and their ruler Ometochtli (Two Rabbit). The 400 drunk rabbit gods hold secrets , illuminations beyond comprehension , most gods or people wont deal with them , because they are prepetually drunk. Nobody knows if its their drunkness that gives them this mystical knowledge or if they are drunk in order to stop others from getting it. But the Centzon Totochtin gather , drink and merry , while others know not what they know.

Tochtli is characterized by 5 primary elements:

Confusion and incohesiveness

Tochtli Naguals often seem confusing or incohesive to most people , not very focused or determined on doing anything in specific. But this is one of their tools , to keep people away from the knowledge that they shouldnt hold or cant comprehend.

Mystic knowledge

Each of them holds mysterious knowledge and understanding , different from one to the other , and mostly incomprehensive to "normal" people or other people in general. But to place yourself at their level can unlock some elements of yourself you dont even know you have. They hold many keys , including to deep recesses of others , however they dont have the ability to use them , they just hold them.

Self sacrifice

The motif that always surrounds Tochtli is Ending of something for a new Begining , self sacrifice of their normalcy for the "greater good" is often what defines them. They can take on the pains of the burdens people truly cant even comprehend.

Disconnection from the "normal" world

They are disconnected from most things that are important to people these days , finances , looks , love lives , ect. They seem to others like they are in their own little world , but in truth they are sitting in between many , that we cant even see.

Seemingly constantly careless and merry

They seem constantly without care or issues because they are so "disconnected" , they are viewed as disabled or mentally ill , but in truth this happiness is the balancing factor that goes outwards , to balance the darkness that they hold at bay. They serve as pillars of creation , the ones tasked with the duty of holding equilibrium together , for all the "normal people" they serve as the opposite , and even though they may laught incohesively or not care that you're suffering , in truth they take their duties very seriously , but they cant express it to you. Its a burden they alone bear.

The Centzon totochtin are closely associated with their parents Patecatl the god of medicine and pulque and Mayahuel the goddess of the maguey plant (from which pulque is made) and nurturing. Pulque is known as a drink that transcends boundries and existance.

A Tochtli nagual can with understanding take on this essential force in themselves and harness their mysterious knowledge , care free attitude and confusion of others in anything in their life , while phasing their mind into the "normal" world and becoming more cohesive in relation to their actions within it.

Itzcuintli , Death's Companion

Itzcuintli the dog is a Sign of Spiritual Guidance and the Spirit World. Hence its deep connection with Mictlantecuhtli the Lord of the Underworld and Huehuecoyotl the Lord of Mischief , Merriment and Dance.

The Nagual of Mictlantecuhtli and also Huehuecoyotl (But in a unique sense to Huehuecoyotl , which is not very closely related to this description). Mictlantecuhtlit he lord of Mictlan the underworld rules with an iron fist alongside him his bride Mictecacihuatl. He was the guardian of the Jade bones , which Quetzalcoatl stole in order to create humanity during the creation of the fifth Sun. So he guides back the deceased , the fragments of the bones , back into his fold. Itzcuintli the dog , a guide to the departed , and an intermediary between the two worlds. Watches the souls on their way back , or in their current residence.

Itzcuintli is characterized by 4 primary elements:

Strong connection to the Spirit World

People born with Itzcuintli as their nagual are very connected to the spirit world , and will often find a sort of duty that they need to fulfill. They are quite likely to hear/see/speak to spirits and other immaterial entities without much effort put into developing this ability. But are usually always the most drawn to the spirits of the deceased and their ancestors , rather than spirits of other realms or inhuman natures.

Intense Loyalty

They are intensely loyal , capable of acting as the "glue" that keeps a group together. They can either be leaders or followers , depending on what the group sees them as , they will not lay claim to either on their own. However when they lead , others will follow.

Torn between human and inhuman nature

They have a burden , torn between being just human and being in connection with the spirit world and dealing with things that are nowhere near what humans these days can relate to. They often have issues controlling their capability to communicate with spirits and it can become a burden on their mind.

Lack of fear delving into Macabre ideas

Death is only a beginning to them , they do not fear it , they embrace it , not in the sense of wanting to die , but that they take it for its truth , a transcendance. And will often assist others who need help understanding it or fear the transition. They are guides , but they wont perscribe that to themselves , modesty is a part of their loyalty.

The god Mictlantecuhtli albeit cruel , cares for what he "possess" , the same can be said for Itzcuintli Naguals , they relish the connections and relationships they create , and wish to be of assistance.

An Itzcuintli Nagual can with understanding take on this essential force in themselves and harness their strong connection with the spirit world and intense loyalty into making meaningful relationships and with their "pack" can take down most challenges they face. This allows them to phase into either side of their nature , be it the human nature in relation to a group of people , or inhuman in relation to the spirit world and divinity.

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