Sacred Teachings of Maya/Aztec, Mexico

The Pyramid of Fire Codex

Translated by Marty Matz
May 13, 1961

Man does not will when he wars, loves, reaps;
it is the rhythms of the great gods, the planets, that act over him and make him do.
When he comprehends that by himself he can do nothing, then he can learn to serve the gods;
so, he must become conscious of the rhythm of the gods.

The calendar that governs the life of man, the Tonalpohualli,
is based on the rites of the planets that turn closest to the Earth:
Paynal, Mercury; Quetzalcóatl, Venus; and Huitzilopochtli, Mars ...

After 657 Tonalpohualli (468 solar years),
the cycles of the minor planets and the cycles of the Sun end together.
Tonatiuh, Quetzalcóatl, Huitzilopochtli, and Paynal shine again at the same time in the same form.
This is an age, the duration of the life of a culture.

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Chalchiuhtlicue, Goddess of Terrestrial Waters,
of that which flows, runs, surges, forward and down, arriving always at profounder levels.
Chalchiuhtlicue swells the fruits and flowers only so that they may drop.
Chalchiuhtlicue fills the gourd of pulque so that man may forget.
Chalchiuhtlicue, current that descends in the course of rivers, current that flows in the course of time,
making men's wastes and the implements of war inert and taking them to their inevitable end.

Tláloc, God of Celestial Water,
god of the vapor that rises, from the earth warmed by the sun after the rains,
god of the mist that ascends from the valleys at dawn,
god of the water that returns to its source in the clouds that swim over the highest peaks,
god of the humid incense from which rise the copal prayers and the prayers of sacrifice.

Tláloc is the return of vapor that strains to rise, is the return of time that strains to remember.
Tláloc, God of the Fight Against the Current, with whose aid the hero battles against the torrent
toward his own origin and beginning,
towards the wings of his soul, the wings that Tláloc hides in the hero's past.

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Quetzalcóatl, the Plumed Serpent, moves between gods and men,
because Quetzalcóatl is God who permeates man and is the man that achieves God.
The Plumed Serpent is born when that which slithers over the Earth grows wings to be elevated to Heaven.

Quetzalcóatl is a superior man, the inner circle of humanity, the link between gods and men.

All men are made of earth, air, water, and fire ...
But in their hearts and in their semen, each man has his own coatl,
his own serpent, the energy of Tonatiuh, the power of the sun itself.
And in this serpent sleeps consciousness, in this serpent is hidden his divinity.
From this serpent his wings will grow.

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There is an occult energy in the heart that comes from Tonatiuh, the Sun,
and if man releases it, returning it consciously to the sun, he becomes immortal.
But to liberate this energy, sacrifice is necessary.
Man must sacrifice the desires and habits that he adores, sacrifice them in himself,
and turn the knife against the enemy that he carries within himself, that keeps his heart a prisoner.

In recent times men still remembered these words, but they have now forgotten their significance.
They have made enemies of other men to sacrifice them and take out their hearts,
believing such offerings would propitiate Tonatiuh.
Such is their degeneration, such is their superstition.

When fear unites with knowledge, terrible things are done.

It is the self within ourselves that we have to sacrifice.
It is our own heart that has to be torn out of the false being and offered to the light.

May Xiuhtecuhtli, Lord of Fire, burn my false being.
May Itzli, Obsidian Knife, liberate my heart.

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What is the blood that connects stones with soul, men with suns?

It is the universal unity, the one creative principle crystallizing into myriad forms,
and when liberated by sacrifice it returns to unity.

Because to sacrifice is to act consciously,
to sacrifice that which will be taken away is to deny the destiny that takes it.

Defraud Death by sacrificing Life;
because from the hand of the Goddess of Sacrifice that holds the obsidian blade
sprouts the germ of Life to come.

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To sow life in the fires of sacrifice:
Are the flames rising on the Hill of the Star, toward Cauhlacan?
Or is it my own heart that is afire?

The cycle of years is past - the waiting ended. Come - reunite, pilgrims, for the sky is in flames!
From Xochicalco to Teotíhuacan the red spreads one step, another step, and another,
only twelve short steps from the cave of the womb to the final conflagration.


The flames rage in consummation- Rise, oh flames!
What light, what heat! What great holocaust! The smoke ascends and spirals...
Obscurity disappears as the flames rise to Tonatiuh, the purest light.

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