The World History Oracle integrates poetry, history and word definition. Inspired by the I Ching or The Chinese Book of Changes, it is an experiment to combine genres of thought.

IMAGE

Parallel Universe

VERSE

Plants soak in the sun, turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.
A process that human beings depend on to exist,
Our propensity to bow down to the humility of a plant
Determines our success how to utilize its healing properties.

HISTORY

In around 1100, the Aztecs took over central Mexico from the Toltecs. It is widely believed the Aztecs admired much of the Toltecs’ societal practices and retained key aspects of Toltec culture for Aztec civilization. For example, the Aztecs retained Quetzalcoatl as their central god of worship. Quetzalcoatl was the central god for several impressive ancient Mexican civilizations, not only the Toltecs and Aztecs, but the Mayans as well.

The Nahautl word “Quetzalcoatl” translates roughly to feathered serpent snake. While his legend changed somewhat based on the civilization in question, Quetzalcoatl is generally understood to have been at a god of healing, learning, knowledge and protector of the arts. Quetzalcoatl was said to be a peace loving God known to reject human sacrifice to honor him, but the Toltecs and Aztecs worshiped more than one God. .

For example, according to legend, Huitzilopochtli, the God of War for the Aztecs, required blood be sacrificed to him in order for him to win the battle of good against evil for the Aztecs. This requirement led to wars being fought in order to collect prisoners to sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli. The Toltecs had a similar God that required room for human sacrifice be factored into their economic system.

While the Aztec and Toltec populations have largely died out, Quetzalcoatl is still worshipped by Mayans today. An interest in Toltec wisdom revived in the late 20th century, largely through the writings of Carlos Castaneda and Don Miguel Ruiz.

WORD

Renunciation

Interpretation loosely based on Don Miguel Ruiz’ book The Four Agreements.

Renouncing the world is not necessarily about living alone as a hermit separate from other people. If one believes, as the Toltecs did, that life is a dream navigated on layered planes of awareness, renunciation invites polarity (positive/negative)  in that it rejects life as the dream of hell, the default dream state we are born into to introduce a parallel dream of heaven as inspiration to evolve beyond suffering.

Better yet read Don Miguel Ruiz’ book!

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References:

Books:
Ruiz, Don Miguel. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) [Paperback], Amber Allen Publishing, 1997
Leon-Portilla, Miguel. The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico [Paperback] Beacon Press, 1962, 1990

Websites:
Amsel, Sheri. “Ecology.” Oxygen Cycle. Exploring Nature Educational Resource. © 2005 – 2012. December 29, 2012. http://exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=27&detID=1186

Amsel, Sheri. “Plant Activities.” Plant Party. Exploring Nature Educational Resource. © 2005 – 2012. December 29, 2012. http://exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=26&detID=720

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_mythology

http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/HIST101-Subunit-8.2.3-Toltecs-FINAL.pdf