The Toltec Arts

Posts tagged ‘Astronomy’

Night Sky

Itzpapalotl is in the sky.

I will use the Aztec name and not the Quiché term because of an urban fantasy novel I read years ago, by Laurell K. Hamilton. The tale was incredibly entertaining and featured a vampire who called herself Itzpapalotl. The vampire could temporarily grant the protagonist, Anita Blake, some ability or other. The important aspect was that the character’s eyes became like a starlit night. I appreciated the nod to the reality of Itzpapalotl. Since then, I have used the name assigned to her by the Aztec peoples and it rolls easily from the tongue.

Itzpapalotl is a constellation known to those who came from the tribes. She was the Obsidian Butterfly. As the myth tells, from her wings float the specks of her intention, which form the world. The principal stars are six in number, with the outflowing stars adding to it. Her wings have few visible stars, the dust motes that powdered her wings swirl in the heavens instead. The seer’s ability to comprehensively see her balanced manifestations determined his worth. His skill in holding her vision was said to be an astounding feat only capable of being performed by a true lord. For the seer must simultaneously experience all of her, he inside the bubble, knowing where her stars hung, even those beyond his feet and behind his head.

The first step, certainly, is to see Itzpapalotl. Apologies are necessary because I am unfamiliar with the constellations used by modern astronomers. I will be speaking to someone soon to determine any correlations. I reside in South Florida. Looking to the east, she crowns the sky above my head. If I remember correctly, on Saturday, May 5th, 2012, she was above at midnight.

As a sidenote, regarding May 5th, the moon was full on that Saturday. I would like to know if anyone chose to celebrate Beltane on that day because of the moon’s fullness. If you’d like to let me know, please do so.

Below her and to the left, there is a triangle of stars where the brightest star is on top. To the left and below of the triangle is the piercing shield. “The warrior holds the shield and the shield doubles as a weapon. Like any good shield should.”

The first step is the initial figure of Itzpapalotl. Then the student comes to incorporate her additional stars. This must be accomplished in a balanced manner. It is useless to only take her one way. Although that could be used for other purposes, I don’t wish to address it in this post.

The astronomer learned her placement, and that of all her stars. He attempts to see or recreate in his mind, those stars which are beyond his horizon. It is a complex feat. The base work is now done. From there, he leaves, for he is now at the center of his vision. It is a room of sorts.

What will be intriguing to those interested in divination is the original Itzpapalotl, whose wings are said to be like reflective obsidian. The diviner has a magic mirror in the sky. Whether that is her lesser or greater gift, one might ponder. One might also want to alternate between the right and left wings during gazes 😉

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