Comments on a carved jaguar bone from Tomb 7, Monte Alban which depicts the birth of the Mexican god Quetzalcoalt

by Carl de Borhegyi



Various scholars, primary among them Mexican art historian Miguel Covarrubias, have interpreted the above image as depicting the birth of the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl. Beautifully carved on a jaguar bone, it was found in Tomb 7 at the site of Monte Alban near Oaxaca,Mexico. Here Quetzalcoatl, the central figure, wears what looks like the goggles of Tlaloc. He is still attached by his umbilical cord to what I believe is a mushroom-inspired World Tree. The head on the left wearing goggles and depicted as emerging from the jaws of a serpent, represents Quetzalcoatl’s rebirth and resurrection from the underworld. The tree, which bears mushroom-like blossoms is, in essence, a divine portal and metaphor for the spiritual journey of deified resurrection. This Mesoamerican metaphor links the place of creation at the center of the universe (place of ballgame sacrifice)  with the resurrection star that is the planet Venus. I believe the artist has encoded the mushroom-inspired World Tree as it would have been seen through the goggled eyes of the Mexican god Tlaloc, a god associated with the Evening Star, underworld jaguar transformation, and decapitation. According to Mexican archaeologist Alfonso Caso, a sculpture in the Berlin Museum of Ethnography depicts Tlaloc’s goggled eyes as being made up of two serpents intertwined to form a circle around his eyes. The serpent imagery, and its connection with the vision serpent or bearded dragon,  identifies Tlaloc’s link to Quetzalcoatl and K’awil, his Maya counterpart. 

 Covarrubias, demonstrated that later images of Quetzalcoatl, feathered serpents, and rain gods like the Mexican god Tlaloc were all derived from the Olmec were-jaguar associated with sacrifice and the underworld (Miller and Taube, 1993:185)

 (Drawing of the birth of Quetzalcoatl taken from Covarrubias, 1957:.266)



About deborhegyi
My research was inspired by a theory first proposed by my father, the late Maya archaeologist Dr. Stephan F. de Borhegyi, that hallucinogenic mushroom rituals were a central aspect of Maya religion. He based this theory on his identification of a mushroom stone cult that came into existence in the Guatemala Highlands and Pacific coastal area around 1000 B.C. along with a trophy head cult associated with human sacrifice and the Mesoamerican ballgame. My study, which is exclusively my own work, presents visual evidence that both the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushroom and the Psilocybin mushroom were worshiped and venerated as gods in ancient Mesoamerica. These sacred mushrooms were so cleverly encoded in the religious art of the New World, "Hidden in Plain Sight" that prior to this study they virtually escaped detection. This online research study, "BREAKING THE MUSHROOM CODE" is an enormous document containing over 300 images, is presented in five parts at this time (the Home Page, Soma in the Americas, Part I and Part II, and 2012 Alert ). In the course of my study have found an abundance of archaeological evidence supporting the proposition that Mesoamerica, the high cultures of South America, and Easter Island shared, along with many other New World cultures, elements of a Pan American belief system so ancient that many of the ideas may have come from Asia to the New World with the first human settlers. I believe the key to this entire belief system lies, as proposed by R. Gordon Wasson, in early man's discovery of the mind-altering effects of various hallucinatory substances. The accidental ingestion of these hallucinogenic substances could very well have provided the spark that lifted the mind and imagination of these early humans above and beyond the mundane level of daily existence to contemplation of another reality. In summary, the encoded mushroom imagery occurred with such frequency and in such indisputably religious context that there can be no doubt as to their importance in the development and practice of indigenous religion.

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