Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jupiter, Winter Chill & Aztecs

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Statue of Aztec God of the dead -  Mictlante

I have noticed that there seems to have been a general malaise on blog posts across the sites I regularly visit, and I have been guilty of the same disinclination to write.

However, yesterday the sun moved into my birth sign Leo to accompany the recently arrived beneficent planet Jupiter, transiting Leo for the first time in twelve years.  Already I feel lighter and more enthusiastic than I have been of late mooching around under the influence of darker Astrological aspects. So welcome Jupiter!

Yesterday was one of the coldest days of the year, so rather than freeze at home, I decided to go to the Aztec Exhibition at Melbourne Museum. It turned out to be an excellent solution to the grim Melbourne day as the exhibition was both thoroughly engrossing and enlightening, and kept me warm for a couple of hours.

I won’t go into any great detail about the exhibition, but it covered the history of the Aztec settlement in Tenochtitl√°n in Mexico from the early 13th Century AD to the overthrow of their Empire by the Spanish conquistadors in the 15th Century. Many aspects of Aztec culture were covered, including their blood thirsty tributes to their gods. But overall the picture emerged of a quite sophisticated well ordered society that was fond of music and dance and revered and honoured animals.

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Dog statue

Fortunately photos were permitted, so I snapped away at objects that took my fancy like this extraordinary Eagle soldier terracotta statue. The Aztec warriors must have been a sight to behold going into battle, all dressed in animal costumes. Apparently they were not really aiming to kill their enemies, but rather disable them and take them prisoner to be used in sacrifice.

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Eagle soldier

The most famous of the gods for Westerners is Quetzalcoatl, the Rainbow Serpent.

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A compact stone representation of Quetzalcoatl

Various goddesses were also represented.

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River goddess, I think, whatever her name is…

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I’ve forgotten (blame old age) what this  macabre figure is supposed to represent.

And finally a mask from an even earlier civilization – Teotihuacan which occupied Mexico 1000 years before the Aztecs

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The exhibition will run to August 10, so if you haven’t yet got around to visiting it, I recommend you do so before it closes. It’s certainly worth the cost of admission and will keep you enthralled over the two hours it takes to see and read everything.

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