The beginning and end of all things, the revelation of all secrets, or at least that of where the Maize was hidden...an investigation into the
benevolent reptillian-Human hybrid known as Chaac and his sacred City of Uxmal as was his haunt, with furthur consideration given to his seeming
importance in Neolithic China...somewhat surprisingly.
A brief look at what is generally known and stated;
The present name seems to derive from Oxmal meaning three times built seems to refer to his antiquity and the times it had to rebuild. In these
scenarios there is no proof whatsoever. However, the etymology is disputed, another possibility is Uchmal which means what is to come, the future
Its buildings are typical of the Puuc style, with smooth low walls that open on ornate friezes based on representations of typical Maya huts, which
are represented by columns (representing the reeds with which were built the walls of the huts) and trapezoidal shapes (representing the thatched
roofs), entwined snakes and, in many cases two-headed snakes, masks of the rain god, Chaac with its big noses that represent the rays of the storms,
and feathered serpents with open fangs leaving from the same human beings. Also seen in some cities influences of Nahua origin and the follow of the
cult of Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc that were integrated with the original bases of the Puuc tradition.
Particularly the Huastec Maya (Teenek), have a cyclical concept of water. Virile, young lightning deities dominating the skies during the rainy
season are transformed into wasted, terrestrial and subterranean old men (Mamlab 'Grandfather') during the dry season; in the ocean, the old men
rejuvenate themselves again. This cyclical concept may well have been shared by the Classic Period Maya.
Chaac is usually depicted with a human body showing reptilian or amphibian scales, and with a non-human head evincing fangs and a long, pendulous
nose. In the Classic style, a shell serves as his ear ornament. He often carries shield and lightning-axe, the axe being personified by a closely
Chaac then personifies a principle which i have often noted amongst groups of illustrious Heavenly beings that they often are considered to have come
down upon the highest mountains but somehow end up relegated to the deepest subterranean regions, with their status accordingly depreciating to that
of lesser demon, but as seen this is entirely natural, and when dark clouds gather upon the horizon and lightning flashes, then they'll be
The rain deity is a patron of agriculture. A well-known myth in which the Chaacs (or related Rain and Lightning deities) have an important role to
play is about the opening of the mountain in which the maize was hidden.
Chaac as a rain God naturally gifted maize to humanity, and in terms of the natural cycle the maize was gathered in and stored until the return of the
rains, this can become a metaphor as was the case in many Near Eastern societies with grain, of the ingathering of the blessing of the Gods and a
natural relationship based upon substenance, and when society is running on empty in terms of natural goodness then their return is hoped for, when
the last grains have been taken from within the mountain of storage.
In mythological terms was a Lord of the horizon and the Mountains associated with such as well as the four cardinal directions.
It is important for the purpose of this thread to recognise Chaac in his more abstract representation known as that of the 'mask' type, as here,
One sees the associated square of the Earth and its four indicated cardinal/diagonal directions.
Having learnt to recognize a singular Chaac, one can the see them were they are layered, as in the four either side of the central doorway here;
The Mayans liked layered Chaacs.
Having developed expertise in Chaac spotting one can then take on the most elaborate representations, here one finds five in a stepped pattern, in
conjunction with series of stepped squares, capable of indicating the Earth, and what we see here is probably Chaacs function in the creation of and
progression through the five worlds, his cyclic role in each stage.
It is these quasi abstract Chaac representations that i consider as having had a counterpart in Neolithic China, here is an example of Chaacs
neolithic Chinese cousin known as Taotie;
Here is what i wrote of these on my greatly unappreciated thread Stargates of China
That the Taotie then represents these horizon/mountain based portals joining Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld and the serpentine passageways that
inter-connect i have no doubt, nor of their role in funerary custom, the question that remains is was this tradition based upon an technological
artifact that facilitated transition between other dimensions or worlds, to which of course i can provide no definative answer.
The general context here then is an association with the four quarters of the Earth, and perhaps circumnavigation or translation between the four
sides, it must also be noted that the circles indicatve of the Taotie motif can also be seen without the greater super-structure of the motif, thus
the Taotie could be seen to bind pre-existant phenomena
There are examples of what can be refered to as 'King of Congs', were the form is extended and rectangular, ie of many levels, it was common practise
to consider the Heavens and the Underworld to consist of numerous levels, but these remarkable artifacts are veritable elevator shafts...
So as with Chaac, i consodered the Taotie to relate to mountains and portals of the horizon, the four cardinal directions, and associated with the
serpents that facilitate transition.
The concern with levels or layers is notable in both traditions, the accumulation of cycles and seasons, indeed of worlds resting on upon another,
that in stylistic terms a sense of depth by balance creates a sense of height and accomplishment...the height of the Heavens and the depth of the
Underworld in serpentine zig zag harmony.
We perhaps learn then that at any given time 'the world' can be seen as a singularity,
But can also be thought of as a layered accumulation of worlds, those which have been, that which is, and that which is to come...
edit on 11-12-2012 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)