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Traces of red paint on the mouth of one of the skulls resembles an image of Mictlantecuhtli in the Codex Borgia, and two ceramic heads and an effigy of the god of the dead were found on top of the temple. Remains of human sacrifices were also recovered.
Mictlantecuhtli (Nahuatl pronunciation: [mikt͡ɬaːnˈtekʷt͡ɬi], meaning "Lord of Mictlan"), in Aztec mythology, was a god of the dead and the king of Mictlan (Chicunauhmictlan), the lowest and northernmost section of the underworld. He was one of the principal gods of the Aztecs and was the most prominent of several gods and goddesses of death and the underworld. The worship of Mictlantecuhtli sometimes involved ritual cannibalism, with human flesh being consumed in and around the temple.
Mictlantecuhtli was depicted as a blood-spattered skeleton or a person wearing a toothy skull. Although his head was typically a skull, his eye sockets did contain eyeballs, but he often kept his eyes closed, for he did not need eyes to see. His headdress was shown decorated with owl feathers and paper banners, and he wore a necklace of human eyeballs, while his earspools were made from human bones.
In Aztec mythology, after Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca created the world, they put their creation in order and placed Mictlantecuhtli and his wife in the underworld.
According to Aztec legend, the twin gods Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl were sent by the other gods to steal the bones of the previous generation of gods from Mictlantecuhtli. The god of the underworld sought to block Quetzalcoatl's escape with the bones and, although he failed, he forced Quetzalcoatl to drop the bones, which were scattered and broken by the fall. The shattered bones were collected by Quetzalcoatl and carried back to the land of the living, where the gods transformed them into the various races of mortals.
When a person died, they were interred with grave goods, which they carried with them on the long and dangerous journey to the underworld. Upon arrival in Mictlan these goods were offered to Mictlantecuhtli and his wife.
The worship of Mictlantecuhtli sometimes involved ritual cannibalism, with human flesh being consumed in and around the temple
I mean, who HASN'T done a few crazy things in the history of mankind after a nice hefty dose of religion mixed with other dangerous drugs? I mean, hey, we've all been there, right?
Psilocybin (O-phosphoryl-4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine or 4-PO-'___') is a prodrug that is converted into the pharmacologically active compound psilocin in the body by a dephosphorylation reaction. This chemical reaction takes place under strongly acidic conditions, or under physiological conditions in the body, through the action of enzymes called alkaline phosphatases.
Psilocybin is metabolized mostly in the liver. As it becomes converted to psilocin, it undergoes a first-pass effect, whereby its concentration is greatly reduced before it reaches the systemic circulation. Psilocin is broken down by the enzyme monoamine oxidase to produce several metabolites that can circulate in the blood plasma, including 4-hydroxyindole-3-acetaldehyde, 4-hydroxytryptophol, and 4-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid. Some psilocin is not broken down by enzymes, and instead forms a glucuronide; this is a biochemical mechanism animals use to eliminate toxic substances by linking them with glucuronic acid, which can then be excreted in the urine.
That liver looks very much like a seed being released from it's husk. Fascinating.
So, to refer to him as the god of death etc is something of a misnomer, when he was actually considered something of a hero.