Aztecs – The Horoscope People

To my mind, book one of the Aztec Elements, ‘New Fire’ has a slightly modern feel to it. Yes, there are priests and ceremonies but the extent to which these affect the main characters is actually slight. When you read about the Aztecs, the overriding impression you get is that these people would have LOVED Russell Grant! The Aztecs lived their lives by religion and horoscopes. Take a look at this extract from writings by Alfonso Caso…

So great was the importance of religion for the Aztec people that we can say without exaggeration that their existence revolved totally around it. There was not a single act of public or private life which was not coloured by religious sentiment. It controlled commerce, politics and conquest. It intervened in every act of the individual, from birth until the moment when the priests cremated his corpse and interred the ashes.

And this, from a book by Warwick Bray…

Night was a dangerous time, for demons walked in the hours of darkness. Tezcatlipoca, god of the wizards, took many forms, appearing as a shrouded corpse, or a bundle of ashes which groaned as it billowed along, or a headless man with his chest and belly broken open. Anyone bold enough to seize this spectre and tear out its heart could demand a reward for giving it back, but there is no record of anyone having made the attempt.

I’m very happy with ‘New Fire’, but I want book 2, ‘Bad Water’, to feel as though it’s been steeped in superstition and I think that modern day readers, who quietly sneak a look at their horoscopes when no one is looking, will think that it’s all perfectly reasonable.

Mayan calendar ‘predicts’ the end of the world

In spite of all our advances in science, technology and society, humanity is still deeply superstitious. The animal part of brain still startles at threats, however irrational they are. Most of you will be aware that the 21st of December 2012 is the supposed end of the Mayan ‘Long Count’. The Long Count counts the progression of the 52 year calendar cycle that was used across Central America before the invasion by the Spanish.

This headline from the New York Times: MOSCOW – There are scattered reports of unusual behaviour from across Russia’s nine time zones.

This article from the BBC – Aberdeen academic discusses ‘the end of world’ theory

NASA is the voice of reasonNASA to doomsday theorists: You’re wrong!

There will probably be more hysteria and certainly more interest in this in the next fortnight as we countdown to the apocalypse and I think, on the whole, this is a good thing. Why? Because it’s a reminder that we’re not as far removed from our ancestors of 500 years ago. The difference between us and the Aztecs and the Mayans before them is just that they had a framework to make sense of their periodic calendar endings whereas we have science. Of course the trouble is that science doesn’t provide an answer in this case, it simply states that the evidence doesn’t suggest the need for an answer. Maybe that’s just not very satisfying for our deep-root animal brains.