Actual freedom is not seperation from anything, but rather the recognition of the meaning in the walls that surround you.
Were Mayans organized in city-states? They were organized into city states. Their city structures being temples.
I kind of see the Aztecs like the Romans – war like conquering empire – and the Mayans like the Greeks – focused on learning. This is another way they were like the Greeks. In a sense yes, though their world view was more like the Egyptians in how they viewed themselves, the natural world, and their gods. They didn’t really see the gods as an extension of their social order. The gods existed despite any human social order, and their actions and efforts just allowed the natural world to exist and function smoothly. So in a way more like landlords than celebrity personalities.
They used a variety of things to understand human destiny/human nature. The calendar was perhaps the biggest, but you also were seen to have multiple souls, each having a different destiny. They believed that any illness or misfortune you might experience arose because one of those souls had been lost or alienated, and they had rituals, of course, to restore that order. I speak of alienated souls because they did believe that you could offend a part of yourself causing it to withdraw to a remote part of the spirit world.
Instead of selling your soul you piss it off. Yes, and in addition to that, you have indwelling spirits, or co-essences as well, that served to strengthen, guide and guard you from physical and spiritual injury, and in “Black magick” situations you could even transform into one of your co-essences.
Perhaps a point of clarification… These inner spirits were not seen as being the same as real animals. Those were seen as being their very own people, even to the point of souls being able to migrate to and dwell among these animal people.
Is it only people that have multiple souls or animals as well? Animals were seen as being part of humanity really. So there would be no distinction between the shadow soul of a human and the shadow soul of a jaguar, and animals were believed to naturally fulfill their roles in the ritual order. Their behavior was seen as corresponding to the activities of various “castes” in human society, birds and snakes being diviners, jaguars being warriors, things like that. Keep in mind that even the warrior was akin to a priestly role. No real difference between warrior and sorcerer.
Education did follow a sort of hierarchy as well. The ruling caste were the historians and keepers of tradition. They had access to the greatest amount of information, and had the greatest amount of “scholarly” training, but the “cannon” of their spirituality involved everyone. So a warriors training was as much a religious devotion as that of the shrine tending “calendar priest.” Even the farmers would have training in a litany that taught them all they needed to know to fulfill their role in the spiritual order.
Reminds me of medieval knights, in a way, like a Templar? The jaguar warriors were Templars, even to the point of performing law enforcement when it became necessary. Communities centered around temples and shrines, so if you were a warrior you would make your home near a jaguar shrine, etc. So it wouldn’t have been too hard to find anyone in the city you might be looking for.
A good map. Yes, and one they saw as very important.
Sort of like guilds. It’s a very good parallel, even to the point of them having an organized body of masons who had their own rites and traditions. They even refer to the old rites by the word “customs” today.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.