Few weeks ago I received a strange dried flower bouquet from a local farmer here on Rhodes island. I consider him as a local shaman although he would never accept this title. He is the person who was teaching me the most about plants and the divine cosmic design. So he gave me these strange yellow flowers amongst dozens of others, and did not say anything about them. Back home I found its name at least: Mexican marigold or Tagetes Lucida. But I didn’t really look up for more info.
Now I am reading a book about archaic images, symbols of water, moon, feminine, underworld. It describes a God of the Aztecs: Tlaloc. He was the rain deity, the ruler of the mysterious water-underworld: Tlalocan (Greeks called it Hades) where the great ancestors, the wisdomholders lived. The rain is the blessing of the otherworld, and ancestors. It is the nourishing source which maintains life on Earth. The Great Ancestors send love to Earth in the form of rain. Rain and water was the primordial element of fertility, blessing, and mercy for the archaic people. Water lived in the sky, in the heavens – they felt. Moon moves water, so that is why the connection to the lunar, feminine realms and deities too.
Tlaloc, the raingod was the husband of the Corn Goddess, Kenteotl.
The realm of the Moon is the water-underworld, Tlalocan (it is called Hades for Greeks). It is the locus of the fertile, creative energies which maintain life on Earth. Tlalocan was the abode of the souls of dead who returned back to Earth in the shape of rain, in order to inseminate the lands. Water is the element that brings the highest beauty, richness, fertility, pleasures and salvation to our Planet. The archaic peoples always maintained the relationship with the realm of ancestors, the otherworld, the sphere of the Moon, the dreams, the unconscious in their spiritual customs. Why? They needed the protection of the Ancient Fathers who sent profetic suggestions to them. They kept the passage alive between all realms. The cult of Tlaloc was one of these spiritual passages between humans and ancestral energies.
And guess what?
Tlaloc’s symbol is the Mexican Marigold (Tagetes Lucida) a perennial medicinal plant native to Mexico and Central America, exactly this one I received from that local Greek farmer.
The Aztecs called this wonderful plant ‘yauhtly’, the manifestation of Tlalocan God. They used this plant for religious ceremonies in the cult of Tlaloc (which is one of the most ancient ones in Mexico) and they considered it as a sacred teacher plant.
They either burnt it as an incense, or smoked it with tobacco. The Aztecs also used it as a culinary herb and added Tagetes Lucida to liquid chocolate for its spicy flavour. They used it in soups and sauces too. The tea brewed of its dried leafes and flowers has anise-like taste and a calming effect. The Huichol indigenous people of Mexico use this sacred plant even today as an entheogen for its hallucinogen effect. They smoke it in long thin corn husk cigarettes or clay pipes as part of spiritual ceremonies.
Tagetes Lucida’s ceremonial usage has the same purpose as the God Tlaloc: it owns the realms of ancestors, the lunar consciousness, the otherworld, the wisdoms, mercy, and blessings.
The cosmic design is way too richer and more beautiful than we would ever think. Archaic people were aware of this sacred cosmic design of the universe and they expressed them through myths and archetipes, or gods. Images that can evoke the sacred in us in order to heal ourselves and the planet. Plants were their great teachers on this path.