The Soothsayer
Uxmal; Yucatan, Mexico
March 1973

The Soothsayer

Five superimposed temples, one virtually embedded in the other, make up the Pyramid of the Soothsayer, which is a synthesis in stone of three centuries of continual occupation. Each of the succeeding temples buried the preceding one, and thereby altered the orientation of the sanctuary. A mask of the Mayan rain God Chac decorates the facade. The God's jaw acts as an entrance to the function of the temple for the "passage" rites. Stone sculpture from on the west stairway shows a human head emerging from the jaws of a serpent. According to the Mayan texts, one must die in The jaws of the God in order to be reborn to a new life, which follows initiation.

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© 2004 by James A. McBride II, all rights reserved