My practice is what I refer to as Palo Mexica, a system which takes liberally from the Afro-Caribbean current but focuses primarily on the worship and adoration of the Aztec gods. I take from Palo Mayombe the practice of setting up a nganga, prenda, or caldero. This is a pot in which many natural materials are placed which hold magical properties which can be harnessed by the nahualli if worked with in the proper way.
The first thing you need to do is find out what kind of prenda you should build by finding out which are the Aztec powers that govern over your existence. This information can be found at http://azteccalendar.com. Once you know what god presides both the trecena and day of your birth, you will immediately know which god you should focus your prenda on. You should then pick from the two to see which is the one you connect with the most.
You need to astral travel or shamanic journey to the gods or god shaping your life. One should ask very carefully and with much humility about what natural or man-made materials they want you to put into your prenda. Having received this information through either telepathy or psychometry techniques, you are now ready to begin constructing your prenda or cauldron, as it is often called.
Traditionally, in Palo Mayombe, one often sees metallic pots big enough to place objects or materials such as rocks, herbs, feathers, maize, sticks, and earth, among other things. A powerful mexica palero or nahualli will usually place things such as bullets, nails, special oils and other man-made materials in his prenda. These usually represent anything you wish to work with, whether it be people, deities, spirits, or abstract concepts such as servitors, sigils, and egregores.
I personally use a clay pot in which a traditional Mexican house-hold would bake beans in. In this pot I hold earth from different power spots such as the forest, the coast, the desert, and from around your own home as a petition to the local spirits to look after your pot. When focusing on your altar, you may have certain associations or thought-forms that come to mind when thinking about the different places you've been on your adventure of filling this pot.
I also use sticks from anywhere I could find. Herbs like Rue, Mint, Bay, Pine cones, and small pebbles also give your altar an added kick. I am no yierbero, but I do know that everything that has once had life also has a spirit. Filling your prenda with the essence or small portion of each substance is the shamanic equivalent of gathering spirit helpers. You don't have to plead to these spirits, for you only gathered the essence of it, not the spirit of the entire plant species. Graveyard dirt makes this cauldron very sensitive to the spirits of the dead and should be employed. You could use church dirt for the opposite effect.
One would work with these spirit helpers astrally by scrying either with eyes opened or closed over the surface of your prenda. It is useful to have a lid for the pot so that when it's closed, it symbolizes inactivity and rest, which gives the spirits you have gathered some time to recover. I use turkey bones in my prenda because my patron god is Chalchiuhtotlin, the Jeweled Fowl or Turkey, god of liberation, god cleansing of self-contamination, but also the god of pestilence, which is the nahualli of Tezcatlipoca.
The turkey bones, in my case, form the basis of my worship for you could astrally resuscitate the spirit of that particular bird and reanimate its abilities, instincts and memories of that bird. It DNA which resides in the bones can be used to astrally or etherically reconstruct its spirit body for use as a power animal or nahualli, an astral vehicle to dream through as well as a vehicle to generally transfer your consciousness into such a vehicle.
This could be done with any animal, plant, rock, or element placed in your pot. Once the pot is full, you could place it on the floor next to your door at the entrance in order to protect your family, or it can stay at your altar if you want to work with it more actively. It is a spirit bomb that serves both to protect and to work on your behalf independent of the operator's intent or even presence. You could send your prenda off to do odd jobs for you, to gather information, to do things to people whether good or bad, as well as to simply accumulate power for knowledge, health, and spiritual healing.
Find out what the gods or deities you want to serve like as offerings and include that in or next to your prenda. As a result of these offerings, or in the case of petitions to certain gods or spirits that have a connection to your prenda, you should expect results rather rapidly. The cauldron itself has a unique spirit body which can be manipulated by passing your hands over its aura and shaping it. This aura is in such a high vibrational frequency that it can only be perceived by the Third Eye in a highly sensitive psychic state.
To empower your prenda, memorize the name of everything you put in and chant its names and properties as well as cries to the Aztec god you pray to while you use ecstatic methods to reach a trance state or gnosis, whichever you'd prefer. This adds an extra punch to its power and now you are ready to mold its spirit body into any conceivable physical form by molding it with your hands and the power of your mind. You could give it shape of an animal or any living, sentient or semi-sentient being.
You could launch this new vehicle or personal alter ego to any location in the galaxy and either follow it, become it, or let it go on its own to do the work. You could produce spirit bombs that could be sent through the hands once physically shaping the orbs or balls through magical passes over the altar. They could be gathered and sent by a violent motion of your hands in any of the four directions. If you know which direction the victim or patient lives in, you could launch it in that directions.
Once you have established a relationship with your New Power bestowed on you by your cauldron, you are ready to use the nawales of the sacred Cholq'ij calendar and to practice journeycraft and dreaming. You could do many additional things with your prenda, such as burying it in a remote location of power for a few days, weeks, months, or even years so that they may accumulate powers independent of any operator. Once you unearth it, you must invoke the spirit of the place you buried it in every time you use it, or every time you wake up (once back at your home).
The easiest form of spirit to capture or control through your prenda are the Cihuateteo. In ancient aztec myth, there are certain minor deities or spirits that visit us in the real world on particular days in the Cholq'ij calendar. First, the Cihuateteo who are believed to be the souls of deified mortal women who died in childbirth. They were said to cause sicknesses and tempt men to sexual misconduct. There is a brighter side to them for in aztec culture women who died in child birth were revered as warriors on par with any male warrior that has died in battle.
They were worshipped as ancestors in the Cihuateocalli built at a crossroads. They are known as the goddesses of the crossroads. The days on which they were to descend to earth are 1-Manik, 1-Cauac, 1-Chuen, 1-Akbal, and 1-Men. They were associated with the five trecenas of the West. On these days the veils or barriers between ordinary and non-ordinary reality are much thiner, much like the effect of Samhain or Halloween over the spirit world. Spirits from the underworld of Mictlan, the land of the dead, come up to the earth on these particular days and either help or wreak havoc across the land.
The Cihuateteo are spirits of illness and disease, but their powers and knowledge can be used to diagnose the cause of illness and to treat different diseases, particularly palsy and psychological illnesses like hearing voices and chronic depression. Of course, you must make offerings to the Cihuateteo on these days to achieve control of their powers. They must be made allies through the power of the your caldero and should be visited through shamanic journeys and lucid dreams.
They are indeed the weakest of the aztec gods and have a limited effect when not summoned on the correct days. But you could capture one or two on the day 1-Rain, which is when the youngest and most beautiful, as well as the most powerful, are brought to earth. Remember, they were once human, therefore they are pure nahualli and teyolia. The nahualli or mexica palero can use these powers to either cure or hex. But I would strongly oppose using these abilities for evil, and instead using them to gain knowledge and wisdom about the spirit world and how it blends, interacts with the world of the physical.
It is said that a shaman can only cure the diseases which he tasted under initiation. Be prepared, because if you summon these spirits, you will at first be enemies for they are legendarily packed with raw human emotion of hatred and sadness, because they suffered so much during their life-time and death. They are warriors nonetheless and if you try to build a positive relationship with them once you have called upon them, and if you succeed, you will be able to channel all their knowledge about illnesses they cause in order to cure them. Their specialty is "rape of the soul" or "stealing souls."
Once you are ready to say good-bye to this spirit once all of its work has been accomplished, you must do a shamanic journey to Mictlan, across the nine underworlds, in order to play psychopomp so you may take them personally to receive eternal rest as a reward for their working with you. An offering for an offering. These are creatures that regularly haunt people on those days because of their rage about how they died so tragically, but if you could help them find peace with themselves and harmonize them, their soul departs and stays in Mictlan forever. One must of course respect these spirits and only use them when absolutely necessary.
So this is a part of how Palo Mexica works. I wish I knew more about the subject and I know I am not that articulate, but as someone that is not a professional writer, I am going to do my best to delineate my system fuller in the future. There are many, many more ways to incorporate worship of the aztec gods with the Cholq'ij and journeycraft. But i'll save that for another thread or reply.
Yours in the struggle,
Edited by teopiltzin, 14 June 2010 - 12:47 PM.