For over a week now, I have been reflecting on my first introduction to Tezcatlipoca, a Mayan God. I first learned of Tezcatlipoca when I went on a trip with spiritually like-minded people to the Yucatan and visited multiple temples in Chichen-Itza, Tulum, Coba, and other sites. Here were incredible stone temples, built up in layers, each layer being added every 52 years – pyramids as awe-inspiring as I imagine those in Egypt are (I have yet to make it to Egypt). The Mayan cosmology is filled with sacred geometry, connection to Venus and the Pleiades, but also acknowledging the darkness and chaos of human life.

Tezcatlipoca by Mayan accounts was not a particularly good guy; he was a creator god but also represented many shadow sides – sin, drunkenness, lust. He also carried with him an obsidian mirror. Obsidian is a glass like stone used in Mayan culture for blades of weapons but also for divination. The sheen of polished obsidian allowed the user to “see” events in the future, much like a scrying mirror used in England. Many sources attribute the use of an obsidian mirror to black magic, imparting on this cultural finding a negativity that I don’t necessarily believe. I love the imagery obsidian provides – to see past the smoky veil.

Tezcatlipoca was said to travel to the Underworld each night, fight through the darkness, and with the help of the Jaguar god climb back out at dawn having survived another night. Because Tezcatlipoca traveled underground, modern day interpretation assumes he was traveling to the Underworld – which was defined as a place of bad, of evil, and thus by association he was a bad guy. But Tezcatlipoca had other strengths – he was a master wizard (meaning he had great metaphysical power) and he was a warrior. He fought for better treatment for slaves and rewarded virtuous acts with fame and fortune. I see the Underworld not as evil but as our subconscious, holding many parts of ourselves away from our awareness.

I hold a more liberalized, reinterpretation of Tezcatlipoca. Here is a god of courage – courage to descend into the darkness and fight through to emerge triumphant each daybreak. Here is a god that is willing to see all the shadow sides of life, and with this broader view (seeing light and dark) able to divine (predict, foretell) the future. Association with obsidian shows me another benefit. How valuable it is to hold up a mirror to ourselves, to see where we are behaving less that perfectly, to own our shadow sides. Association with Jaguar shows me an additional way to view this mythologic god. Jaguars are great predators; no one would argue against their fearsome nature. And yet Jaguars represent ability to see in the night, to track something using senses other that sight, and mythologically are the bridge between life and death. We can call on Jaguar power to help us see the hidden parts.

We are in chaotic times, with much darkness around. It would be easy to head for the light, and cling only to the good. However, when we are willing to truly see ourselves in the mirror, to truly own our less-than-admirable aspects, we can step into Ho’oponopono (Hawaiian shamanic practice of forgiveness of ourselves and others, to get into right relationship). We also are gifted with the power to make meaningful changes. How does this work? Stuffing down and closing over our shadow side takes energy, energy that is not serving our growth or forward motion. Becoming aware of our inner aspects, even the “bad” ones, allows us to own them, forgive ourselves, and in owning we take back the power that these aspects hold. Sheila Gillette, who channels the group of higher beings known as Theo, calls these fragmented, unresolved parts of ourselves “orphans”. Imagine your personal power when all your fragmented parts (“orphans”) are brought back home, adding energy to your central essence. Imagine taking a good close look at your deepest self, forgiving what could be better, owning it all and stepping forward fuller and more complete.

Spend some time in reflection, calling on Tezcatlipoca, Jaguar, and Obsidian. Journey to the Yucatan and enter the underground through the limestone cavern. Bring the power (Tezcatlipoca), the protection (Jaguar) and the keenest sight (obsidian) with you. Track your fragmented parts. When the dark aspects make you shy away, move into forgiveness. Recognize this untapped power is yours, it does belong to you and is of you. Bring these orphans home, and in doing so heal your soul’s fragmentation and amplify your power. Then step forward into the dawn of a new day with gratitude to these powerful Mayan energies.