General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 20 Apr 2021/4 Wind
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Mexicolore reviews ‘Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012’

‘Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012’

This is a gem. Indeed Professor Davíd Carrasco of Harvard Divinity School called it ‘good for early and late, young and ancient and the hours and years in between’ - ie, for all of us. Subtitled A Manual of Ancient Aztec and Mayan Wisdom, it’s written by Carlos Aceves, illustrated by Hal Marcus, 96pp, published by paso al sol, Texas, 2011. (Written/compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

This is an attempt to offer a pathway to a balanced, fulfilling and meaningful life ‘in harmony with creation’, based on ancient Mesoamerican principles.
Full of nuggets of wisdom (when, in sympathy with nature’s own rhythms, to cut the hair, cut down a tree for furniture, sow seeds, according to the cycles of the moon...), Aceves (a bilingual teacher) considers a human lifespan to be 104 years (a double-’century’ in ancient Mexican calendars), the first 52 being ‘receiving’ years, the second 52 ‘giving years’. He explains how to divide our lives into nine ‘seasons’ or stages, always following seven ‘practices’ based on air, water, food, exercise, feelings, thoughts and sharing activities. The strengths of staple Mexican foodstuffs, led by corn, beans and squash, are explored, and the reader is encouraged to work towards a natural, positive, ‘good’ death, for which we CAN prepare.
Life and death are of course part and parcel of the same eternal cycle of energy - nothing like the linear timelines by which we too often tend to ‘measure’ our fleeting stay here on earth. Reincarnated spirits/souls/life forces are perpetually recycled, carrying, in Aceves’ words, ‘the memory of our human experience’.

Scholars may nitpick at the mixing and matching of elements from different ancient Mexican cultures - for starters, the famous first page from the Codex Fejérváry-Mayer, to which Aceves refers several times, was not an ‘Aztec’ codex. But this misses the point. Clearly illustrated, this is a simple and inspirational book, based on ancient Mexican teachings, through which, as Carrasco says ‘readers will discover guides to good, sane living for today’.


This article was uploaded to the Mexicolore website on Aug 21st 2013

An online calendar correlation resource, established in 2006, recommended by Aceves
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Mexicolore replies: One of the best and most accessible books that we would recommend is ‘A Scattering of Jades: Stories, Poems, and Prayers of the Aztecs’ translated by Thelma D. Sullivan, edited by Timothy J. Knab (University of Arizona Press, 2003).