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The One Who Decapitates Himself The Aztec Laud Codex

Clifford C. Richey September 2013

Illustration 1: Plate 24

It might be helpful to read: http://www.scribd.com/doc/125076415/Universal-Prehistoric-Depicted-Sign-Language when reading this paper as it explains the use of Form, Imagery, Gesture signs, Stance, allusion and position as used in composing glyphs.

Illustration 2: Imagery of Self Decapitation The Overall Scene The one that decapitates himself (the self sacrificing one, as a warrior and steward of the Sun, for the good of the culture) The one, Who cuts off his own head, (self sacrificing) The Chieftain. Head held by forelock The Sun, The Ax Above. positional Waiting, Rightward Leaning Arm The warrior. The great man, Phallus Released, Broken Ropes/Cords

The great one, The Circle Below, positional Reborn, The color red He departs. Leftward Stance of Legs/Feet On positional The rays of the Sun. The Knives and the Dart The above translation was made by selecting only the Imagery as Sections of the composition. This provides an overview of the composition's message much like a Table of Contents. Next we move on to the details (gesture signs) from which the Imagery was created.

Illustration 3: The Head Area The Dual Leader, The two sections of Deer Antlers that indicate leadership. Stags Rams, Bulls and their Horns or Antlers refer to leaders of their respective herds/groups. The one that wanders, The association made with the Deer Alive, A compound of the water and movement signs -signifies, alive or living-water. His appearance, His Face Facing upward, Stance to The surface, The Straight line of the lower edge of the Antlers His location, The small Circle that alludes to the area of the Eyes The Eye(s) of the Sun, Venus, an allusion to the Eyes The one, The small Circle as a number

at A vertical-place, The small Vertical Rectangle that creates one of the Eyes in The darkness, Black or dark color The portal, the exit. A (green) doorway sign positioned as an exit. To The moving-water, The sign was composed by compounding the signs for moving and water The, white, + sign does not appear as an actual sign but can be inferred from the arms, head, and trunk of the Body. This would indicate and almost subliminal, crossing-through the surface sign. Also the center (green) V of the Antlers provides the sign for an opening.

Illustration 4: Color Coded, Severed Head Imagery The Chieftain, The Imagery Severed Head grasped by the forelock is the sign for a chieftain. From, positional The water-source, Any Mouth used to signify a source of water. Taken down, The Shepherd's Crook sign means taken in the direction of the line of the staff. The Tunnel, The Neck/Throat used to indicate a tube or tunnel fro one part of the Body to another A hidden pathway, The Three Lined sign. The outer two lines indicate unseen or hidden while the middle line indicates a pathway. The dead flower, The blood spurting from the severed Neck is in the Form of an upside-down Flower gesture sign.

Metaphorically a Flower refers to a mature or beautiful person.

Illustration 5: Color Coded, Severed Head Imagery Reborn, The red color From The tunnel, The Throat The Hole, An allusion to the Ear area as an orifice. The one who will emerge The Egg as a sign of future birth or emergence upward, positional On a hidden pathway, The Three Lined sign indicating hidden or unseen. From A Connecting Line The Dual Holes, The Nose which alludes to the nostrils or orifices/holes Taken upwards, The Shepherd's Crook -see above From A Connecting Line The water-source, The Mouth Imagery The unseenThe Three Lined sign Arisings, The curved ascending Line or Form compounded with unseen.

in The east and west, Left and Right indicate east and west in gesture signing. The Eye of the Sun, Venus, An allusion to the Eyes. The Eye of the Sun, a metaphor for Venus as it arises before the sun in the east acting as a kind of scout. His two movements, An undulating line is the sign for movement. Here it is restricted to two-movements. in The east and the west. Left and Right undulations, see above.

Illustration 6: The Ax, The Sun The Sun Imagery of an Ax, greater than a Knife as the sign of a warrior. Awaiting, The Rightward slanting of the Arm and Hand is the Stance for waiting. The warrior, the steward The Arm signifies a warrior while the hand represents the Hand of the Sun, His steward. Held, The Imagery of the Hand grasping the ax handle at The arising-place, The compound of the Form of the Thumb and the Thumbnail as a vertical-place sign.The hidden pathways, The Fingers making the Three Lined sign for a hidden pathway. Everywhere, The small Circles of the Fingernails indicating a count of four in the four directions or everywhere. on the side, positional The house The Square sign for a house. of The turning-places A compounding of the rectangular place signs with the U shaped turning signs. On the sides, positional Below. positional

The Knife, The Ray of the Sun, The Knife Blade of the Ax. A knife meaning a ray of the Sun. A metaphor for periods pf drought when the rays of the sun cut the face of the earth makes cracks in the soil. Above, positional The male-spirit, The (light blue) sign for the male-spirit based on the Form of the glans penis. Emerging, The Knife Blade of the Ax has the arising signs that shape the curvature of the blade. From positional The wide-land, The ax handle is in the Form of the sign for a spread out area a wide horizontal rectangle based on the gesture sign. The hole. The cut on the ax handle from which the ax blade emerges. This is a side view of the sign for a hole. On the side positional The great male-spirit The Knob at the end of the ax handle in the Form of a, relatively large or great, male-spirit sign.

Illustration 7: Color Coded Plate 24 We must now turn back to the overall Imagery found in the Scene. The above messages often mention of the side. We have assumed this to mean on the side or sides of the earth. In order to see that the earth does appear as a sign we need to look at the (blue) Space between the Legs of the Figure. This Large Triangle is the sign for the great earth-female. We have seen that the sign for a male-spirit was based on the form of the glans penis and in a similar manner the female sign was based on the Form of the human female genital area. Seeing that the Figure's Phallus appears to be in contact with the earth-female so we may speculate that the male-spirit was in a kind of intercourse with the earth. As we have seen in past papers a common theme or agricultural metaphor was often used in explaining the cosmology. The deceased male warrior is buried in the earth and likened to a male seed that impregnates the female earth. This resulted in the sprouting of the seed until it sprouts above the

surface. This was called the flowering or blossoming and was the equivalent of a re-birth. In this particular composition we note that the Long Legs of the Figure are on the sides of the earth-female sign. The Feet represent a walk or journey this combined with the Leg signs we have a long journey on the sides of the earth. We mentioned earlier in this paper that the Legs and Feet are pointing to the Left which is the sign for departing. Armed with this knowledge we understand that the Figure is departing from the earth, or metaphorically, withdrawing from intercourse with the earth. As we look once again at the Ropes or Cord dangling from the Figure's Arms we can visualize the warrior-spirit breaking free from his long journey within the earth-female. His spirit has been released. Further, the Space between the ends of the Cords Form the signs for a Large Water-drop (the great water-particle) and a Bird's Head whose Stance is upwards. The same sign for a Bird and flight are shared in gesture signing. Therefore the release of the spirit from the earth is in the Form of a water-particle in flight. There is a count of place signs that form the Cords but the meaning of this count is unknown. In the beginning of this paper there was a message translated as: The great one, Below, Reborn, He departs. On The rays of the Sun. The message is now unmistakable, The rebirth of the male-spirit involves the water in which the spirit waits for the Sun to evaporate it. In this manner the spirit is carried up to the sky by the rays of the Sun. The above is a paraphrasing of the meaning of the Aztec Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered-Serpent. The Serpent represents a stream of water with is parts (feathers of a Bird, in flight. Quetzalcoatl is the connection between the Serpent (the stream) of the underworld, the surface of the middle world, and the upper world, the Sky. The message of this composition also explains the Imagery of Winged Serpents used by some cultures to depict the flight of a stream of water. We will now attempt to finish the message of this composition by translating the details of the Knives and the Dart beneath the Figure's Feet.

Illustration 8: Color Coded Plate 24 The journey, The Foot sign Eastward, Stance is leftward facing the east Below, positional the many, The number Three used as shorthand for, the many Rays of the Sun. The warriors of the Sun, Knives used to indicate warriors of the Sun Above, positional Below, positional and The center, The Knife in the middle. The center was a focus of the culture thought of as the center of the earth There could be many such centers much as there are many city centers today.

Illustration 9: Color Coded Plate 24 The journey, The Foot Imagery. Stance is eastward. The great ray of the Sun, The Large Dart Image The great warrior of the Sun same as above The two together as one, The Head of the Dart created by the Form of Two Fingers joined together. Heading downwards, The Fingers pointing a direction, below The vertical-places, The two Vertical Rectangles The many, turning places, The Three, the many, compounded Horizontal Rectangles and the U shaped turning signs. On the side, positional The houses, The Square signs for houses. On the side. Positional

Illustration 10: Color Coded Plate 24 The great one, The Large Circle as a number. His location, The Circle as a word. Unseen. The Double Line that creates the Circle. His Rebirth. The red color The Eye of the Sun, Venus, The, vertical, Form of the Eyes The Seven-places The count of the place signs. Tied together The Cords of Arising. The Form of the Cords are the arising signs. In the east and the west. On the Left and Right The center, The middle Space in the center of the Circle. of The female-earth, The (blue) Triangle connected to the center. The Warrior Twins, The Two Ax Blades connected together as one. Venus as the Twin warrior-star Above, positional and Below. positional

This Aztec composition was translated in a style different from previous papers. Because, despite its simple appearance it is quite complex and the translation along with its explanation became difficult to follow. The usual non linear structure of many ancient compositions also added the the problem of making the composition's message as fluid as possible. Despite the initial rather weird impression created by the Imagery of a person decapitating himself, the actual message is quite a beautiful tribute to the, self-sacrificing, warrior-priest and his afterlife.

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