There are two roads that the shaman-sorcerer must choose to walk if he is to be a Revolutionary Nahualli. Either he masters the tonalli or the nahualli. Only a master can accomplish mastery over both in one life-time. To master the tonalli, that which exists in the materialistic middle world, one must learn, memorize, and have the ability to apply the mesoamerican divinatory calendar. To master the nahualli, in terms of control over the spiritual dimension of life, one must learn to direct their ability to see in the Otherworld and into the infinite. This usually means practicing journeycraft by means of the shamanic journey or soul flight.
One set of techniques one can use when working with the tonalli is to set up a personal altar. Any small table will do when constructing ones altar. There we may place objects that are of magickal signifiance to the shaman-sorcerer. Many are the things we may want to place here. Natural objects with positive associations to ones own person are likely to stimulate in one's mind a personal link to the spirit essence of that object and of the place from which it came. An indispensable object that one may erect is a wooden cross. Ajq'ij of Guatemala put such crosses to their altar as a representation of the four cardinal directions and as mnemonics that can be used to access the world-tree while shamanic journeying. That is one way to connect tonalli with nahualli work.
The most important things someone can place on their altar are votive candles. These candles come in all shapes and sizes. There are specific candles that one could light depending on the situation one wants to bring under their control. There are candles dedicated to Catholic saints. Even if you are a worshiper of the aztec powers, you can still practice Mexican folk magick through the use of saint candles. Even if their spirit does not exist, the billions of the intentions directed at such egregores or collective servitors will be real enough and will have a powerful enough effect for one to be able to work with that entity. There are also the Seven African Powers masked as Catholic saints that one could pray to in a time of need. To the old-fashion nahualli, praying and working with powers outside of the aztec pantheon would be considered blasphemy. On the other hand, the revolutionary nahualli has no problem with using external forces, for he knows that one must access the correct power for every situation. If that power is out of bound or found in another pantheon of gods and spirits, the revolutionary nahualli will not hesitate to use it. This may cause a temporary paradigm shift in the psyche of the shaman-sorcerer.
When placed on ones altar, the votive candle becomes a doorway or path into the unknown. It thus becomes an extension of the nahualli's own power and can be directed towards any aim one seeks to fulfill. The one more one focuses on one's candle or set of candles, the stronger the charge of each therein. I personally create my own candles by sticking labels on blank votive candles dedicated to the aztec gods I need to accomplish a particular task. It is my link to these powers from the world of the tonalli. Candles can be cured and its influence affected by carving either a triangle (spiritual orb) or by carving a pentagram (six-rayed star) at the top of the candle opening into the wax. And of course, you might add some special oil such as work or love oil so that the hechizo might be more effective. You may also want to place one white candle on the altar that can be purchased at any botanica or catholic church and use it as a portal into the spirit world. However simple or complex you want you candle magick practice to be, remember that it will only be effective if your belief in the process is strong.
Over time, your altar will be at the center of your personal power spot. It is possible to create a strong enough aetheric field that can part the veils of the astral world and can help you access the infinite web of power from your altar alone. You could bring objects charged at other larger, collective power spots to your altar and make it even more powerful. This thus becomes a source of New Power. What is New Power? For the revolutionary nahualli, New Power means the ability to act or create in a new way through the proper control of the Web of Power in order to manipulate the forces of the universe so that we may blaze new paths through the creation of a concentrated aetheric field. Such a field can be used to control ones magickal will in order to manifest any intention that one may wish to pursue. Once the New Power has been established
At the very beginning of the young nahualli's shamanic career, he will encounter many difficulties that result from his or her own shamanic illness. Such an illness may manifest itself as many probable symptoms such as: soul loss, a magickal object lodged into the body, or as a result of sorcery and black magick perpetrated on the nahualli. In order to protect oneself from such maladies, it is important to clear an area to make sacred space as a kind of magickal safeguard. Such a personal power spot becomes a source of New Power, but as we shall see, this New Power may overwhelm the young and inexperienced nahualli. But once a base for the New Power to manifest itself from becomes established, the nahualli can draw from it vast amounts of raw energy which can be used in many endeavors.
One of the first things the shaman-sorcerer should do when trying to perfect the art of building the New Power is to create either a servitor or an egregore to compliment the effort put into the establishment of the sacred space. If it is a servitor, its sigil must be constructed and charged so it may be cast into the cosmos. Though if you choose to create an egregore instead you will need a powerful group of shamans to carry out its construction as opposed to the servitor which can be created by a single shaman alone.
Building New Power through your altar is the first preparation one must go through, besides mastering the nawales, in order to ready oneself for the biggest and most important task of all: Journeycraft. Our altar gives us only a glimpse at what could be accomplished through the practice of aztec shamanism. But I will leave any explanation of the inner working of journeycraft for another thread. But for now, all we have to know is through our daily practice of charging our altar with your personal energies and working in this sacred space, we will acquire power and strength need to tackle the the next step in our shamanic career.
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