This was a reply to someone in this big topic about the Maya collapse. Sometimes people think that horses made the Spanish some kind of organic tank impervious to Native warfare. I wanted to inform that in many cases Natives were able to adapt, change, and continue to fight the Spanish despite the advantage a horse may have given them.
Cavalry, though, that was a game-changer in the Americas.
Not always. Remember, the Spanish did not conquer Mesoamerica by themselves. They had Native allies to do most of the fighting for them. According to Hassig (1988), cavalry only gave a slight advantage. On page 237 he writes,
It is true that cannons, guns, crossbows, steel blades, horses, and war dogs were advances on the Aztecs’ weaponry. But the advantage these gave a few hundred Spanish soldiers was not overwhelming. In any case, individual Aztec warriors were shown to be the equal of any Spanish soldier, and the Aztecs in general proved remarkably adaptable. Individual warriors are reported as having grabbed the horseman’s lances and thereby neutralized them. One conquistador recorded a case in which a warrior successfully defended himself against three or four Spanish horsemen. When they could not bring him down, one of the Spaniards threw his lance at the Indian, who caught it and fought for another hour before being shot by two archers and then stabbed.
And then Hassig continues on page 238 and 241,
Another factor favoring the Spaniards was their use of cavalry and mounted lancers. Before the Conquest, as noted earlier, the Aztecs used an open formation in their battle stance, since the denser closed formation is basically a tactic used to repel massed mounted attacks and was thus unknown to them. But open formations were ineffectual against cavalry charges. Nevertheless, the Aztecs quickly adopted strategies aimed at minimizing the effectiveness of the horse, but a major shift in tactics would have required considerable time, since it would involved retraining professional warriors. Closed formations were not adopted, apparently because while they might have cured the problem of a massed cavalry attack, they would have created a better target for Spanish gunners. Consequently, organizational changes played only a minor role in the Aztecs’ adaptation to the Spanish challenge; ineffective tactics were abandoned, but new ones were not adopted. Instead, the response was largely technological. Devices and practices were adopted that aimed directly at these novel threats.
Hi there! Do you have any advice on concentration while doing spell work? My mind wanders very easily and the slightest sound gets me distracted (mostly music stuck in my head, despite me having other non-lyrical audio playing). I fear this is really effecting my spell work :(
Oh man, as a person who has ADD, I completely understand. :/ It’s so hard to not be distracted by just about everything, even when you’re really trying.
Here are some things you can do that may help:
If noises from outside your room/house bother you, do everything you can to keep the sound out. Put a towel under your door, make sure your windows are closed. Maybe try a white noise machine, or something on mynoise.net, to mask the sounds.
If possible, do spells at a time when either you’re alone in the house, or everyone else is asleep. Things are definitely quieter when you’re alone.
Eliminate other sources of noise - a ceiling fan, a ticking clock, paper rustling. Anything that you can think of that might be making background noise, do your best to find it and move it somewhere else, or turn it off.
If you have a song stuck in your head before you start the spell, listen to the entire song, start to finish. Sometimes that can make it go away. And this article suggests that chewing gum can help get rid of stuck songs.
Instead of non-lyrical audio, consider listening to pagan chants in the background, or write your own words to chant repeatedly while doing spellwork. Focusing on the words of the song or chant may help you focus more on what you’re doing.
Light incense or a candle and focus on looking at the smoke or flame.
Count in your head. In this case, a ticking clock or a metronome might be useful, and help you count in rhythm with the beats. (This is what I do when I meditate, because I have the hardest time quieting my mind.)
As you enter your sacred space, imagine two huge doors closing, like the type of doors on an old church or a library. Visualize them, and use them to remind your brain that you’re doing spellwork now; this area is sacred, and separate from your mundane life.
If a certain thought won’t go away, lock it up. Picture an old chest or trunk, and shove the thought inside it. Lock it with a key, wrap it in chains, whatever is necessary to keep it there.
Don’t feel bad if you can’t focus completely! It takes a ton of practice to do things like quiet your mind, and meditate, and do spellwork without being distracted. If you can’t, it’s no fault of your own, and it doesn’t make you any less of a witch. The intention is the important part of the spell, and if your intention is strong, it shouldn’t matter if you get distracted or not.
I hope these help you achieve what you want. Best of luck with your workings!