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The first sign is
Cipactli, or Alligator, which symbolizes the earth. The Earth is
imagined metaphorically as a great beast, floating on a dark body of
water. It is ruled by Tonacatecuhtli, Lord of Our Sustenance, Our Flesh.
He is the Grandfather, the Father of the Teteo, who creates and
provides our sustenance. A great maize plant grows from him headdress.
He rules the Tonalli of those born on this day.
The mantic sign depicts a man and a
woman laying under a blanket. They are Xochiquetzal and
Piltzintecuhtli, the first man and woman, and also the Teteo of love and
the morning sun, respectively. This is the symbolic representation of
sex, and therefore, birth and generation. Between them is the
mist-rattle of the Teteo of wet season; it symbolizes fertility and
As the first
day of the calendar, it pertains to the East; those born on this day are
gifted with generosity and wisdom, and have the good fortune of a
Tonalli filled with abundance and freedom from want.
señal es Cipactli, o cocodrilo, que simboliza la tierra. La Tierra es
imaginado metafóricamente como una gran bestia, flotando en aguas
oscuras. Está regido por Tonacatecuhtli, Señor de Nuestro Sustento,
Nuestra Carne. Él es el abuelo, el padre de los Teteo, que crea y provee
nuestro sustento. Una planta de maíz crece desde su gran tocadol. Él
gobierna el tonalli de los nacidos en este día.
El signo mántico representa a un hombre y una mujer, por debajo de
una manta. Son Xochiquetzal y Piltzintecuhtli, el primer hombre y mujer,
y también los Teteo del amor y el sol de la mañana, respectivamente.
Esta es la representación simbólica de las relaciones sexuales, y por lo
tanto, el nacimiento y generación. Entre ellos está la niebla-sonaja
del Teteo del Verano; que simboliza la fertilidad y la abundancia.
Como el primer día del calendario, que se refiere al Oriente; los
nacidos este día son dotados con generosidad y sabiduría, y tienen la
suerte de un Tonalli lleno de abundancia y libertad de la necesidad.
The Tonalli Amaxtli is the first of the three main almanacs, which
relates to the three souls that inhabit the human body, as well as to
the three different levels of the cosmos. The Tonalli Amaxtli determines
the Tonalli of a given day; which is to say, its destiny. The Tonalli
is a sacred force which links all creation, and which imparts vigor,
strength, and growth to the cosmos. At the moment of conception, the
Teteo implant our Tonalli within our
skulls, spinning a bone awl so that the spark of life and vitality
ignites and links us to the universe. The day-sign determines the
Tonalli; the Sign and number together form the secret, spiritual name of
the individual born on that day.
Tonalli and the Human Body
In the human body, the Tonalli is the Shadow Soul, the soul which
inhabits the head and is related to the heavens. It is the receptacle of
thought, intuition, perception, and reasoning. The Tonalli soul is
capable of leaving our bodies; during dreams our Tonalli travels to the
spirit realm, and if it is lost there, as sometimes happens, the body
eventually sickens and dies.
Because the spiritual and the
physical cannot be divided from one another and are, in fact, simply two
aspects of the same thing, the Tonalli soul is expressed physically in
the body as growth; hair and nails are both physical manifestations of
The three souls which inhabit the body work in concert
to determine our personalities and our destinies; two or more souls
might determine the same quality, which explains our conflicting desires
Tonalli and the Cosmos
Tonalli transcends the body, and can take up residence in physical
things; all things are possessed of Tonalli, although those things that
move and possess warmth and vigor have the greatest Tonalli. Ritual
objects, precious stones, feathers, and tools also posses great stores
Furthermore, the Tonalli Amaxtli determines the
character of the day, quite apart from the personality and destiny of
the individual born on the day. Therefore, the Tonalli Amaxtli can be
used as part of the process by which one determines the appropriate day
to plan a wedding, begin a journey, or make offerings in the temple, for
While free will does exist, our Tonalli limits and
gives shape to our experience of existence. Within the constraints of
what our Tonalli determines, in combination with our other three souls,
we are free to create our lives and give shape to our world.
“In spite of institutional denial and censorship, the 1968 massacre remains a touchstone in contemporary Mexican culture thanks to the public memory work of survivors and Mexico’s leftist intelligentsia. In this highly original study of the afterlives of the ’68 Movement, George F. Flaherty explores how urban spaces—material but also literary, photographic, and cinematic—became an archive of 1968, providing a framework for de facto modes of justice for years to come.”