What a mirror shows: Reflecting on Ceremonial Imagery

For those that are just joining my journey now, the last couple of posts have been taking my readers with me through my medicine journey in Mexico.  It was an incredible journey that I am still benefitting from. And I feel it is important to share those benefits with anyone who wants them. To catch up to this post you can read “Digging for Sacredness” , “Powerful Influence” and “Honouring the Ancients“.

One of the temples at Teotihuacan honours the god QuetzelCoatl, the feathered serpent.  Compared to the temples of the Sun and Moon, it is small.  It sits near the south-east corner of the site, and is adorned with carved sea shells, circles (sometimes called goggle eyes) and feathered serpent heads.  Each circle represents a mirror, which makes this temple a place filled with mirrors.

Ceremonial imagery is designed to inspire.  It is designed to remind us of stories, lessons, and behaviour. Reflecting on this ceremonial imagery is a wonderful way of getting in touch not only with your world, but also with yourself.  So this temple was the perfect place for self-reflection.

What do I see as I gaze into the mouth of the feathered serpent and the goggle eyes that line the walls?  Staring into the mouth of the feathered serpent, I felt powerfully alive.  The walls suddenly became acute magnifying glasses for how I see myself at this moment. I see a kind of duality – beauty and complexity, life  and blackness, possibility and intrigue – all within me.  Rather than something that is “out there”, I see these things within me reflected in these mirrors … what I am capable of being, here and now.  Like a Gestalt experiment in owning my projections, I am in this moment all those things.  What’s this about?  What is beautiful about me in this moment?  What is causing blackness inside me? These are large, deep questions I am asking. All because I tool the time to reflect on what was around me – in this moment it was some powerful ceremonial imagery.

Near the end of the day, I stopped to enjoy the vibrant red of the flowering tree by the entrance, and spotted a hummingbird,

Can you see the hummingbird at the centre flower?

Can you see the hummingbird at the centre flower?

clearly focused on it’s daily task.  I captured a picture of it as it was taking nectar from one of the flowers.  I recalled the medicine of a hummingbird – clarity, joy and beauty in the present moment.  How fitting!

As I recall the ceremonial imagery of the temple, I can still recall what I saw inside me. As I gazed into the mouth of a feathered serpent, I saw power, personal power, and magic.  I felt a longing for something greater than myself. I felt a connection to my universe, to the spirit of my universe.  And because of that, I also felt hope and beauty.  What could be learned about yourself by looking into the mirrors of the Temple of QuetzelCoatl? What kind of reflection would the ceremonial imagery evoke in you?

Maryanne Nicholls is a Toronto based, certified Psychotherapist offering a balanced approach to mental health. Please visit www.thejoyofliving.co for information on her services, or contact her directly to find out how she can help you reclaim the joy of living.


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