Ixchel has not been happy with my husband and myself. We are part of the holy bloodline, and I am to bare him a son, but Ixchel will not allow it. Today, my husband, the king, will offer our holy blood to the gods. We hope that they will listen to him, their holy mother, and accept our divine blood in return for a legitimate son. He has throne a festival, and the people are excited for us.
Dancers line the street and surround us, sending feathers and bones whirling into the sky as they surround us. I am behind my king. I am frightened of the ceremony, as I have never been pierced before. My ears and tongue are to be pierced today, and my husband's as well. My husband will also enpregnate the gods today by slicing open his foreskin and offering his children his divine blood and semen.
My king has undergone these ceremonies many times. He has told me how to pierce myself quickly, but I am frightened. I am young, and I have only watched the bloodshed from afar. He has told me many secrets of the ceremony, but I remember none of them. This fact frightens me more.
We have drunken balche beer together so that our bodies are more numb, and my husband has given me some mushrooms from the rainforest. I am so scared, however, that I am not as numb as I should be. Nonetheless, I act sober. Those around us do not need to be aware that I have been drugged, nor do they need to be aware that I am frightened. I am the holy first wife of the king, and I am part of his holy bloodline. I am not human. I am one with gods.
We have traveled from our own city to Cozumel for this ceremony alone. I am going to the underworld after the ceremony. I am going to be alone. The underworld is dark and Ixchel lives there. I will personally give gifts to Ixchel in hopes that she will be swayed to let me bare my king a child. It has been a long journey for me, and I am tired and scared, but I must pull through. My husband tells me that he cries each day he has no son to hold. I will bare him a son.
Together my husband and I climb the stairs to the holy shrine from which will we undergo the ceremony. We seat ourselfs next to one another on the top stair, looking down at the massive crowds that have gathered to watch us in holy self-inflicted torture. Before me lays a carved obsidian spike upon a small clay plate and some rope. It is my turn to pierce myself first and so my holy husband says his prayers me with and the priests, and then we speak to the vast audience. And then it is time.
I grab the obsidian spike and pulled down on my earlobe. I close my eyes and say my own prayer to Ixchel. Do not hate me today, Ixchel. I do this for you and for my husband. I push the spike slowly through my earlobe until the priest tells me that it can be seen through the back. A tear falls down my cheek as I pull out the spike. I imagine that my ear is red and I can feel some of the blood flow down my ear. It does not hurt for long, however, and for this I am surprised.
I push a piece of rope through my ear and wipe away the tears that fell. I can now hear the gods when they speak to me. I am preparing for my journey to the underworld, because now I can hear the goddess Ixchel when she speaks to me. That is, if I can convince her to speak with me.
My next ordeal is to pierce my tongue. I sniffle. I am frightened of piercing my tongue, but my husband's kind and expectant eyes urge me to do so. The crowd is wincing for me as I stick out my tongue and push the spike through faster this time. I want to scream. It hurts more than my ear did, and I can taste the blood within my mouth. I remove the spike and lean over to spit my blood into the offering plate. Take my blood, Ixchel, and give me a son. He will serve you loyally as king if you do. Let your name go unforgotten, Ixchel.
I grab one of the now bloody pieces of rope and stick it through my tongue. Now I can speak to the gods and to the people. I have given my tongue so that I may be a medium. I can tell the people whatever the mighty Ixchel might tell me.
It is my husband's turn, but I am not to say to watch him. My husband makes me kiss him so that he might taste my blood which I have offered to the gods. Today I am to go to the underworld. I spit some of my blood into each of the three plates before him, as well. The gods can have my blood, and my husbands bloody seed, so that maybe they will recognize we both wish for a child.
I descend the stairs of the temple and many people show me their respects. A priest stands before me and hands me the pottery of which I have made for Ixchel. A human sacrfice's skull is within the pot.
"Ixchel should be pleased with this offering," the priest informs me. "Since the gods rely so heavily upon the blood of mortals, the blood of a divine such as yourself, a mortal soul, and even something of your own creation should please her. May you be safe, child. Do you remember the path with which I have told you to follow? It is hard to reach the enterance to the underworld. Remember not to walk into the underworld directly, or you will lose your life. The waters of Ixchel will swallow you, and then your sufferage will be for nothing, and you will sadden our king. He loves you dearly."
I keep my conversation with the priest short. I do not wish to speak, as it hurts me. He reminds me of everything I need to know, and I am thankful. I follow the path I was told to, and I get slightly lost within the jungle trees. I feel lucky when I reach an opening into the underworld. It is the one I have been searching for.
I fall to my knees before it and stare into the water's depths. I have never seen the underworld before. The waters of Ixchel are a very dark blue. The enterance is deep and there are some rocks jutting up from the surface of the water. Blood covers some of these rocks, and I am sure that this is the enterance I have hunted for. The blood, I believe, is that of my own and my husbands. The gods have recieved it.
I pray and pray, but Ixchel does not arrive. I drop the skull into the water and explain to her that this is the skull of a mortal that has been slain in her honor. I take my knife and pierce the bottom of the pot, ruining it. I drop the pot into the water and watch it sink into the blackness. I wait and wait, but Ixchel does not arrive.
I reach down towards the water. Maybe Ixchel needs some help climbing free of the underworld. I reach down towards her, and I think I can see her hand coming from the water. My joy makes me slip off the muddy banks and fall into the cavern's mouth. The water laps over me and I am dragged into the underworld. I try to grab the muddy shore but I slip. My leg collides with a sharp rock that begins to disappear after it pierces through my leg.
Ixchel is still not happy with me, but now I am falling into the underworld. She will take my life today. She is not satisfied with the blood I have given her. I cry as the dark waters consume me. I lash and try to free myself as the waters of the underworld flow past my lips and mingle with the blood still on my tongue. I try to scream under the water, but no noise escapes.
I have entered the realms of death, where no noise will escape.
Erg. Woo! Yay death. Incase any of you are confused about the 'opening of the underworld' it is an area of an underwater cavern to which the ground has caved in and left a hole from the land to the cave beneath. The caves of Cozumel were believed to be enterances to where the goddess Ixchel lived. So yeah. She's looking into a lake that's really a deep dark and creepy cave! Yay underworld!