The entire town lived the preparations for the ceremony of "The Charges Assignment". The four districts ornamented the main square, with aromatic flowers and decorated papers, representing the gods of the neighborhoods.
The Supreme Council had cut the night before had a session and decided on the fate of young people, which this year graduated from the House of measure. When the sun was at its zenith, a banquet began in the corridors of the Government building. In strict order, all authorities were there; women were promptly serving, as a laborious honeycomb bees, each knew what had to be done.
In the main square, numerous musicians were sounding their drums, whistles and flutes. After eating, the authorities took their place of honor in the square. It was then when young people started dancing and a monumental choir excitedly sang hymns. A small army of servants from the four quarters, kept everything necessary for the party, especially copal burning braziers.
At a point in time, sea snails began sounding. The young boys finished dancing and the multitude orderly and expectantly went respectfully quiet. Then the high priest of the main temple took the floor and said:
Oh our courageous omnipresent Lord; under whose wings we are protected, defend ourselves and find shelter; youre invisible and impalpable, as the night and the air! You have given us life, beloved Lord of internal battles. Today, your humble village is celebrating, because your garden has sprouted flowers. Because your Nopal has grown tunas and are about to flourish; because you have songs, because you have flowers.
Our Lord, humane, pious, protector and defender, invisible and impalpable, by whose will and wisdom we are governed and ruled, today we thank you for giving us a handful jaguar cubs and eagles, so that your people maintain their destiny of harmony and well-being; so that we men may be worthy of your love and good fortune.
Please give these young people a bit of wisdom and clarity, so they may discharge their high responsibilities with wisdom and dignity, which today they have with their people. Beloved Lord illuminates them.
The snails played again and young students entered the square. Each had in their hands a brazier with lit incense and they knelt in front to the authorities. Then the director of the House of measure took the floor, and said:
"My children listen to what I'm going to say, because my voice represents the noble institutions where you studied for many years. You sprouted from the House of young people and the House of measure; you maintain the honor of old Toltec grandparents, which bequeathed us these wise institutions, to keep them in our minds and our hearts. My sons, beloved quetzal feathers, listen well to these words I will say and put them in your hearts. Starting today, you will need to serve our people; that is here present and that will not allow you to deviate, not even a little bit from your righteous path, so that when you reach the winter of life, you may walk with the face high and have no shame to see the peoples face, because the post passes, but our actions remain. Serving the people is the highest honor that a well-born person can have in their life. Serving the people efficiently, honesty and virtue, is the best legacy to leave your children and grandchildren. For this reason, the civil servant should be extremely careful in his actions, intolerant of vices and weaknesses, should be in a permanent state of alert, because power corrupts mortals, makes them blind, deaf and capricious. Today my sons, we deliver you to your destiny.
The marine snails played again. Was the time when the Tlatoani, the one that speaks took the floor on behalf of the great Supreme Council, saying:
Oh most serene and human highness our Lord! here you have heard thy people. Here flowers and songs have already sprouted; words very worthy of being mandated by the priests and the teachers. I think, and I know for factual, that they shall keep them in their hearts and they will comply until their death. Let us receive our promised fruits, which soon, very soon will be "the heart of the people".
These precious stones, these quetzal feathers, have completed their education and their instruction to serve the people. Now they have moved closer to the hearts of the people, they must always act with utmost humility and caution. They may not become proud or arrogant, no matter how higher is their responsibility; always remember that first and foremost, you are servers of the people. That governs by obeying.
Austerity and sobriety should govern all your actions. From now on your entire life belongs to the people; with your daily acts, at home and in public buildings, you will represent the highest values of our ancient heritage.
See to it that you are a clean, pure, example without any stain. Care to be diligent, vigilant and responsible in the art of governing and managing. Keep the spirit temperance, forged by our wise education institutions. Scrupulously comply and make law and rules of our institutions be complied with. The slightest corruption means the beginning of our destruction. In your minds and hearts, is the destiny of our people. The ceremony continued until midnight. Music and dance joined the people with the immensity of the sky and the stars. The energy produced, went up in a spiral and achieved that heaven and earth kissed.
Night Eagle heard in the distance the rhythmical sound of drums. He was confined at the Temple of the House of measure by order of the Supreme Council, whose majority had decided that the young man would have a different path. Fire snake had managed to demonstrate, that Night Eagle should continue his studies.
The next morning, the Supreme Council summoned Night Eagle and his tutor. The young man was informed of the decision and ordered Fire snake, to take the boy first to "The great waters" and later to Mictlán, "The city of the dead", according to tradition, to make the temperance test; and if successful, then to take him to the entrance of DAANY BEÉDXE, the Jaguar Mountain and for him then to return to the Etla Valley, and provide a report on the task.
Preparations for the trip were immediately made. Five days later Fire snake and his student left for "The great waters". Each had a thick cotton blanket, a water gourd, a net with tortillas, grasshoppers and chocolate. They walked southwards, to the end of the Maize Flower Filed Valley. Later started ascending the mountain range, when they reached the highest part, Fire snake; as was the tradition, blindfolded the young man and began the descent. The teacher had to guide the student and describe everything he saw on the way. Changes took place when they reach the middle of the mountain and the coast, a place where Night Eagle had never been. Patiently, the teacher in detail described to the student, all the plants, animals and landscapes, found in their path. But the most spectacular and impressive was when they reached the beach. The student excitement grew to its limit, when he heard the sea. Fire snake then talked about the mysteries of "The great waters". He noted that old grandparents had confirmed that across these vast waters, there were land and people who, sometime in the past had much contact with our people. That the Feathered Serpent himself and "artists" of the interior stone had arrived to these lands from the great waters of the east, many bundles of years ago.
The sea waves broke off with violence on the beach. Night Eagle was totally ecstatic, never before in his life he had heard a sound as strong and composed at the same time, thousands of small sounds. Then, Fire snake slowly took off the blind from the youngster, withdrawing and leaving him alone in front of the sea.
For a long time Night Eagle remained motionless. What was right before his eyes, by far exceeded his astonishment capacity. He had never before seen such a big and powerful living being.
Next to it, he felt tiny and helpless; but at the same time a fascination feeling arose, that in spite of himself, attracted him magnetically. An ancestral feeling began to mysteriously emerge from his innermost depths, a virtual memory from the most ancient and remote origins of life disturbed mind. As hypnotized he remained in front of the ocean for many hours. His sight lost in the horizon, his perception expanded and could receive without the use of reason the vastness that was in front of him, with its millions of small wave movements, and at the same time, with the apparent immobility of its immensity, the ocean represented the most extraordinary meeting of his life.
When the afternoon came and with it the sunset, they climbed a cliff, where the spectacle of the sun decline was superb. On the horizon, the Sun slowly descended to the west, the sky was completely reddened, with shreds of Orange. The sea seemed to realize the instant at which the Sun penetrated the waters and its violence over silent rocks gained intensity, while not understanding the sea Fury. Then Venus appeared and the night covered all spaces.
The next day, the sea pounding against the sand woke up them up at dawn. They walked towards the north, up to a village that was in a beautiful, small Bay, called "The place where the wood beam is venerated". The villagers received them with the hospitality and courtesy, that characterizes the sons of the Feathered Serpent. This small village was an important religious for coastal peoples, since many bundles of years ago the Feathered Serpent arrived here and in addition giving his teachings, left huge wooden cross standing at the edge of the sea, as a symbol of wisdom. It was worshipped as a precious and sacred relic. Later they continued walking along the coast to the west, until they reached an imposing city called "The Hill of birds", very ancient premises of the authorities of the peoples of the coast. They spent twenty days hosted at the House of measure, where they were treated very cordially and respectfully, so by priests and teachers of the institution, who knew the purpose of their trip; so they allowed the young student seeing their codices and talked with him extensively.
They finally left towards Mictlán, where Night Eagle would have to take his initiation test. They again crossed the mountains to go inland.
This time the arrival at Mictlán was at night. Purposely Fire snake delayed their arrival and entered through the south gate. There the priests of the temple were waiting for them. Night Eagle painted his whole body black and a priest decorated his chest, with a cross section of a white snail. He spent the night in a dark room and in the morning a man also painted in black arrived and carefully explained everything he had to do, and at the end asked him if he was willing to comply with the ritual.
This is a journey without return, you are in time to cancel it; but you should know that once you start, light or darkness shall forever wait for you. You will not be able to return; sentenced the man in black.
Night Eagle was taken to the interior of a deep cavern, located in the main plaza of the northern complex of the plaza. With an impressive ceremonial, involving 40 people, including priests, musicians and warriors; a huge and heavy rock was lifted, which covered the entrance. Four men accompanied him; each respectively painted respectively black, red, blue and white. They carried a shield and a spear on their left hand and a torch in their right hand. The path was full of thick columns that supported the roof, between column and column were very old offerings, later we saw skeletons. The walls had frieze codes carved which repeated successively. As they went deeper into the grotto, heat and odors became heavier; the floor was moist and full of poisonous insects.
After five hours of walking, passing through narrow tunnels and spacious galleries, they reached a huge room, which had thirty bodies of an irregular circumference and height, in the highest part of twenty-five bodies. With the light of torches, stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the rocks created a breathtaking view of the place. In the central part was a sort of altar rock. One of the four men took from his net a brazier and started copal burning. The man in white gave him a water gourd, an unlit torch and one lit and told Night Eagle:
You shall remain alone here for ten days. You will need to rid from your body all the ideas you have about yourself, and reach inner silence. Until you do not have any thought, until you are a bundle of bones, until you become another rock. We leave very little water, care for it, because you will lose time notion. For no reason you shall move away from this place. Whatever happens, whatever you see or hear, "your place is the center". In this stone many warriors like you, ensured their most powerful weapon for the Florid War, to refine "their willpower". The self-confidence and character sobriety of these warriors have left their millenary stamp; you are against a stone of power. The temperance and strength of your spirit must keep you at this place.
This stone and your willpower; are all you will have to face the terrifying mystery which will stalk you in this darkness. All your demons and all your weaknesses will join sides against you. If you despair and try to find a false exit, you will forever be lost in this maze. Many of the corpses and skeletons you saw on the path are those who did not resist and tried to return. No one knows this immense and mysterious cave, only the Lord and Lady of death. Here, there are thousands of ways, that none of us, their loyal servants know. Do not move from here, stay within yourself, do not lose your balance. Remember that the safe place is the center. In ten days we will come for you and hope you find alive in this place."
Immediately thereafter, the four men began the return singing a hymn, which by echo produced many voices, while resonating were lost in the cave galleries.
Night Eagle first carefully observed the rock that he was at the center of the cave, saw that it was carved in a rectangular shape, approximately a body and a half long, by a half body wide and a body of height. Its four sides were carved with the same friezes he saw at the temples outside. Slowly he looked around the huge gallery with more fascination than astonishment. Somehow this great hollow in the rock, reminded him the impression he felt against "The great waters"; that smallness and insignificance feeling against a whole immeasurable and indifferent. Little by little, the torch light began to decline and Night Eagle, placed the water gourd and unused other, at the side of the stone; he leaned and waited for the last torch crackle to leave him in complete darkness. Never in his life, had been in a place where darkness was total. Hours passed and the young man was deeply asleep. When he woke up, for an instant, he did not remember where he was and even though he fully opened his eyes, he could see absolutely nothing. First, he thought that he had died, immediately afterwards, that he was blind and finally recalled where he was.
After some hours, many images of his life began to come to his mind. First he tried to stop them, but then recalled what one day Smoky mirror told him in this regard -"when you want something to disappear, let it expand"- thus he stopped objecting, the images vertiginous run on his mind, until he fell asleep.
Time extended "timelessly", Night Eagle began to feel restless. The total darkness, achieved the loss of physical and emotional balance. Hunger became another factor. The boy took refuge in the dream, but after a while, he did not know whether he was dreaming or awake.
Perhaps four or five days had gone by, when Night Eagle was awakened by a terrifying scream, that tore apart the deadly silence and completely froze his blood; moments later the cry took the power of a wolf howl or the intense roar of a jaguar. For a moment he wanted to run, but stopped and listened to the strange noise, which then turned to a gasp and sometimes a snort. The moment was of panic, Night Eagle felt the presence of an immense beast could smell its foul breath and feel the warmth of its breath. The boy folded his against into his chest and covered his head with his hands waiting for the beast attack. Time went by, didn't know exactly if it had been a few minutes or a few hours, the waiting was endless. The threat of the beast slowly dissipated, as a thought.
On another occasion, he was trying to stop an internal dialogue, when he heard in the distance a water stream, which violently approached. He thought that he should be in the bed of an underground river. For the moment he wanted to run into a wall to seek high rocks protection, but stopped instantly, where was he going to, if he could not see! The water roar grew with such incredible fury, that it confused itself with the bellowing of a huge animal. Night Eagle sat in the center of the stone and clearly heard how the roaring water passed next to the stone and thought that the current would grow and that soon would drag him, but time passed and the water never arrived.
The heat was more unbearable as time went by, felt as if insects walked on the body and some not removed in time, and injected him with their poison. He struggled to stop his thoughts. Self-pity began to gain ground. His body was full of sores and stings of poisonous insects. His spirit is softened; self-pity began to cause devastating effects.
Suddenly a tremor began, earth was moving and he heard immense stones falling, by the roar he believed that the huge gallery would come down. He kept still waiting for the end, he clearly heard the pounding of enormous rocks falling from the vault breaking into pieces on the floor, could almost feel dust and small stones that came as projectiles in all directions; and yet nothing happened. Everything seemed to occur in his mind and his heart; the cave remained with an absolute quiet and silence.
Night Eagle was completely full of sores from sweat and his body was extremely sore. He had very little water and hunger was weakening him. At one point he began to feel a violent and cold air current, with increasing intensity by the minute. By the freshness, at first felt relieved and believed that by the collapse an opening to the outside may have opened.
He was about to start an attempt, when he recalled the words of the man painted in white, "whatever happens, do not move from yourself, all you have to deal with this test, it is your willpower and the stone; search for the center". He immediately stood in the center of the stone and began taking deep breaths.
The wind ceased, but now heard the voices of Fire snake and Night lightning calling him; one, telling him that there was the exit and the other requesting help, because he was trapped under stones that had broken a leg. The voices seemed so real, that Night Eagle tried to talk to them without success.
He was near the limit of his resistance; thirst, hunger, silence, but above all darkness, was reducing his willpower to the minimum. Night Eagle then began to cry, felt so unprotected, desolate and so helpless, he wanted out of this hell, he could not endure more. He then recalled the words of Fire snake, when he said:
"The difference between a florid battle warrior and a common man; is that the warrior, knows that not even a sea of tears will influence his destination, so warriors cry knowing it will not help anything. No matter how much a warrior polishes his spirit and strengthens his body, he is just a human being! That feels and suffers just as all human beings. The difference between a common man and a warrior; is that the warrior do not deliver himself to pain."
The memory of these words, were as a balm for his pain. Little by little, returned to sobriety and with it the balance and again went to sleep.
Night Eagle managed to keep his balance, as of the time when he could get his mind blank. His breathing was reduced to the minimum, and little by little, his body integrated with the stone. It ceased to be him, to join the stone. He felt strong and compact, he noticed the stone was alive and had accepted him, and for this reason, it now defended him. Suddenly he felt a sudden temperature change; he saw fire sprouting everywhere around the stone, huge flames climbed onto the roof of the cave, very loudly. The entire gallery was completely illuminated; Night Eagle was not frightened and on the contrary, he just carefully observed the walls and the roof of the vault. The fire became more violent and headed threatening towards him. The young man had found the center, the equilibrium point.
Something told him that this stone was the navel of the world. He knew that towards his head was the sky; towards his legs the earth; to his right side was the known world known and to his left the unknown world; that in the center of earth, from his navel, consciousness was exalted towards the prodigious and immeasurable of the sacred heights of the spirit, but also, if balance was lost, could fall into the degraded hell of stupidity and the despicable existential soul destruction. Night Eagle had ceased to be him; he now was part of the ancient stone. He was only a witness without feelings and judgments. In an instant the fire disappeared, the huge gallery was again in complete darkness and silence.
Time went by; rather, time ceased to exist. Night Eagle was there, immutable and perfect, as a piece of stone that had been there millions of years, and without any problem, could be there many more, as it was only a stone.
It was then that the four men came for him. They found him lying and motionless, on the stone. More than a corpse, he seemed a perfect sculpture, sculpted by his inflexible will on the same stone. When he left the cave it was night. The sky was completely full of stars and moonless. Night Eagle never in his life had felt heaven vault this way. The Milky Way was a river of bright stars, as if welcoming him. Fire snake and Night Eagle spent five days more in the city of the dead, because the boy had to recover from the consequences suffered in his Florid Battle. The road to the gates of DAANY BEÉDXE was traveled slowly; Fire snake knew very well that these were the last moments he would have with his immaculate student. It was the tradition that they had to arrive in the morning to "The land of the precious twin". So the teacher and his student had sufficient time to have their last conversation. Snake fire started by saying:
Listen well, beloved gemstone, beautiful quetzal feather. We are reaching the end of our journey, tomorrow I will deliver you at the doors of "The land of the beautiful twin" and probably you will never again see me, and all those who with me were your first house. With us you were born, you sprouted and polished your inner stone. With us you forged "an own face and a true heart". Through our mouth spoke the Toltec old grandparents, as a flower in their wisdom you were nourished. The heart expresses by our actions. You know that we're in this life only for a short time, to flourish our heart and arrive at the House of our Lord the Sun. Because you know that the Florid battle manages to humanize us, you know that only being the best we can be, in everything we do, we feel and think; we can polish the rough stone that we all carry within, to make it a precious stone. In this way, the responsibility for our actions is essential for the warrior to flourish his heart.
Night Eagle; I want to tell you that until today you've been the best student of our noble institution; our most precious flourished fruit. But it is also fair to tell you, that all this will be useless, against what awaits for you in DAANY BEÉDXE. Everything you've learned, will be of very little help tomorrow; perhaps it all comes down to your integrity and temperance, in the development of your willpower, on which you've managed to carve an own face and build you a real heart. Tomorrow you shall start a journey without return. You shall enter the mysterious and terrifying ways of the secret knowledge of the Toltec old grandparents; knowledge that can only be revealed to the flourished Tunas of the "Nopal". Very few have reached where you are; and many less, managed to pass beyond the doors of "The land of the beautiful twin" and of those few, even less reach the secret knowledge of old Toltec grandparents that is in DAANY BEÉDXE. So what waits for you, is wonderful, immeasurable and frightening.
DAANY BEÉDXE is one of the oldest houses of the old Toltec grandparents in the world. The mountain where it is located is together with these valleys, a magnetic and powerful place; of this, our beloved mother.
As you know, earth is a living being. Our dear mother is alive, feels, and is going to die. As all living being it has some parts more important and sensitive than others. The reason for DAANY BEÉDXE existence is attributable to this cause. In this place, heaven and earth are in direct and constant contact. The energy fields, in addition to being special; men, over hundreds of bundles of years, have particularly transformed them, to be used almost indefinitely.
You shall never return among us, at this time we already are ghosts for you, dust on the road. However, if you fail in your attempt to be one more among the DAANY BEÉDXE warriors; you shall dissolve in the mist of oblivion, no one will remember you. But if you succeed at your attempt, you will forever live among us.
Night Eagle deeply stared at his tutor for a long time. Both got up; and hugged each other emotionally, and then the young boy gave his tutor, all the feelings that linked him to his past. Then turned around and quickly moved towards the gates of "The land of the twin precious", with the rising sun on his backs and repeating a verse between his mind and his heart:
"From inside the sky come
the beautiful flowers, beautiful songs.
Try hard, want the flowers of the shield,
flowers from the life giver.
What could my heart do?
In vain we came,
in vain we sprouted from earth.
Only like this I should go
as the flowers that perished?
Nothing will remain of my name?
None of my fame here on Earth?
At least flowers, at least songs!
That could my heart do?
In vain we came,
in vain we have sprouted from earth.
Here on earth is the region of the fleeting moment.
Is the place like this
where somehow we live?
Is one happy there?
Is there friendship?
Or only here on earth
We have come to know our faces?"
"The land of the precious twin" was a very special community, different from all other Valley communities. As ancient as DAANY BEÉDXE, was the prelude to the holy mountain. Tradition stated that no people could live in the places near the sacred mountain. In the land of the beautiful twin lived many people, women and men, who worked diligently for the maintenance and support of the city of the internal stone artists, called the Jaguar Mountain. Their life was voluntarily devoted to serving the maintenance of human beings, fighting to become gods. "The land of the beautiful twin" was the place where the last test was performed to those aspiring, who wanted to ascend to DAANY BEÉDXE.