There is very little agreement among
the “authorities” about the people who lived
in central Mexico two millennia ago known as the Toltecs.
Some say they built the city and pyramid complex at Teotihuacán,
and others say they came there after the decline and abandonment
of that mysterious site. Some sources call the Toltecs a
peaceful and spiritual society, and others imagine it as
bloody warrior culture. The Toltecs left behind no written
language, and the art that has survived offers few clues
to their lives. The conflicting mythologies and histories
about them have come mainly from the Aztecs, who came after
them and found their city in ruins, the Spaniards who settled
the area much later, and recent archeological explorations.
Here then is . . .
The Official Joydancer Mythology of the Toltecs
More than 2000 years ago, small tribes and villages lived
in settlements throughout the central plains of what we
now call Mexico. They farmed and hunted, and generally lived
peacefully. For reasons that will probably never be known,
there were individuals among these scattered peoples with
a desire to form a new community of artists and spiritual
These seekers were
drawn to an area with large caverns north of present day
Mexico City, surrounded by old volcanic mountains. As their
numbers grew, so did the size and sophistication of their
city. In time, they began to build a complex of plazas,
temples, and pyramids that grew and changed throughout the
centuries. We now know these people as the Toltecs, and
their city as Teotihuacán-- which means “The
Place Where Humans Awaken and Remember Their Divinity.”
In that Teotihuacán the mile long Avenue of the Dead
with its temples and plazas, and the Pyramids of the Sun
and Moon, shimmered white in the bright sun of the high
plains. The sound of flutes and drums, and the smell of
copal incense were always present in the air. Priests and
masters trained their apprentices in the spiritual and physical
crafts in this beautiful place.
As the power and
beauty of Teotihuacán grew, new artisans of craft
and spirit began migrating to Teotihuacán from distant
parts of Mexico. They brought with them their unique art
and spiritual perspectives, and established distinct neighborhoods
in the sprawling city -- the most notable belonging to immigrants
from Oaxaca to the south. In time, the population grew to
nearly 200,000 people, with sophisticated farming, fresh
water and sewage systems.
Typical ruler and
warrior classes were absent in Teotihuacán. Decisions
and leadership were provided by priests and civil servants,
with input from the citizens. The Toltecs lived in relative
peace and stability for several centuries. They were very
connected to their environment, and used the cycles of stars
and planets to bring order and direction to their society.
Every 52 years, they reorganized the beliefs and structures
of their society. Spiritual understandings were examined
and expanded, and temples were rebuilt and pyramids enlarged.
The main “gods”
of the Teotihuacanos were Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent
representing the lowly snake combined with the vision of
the Eagle, and Tlaloc, the god of rain and abundance. Since
this was a culture based on “spirit” rather
than “religion,” there were no angry or judging
gods that demanded bloody sacrifices to appease them, like
the Aztecs and Mayans (and most religions!) who came later.
Ultimately, in the
cycle of Life, Teotihuacán fell to ruin. Perhaps,
as some suggest, the highest priests stepped into that powerful
vortex at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun and returned
home. It is possible that the teachings became distorted
by the desire for personal power, and the culture fragmented.
Perhaps the pressures from overuse of the environment, or
marauding tribes from elsewhere, caused the people to abandon
the city. Whatever the cause, the powerful spiritual teachings
have remained, passed from master to apprentice in an underground
mystery school, revealed in our time by such teachers as
Carlos Castaneda and Miguel Ruiz. It is time now for these
teachings of the ancient Toltecs to once again be shared
The word “Toltec”
means “Artist of the Spirit.” These were people
who created a community as well as a beautiful and powerful
physical environment to support them in their quest for
spiritual attainment. We are very blessed that the pyramids
and temple complexes they built at Teotihuacán are
still alive and well, and available for us to visit and
use in the spirit for which they were built.
you a Toltec? Do you want to be an Artist of the Spirit?
If so, we invite you to join us, using the tools and wisdom
of this ancient culture, combined with modern methods, to
free yourself from the burden of your past programming,
and awaken to remember your Divinity.
Become a Joydancer Toltec, Dancing in Joy with