How did the Aztec view dead ? According to their ancient mythology , when someone died, they had to go through a journey of nine levels to arrive at Mictlán . The process, which lasted for four years, was full of obstacles.

The objective was to arrive at the underworld , with Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacihuatl , gods of death. In this way, the soul of the departed would achieve eternal rest.


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The first stage of the way consists in crossing the Apanohuaia river with the help of a dog , either white or vermilion, called . Its color was the only way to see in a place full of darkness.

The next level is Tepeme Monamictlán , a place where the hills get together and the soul must wait to continue its way.

Then comes Iztépetl . For this obstacle, the souls must cross a path of obsidian .

The fourth level is called Cehueloyán , a place with a lot of snow , where the spirit remembers the saddest moments of its life. It has to go through the path to get rid of them.

In the middle of the journey is Pancuetlacalóyan , a place with so much wind that some souls cannot overcome it and are blown away.

Next comes Timiminalóayan , where invisible hands throw arrows that must be dodged by the souls. Each arrow represents a person who had an influence on the life of the departed.

In the seventh level, there is a jaguar that deprived a soul of its heart, for in this stage the departed abandon anything worldly they still carry with them.

The next level is Apanohualóyan , a place where the departed see their life pass.

The last level is Chiconahualóyan , where the souls finally meet Mictlantecuthli and Mictecacíhuatl for their reward: eternal rest .


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