Pakal Votan Tomb Lid: The World Tree

leading from 





a) We find the cross shape structure above Pacal in the relief is based on  the form of the Palenque cross, complete with a bird known as the cosmic bird also known as Itxam-Yeh, the seven Macaw associated with the Big Dipper star constellation, perched on the very top.

b) See also : Crosses of Palenque


image of the cross from the Sanctuary tablet from 
Temple of the Cross. Palenque
(source: A Forest of Kings:
The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)

  1.  The World Tree is the central axis of the world. Called the Wacah-Chan ('six sky" or "raised up sky") in the glyphs, it appears in the form of a cross marked with God C to denote it is a divine or holy thing. The bejeweked, square-snouted serpents which usually terminate its branches represent  flows of liquid offering - human blood and its analogs, rubber, copal, and the red sap of the ceiba tree. Draped in the banches of the tree is the Celestial Bird Deity, who is the bird of the center in the direction model of the world. The World Tree often emerges from behind the read of the Cosmic Monster. The front head of the same creature can be depicted as its roots. The Tree is the path of communication between the natural and supernatural words as it is defined at the center of the cosmo. The Cosmic Monster is the same path of communication configured for the periphery of the cosmos. The king personifies this World Tree in his flesh. (source: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)
  2. The Tree of the World is specially marked as a sacred object: the symbols for te or "tree" 
    confirm it is a cottonwood. The symbols for nen or "mirror" indicate that the tree is a shining and powerful being. The enormous figure of God C (symbol of blood and that which is holy) is inserted in the base of the trunk and is linked with Pakal's body. The tips of the tree's branches are shaped like the bowls used to catch sacrificial blood. Jade beads and tubes surround the square-nostriled dragons that are born from these vessels, indicating that they are especially sacred. These jewel-covered monsters are depicted in deliberate contrast to the skeletal dragons below them. Te first represent the heavens, the most sacred of the three levels of the Maya cosmos; the second illustrate the world of death into which Pakal falls. (Source: http://www.delange.org/PalenqueTomb/PalenqueTomb.htm)

    The Olmec "Tree of Life" (Mesoamerican Cosmology).
    The lineage founder, 2 Grass, is being born from a 

     twisting World Tree. Detail from Selden Codex page 2. 
    Source: FAMSI


Tree of Life as seen in the Mayan Dresden Codex with perhaps a
sacrificial victim on a sacrificial stone. Alien enthusiasts might
notice that the tree almost resembles a tentacled creature erupting
from an egg with a vagina like opening (as found here
http://laberintosdeltiempo.blogspot.mx)
Perhaps this served as inspiration for the sacrificial scene for
Ron Cobb's version of the birth temple for Alien.
(See Alien: Dresden codex's influence on Ron Cobb's birth temple?)

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