Friday, April 1, 2016

The Toltec Oracle - Victor Sanchez

Circle Review of 'The Toltec Oracle' By Victor Sanchez 274 page book, 2 sets of cards and chart, Published by Bear & Co ISBN 978-1591430261 £35 Author website:

Victor Sanchez is a Mexican author, psychotherapy trainer, retreat organiser, workshop facilitator and specialist in MesoAmerican spiritual tradition. Original artwork of the cards is from 400 year old codices. The accompanying book contains information on how to conduct a reading, various suggested spreads, an explanation of Toltec spirituality and provides the meaning for each card and its Toltec symbolism and metaphysics. It also includes information about  the indigenous words
used in the book. The Toltec tradition is one of the oldest sources of spiritual wisdom in the world and helps us to apply shamanic knowledge to our daily life. According to the Toltecs, two interconnected and opposing energies propel evolution. Opposites complement each other and say, ‘You are my other self and we must co-exist’. To be ‘impeccable’, we must use this dual energy wisely and in so doing, we become a ‘warrior’. We must speak out loud to the deities (the Poderos) and develop a rapport and also make offerings - as this is how warriors sustain their path.  

There are two decks of cards, the first set is the 20 Tonalpohualli (which are derived from day signs in the calendar and represent archetypal forces) and the second set, the 13 Rulers (which depict deities and sacred principles of the tradition) making 33 cards in all. These are laid on the chart depicting the Cross of Ketsalkoatl which is divided into quadrants upon which the Tonal cards are placed with a Ruler card in the centre, the meaning is affected by the position of the placement. There are two options for each quadrant, for instance the Tonalkoatl quadrant provides a physical or work option related to the card placed upon it.   

The cards can be used for a general life reading, for a deeper reading, to answer specific questions or provide answers to problems. The cards teach Toltec knowledge of life and support your warrior life path. There are many exercises described in the book to develop an understanding of the ancient concepts of Toltec life.

It is suggested the interpreter use the oracle for their own life until they are thoroughly familiar with it, prior to reading for others. It is not the role of the interpreter to forecast the future or tell the enquirer what course of action to take. The interpreter is a companion, not an authority.
The creation of a setting for the reading is suggested; for instance, flowers, candles and incense. Consider an open question without a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Fan out cards and choose one. I picked the following:

Tonal Card 6 Mikistli: Death, seated upon a red throne, symbolising renewal of life, provides a sacred symbol at it watches us through an instrument called the tlachialoni which was used to calculate the movement of celestial objects in the sky, the passing of time and the duration of life. Life and death are partners. An ending provides a beginning. There is to be no denial of death. The impermanence of life needs to be at the core of our philosophy and spirituality. It is the only thing we are certain will happen. Embrace it and it will give you a greater appreciation of the preciousness of life, to live as fully as possible, with purpose and caring. Death is not a time to grieve but a time to celebrate, not an enemy but an honoured guest.     

Ruler Card 5 Ketsalkoatl (translated as Feathered Serpent). It is the main symbol of Toltec culture and represents a fusion of opposites, eagle and serpent coming together in union as dark comes together with light at this time. Here, unlike other spiritual traditions where good fights and destroys evil, the tension between opposites is a creative and sacred space. Ketsalkoatl is the most important aspect of God for the Toltecs and Mayans. This deity created the world, invented corn and human beings. A great political and spiritual figure, 1000 years ago, bore this name and is considered a saint. During his time in power, the Toltec achieved the peak of their development. He is a role model of self-development. He lends his understanding to the reading.    

From The Toltec Oracle, I have chosen the Tonal card of Deer, No 7, known as Masatl, a divine being which holds the Book of Wisdom for all people. It brings seekers to the path of knowledge. When the surviving Toltec make a pilgrimage from their summer pastures to the sacred lands of the desert. In ancient times, the people were only concerned with self-seeking and knew nothing of spiritual matters. All kinds of messages were sent through nature, storms, forest fires, earthquakes, many challenges and all kinds of blessings, but the people ignored the messages from the Great Spirit. So the keeper of the Book of Knowledge was called for and assigned the task of teaching the people about spiritual matters. He transformed himself into a deer and when the people saw him, they wanted to hunt him down for food. But he was not easy to catch and he led them far from their homes until they arrived in the desert. As he ran, in his footprints grew the sacred cactus. When they needed to rest, and to eat, they ate of the cactus and had dreams about the realms of spirit. It was then they realised the deer was a great teacher and they discovered his sacred book and read it. In it, they discovered the proper way to live and what our spiritual task is in this life.Reviewer: Wendy Stokes

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