by Bruce Johnson —
Bruce Johnson has over 30 years of study in the fields of Ancient Wisdom and occultism. He has taught classes on a wide range of topics, from Atlantis to mediums to Zoroaster. He is also a spiritualist minister, with a background in spiritual astrology. He lives in Colorado with his wife and their cat.
The mysterious Initiate-King Quetzalcoatl was a descendant of the Atlanteans, who were the ancient progenitors of the Mayans and Quiche of Central America. The name Quetzalcoatl, like Zoroaster and Hermes, is a generic title and is used to label both the original Quetzalcoatl and his descendants. Quetzalcoatl is also recognized by the Mayans as Kukulcan, the Quiche as Gucumatz, and is Votan, the “Son of Snakes”. Quetzalcoatl the sun-god was the physically incarnated leader of the advanced and civilized Toltec race, who unlike some Mayans and the Aztecs, never participated in human sacrifice. Quetzalcoatl is also called the Lord of the Eastern Light and was specially linked with the morning star Venus.
Quetzalcoatl, as the enlightened ruler of the Toltecs, taught occult and physical sciences, astrology, magic, art, civilization, agriculture, jewelry making and architecture to the indigenous people of Central America and Mexico. Spiritually, Kukulcan was the High Priest overseeing a hierarchy of priests called “serpents”, that taught the Secret Science to Initiates within their temples. These temples often took the form of step pyramids, beneath which were rooms and galleries where the inner teachings were given to the worthy. Two outstanding examples of Quetzalcoatl inspired temple/ pyramids are the Temple of the Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan, and the Temple of Kukulcan at Chitzen Itza.
The sacred bird of the Maya is the Quetzal-bird with its brilliantly colored plumage. Esoterically, feathers are symbols of truth, righteousness, a pure heart, justice, lightness and order. Kukulcan wore a headdress of radiant blue and green Quetzal-bird feathers. Coatl was the word for snake or serpent among the early Toltecs, who were very much involved with snake-related symbols. Serpent symbolism, which is interchangeable with that of dragons, can be either positive and creative or negative and destructive depending on the serpent or dragon. In the schools of Kukulcan, like in Egypt, the serpent was a symbol of wisdom, immortality, and an Initiate of the Mysteries. Uniting the Quetzal [bird], with the Coatl [snake], creates the winged snake that flies, the Adept.
A belief in the good and evil hierarchies was core to early Mesoamerican philosophy. Like Ormazd[ good/light] and Ahriman[evil/darkness] of the Zoroastrians, the creative magician-god Quetzalcoatl and his followers were opposed by the evil sorcerer Tezcatlipoca along with his cruel and destructive allies in various conflicts.
With the intention to block invisible negative forces, the Toltecs, Mayans and Aztecs used amulets and talismans for protection. Mayans often used carved figures representing gods for protection amulets. A favorite Toltec amulet was a travelers staff decorated with feathers for safety during journeys. Magical staves and wands were utilized by both good magicians and evil sorcerers. Quetzalcoatl possessed not only his enchanted staff called the Staff of Quetzalcoatl, but also a special rattle-staff that he used to generate rainfall.
Quetzalcoatl is described as wearing or carrying the following accessories and symbols of resurrection- magnetized staves, a crown of feathers, a long robe, a necklace of jaguar teeth, a neck appendage of feathers, a breastplate made from a portion of shell, a necklace of spiral snail shells and hook-shaped white earrings. When his work with the Toltecs was finished, one legend states that Quetzalcoatl rode out to sea on a raft of serpents back to the mystical land of the East from whence he had originally arrived.