Olmec Twins & Jaguar

Olmec Twins & Jaguar

Three of the sculptures at El Azuzul shown in situ, as they were discovered.

Olmec Twins & Jaguar – At El Azuzul another important monumental sculpture was found, a pair of twin males facing a Jaguar. This scene offers powerful image of duality and shamanic transformation as indicated by the postures of the twins.

The first pair of statues, described as “some of the greatest masterpieces of Olmec art”, are nearly identical seated human figures. When discovered the two statues were facing east, one behind the other. Some researchers have suggested that these “twins” are forerunners of the Maya Hero Twins from the Popul Vuh, although their headdresses have led others to describe them as priests. The twin’s headdresses have been mutilated, probably to erase identifying insignia.

Olmec Twins & Jaguar

Olmec Twins & Jaguar from the back

These photographs of the three sculptures at El Azuzul shown in situ, are as they were discovered. Researchers believe that these sculptures had not been moved since Olmec times.

This is a sculptural representation of two young Olmec rulers, twins, paying homage to a feline-jaguar deity.

Each twin, like the figure in San Martín Pajapan Monument 1, is grasping a ceremonial bar with his right hand under the bar and his left over, caught in the act of raising what has been described as an axis mundi or Mesoamerican world tree.

Facing these two humans was a feline-like statue, generally identified as a jaguar. Slightly larger than the humans it faced, the feline is roughly 1.2 meters high. A 1.6 meter version of this feline was found a few meters away, to the northeast. The jaguars show evidence of having been re-carved from earlier monuments.

Olmec TwinsThe humans are similar to other Olmec sculpture, in particular San Martin Pajapan Monument 1, where a young lord also attempts to lift a ceremonial bar. Despite its “tantalizing hints of [a] lost mythic cycle”, it is not known with any clarity what this four statue tableau illustrates.

Intertwined Twin Kundalini Serpents

KUNDALINI SERPENTS – The two serpents intertwine as a symbol of the relationship between two opposites: the sun and the moon, on the cosmic level, and within the sacred physiology of the subtle body, the solar nadi and lunar nadi, as they are described in the texts of Tantric Hinduism. The opposites manifest themselves in the cosmos and within the individual psyche, and they reflect the complementary aspects of the divinity, out of which all things flow.

The two snakes in this image represent complementary forms of divine energy. The same forms are represented by the sun and the moon, the male and the female, heat and cold. Central in this symbolism is the notion of energy. In the Hindu worldview, the term for this energy is prana, which means “breathing forth.” It may refer to the Ultimate as the transcendent source of all life, to life in general, to the life force of an specific being, to respiration, to air, and to the life organs. It is the creative force that underlies and pervades all being. In this sense, prana is related to the Greek pneuma (“spirit”) and the Melanesian mana (“power”). All of these terms refer to an invisible force that moves and empowers cosmic life.

That this energy should be represented in two of its aspects by two snakes is not surprising, since the primary divinity involved in this ritual process is also depicted as a snake, that is, Kundalini. In the West, we tend to symbolize spirit as a bird, especially a dove or an eagle. In this way, we stress the freedom and transcendence of the spirit. However, the snake is also a common symbol for spirit, because it is believed to possess the powers of healing and immortality. Shedding its skin, the snake appears to undergo rebirth. Further, it is believed to have a special connection with the life-giving powers of the earth in which it dwells.

In his study of Kundalini, C. G. Jung emphasizes the value that the traditional spiritual disciplines offer the individual during the process of psychological development. The traditions provide both a symbolic context and the techniques necessary for integrating activated unconscious material (dreams, visions, physical symptoms, etc.). In his commentary on Gopi Krishna’s personal experience of the awakening of Kundalini within his own body, James Hillman restates the importance of an ideational context for psychological experience. “To our loss in the West, we are so lacking in an adequate context that we do indeed go to pieces at the eruption of the unconscious, thereby justifying the psychiatric view. Fortunately, Jung’s analytical psychology gives in its account of the process of individuation a context within which these events can be meaningfully comprehended. Fortunately, too, Jung studied as a psychologist this branch of yoga. He called the Kundalini an example of the instinct of individuation. Therefore, comparisons between its manifestations and other examples of the individuation process (e.g. alchemy) provide a psychologically objective knowledge without which there would be no way of taking hold (comprehending, begreifen) what is going on. Very often, therefore, it is of utmost value during a period of critical psychological pressure in which the unconscious boils over, to provide the sufferer with psychological knowledge” (Krishna, 95).