:: 2012 :: 50cm x 50cm :: Acrylics, Inks and Markers on Canvas ::
:: Partially completed live at Elixir Of Life, London, 7 April 2012 ::
Xochipilli is famous as the Aztec 'Prince of Flowers', Lord of Psychedelic Plants and Master of Sacred Visions, but this understanding of him, made well-known in Visionary culture, eclipses his deeper nature. For Xochipilli was also Macuilxochitl - Five Flower - and was thus patron of five magical phenomena...
- Psychedelic Plants & Sacred Visions (Flowers of the Earth)
- Dance & Chanting
- Poetry (called 'Flowers and Song' in Aztec metaphor)
- Recently departed souls (often depicted as butterflies) and the near afterlife
- Male homosexuality and male prostitutes (and suddenly the name 'Prince of Flowers' delightfully takes on another, perhaps more effeminate meaning)
We see that Xochipilli's domain is Liminality, the edge between two worlds: sacred plants that allow one to cross over into godly realms, dances of ecstasy in which one can embody the gods, poetry which calls that-which-is-not into existence, the recent dead who yet hover on the edge and await their union with the Great Collective Animism... ...and us Queers, ever on the edge, ever liminal, at once desired and undesirable, we too live under Xochipilli's sway. It is even more strange to think of Xochipilli when one remembers that homosexual acts were illegal in the Mexica state centred upon Tenochtitlan.
And here is strangely remembered a truly ancient reality: the link between liminality, vision and homosexuality. For it has been said the world over, from Siberia to Native America, from secret cults in West Africa to Polynesia, that a shaman can be powerful if he is male, but rarer and more powerful is the female shaman. But rarest and most powerful and even dangerous of all is the Queer Shaman: the homosexual, the transsexual. We're born under Xochipilli. He is the patron of all that is illegal, all that is ecstatic in the truest sense of the word (ek-stasis), all that is beyond. Part Dionysos, part Hermes, part Janus, but queerer by far than any of those.
I will sing to you Xochipilli
I will go to your house
I was born on the day Five Flower,