domingo, 12 de octubre de 2014

zia sun symbol

Zia Sun Symbol and the SpiralZia
The people of the Zia Pueblo in New Mexico regard the sun as  sacred. Their symbol, a circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions, is painted on ceremonial vases, used to introduce newborns to the sun, and is featured on the New Mexico state flag.  Four is a sacred number of the Zia, and can be found repeated in the points radiating from the circle. The number four is embodied in:
  • The compass (north, south, east, and west)
  • The seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter)
  • The periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night)
  • The stages of life (childhood, youth, middle years and elderhood)
  • The sacred aspects one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the well-being of others)

Sand Spiral
The spiral reflects an understanding of a universe constantly in motion. As we know scientifically, our universe spirals out infinitely, reinforcing the concept of our endless skies. The spiral symbol can also represent the path leading from outer consciousness (materialism, external awareness, ego, outward perception) to the inner soul (enlightenment, unseen essence, peace, energetic awareness). Movements between the inner world (intuitive, intangible) and the outer world (matter, manifested) are mapped by the spiraling of rings which signify the evolution of humankind on both a personal and societal scale. In terms of rebirth and growth, the spiral can represent the consciousness of nature, initiating from the core and traveling and expanding outward.

Generally, spirals can represent:Logo
  • Evolution, change and growth
  • Releasing, surrendering, letting go
  • Awareness of the individual within the collective
  • Connectivity with spirit and higher powers
  • Cycles and circles of our clocks, stars and planets 
Zia Symbol
Click image to enlarge

Kachina dolls
(Click image to enlarge)

Zia Cross Porch Light at Old Messilla, New Mexico
Photo © and reproduced with the kind permission of Vladimir Lavenko
The central part of this cross mimics the Andean Chakana Cross
(Click image to enlarge)

Like other Native American Pueblos, the Zia believed in spirit beings known asKachinas, which could inhabit and / or control just about anything tangible or intangible. The Sun has a kachina, as does water, fire, wind, crops, health... plus several hundred other entities.

In the 16th century, Spanish settlers tried to force Christianity onto the Zia. Pulling the Native Americans away from their beliefs required strong action by the conquistadors and Zia's ancient religious festivals and ceremonies were outlawed.

Whilst Kachinas are not considered deities to be worshipped, it makes sense to treat such powerful beings with respect and not upset them. So unsurprisingly the Zia resisted the conquistadors' demands and fought (literally) to keep their old customs, festivals and ceremonies.

In the uprising of 1689, for both the European settlers and the indigenous population, issues other than religion were also at stake. Fertile land and control of water were two precious resources that both sides fought over. Despite their firepower and modern military tactics, the Spanish were defeated and fled south. Nine years later, however, the soldiers returned in greater strength and took control of the territory, almost wiping out the Indian population. By 1892, only about 120 ethnic Zia remained.

Today, it is recognised that the Zia are no threat and their belief system is tolerated, even respected, to the point that a Zia symbol is incorporated in the flags of New Mexico State and its largest city, Albuquerque.

Flag of New Mexico

Flag of Albuquerque

The Zia rayed Sun symbol1 has four arms each of which has four parts. 'Four' is an auspicious or sacred number for the Zia: the four points of the compass2, the four periods of each day, four seasons of the year, four stages of life, and the four sacred obligations for one's physical, mental, spiritual and social health.

Red and yellow were used on 16th century flags of the Spanish conquistadors. (The 16th century Spanish military flag was a red Burgundy Cross on a yellow field. 3)

No hay comentarios: