Quetzalcoatl – Public Domain, and El Castillo at Chichén Itzá – CC BY-SA 4.0

The ‘Myth’ of the Plumed Serpent: Revealing the Real Message Behind the Feathered Snake

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Fall of Tenochtitlan, in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. (Public Domain)

Fall of Tenochtitlan, in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. (Public Domain)

There are many other aspects of the myth of the Plumed Serpent as well. He had been given the calendrical signature of 9 Wind and represented a positive spiritual force to the ancient peoples of Mexico, and was in conflict with his dark nemesis Tezcatlipoca, the “smoking mirror.”

Global Serpent Mythology

Before we go into what the Plumed Serpent actually may have symbolized we should take note of the fact that the Serpent played a very significant mythological role in many other ancient cultures as well. What for instance may be the world’s oldest preserved object of art is a giant python in current-day Botswana that has been estimated to be 70,000 years old. This is believed to symbolize a creator god revered by the ancestors of today’s Bushmen. Similarly, to the aborigines in Australia the Rainbow Serpent was the main creator god and in the Amazonas the great anaconda was seen as the creator of the human beings. In fact, all over the world (including in the Book of Genesis of the Bible) we find the serpent revered as an especially powerful animal. This does not match what a modern person would think of as a snake, and it makes us wonder why the serpent has played such a significant role in ancient myths.

Midgard Serpent wooden carving, detail. (CC BY NC-SA 2.0)

Midgard Serpent wooden carving, detail. (CC BY NC-SA 2.0)

The Waves of Creation

It then seems that there must be some more profound reason that the Serpent, and in particular the Plumed Serpent, by ancient peoples would be recognized as a central creator deity. As I have elaborated on in two books of mine: The Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization, and The Nine Waves of Creation , a serpent is the most natural symbol to use by anyone who would like to represent a mathematical sine wave. And what the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica and elsewhere were aware of was that history, including the rise and fall of civilizations, was driven by waves of creation. There were in fact nine waves of creation that created the universe and the pre-set direction of its evolution. The reason that the Plumed Serpent went by the name of 9 Wind was that there were nine such sine waves creating spiritual winds corresponding to nine levels of creation as symbolized by the terrace-formed pyramids.

Maya Calendar: From the Mayan display inside the National Museum of the American Indian. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Maya Calendar: From the Mayan display inside the National Museum of the American Indian. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

What the ancient peoples were aware of was the nine underlying waves in the quantum field that was driving the evolution of the universe, our planet, as well as humankind. They did not use the same language for them as we would have and instead came to call this wave form the Plumed Serpent, that they perceived as a living deity. Their entire calendar came to be developed in order to chart the movements of this Plumed Serpent. If it indeed was this wave, which they perceived as and symbolized as the Plumed Serpent, that was behind the rise and fall of civilizations then it of course became of utmost importance to chart he ups and downs of this wave movement by means of the use of a calendar. If the predictions would fail (and this was indeed the case when the Aztecs became aware that the Spanish had arrived) then the consequences would be disastrous. The problem of the Aztecs was then that the true Mayan calendar called the Long Count which accurately described the ups and downs of civilization (Fig 2) was not used by them.

Fig 2. The Seven days and six nights of the Mayan Long Count (Sixth Wave of Creation) from 3115 BCE up until 2011 CE. (Diagram: Carl Calleman)

Fig 2. The Seven days and six nights of the Mayan Long Count (Sixth Wave of Creation) from 3115 BCE up until 2011 CE. (Diagram: Carl Calleman)

As we can see from Fig 2, the wave movement of the so called Long Count (the sixth of the nine creation waves) leading up to our own time, in principle displays the same pattern as the seven triangles of light and six triangles of darkness of the Plumed Serpent of Chichen-Itza that we can see in Fig 1; Much like a Serpent history which moves like a wave with its ups and downs that makes the pendulum often swing with them. What may be even more remarkable is the fact that the wave movement in Fig 2, which covers seven peaks – each of a duration of a so-called baktun of 3943 years – remarkably well reflects the rise and fall of major empires and civilizations in other parts of the world. While modern people (who are generally unaware of this wave movement) wonder why ancient civilizations have mostly disappeared, this no longer is an enigma if we recognize that upon peaks follow valleys that often, but not always, tend to bring the already existing civilizations down.


Extremely interesting. I especially found it interesting that the wave theory corresponds with the rise and fall of various empires. I’d be interested in reading a paper on that subject. To the author, does your book cover this subject in greater detail? Great paper.

Thank you, Johnson. Well, both of my two latest books, The Nine Waves of Creation and the Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization expands on this theme. The idea that there is an underlying wave movement for civilizations is not really new. It has been proposed by both Toynbee and Spengler but has later (for no apparent reason) lost favor among historians representing the official view. What is new in my work is to link this wave movement to the Mayan calendar and the Plumed Serpent, which I believe makes sense of it all.

Which book would you suggest for a beginner (preferrably one without a lot of numbers)

I was primarily suggest The Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization but The Nine Waves of Creation as well. That history follows an inherent wave movement of ups and downs is not new but has been proposed by Spengler and Toynbee. However, the Mayan calendar provides the exact timing of this movement of the Plumed Serpent and through this we may make sense of it all.

I would suggest the Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization,
but for the bigger perspective probably the Nine Waves.


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