Sunday, July 2, 2017

Tower of human skulls in Mexico casts new light on Aztecs

A tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after crania of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure.

Archaeologists have found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.

The tower is believed to form part of the Huey Tzompantli, a massive array of skulls that struck fear into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes, and mentioned the structure in contemporary accounts.

Historians relate how the severed heads of captured warriors adorned tzompantli, or skull racks, found in a number of Mesoamerican cultures before the Spanish conquest.

But the archaeological dig in the bowels of old Mexico City that began in 2015 suggests that picture was not complete.

"We were expecting just men, obviously young men, as warriors would be, and the thing about the women and children is that you'd think they wouldn't be going to war," said Rodrigo Bolanos, a biological anthropologist investigating the find.

"Something is happening that we have no record of, and this is really new, a first in the Huey Tzompantli," he added.

Raul Barrera, one of the archaeologists working at the site alongside the huge Metropolitan Cathedral built over the Templo Mayor, said the skulls would have been set in the tower after they had stood on public display on the tzompantli.

Roughly six meters in diameter, the tower stood on the corner of the chapel of Huitzilopochtli, Aztec god of the sun, war and human sacrifice. Its base has yet to be unearthed.

There was no doubt that the tower was one of the skull edifices mentioned by Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who accompanied Cortes in the 1521 conquest of Mexico, Barrera said.

In his account of the campaign, de Tapia said he counted tens of thousands of skulls at what became known as the Huey Tzompantli. Barrera said 676 skulls had so far been found, and that the number would rise as excavations went on.

The Aztecs and other Mesoamerican peoples performed ritualistic human sacrifices as offerings to the sun.

Sourse: reuters

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Swimming Dragon: Qigong exercise for beauty, health, and high energy

The Swimming Dragon is an ancient Chinese Qigong exercise that comes to us through the Taoist tradition. If practiced diligently and regularly, it has the power to improve our health, enhance our physical appearance, and improve our general well-being.

The Swimming Dragon is named for the serpentine movement of the body while practicing which resembles a Chinese Dragon swimming. In traditional Daoism, this exercise is also known as The Tiger’s Waist Exercise, Willow Waist, or Triple Bracelets Encircling the Moon.

The Swimming Dragon is a self-contained exercise that is generally practiced by repeating a short cycle of movements in sessions lasting from five to twenty minutes. Each cycle of exercise takes about one minute. It is easy to learn and perform and brings pleasant and beneficial results as soon as one begins to practice it.

During the exercise, the body smoothly and evenly rises and lowers and, at the same time, swings to the left and right. The movements are simple and the swinging movements fully stretch out the body. The spine is twisted in an "S" shape and extended to its maximum length. It requires the entire body, especially the waist and abdominal area, perform large scale swinging movements. In moving the body from side to side with legs together while shifting the pelvis stimulates the groin area. This in turn stimulates the endocrine system.


The Swimming Dragon is actually a comprehensive system of care for the internal organs, spine and meridian systems, In particular, the movements have beneficial influences on the intestines, stomach, lungs and kidneys and encourage relaxation.

Practicing this Qi Gong exercise is very effective for stimulating the free flow of Energy and Blood throughout the body while breaking up any stagnation that might be present. This Qi Gong exercise also helps maintain the strength and flexibility of all the joints including the spine. In addition practicing this exercise also helps to strengthen all the internal organs and benefits the Kidney energy.

  • reduces weight without dieting 
  • waist is made more slender and flexible
  • stimulates metabolism
  • increases and balances energy
  • creates beautiful skin
  • improves skin tone 
  • helps eliminate wrinkles
  • reduces tension by relaxing the body and calming the mind
  • improves muscle tone and enhances flexibility in joints
  • adjusts and stretches the spine
  • naturally improves posture
  • massages deep muscles all the way to the bone
  • frees and deepens breathing
  • benefits all internal organs
  • sends energy to vital organs by stimulating meridians

Above all these specific benefits, the main benefit of the Swimming Dragon is the production and circulation of Chi, leading to longer life and increased vitality.

This Qi Gong is very simple to learn.