Mictlan: Cehuelóyan, Pancuetlacalóyan and Temiminalóyan


After surviving the first three levels of Mictlan, the deceased will have to continue on his way by first crossing the place of the obsidian wind named Cehuelóyan then the place where people turn around like flags named Pancuetlacalóyan and finally the place where the people are riddled with arrows which are called Temiminalóyan. I think you can already imagine that his journey will not be easy again…

Cehuelóyan: The Place of the Obsidian Wind



In the codex, this level is represented by three banners resembling the flags carried by individuals destined for sacrifice. In this second part of the great Itzehecáyan desert and at the foot of the last hill of the eight hills of Cehuelóyan, the previous level, began a vast high moor composed of eight páramos. A páramo is a high altitude neotropical biotope found in particular in the Andes Cordillera and which is located between the limit of forests and eternal snow. In these eight páramos gravity no longer existed. As a result, it was very difficult to advance there and the dead were at the mercy of the winds which battered them like flags until they could finally leave the plains. But some never made it and were continually pushed back by the gusts. Like the Cehuelóyan, the Pancuetlacalóyan belonged to Mictlampehécatl, the god of the north wind.

Pancuetlacalóyan: The place where people turn around like flags


In the codex, this level is represented by a drawing representing the meanders of the wind in which flints are stuck. This space called the Great Itzehecayan Desert, so the next level belongs to Mictlampehécatl, the god of the cold wind that comes from the north. The Aztecs said that it was from this space that this god brought winter to the earth. The Cehuelóyan was made up of a vast frozen area that included eight steep, sharp-edged hills where snow constantly fell. In addition to the bites due to the cold, there was a very strong icy wind blowing there which raised the sharp rocks injuring and slashing the deceased. During this stage, the deceased had to abandon all their material possessions, their clothes, their jewelry and all things of value.

Temiminalóyan: The place where people are riddled with arrows


In the codex, the Temiminalóyan is represented by a reclining man hit by three arrows. According to the versions, this region is a long path or a forest during which the deceased suffered the assault of arrows or sharp points. The risk for the dead is to be completely drained of blood and in this case, not to be able to leave this region. Regarding this place, there are several stories according to the different versions. In the one where it’s a path, it’s invisible hands that shoot arrows at the deceased while in the version where it’s a forest, the arrows come out of nowhere spinning blindly. It is the domain of the god Temimitecuhtli whose name means lord of the circles. We have very little information on this god, but the circles may have led to a notion of infinity.