Copal — 5 Things to Know

Divination, Goddess, Jade Oracle, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, The Jade Oracle

Copal is the aromatic resin from the Copalquahuitl tree (bursera bipinnata). This sacred resin was used in religious rites and healing rituals. Here are 5 things to know about Copal:

  1. Copal is from the Bursera Bipinnata tree, which grows from Mexico to Central America. In Nahuatl, this is called “copalquahuitl,” the “copal tree.” In Nahuatl, copal is “copalli.”
  2. It is used for healing. The truly magical scent of copal is immediately relaxing, balancing the body. This can reduce blood pressure as well as increase  sahumando cenoteconcentration. The scent has also been used as a treatment for insomnia and headaches as well as increasing one’s creativity. It can be drunk as a tea, sweetened with honey, as a treatment for respiratory problems.
  3. It is used as an adhesive and binder. Copal resin is found in mosaics from ancient Mexico, often used to adhere turquoise and other precious stones. It is also used as a binder for pigments in murals. The murals at Bonampak, for example, utilized copal as a binder for the pigment, making them encaustic murals as opposed to frescoes.
  4. It comes in different colors. Copal Blanco, white copal, is usually the highest quality. The smoke from this copal is white and billows out. Copal Blanco has been associated with honoring Tlaloc, the rain deity, as the white clouds of smoke call out for rain. There is also yellow, black and red copal.
  5. It is used in ritual. When copal burns, magnificent clouds of fragrant white smoke
    copal

    Traditional drawing of  a ceremonial bag of copal

    billow out. The white smoke is sometimes called “the white lady,” and the smoke itself is considered evidence of the dialogue between the heavens and the earth. The column of smoke is transformed into the axis, or center, of the world, representing the turning of the universe and all of the beings.

In the Jade Oracle deck, the divination for drawing the card Copalli is: When you choose copal, you are asked to make an offering. The deities are ready to hear you, ready to communicate with you.

IMG_2372How to use it: Light the charcoal with matches or lighter for about 20 seconds until it self-ignites. Use tongs to hold it up (never hold it with your fingers alone or you might get burned). Place the lit charcoal in a bowl or incense burner filled with sand or dirt. Let the charcoal warm for a few minutes. (It turns gray around the edges when it is ready). Now you are ready! Add a small amount of resin on top of the charcoal. The resin will burn and soon release essential, aromatic oils through the smoke. Put more copal on the IMG_2377 charcoal as it burns out and smoke decreases. If you do not have charcoal, here is a great place to get it.

Ritual uses: Use copal as a smudge to cleanse before ritual. Perfect for honoring ancient Mexican deities and for Day of the Dead ceremonies. A truly beautiful way to begin your reading with The Jade Oracle!

How to break it into smaller pieces: Put the copal into a small freezer baggie. Freeze it overnight. While still in the baggie, hit it with hammer or mallet to break into small pieces.

How to clean your hands after using:  Put a splash of olive oil in your palm and rub it between your hands. Then apply a small amount of liquid hand soap or dish soap to your oiled hands. Rub until you do not feel the stickiness anymore, then rinse with warm water.

Where to purchase Copal: You can purchase superior quality white and black copal from our store!


IMG_6430Anne, a native Texan, visited the borderlands during the 1970’s and 1980’s, but after a trip to Mexico City in 1990, she began annual sojourns and research trips criss-crossing the country of Mexico and into Central America. Her doctoral studies centered on Mesoamerican spiritual practices and the Cihuateteo, divine women honored by many ancient Mexican cultures. She and Veronica Iglesias created The Jade Oracle deck with deities and symbols from ancient Mexico to bring this wisdom to a new generation.

A faculty member in Women’s Studies, English and Religious Studies, Dr. Key is the co-founder of the independent press Goddess Ink and co-editor of two anthologies: Stepping Into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses and Heart of the Sun: An Anthology in Exaltation of Sekhmet. She has two memoirs, Desert Priestess and Burlesque, Yoga, Sex and Love: A Memoir of Life Under the Albuquerque Sun. Anne resides in Albuquerque with her husband, his two cats and her snake.

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Full Spectrum Healing Illustrating The Jade Oracle Deck Using Rainbow Colors by Ramona Snow Teo

Creativity, Culture, Divination, Goddess, Jade Oracle, Mexico

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For those who have spent significant time studying the art of Pre-Columbian Mexico, you may find it a bit surprising to see every color of the rainbow expressed in The Jade Oracle divination deck. My reasoning for breaking the rules and stepping away from the traditional palette at this juncture, is because of my own deep connection with color as a magical and healing tool. Receiving the wonderful opportunity to illustrate this oracle deck of ancient Mexican deities meant that I had to bring my best to the table. Vibrant color has always been a significant trait in my artwork, so I felt I couldn’t hold that back now.

Traditional artwork from ancient Mexico typically used a limited palette that commonly featured shades of red, yellow, black & white. The typical colors used in murals and codices reflected the natural pigments and dyes that were available from the land. Tiny coccid insects who flourish near prickly pear cactus were boiled, dried and crushed to powder to produce brilliant crimson dye. Genipa seeds were used to produce the color black, a technique probably learned from the Mayans. Yellow pigment was derived from a variety of cuscuta plants that are common in Mexico, North America & Central America. Variations in the hue resulted from harvesting the plants at different ages. White was made from ground, heated limestone chalk.

Our team, Anne Key, Veronica Iglesias and myself, went through tremendous effort to make The Jade Oracle as historically accurate as possible. Everything has been meticulously researched to provide a truthful representation of the ancient Mexican culture. So why didn’t I color all of the images exactly like their original counterparts found in ancient codices, murals and statues? I felt like upgrading the colors would help each design to communicate its meaning more clearly. Whether we are aware of it or not, humans are wired to respond to color. It catches our eye and it evokes emotion within us. I was initially a bit worried about how the deck would function if the majority of the cards were colored in red, black & yellow. To the modern, untrained eye, the strange ornately detailed cartoon-like Aztec deities would begin to all look the same. I wanted each card to bring out an immediate unique feeling-response when viewed. Color seemed to be the most obvious way to help each card stand out. So after a bit of back and forth with my teammates, we agreed that a bit of creative freedom in the color choices would be useful – and of course beautiful!

Color has been known to have beneficial healing properties around the world for thousands of years. It can be used to bring harmony to the mind and body. Red, orange, yellow and brown are warm colors. They are generally uplifting, motivating and speed up circulation. Violet, blue and green are cool colors. They soothe, tranquilize and assist with diseases of the eyes, ears, nose and throat. Blue light is used to heal newborn babies with jaundice, prisons are painted pink because the color has been known to encourage a docile and obedient attitude, and warm yellows and oranges are used to light rooms for elderly patients with vision problems to help them focus better. Green encourages growth, renewal, equilibrium and circulatory health. I have always been deeply moved by color and as my artistic journey unfolds I am discovering that it is part of my soul’s mission to perpetuate the full spectrum of the rainbow which will bring balance, healing and inspiration to all who gaze upon these colors.

A few of my favorites from The Jade Oracle deck that really demonstrate my intentional deviations in color are Cuauhtli, Tlaltecuhtli & Tecuciztecatl.

bCuauhtli

Cuauhtli is the Eagle, who soars high above the Earth and enjoys a heightened perspective on reality. From way up there he clearly sees what his heart truly wants. I chose to color him in purple, a color seldom seen in ancient Mexican art. I felt that this color lended the Eagle an air of royalty and greatness. In the ascending colors of the chakras, purple or violet is the uppermost color, associated with wisdom, enlightenment and spirituality. To me these qualities fit the Eagle and I couldn’t picture him in any other hue.

TlaltecuhtliTlaltecuhtli is the Spirit of the Earth. The original monolith which her image was discovered at the Templo Mayor. It is an intricate stone carving measuring about 13 by 12 feet and weighing about 12 tons. Tlaltecuhtli is the embodiment of the land, often pictured in birth-giving posture, she represents the fearlessness of mother nature, earthquakes, cycles and regeneration. While the stone sculpture is in natural earthy hues of yellow, ochre and white – I chose to color her in blue, green and brown. I felt like she should look like the planet Earth as seen from space, a massive orb of water and land. Though the color appears drastically different from the original, I am totally in love with the resulting colors and earthy feelings Tlaltecuhtli evokes in this card.

 

d Tlaltecuhtli

Tecuciztecatl, or The Man of the Big Shell, is another unconventional card as far as color choices. I colored him with pale rainbow colors. His story is part of the creation story of the current age. Each deity must give offerings to the fire. Tecuciztecatl offers to sacrifice himself, but lacks the courage to follow through. It takes him four tries before he overcomes his cowardice and enters the fire. It is a card urging you to stop holding back from embodying your highest self. Symbolically, the rainbow spectrum is the full expression of the highest self. I colored him as a pale, washed-out version of the rainbow because it shows how he is holding back his true vibrance.

In conclusion, I hope that scholars, historians and descendants of the ancient Mexican people can forgive me for straying from tradition when coloring The Jade Oracle deck. And I hope the students, seekers, and open-minded card readers will appreciate my unique creative version of this collection of deities and symbols. I hope these images speak to you in a deep emotional and spiritual language, helping you to connect with divine guidance and ancient wisdom. The Jade Oracle is a new path to the sacred, a bridge between distant history and modern spirituality.

Lastly, for those who want to engage further with color possibilities of The Jade Oracle deck, we have created a coloring book with the images! It includes all 52 drawings with interpretations. It is printed on a heavyweight cardstock paper so after you color it, you can cut it out and create your own deck of oracle cards. With this amazing project, you can explore your own relationship with color and the intricate details of these deities. The result will be an extremely powerful oracle deck that you have your own sacred connection with!

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Coloring books are available now on etsy.com/shop/divinenaturearts

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Ramona Snow Teo was born and raised in New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment” where the diverse culture and thriving arts community has inspired her to explore her creative calling. She earned her Bachelor of Art’s Degree at the University of New Mexico in the Cinematic Arts Department with a focus on Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Art & History. Her passions include painting, drawing, clothing design, jewelry making, graphic design, experimental filmmaking and belly dance. Always the creative entrepreneur, Ramona started Guerrilla Graphix (original art t-shirts, custom design and printing services) with her father in 2008 and Divine Nature Arts (her personal brand of clothing, jewelry & sacred art) in 2015. A constant theme in Ramona’s artwork is sacred geometry and the mandala. In 2015 she became a certified Mandala Facilitator and guides workshops on healing with mandalas. In 2017 she completed the illustrations for The Jade Oracle Deck: Deities & Symbols of Ancient Mexico. Ramona is currently a stay at home mother of two (Zena, 11/5/15 and Rafael 2/1/17) and vends her art at festivals and the local farmers markets on the weekends.

etsy.com/shop/divinenaturearts

DivineNatureArts.com

RamonaTeo.com

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Visit our Goddess Ink Media for videos about The Jade Oracle. For more information on Goddess Ink, visit our website and circle with us on Facebook and Instagram. Check out our newly designed store and please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.  If you would like a weekday dose of daily inspiration sign up for our Daily Inspiration newsletter.

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Drawing in the Dark: Summoning the Goddess Malinalxochitl by Ramona Snow Teo

Culture, Divination, Goddess, Jade Oracle, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico

PromoMalinalxochitlThe Jade Oracle deck has been painstakingly researched, checked, and cross-checked. It has been our goal as the creators of the deck to make a spiritual tool with with great energetic power that is also historically accurate. We wanted to honor the ancient history of the Mesoamerican people by staying true to the knowledge that is available about this beautiful culture. The writers of the deck, Anne Key & Veronica Iglesias, spent many hours on each deity gathering detailed information, sifting out discrepancies and honing in on the most significant aspects of each character.

My job as the artist was to work with the research and sample images provided to me to create an image for each card. Most of these were fairly simple to create since I only had to draw replicas of famous ancient statues, murals, and codices. For example, you can see in the image below that the artwork for Mictlancihuatl & Mictlantecuhtli looks very similar to the reference image beside it. I tried to keep a consistent and attractive style throughout the deck, while adhering to the original historical artwork closely.

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My assignment got tricky when I got to the goddess Malinalxochitl. Malinalxochitl is a wise woman, a leader who confronts the patriarchy. She represents the magic and strength in the spirit of the Goddess. She is the heart of the people, leading ceremony and connecting with the energy of the land. The difficulty with illustrating her card is that there were no preserved images of her on record. There is plenty of writing about her, and even descriptions of her – but no pictures or statues from which I could draw reference. So I was faced with the challenging task of creating an image out of the void – an image that would look authentic and evoke the energy of Malinalxochitl.

My process of summoning this goddess began to unfold. I began as I always do by pouring through the research provided to me by Anne & Veronica. After my left brain was sufficiently prepared, I connected to the right hemisphere – the instinctual, feeling side. I lit a candle and burned some copal and palo santo incense. I took several centering breaths and tuned into my body, my art supplies, my place in time. And then I asked for the spirit of Malinalxochitl to come and assist me. I asked her to be with me and guide me in illustrating the perfect image to reflect her essence. And then, I surrendered into trust. I accepted whatever flowed through me as I began to sketch the deity.

Before too long, she came into form. I traced the lines in ink, solidifying Malinalxochitl’s new image. Then I colored her in with colored pencil, following flashes of guidance, colors in my mind’s eye… always trusting the goddess was showing me the way, showing me how she wanted to be seen. Upon completion, I gave a humble thanks to Malinalxochitl for the great gift of drawing her. I blessed the work again with sacred incense, and placed a rose quartz crystal on her heart to charge the drawing overnight.

As the creators, we care deeply about The Jade Oracle being a genuine reflection of the ancient Mesoamerican culture. While the image for Malinalxochitl (and a few other cards) had to be uniquely created for the deck, we sincerely hope that the artwork has captured the spirit of the deity and will be embraced as a powerful tool for connecting with the energy of this ancient wise woman.

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For a Free Download of the coloring book page for Malinalxochitl of The Jade Oracle, click here.

Ramona Snow Teo was born and raised in New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment” where the diverse culture and thriving arts community has inspired her to explore her creative calling. She earned her Bachelor of Art’s Degree at the University of New Mexico in the Cinematic Arts Department with a focus on Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Art & History. Her passions include painting, drawing, clothing design, jewelry making, graphic design, experimental filmmaking and belly dance. Always the creative entrepreneur, Ramona started Guerrilla Graphix (original art t-shirts, custom design and printing services) with her father in 2008 and Divine Nature Arts (her personal brand of clothing, jewelry & sacred art) in 2015. A constant theme in Ramona’s artwork is sacred geometry and the mandala. In 2015 she became a certified Mandala Facilitator and guides workshops on healing with mandalas. In 2017 she completed the illustrations for The Jade Oracle Deck: Deities & Symbols of Ancient Mexico. Ramona is currently a stay at home mother of two (Zena, 11/5/15 and Rafael 2/1/17) and vends her art at festivals and the local farmers markets on the weekends.

etsy.com/shop/divinenaturearts

DivineNatureArts.com

RamonaTeo.com

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Visit our Goddess Ink Media for videos about The Jade Oracle. For more information on Goddess Ink, visit our website and circle with us on Facebook and Instagram. Check out our newly designed store and please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.  If you would like a weekday dose of daily inspiration sign up for our Daily Inspiration newsletter.

  3.5x5.75x56pcs         Special Introductory price for the Jade Oracle deck:
$45 until May 5th 2018 (Cinco de Mayo)
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Jade Oracle Five Card Reading by Veronica Iglesias

Culture, Divination, Goddess, Mesoamerican Goddesses, Mexico, The Jade Oracle

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The divination with the Jade Oracle is based in the Ancient Mexican way to relate with the Cosmos. Each time that a spiritual leader was leading a ceremony he/she created a sacred space that honored the four directions with an altar and different elements related with each direction. Also she/he positioned him/herself facing the east.

The five card reading of the Jade Oracle is based on this ancient tradition and on the cosmic conception of what is to be human.

To do a five card reading:  1) shuffle the cards, and 2) pick five cards that will be placed in this order:

Card #1, located in the center, represents you as you are in this moment.

Card #2, located above #1, represents the east. In ancient codices, the east was above, relating to the orientation of human beings relative to the universe. This direction shows you what is in your immediate future, what you will encounter on your path.

Card #3, located below #1, represents the west. This is the past, what is behind you. It can refer to the end of a path or cycle or something in your life that is coming to a close. It may also refer to ancestral wisdom and deities that are helping you.

Card #4 is located to the left of the center. This represents the north, the direction of the ancestors, providing valuable information for personal insight and growth. This card indicates aspects of your personality that are currently challenging for you; the north shows your reflection in the obsidian mirror, the dark side of yourself that is difficult to see.

Card #5, located to the right of center, is the south. This direction is your connection to your destiny and your mission as well as to the things you enjoy in life. This card will give you information on your career and areas in your life that you would like to explore.

The Jade Oracle brings you answers that offer insight and understanding to help make decisions with agreater knowledge of the underlying currents in your life, always with the intent for deeper personal insight and self-knowledge that will help you on your life path.

I hope you enjoy your personal reading and the information will support  and illuminate your path.

Infinite Blessings.

María Veronica Iglesias

Maria Veronica Iglesias was born in Mexico City, Mexico. She has a Bachelor´s degree in Library Sciences and a Master´s Degree in Mesoamerican Studies from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico). Initiated as a sahumadora (bearer of the Sacred Sahumerio) when she was 8 years old, she studied about medicinal plants, crystal therapy and healing with gems. She was initiated in the sacred knowledge of Mesoamerican shamanism and became a Portadora de la Palabra, bearer of the Sacred Word. A Priestess of Ix´Cheel, the Mayan Goddess of Medicine, Veronica researches gem stones and their therapeutic use, Pre-Hispanic medicine, rites of passage and Goddesses from Mesoamerica and is co-founder and guide for Sacred Tours of Mexico. She is the Co-Creator of The Jade Oracle.

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Click here for more information on the Jade Oracle.  Visit our Goddess Ink Media for videos about The Jade Oracle. For more information on Goddess Ink, visit our website and circle with us on Facebook and Instagram. Check out our newly designed store and please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.  If you would like a weekday dose of daily inspiration sign up for our Daily Inspiration newsletter.

  3.5x5.75x56pcs         Special Introductory price for the Jade Oracle deck:
$45 until May 5th 2018 (Cinco de Mayo)
Find out more and purchase here.

Visit our Goddess Ink Media for videos about The Jade Oracle. For more information on Goddess Ink, visit our website and circle with us on Facebook and Instagram. Check out our newly designed store and please sign up for the Goddess Ink Newsletter for a monthly dose of inspiration.  If you would like a weekday dose of daily inspiration sign up for our Daily Inspiration newsletter.