Monday, March 14, 2011

Axolotl - Symbol of the God of the Misfits

Today someone requested befriending them on Facebook.  While I'm not hard to convince about this, I do at least look at their profile before responding to make sure they don't put up a lot of angry hate messages or some such on their site.  I was surprised at just how pleased I was to find a photo of an Axolotl on his site as just something he liked the picture of.

Original wild adult coloration-(albinos are common pets now)

Axolotl are very special to us Aztecs.  (yes I'm also Irish and Cherokee, but Aztec as well for very different reasons)  Axolotl managed to resist or avoid the current trend of evolution and kept their gills and a full set of lungs with a tail that helps them swim well and fully functional legs.  All the other creatures specialized on land or sea and are clearly better at one than the other, but this little creature thumbed it's nose at the laws of evolution and kept both in fully functional form for, oh say, a million years or so.  Talk about rooted in tradition!

Unfortunately they are nearly extinct now as Mexico City, one of the largest, most overcrowded, and polluted cities in the world is their only native habitat.  (ergo the connection to Aztecs as they lived only in the lake around the Aztec capital.  Yeah that's right,  The lake the Spaniards filled in with dirt.  Modern people compound the problem by introducing non-native fish species that eat these creature's young and consume most of their food, so they mostly live in captivity now where they are used as research animals due to their ability to heal almost any injury done to them and re-grow limbs or even parts of their brains.

They represent the God of the "misfits and monsters", but the term, in Aztec anyway, is decidedly not negative, but rather intended to suggest that even the strangest among the wondrous creatures of the world have divine representatives. They are seen as creatures of magic and mystery and greatly respected.  (My nuclear family members are not genetically Aztec, but we are all formally and ritually adopted Aztecs (side effect of practicing that spiritual path for years and doing a lot of public Aztec dance with traditional rituals in more private settings)

As a bit of an odd thing myself, I have always felt wonder, excitement, and a sense of recognition meeting a creature like this that seems out of place and time somehow.  I really love seeing them, but naturally don't spend a lot of time in deep caves underwater and such.  At least not very often, though we do dive occasionally in Mexican caves, but the only place I've seen one is at the local Aquarium called Dallas World Aquarium.

Now perhaps this is more information than you care to know, or perhaps this will give you the warm feeling I had just seeing the photo on his site as something he liked looking at, like it did me.  Ah well.  If getting to know someone better bothers people then it's a dangerous business reading their personal blog, eh what?

This is just a bit of a thanks to the powers that be for putting the photo in my path this day to remind me that there are even stranger things than myself out there and the creator loves them as much as any other creation.

May you run across something that gives you the same sense of acceptance and belonging soon that the photo of an Axolotl gave to me!  I couldn't get the photo he used to copy so I found a similar ones and put them up  for your perusal.  For more information about this marvelous and almost extinct creature, see the link below:


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