Camazotz, the Bat-God


From Wikipedia:

The cult of Camazotz began around 100 B.C. among the Zapotec Indians in what is the modern-day Mexican state of Oaxaca. The cult of Camazotz worshiped an anthropomorphic monster with the body of a human, head of a bat (though the exact proportioning varies with account). The bat was associated with night, death, and sacrifice. This god soon found its way into the pantheon of the Quiché, a tribe of Maya who made their home in the jungles of what is now Guatemala. The Quiché identified the bat-deity with their god Zotzilaha Chamalcan, the god of fire.

There is some evidence to support that the Camazotz myth may have sprung from actual large, blood-drinking bats of the Mexico, Guatemala, and Brazil areas. Evidence is in the form of fossils of Desmodus draculae, the giant vampire bat. There have also been skeletons of D. draculae found which were sub-fossil, of very recent age. These sub-fossils suggest that the species were still common when the Mayans civilization existed, and may still be in existence today, though it is doubtful. Alternately, Camazotz may have originated from the Spectral Bat, a large carnivorous bat native to Central and South America.

The thought that has been circling in my mind for the past several days is the relation between an evolutionary or process form of metaphysics and the general concept of the parasite. Typically when one is presented with a vitalist system, it is a system of fitness. This is simple enough in someone like Nietzsche, where dominance, will to power, is the rule. Emergent forms are par for the course in a vitalist metaphysic, and it seems entirely possible that they rise to dominate. Is this the case though?

One of the basic structures of any vitalism is a metaphysics of flow. This seems to work much better with a general parasitological view of life, of things in general. Beasts don’t rise up to smite lesser creatures for the sake of dominance, but through feeding off of them.

All forms of nature are variations of the verb “to eat.”

Human sacrifice, agriculture, eating, reproduction, aging, death, fertilizing, growth and decay. The flows are endless. There is no top, no bottom. We are all someones food. We flow into each other, use, abuse, each other. We sacrifice to our gods, we are worshiped, we all eat and sleep. The gods need us. We all sleep sometime. The will to power is the ideal, the lie we live. We are all weak. We are all powerful. We are all-week… we are all-powerful. We are all Bat-Gods to someone.

[ADDENDUM: One could also raise the question of the relation between the Bat-God, as a god who feeds, with the Christ, another god who feeds (I love the play of the word ‘feeds’ here). It is perhaps this relation that I am most interested in, the one who takes and gives only in death versus the ones who gives, and somehow continues to give in even death. The interplay of giving and taking, giving and taking and persistence. What is the relation between the parasite, the Eucharist, and vitalism as a metaphysics of perpetuity?]



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4 responses to “Camazotz, the Bat-God

  1. This past Christmas I realized something about all the creche tableaux set up in front of churches, on lawns, wheverever, finally wondering what that word manger means, and realizing it was French, to eat. This radiant baby lies in the box that donkeys and camels feed from. I, a humble donkey, don’t eat communion wafers, but often attempt to eat the most challenging pronouncements, turn the other cheek, judge not, remove the beam from your eye, etc., which I understand in more depth having studied Buddhism. Sadly, Christianity doesn’t seem to teach those intents very well.

    Another thing your post reminded me of – I don’t know if you saw the Planet Earth about forests, especially the cicada segment. Such a defenseless jewel of an animal, its emergence from the earth and short life thereon catalyze something like a jubilation, nourishing every aspect of the forest realm.

  2. Warlock Asylum

    Let me just make this point clear. Any diety that needs a sacrifice to forgive is asscoiated with the Cult of the Dead, commonly known as ancestor woship. We find fractions of theis ancient Cult is all modern religions from Buddhism to Judaism.

    This idea is expressed in Christianity to a large degree, but misrepresented by assuming the the Creator of all needs a human sacrifice to forgive mankind. it is this same creator that tells one group of people to kill another group of people over land. i can go on but even from the two example given, it should be evident that the Bible represents not god, but a minor deity confusing people by imitating the architect of the universe.

  3. Pingback: Bats and Robins « Alternative Thinking 37

  4. Infectious disease specialist Dr.

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