of which the deadly night-shade is a familiar species. He speaks of its use in the sacred rites in these words:

"Indorum sacrifici, cum videri volebant versari cum superis, ac responsa accipere ab eis, ea vescehantur planta, ut desiperent, milleque phantasmata et demonum observatium effigies circumspectarent."[14]

Of the two plants mentioned, the ololiuhqui and the peyotl, the former was considered the more potent in spiritual virtues. "They hold it in as much veneration as if it were God," says a theologian of the seventeenth century.[15] One who partook of these herbs was called payni (from the verb pay, to take medicine); and more especially tlachixqui, a Seer, referring to the mystic "second sight," hence a diviner or prophet (from the verb tlachia, to see).

Tobacco also held a prominent, though less important, place in these rites. It was employed in two forms, the one the dried leaf, picietl, which for sacred uses must be broken and rubbed up either seven or nine times; and the green leaf mixed with lime, hence called tenextlecietl (from tenextli, lime).

Allied in effect to these is an intoxicant in use in southern Mexico and Yucatan, prepared from the bark of a tree called by the Mayas baal-che. The whites speak of the drink as pitarilla. It is quite popular among the natives, and they still attribute to it a sacred character, calling it yax ha, the first water, the primal fluid. They say that it was the first liquid created by God, and when He returned to His heavenly home He left this beverage and its production in charge of the gods of the rains, the four Pah-Ahtuns.[16]

5. Intoxication of some kind was an essential part of many of these secret rites. It was regarded as a method of throwing the individual out of himself and into relation with the supernatural powers. What the old historian, Father Joseph de Acosta, tells us about the clairvoyants and telepaths of the aborigines might well stand for a description of their modern representatives:

"Some of these sorcerers take any shape they choose, and fly through the air with wonderful rapidity and for long distances. They will tell what is taking place in remote localities long before the news could possibly arrive. The Spaniards have known them to report mutinies, battles, revolts and deaths, occurring two hundred or three hundred leagues distant, on the very day they took place, or the day after.

"To practice this art the sorcerers, usually old women, shut themselves in a house, and intoxicate themselves to the degree of losing their reason. The next day they are ready to reply to questions."[17]

Plants possessing similar powers to excite vivid visions and distort the imagination, and, therefore, employed in the magical rites, were the thiuimeezque, in Michoacan, and the chacuaco, in lower California.[18]

6. In spite of all effort, the various classes of wonder-workers continued to thrive in Mexico. We find in a book of sermons published by the Jesuit Father, Ignacio de Paredes, in the Nahuatl

[14] Hernandez, Historia Plantarum Nova: Hispaniae, Torn. iii, p. 32.

[15] Dr. Jacinto de la Soma, Manual de Min stros de Indios para el Conocimiento de sus Idolatrias y Extirpación de Ellos, p. 163. This interesting work was composed about the middle of the seventeenth century by a Rector of the University of Mexico, it was first printed at Madrid, in 1892, from the MS. furnished by Dr. N. Leon, under the editorship of the Marquis de la Fuensanta del Valle.

[16] MSS. of the Licentiate Zetina, and Informe of Father Baeza in Registro Yucateco, Tom. i.

[17] Acosta, De la Historia Moral de Indias, Lib. v, cap. 26.

[18] Of the thiuimeezque Hernandez writes: "Aiunt radicis cortice unius unciae pondere tuso, atque devorato, muita ante oculos observare phantasmata, multipilices imagines ac monstrificas rerum figuras, detegique furem, si quidpiam rei familiaris subreptuin sit." Hist. Plant. Nov. Hispan., Tom, III, p. 272. The chacuaco and its effects are described by Father Venegas in his History of California, etc.

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