On my last visit to see Francisco, my shaman friend, I was so happy to gain more insight into the life of the alux! Just when you think you have learned it all, along comes more information, surprising information, cute information, even scary information, all in one sitting!
We visited the small pueblo in Yucatan to bring help to the farmers in the village after they lost their crops in the recent hurricane. After spending the morning with them, we had some time with Francisco to ourselves. He did a cleansing ceremony for each of us (Max and I) and gave us a lovely gift of a necklace that had been given to him and is blessed to bring the wearer good luck.
And then . . . And then we sat down in his “office” just to chat. I almost never get a chance to just directly ask him questions, and this was a wonderful opportunity for me! I asked an open-ended question about supernatural creatures and my shaman friend lit up. He LOVES to talk about the supernatural beings in the jungles. And off we went for a conversational adventure that touched on many things, not least of which was the elemental alux!
“The alux is made of clay,” he said, “but he uses the power of the wind. He lives in a small space like a cave or little house built for him and he has a little thing for water and a tiny dog.” (Oh, how cute! Can you picture this little person no taller than your knee with a tiny little dog for a companion?)
Who would have thought an alux would have a tiny pet? He also takes a break on Fridays. Yes! He sleeps on Fridays so, if you want to catch him, this is the best day to do it! Now why on earth would you want to catch an alux? Well, to take him to your field so he can work for YOU of course!
Now, while this may sound just plain silly, Francisco did tell us that they had a problem with an alux who was causing trouble by breaking the legs of the cows in his filed and that he (Francisco) and some friends had to MOVE the alux to another field. I wonder if they did it on a Friday?
“He only works for food,” Francisco said. “If you don’t remember to feed him, he can hurt you. You have to feed him before you can hunt, or a branch might fall on you or you might get bitten by a snake.” (There are 6 different kinds of highly venomous snakes in the area!)
“You can take a fruit called jicama and carve out a hole in it. Then fill the hole with pozol (a drink made from corn starch, water, and sugar) and give it to him. He really likes this.”
Then Francisco told us how an alux ate all the 13 fruits they set out for him. Not a trace was left the way a little mouse might leave bits and pieces behind, so it was most certainly the alux!
“Also, you must burn a candle before you can hunt. When the candle is gone, you can shoot. If not, the alux will throw stones at you.” This applies to burning your field to ready it for a new crop and to planting that crop too. Each time you must burn a candle. Francisco explained the light from the candle helps the alux to see his food. And of course, the first fruits of your crop must go to the alux as a thank you!
Now this part I found to be stunning. Apparently, some people wanted to take an alux to the US! I have no idea how one would do that. I guess you would have to catch it first. On a Friday perhaps? Francisco seriously advised against it!
And the final highlight was the story about two men who found two aluxes and broke them. They found the clay renderings of these elemental beings and threw them on the ground, shattering them to pieces.
Twenty-four hours later they both died of sudden high fevers!
So many new bits of information, which of course, raise so many new questions!
We will be going back in a week or so and I am making a list of questions I want to ask. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if YOU have a question and I will see if I can get an answer for you!
My head is spinning,