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Mictlan Ancestor Skull

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A hand carved black and green jade skull set in silver, and carved from a depiction in the Codex Borgia.

Pagans tend to be very respectful and even reverent to their ancestors in my tradition. Among the Aztec people, ancestors would intercede on behalf of their descendants in the living world in return for regular offerings of corn, tortillias, sauces, turquoise, copal and other sacred items. In the Aztec belief, how you died determined where you went after death, not how you lived. Most people went to Mictlan, an afterlife of shadows and quiet. It was not a place of pain or punishment but was still described as "the Place of the Fleshless". It was ruled over by Lord Death, Mictlantecutli and Lady Death, Mictecacihuatl.

This was part of my Samhain project this year. I do one each year to capture the feeling of one of the Pagan holidays. This year it was a series of carved Aztec and Maya style skulls set in silver. This particular one represents one of the Fleshless, an ancestor spirit awaiting the call of their relative for aid in Mictlan.

This skull was carved with a flex shaft from black and green nephrite jade. It was then finished by hand with diamond files and grades of sandpaper. The white outlines of the carving show more in the images than in real life. It has also sat on my Spirit altar and picked up a bit of "zap" from that. Wear it to honor your own ancestors and thank them for their presence and blessings.

Mictlan Ancestor Skull


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: Black and Green Nephrite Jade, Sterling Silver
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 91 reviews
  • Favorited by: 43 people