Mok Chi, Mayan Death God
Chichen Itza

A ruined plaza at Chichen Itza, the ancient Mayan city. Ritual human sacrifice took place here under the influence of hallucinogens and alcohol.


Mok Chi is an ancient Mayan god who accepts blood sacrifice from his living worshippers. He is generally depicted in the Mayan pose for death, reclining on his back, with his stomach grossly distended. Scholars of Mayan culture believe that this distended stomach represented the accumulation of gases that are generated within a dying person or a decomposing corpse. It is also -- contrary to the breath of life -- known as the "flowery exhalation" [source: Fitzsimmons].

During ritual sacrifice to Mok Chi, Mayan priests were very drunk. The concept behind drunkenness during these rites was that such a state opened a channel of perception between the gods and the priest. Such a channel allowed for the priest to better carry out the gods' murderous wishes. Balché, a type of mead made from honey and tree bark, served as the main alcoholic spirit used by the Maya.

Mayan priests were also under the influence of hallucinogens like peyote, wild tobacco, toad toxin, datura and a number of other psychedelic plants during these rituals. These drugs were ingested, smoked or in many cases, administered anally through an enema [source: Authentic Maya].