Hun = the 3 "superior souls of the human body." (PB2, p. 264: giving the Chinese characters)

T>ai Kuan ("Embryonic Light")

S^uan Lin ("Pleasant Magic")

You-C^in ("Remote Spirit")

P>o = the 7 "inferior souls which are the turbid spirits of the human body." (PB2, p. 269)

S^ih Kou ("Corpse Dog")

Fu-S^ih ("Latent Corpse")

C^>u:eh-yin ("Sparrow-female")

T>un-Tzei ("Swallowed Thief")

Fei-Tu ("Non-poison")

C^>u-Hui ("Removing Dirtiness")

C^>ou-Fei ("Stinking Lungs")

PB2 = Jane Huang: The Primordial Breath, Vol. II. Original Books, Torrance (CA), 1990.




It also fits with the Huastec Maya notion of one of the two souls (or spirits) that people have. The Huastec Maya word tz'itziin means 'bird' and is cognate with the Highland Guatemalan dayname Tz'ikin. The same Huastec word tz'itziin also means 'spirit' or 'soul,' and this spirit resides in the top of the head (Alcorn 1984:67).”

Mixe Indians of Oaxaca say that of the three souls possessed by human beings, one is like the sun but with bird like wings, and it remains in the body. The other two can leave the body in sleep. One of these is a "bad" soul, sits on the person's left shoulder, and has bat wings; the other is a "good" soul, sits on the right shoulder, and has eagle wings, according to Lipp, who maintains accurately that "the representation of the soul as a winged being is indigenous to Mexico as well as cosmopolitan in distribution" (1991:43).

A Quiche Maya conception of souls is similar to that of the Mixe, but the name given to one of these souls is the same as a Quiche dayname, while the meaning of the other soul's name can be linked to another dayname. The two daynames are next to eachother in the 20 day sequence but for one intervening dayname not expressed in this Quiche conception of souls. According to Earle, there are two souls, one on the front side (angele ajmac) and one on the back (angele chijenel), the first a sinner and the latter a guardian (1986:163). There is a Quiche dayname Ajmac  corresponding to Yucatec Cib  that has the same name as this soul. Alerted to daynames, it is but a short step to conclude that the soul on the back, the guardian soul, similarly relates to the 14th Yucatec dayname Ix (Jaguar, and see Kekchi Maya hix 'jaguar'). This dayname, Ix in Yucatec, is Iix in most dialects of Quiche. In one dialect of Quiche this 14th day name is Balam (Jaguar), and balam is the more common Mayan word for 'jaguar.' While the 'jaguar' is in several Mayan groups seen as a "guardian," in Yucatec, the balam spirits are specifically called "guardians" of various things important to humans, particularly of the milpa and of the village (Redfield and Villa Rojas 1962:113 4).

If the back soul is a "guardian" and corresponds to Ix (Jaguar), and the front soul is a "sinner" and corresponds to Cib, then the two souls corresponding to daynames manifest a sequence from back to front but leave a hole between them where the dayname Men should be.9 In short Cib and Ix flank the dayname Men, which is 'Seer, Shaman' in Yucatec, corresponding to Tz'ikin 'Bird' in Quiche, which has been discussed above and related by analogy to the "bird" soul of the skull, the bird in the center with the serpent wings, and the eagle avatar of the sun, which is itself related to the animal familiars of humans and to the shaman himself. The point needs no belaboring. It is simply that the description and location of human souls in the Quiche town referred to implies an attachment to daynames, which can then be seen to imply or allude to an entity occupying the central hole in the pattern; an entity that is central itself and that must be constructed or reconstructed by the audience to the discourse on the soul.

Alcorn 1984 = Alcorn, Janis. 1984. Huastec Mayan Ethnobotany. Austin: The University of Texas Press.

Lipp 1991 = Lipp, Frank. 1991. The Mixe of Oaxaca. Austin: The University of Texas Press.

Earle 1986 = Earle, Duncan. 1986. “The metaphor of the day in Quiche.” in G. Gossen, ed., Symbol and Meaning Beyond the Closed Community. New York: Institute for Mesoamerican Studies.


Karl Taube : “Ancient and Contemporary Maya Conceptions About Field and Forest” p. 477

Vogt (1976) notes that in Zinacanteco thought there are two

souls—the innate and impersonal ch’ulel spirit, and the animal soul of the

forest, the “unruly, uncontrollable ‘wild’ and impulsive side of their behavior”

(Vogt 1976:33). Similarly, the Pedrano Tzotzil conceive of two souls, the

indestructible ch’ulel and the vulnerable wayhel animal soul identified with

the forest, darkness, and the night (Guiteras-Holmes 1961:296, 270, 288, 296,


Vogt 1976 = Vogt, E. Z. 1976. Tortillas for the gods: a symbolic analysis of Zinacanteco rituals. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.


Duncan Earle : “The Metaphor of the Day in Quiche`”. p. 88. In :- Virginia Garrard-Burnett (editrix) : On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Religion in Modern Latin America. Scholarly Resources, Wilmington (DE), 2000. JAGUAR BOOKS ON LATIN AMERICA, No. 18. pp. 71-106.

These two souls play important roles in the dream state and in death”.


Multiple Souls, Weblinks on

Ede Frecska; Levente Móró; & Hank Wesselman : "The Soul Cluster: Reconsideration of a Millennia Old Concept".

G. Kubiena : “Emotions, Five Souls and Their Specific Acupuncture Points” Chinese Kemetian Norse