Hummingbirds and moorings: a relationship without wings to fly


For some time now, the hummingbird population has been reduced in Mexico, becoming in danger of extinction, due to environmental exploitation and occasional hunting to be used as spells. This animal species has been used since pre-Columbian times as part of various rituals, especially for those related to love.

From mythology, the natives call the hummingbird in different ways, depending on the civilization:
On the one hand, the Mayans gave it the name x ts'unu'um. When all things were created, there was missing someone to carry thoughts and desires from one place to another. It was at that moment when the gods carved a jade stone in the shape of an arrow to which they gave life, hence it is associated with good news.

On the other hand, the Aztec god Huitzilopotchtli has the root "Huitzil-", which means hummingbird and whose full name would be Colibrí Zurdo. Due to their warlike nature, this culture considered hummingbirds as perfect warriors, due to their small size and unparalleled speed. In fact, one of their cults consisted of the offering of the corpses of their warriors killed in combat, who were reborn in the form of these birds.
What's more, for the Incas in the south of the continent it meant resurrection, since the souls of deceased people turned into hummingbirds to show that they had ascended to a spiritual plane and communicate for the last time with their loved ones.

From a biological point of view, hummingbirds function as pollinators, so that is their relationship with fertility and in turn with love relationships, which explains their relationship with moorings.
A love spell is made with the intention that a person feels love for the person who performed the ritual or for the person in whose name it was performed, so that a person does not leave or that a broken relationship is mended.
Although at first glance it may seem like a source of happiness, there are those who use it in the form of black magic for spite, hatred or revenge. To do this, they use different catalysts that represent the beloved figure in the form of statues, figures or, in this case, even animals.

The most common practice is to use two hummingbirds, one male and one female. These birds are placed in a small sac that is filled with honey, because it is sweet and sticky. As already mentioned, the alleged relationship of the species with the love ritual has to do with its procedure for taking nectar from flowers, associating itself with spring and with it abundance, making special prayers in this sense asking for favors from the hummingbird as an entity.

The Mercado de la Sonora, located in Mexico City, is a well known market, as it is linked to spiritualist and esoteric practices of all kinds, and it is one of those places where dead hummingbirds are sold to be used in witchcraft.
Most birds take on a bright green or dark gray color in the case of females, with the same iridescence of the feathers, being a coveted commodity. What's more, hummingbirds are not only marketed for mooring, since their boiled heart is traditionally used as a remedy for certain heart diseases, as well as to cure epilepsy.
Due to the danger of extinction of this species, the Mexican government has protected it since the 1990s with fines and even prison sentences for those who traffic it. Surprising profits are being made by those, with an entire network behind them, who decontextualize these practices to deceive visitors looking for answers.

If you want hummingbirds to appear in your personal life, you can place birdbaths, lavender flowers or even a few drops of lavender oil that can attract them to the home without having to catch them, and using other types of symbols that are not physical hummingbirds to these "spells".

Although from our Western eyes we could consider these practices as savage or excessive, it is worth remembering that, as theorist Georges Dumézil said, "A country without legends would freeze to death. A people without myths is dead", so we should not condemn something so rooted in the symbolic imagination of an entire culture. At the same time that a critical judgment is maintained, alternatives to massive poaching on dates such as Valentine's Day must be offered, through awareness campaigns and other practices that do not involve violence towards the animal kingdom.

(We leave here a simple and explanatory video prepared by UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico:

Nuria Acquaviva -

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