The Four Circles

The Four Circles - Mexica Aztec Teachings

Responsibility: We  are more  powerful than we realize

As noted in the Circular Values Teaching we are all related (connected) and affect one another.

The Four Circles is based off the knowing that we are related to all things and that all life is interdependent. Everything you do (decisions, emotions, words, etc. ) radiates out and affects your family, community, and other world communities. It is important to note that when we say Relatives or Community we are referring to all life: Humans, Animals, Land, Plant, and Elemental relatives. It is not merely a reference to our own culture or human species.

Every thought, word, action, or energy one chooses to give attention (energy) to ultimately affects all things around him/her. This Four Circles concept is very simple and common sense, however, if we look at what goes on in our communities and world today I’m sure we can generally agree that a great many  have forgotten this basic understanding.

Throughout all the Mexica Telpochcalli Teachings we will refer back to The Four Circles concept to reflect on how the practice of the traditional teachings, or the lack thereof, can affect :

  1. Ourselves :  Our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional well being.
  2. Our Family:  However one defines it,  this could also be our immediate genetic family, a family of friends, co-workers, organizers, etc.
  3. Our Community:  This can be our immediate block, neighborhood, city, etc. including animals, and landscapes. We are all connected, they are part of the community as well.
  4. Other Communities: This could be the bigger city, state, country, world, universe…

Every thought we give attention to (feed), every word we say, and every action we put forth affects everything and everyone around us. We have a choice to use our energy constructively or destructively. It is up to us to be mindful Warriors with our attention, thoughts, emotions, and words. We are the first line of defense against negativity infections. Which also makes us the front line Tolteca (warrior-artist) to create and maintain  beautiful and healthy spaces and creations for All-life.

Poison Bomb

4 Circles Mexica Aztec Teachings

How many times have you been at home or somewhere  where somebody is upset for whatever reason and they start to get rude or say mean things? All it takes  is for a  person to bite the poison of a negative comment or negative act and get mad too. If people aren’t careful  this negativity can easily spread and adversely affect people’s lives in subtle or drastic ways. It is  very much like a bomb of negativity , a bad spell, a virus being unleashed.

The perspective that the Four Circles teaching brings should make us reflect on the origins of our emotions, thoughts, and reactions.


Papalotl – The Butterfly Effect

Papalotl- Butterfly Effect

A practical and scientific example of the Four Circles logic can be correlated with what is popularly known as the Butterfly Effect. The explanation is basically this:

.. a term used in chaos theory to describe how small changes to a seemingly unrelated thing or condition (also known as an initial condition) can affect large, complex systems. The term comes from the suggestion that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in South America could affect the weather in Texas, meaning that the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part.

some science book

What Can You Do to Positively Influence?

Now on the positive side think of things you have done or you have seen others do that have helped changed the vibe of a scenario or community in a good way. Think of positive words, actions, things you can do for your personal well being and health that would radiate outward to positively affect your family, community, and larger communities. You as an individual are so very important!


Four Circles Exercises

Refer back to the Circular Values vs. Linear Values Teaching.

 Note the various examples given for the (negative) Linear mentality: 

  • How could each example of negative linear thinking affect your state of being (mental,   physical, spiritual, emotional) ?  Your family’s,  Your community’s, or extended world  community?
  •  In what ways do you think the crimes against our Ancestors from centuries back affects us today?

Note the positive values given for the Circular Mentality:

  • What positive effects could Circular minded actions have on your emotional, mental, and physical well being? your family’s,  your community’s, or extended world community?
  • How could it positively affect this very moment? Tomorrow? In one month?
  • In what ways do you think all the positive creations and actions of our Ancestors lives with us today?

Reflect on the words you say, don’t say, and  the emotional energy in which you say them. Reflect on the actions of your daily routines no matter how  big or small:

  • A smile or a dirty look ?
  • A thank you or not?
  • A compliment or a dis?  …etc.
  • Who or what will be the first affected (positive or negative) by it?
    • The second?
    • The third?