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圣西蒙:能保佑囚徒减刑的危地马拉神灵

更新时间:2018-8-26 8:52:40 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Guatemalan god that 'gets people out of jail'
圣西蒙:能保佑囚徒减刑的危地马拉神灵

The temple’s car park appeared to be on fire, but it was alright because the shamans had it under control. In fact, they’d lit the fires in the first place, for the pilgrims, who were taking part in a shamanic ceremony to vanquish themselves of negative energy; a curious ritual that also involved drinking rum and smoking cigars.

神庙的停车场似乎着火了,但是放心,不会有危险,有萨满教巫师在控制火势。实际上这是信徒们正在参加一个消除他们身上负能量的巫术仪式,巫师们是为朝圣的信徒们点火。这是一个奇怪的仪式,仪式中还要饮朗姆酒和抽雪茄烟。

I was visiting the Temple of San Simón in San Andres Itzapa, a small town in the Guatemalan Highlands. This is a pilgrimage site for many Mayans, who come from across Central America to pray at the altar of San Simón, a morally ambiguous deity also known as Maximón.

我当时正在危地马拉高地的一个小镇圣安德烈斯伊察帕参观圣西蒙神庙,这是许多玛雅人的朝圣地。来自中美洲各地的玛雅人到圣西蒙的祭坛前祈祷。圣西蒙是一个道德模糊不问是非的神灵,也被称为马克西蒙(Maximón)。

Beneath the temple’s veil of spiritualism, I detected a seedy, vaguely sinister, atmosphere. Among the families and elderly devotees were groups of hardened young men and women, who looked like they could probably help the police with their enquiries.

在神庙的灵性面纱下面,我感觉到一丝污秽的邪气。在全家老少和年长的信徒中间,还有一些年轻男女,看上去不是善男信女,倒像是会被警察带去协助查案的人。

“You get a lot of prostitutes and drug dealers coming here,” whispered my guide Karen Ayala, though she added that most pilgrims are good, honest folk.

我的导游阿亚拉(Karen Ayala)低声告诉我说,"这儿来了很多妓女和毒贩。"她同时又补充道,不过大多数的信徒都是善良淳朴的人。

Some worshippers, I noticed, were swigging beer, purchased at the on-site liquor store, or ‘cantina’, which does a roaring trade in rum and tobacco. Alcohol, I learned, has long been used in Mayan ceremonies because it is thought to help worshippers ‘reach a trance-like state’ (also known as being drunk); cigars and cigarettes, meanwhile, said Ayala, represent “tunnels between the past and future.” There was something prophetic about the way they burned, she added.

我看到一些信徒在猛灌啤酒,酒是从神庙附属的酒铺或者大量售卖朗姆酒和烟草的"小酒馆"买来的。据我了解,玛雅人的宗教仪式长期以来就一直需要使用酒精饮料,因为酒有助于让信徒"进入一种恍惚的状态"(实际就是醉酒);阿亚拉说雪茄和香烟代表着"过去和未来之间的隧道",又补充说,烟草燃烧可以用来卜卦,预知未来。

The temple was fascinating, and I paused outside to take it all in. I watched bandana-wearing fortune tellers tout their talents to recently arrived pilgrims, competing with souvenir sellers who plied their trade in ecclesial keyrings and necklaces.

神庙很令人着迷,我站在门外观察着四周,看到戴着头巾的算命先生们吹嘘自己的才能劝诱刚抵达的信徒算上一卦,与一旁售卖神庙钥匙圈和项链的纪念品小贩抢生意。

Scampering across the scene were stray dogs, which paused every so often to scratch flea bites or cock a leg against the parked cars, a motley collection of clapped-out sedans and blacked-out SUVs with shiny alloy wheels.

流浪狗在停车场那到处乱跑,时不时停下来抓挠跳蚤的叮咬,或在汽车旁撒尿。停在这里的汽车什么样都有,有破旧的轿车,也有装着闪闪发光的合金车轮的黑色SUV。

The air was heavy with smoke. I could smell incense, tobacco and cypress needles, a carcinogenic cocktail tempered by the sweet scent of smouldering sugar, which was used as the base of the ceremonial fires. Ayala and I escaped the fumes and entered the blue-and-white temple. Inside, hundreds of devotees stood in line, waiting to worship an effigy of San Simón, which sat almost regally on an altar at the head of the church.

空气中弥漫着烟雾的味道。我能同时闻到焚香、烟草和柏树针、以及一种用焦糖甜味调制而成的可能致癌的劣质鸡尾酒的味道。这种鸡尾酒是举行焚火仪式必不可少的。阿亚拉和我摆脱烟熏雾绕的停车场,走进蓝白色的神庙,里面数百名信徒站成一排,正等着膜拜堂而皇之坐在教堂前面祭坛上的圣西蒙雕像。

Dressed in a black suit, black tie and dark brown sombrero – with a heroic, handlebar moustache – the effigy had a cowboy-cum-gangster aesthetic that jarred with the nearby statue of a wholesome-looking Virgin Mary.

圣西蒙雕像身着黑色礼服,戴着黑色领带和深棕色宽边帽,蓄着夸张的翘八字胡——造型既像牛仔也像黑帮土匪,与一旁神圣庄严的圣母玛利亚雕像很不协调。

Worshippers climbed the steps to San Simón’s altar, talking to him in Spanish and various Mayan tongues, while dousing his effigy in rum and placing tobacco onto his lap. San Simón, evidently, is a god with vices.

信徒们爬上圣西蒙祭坛的台阶,用西班牙语和各种玛雅语言向圣西蒙祈祷,同时将朗姆酒洒在雕像上,并把雪茄和香烟放在雕像的腿上作为供品。显然,圣西蒙是一个有不良恶习的神灵。

Curiously, there was a plastic veil hanging over the deity’s face, which, according to Ayala, was there to stop overzealous pilgrims placing lit cigarettes into his mouth – a definite fire hazard with all that rum sloshing about.

奇怪的是,在神灵的脸上悬挂着一层塑料面纱,据阿亚拉说,这是为了防止过度狂热的信徒把点燃的香烟放入雕像的嘴里——加上雕像身上到处都是朗姆酒,这会是绝对的火灾隐患。

The pantheon of the ancient Mayans contained a vast collection of deities for every aspect of human life: there were gods for birth and death, war and peace, sickness and health.

古玛雅人的万神殿囊括了与人类生活息息相关的众多神灵:有分别主宰出生和死亡、战争与和平以及疾病和健康等不同神祗。

That much we know. Our wider understanding of the Mayan pantheon, however, is limited, because when Spanish conquistadors arrived in modern-day Guatemala they destroyed written references to indigenous deities. There was only one religion, they reasoned, and that was Catholicism.

我们知道的神就这么多。实际我们对玛雅众神所知相当有限,因为西班牙征服者当年抵达今天的危地马拉时,销毁了有关本土神灵的文字记载。西班牙人只承认一种宗教,这唯一的宗教就是天主教。

“Catholicism was imposed on the Mayan people, but they never let go of their religion,” Ayala explained. “They fused both religions together.” Hence, she added, why the temple also has a statue of the Virgin Mary.

阿亚拉解释说:"玛雅人被迫接受天主教,但他们从未放弃自己的宗教信仰,因此他们把两种宗教融合在一起。"她又补充说,这就是为什么圣西蒙神庙里还有圣母玛利亚的雕像。

Few Mayan gods survived the conquest, and some scholars believe San Simón has taken on the characteristics of numerous lost deities. Consequently, there are myriad interpretations of his character, although most worshippers seem to believe that he’s a god who grants wishes.

西班牙的征服让玛雅神灵无一幸存。有的学者认为圣西蒙具有玛雅已消失神灵的众多特点。因此,对圣西蒙性格特点也有各种说法,不过大多数信徒是把圣西蒙当作对信徒有求必应很灵验的神灵。

To get an idea of the kind of favours people ask San Simón for, I read some of the ‘thank you’ messages that festoon the temple walls. Some were written on dog-eared sheets of paper, others etched into bronze or marble plaques.

为了解信徒们向圣西蒙索取什么样的恩惠,我看了一些装饰在神庙墙上的"感谢"信。这些感谢信有的写在折角的纸上,有的刻在青铜或大理石版上。

“Gratitud al hermanito San Simón por haberme salvado de haber ido mucho tiempo ala carcel,” reads one, which translates: “Gratitude to the brother San Simón for saving me from having gone to jail for a long time.”

其中一封信写着"Gratitud al hermanitoSanSimónporhaberme salvado de haber ido mucho tiempo ala carcel",意思是"感谢圣西蒙大哥帮我减短了刑期提早出狱。"

It’s not the only plaque offering thanks for an early release, though most messages seem to praise San Simón for material possessions such as cars and houses. These jar somewhat with the notes expressing gratitude for healing sick relatives.

这不是唯一感激圣西蒙让其提前出狱的感谢信,不过大多都是感谢圣西蒙给他们带来汽车和房产等物质上的好处。还有些陶罐中的帖子表达了对圣西蒙治愈患病亲属的感激之情。

I chatted to one worshipper, who gave his name as Byron. He had 12 members of his family in tow, including two small children.

我和一个叫拜伦的信徒聊了一会。他家有12口人,其中两个是小孩子。

“We’ve come to thank San Simón because he helped us find work,” said Byron, who brought flowers for San Simón, rather than cigarettes and alcohol. “We drove two hours to get here. We come every year.”

拜伦说:"我们感谢圣西蒙是因为他帮我们找到了工作,每年我们都会开两小时的车来这里拜他。"拜伦没有选择香烟和酒作祭品,而是以鲜花供奉。

The Guatemalan Highlands are the spiritual home of San Simón. In most villages where he is worshipped, his effigy moves from house to house; according to Ayala, the Temple of San Simón is his only permanent shrine.

危地马拉高地是圣西蒙的精神家园。阿亚拉告诉我,大多数村庄都信仰圣西蒙,圣西蒙的雕像会一家家地轮流供奉,这个神灵唯一的永久神殿就是圣西蒙神庙。

San Simón has a reputation for mischief. Legend has it that he was asked by a group of fishermen to prevent their wives from having affairs while they went out to work. Depending which side of the story you believe, San Simón was either a successful saboteur of adulterous behaviour or a trickster who abused his position to sleep with the fishermen’s wives.

圣西蒙因恶作剧而闻名。传说,一群渔民曾要求圣西蒙保护他们外出工作时自己的妻子不会红杏出墙,但圣西蒙既可能是一位擅长识破通奸的能人,但也可能是趁机与渔夫的妻子睡觉的骗子。哪个为真,就看你相信这个故事的哪个说法。

Such myths have served to shroud San Simón’s character in ambiguity, and today the deity exists in something of a moral grey area, which makes him popular with those living on the wrong side of the law.

类似这样的神话传说让圣西蒙的性格亦正亦邪,如今这位神灵仍然处于道德的灰色地带,这让他在违法分子中间大受欢迎。

It is in this moral grey area that the temple’s black magicians also operate. Working in a litter-strewn courtyard next to the church, these practitioners eke out a living by putting ‘spells’ on people.

神庙的黑魔法巫师也在这个道德的灰色地带做生意。他们在神庙旁边的一个乱蓬蓬的院子里通过对人们施加"咒语"来勉强维持生计。

“It could be a spell to make someone fall in love with you or a curse on your enemy,” Ayala explained.

阿亚拉解释说:"这些咒语可能是让某人爱上你也可能是对你的敌人的诅咒。"

In the courtyard we met John, who is paid by the magicians to bury glass bottles containing spells – thus binding them – along with photographs of their intended subjects. John is 12 years old.

我们在院子里遇到了约翰,约翰只有12岁。巫师付钱让他把施加咒语的玻璃瓶埋起来——那样就能把咒语和他们所祈求的东西的照片绑在一起。

“I do this at weekends,” said the spiky-haired youngster, leaning on a shovel. “With the money I get, I buy things that I need for school.”

这个长着一头刺猬般头发的年轻人靠着铲子说道:"我周末都会来这儿干活儿,赚了钱我就能买上学需要的东西。"

We didn’t linger long with John because a black magic ritual started taking place nearby, which seemed to involve tins of sardines being thrown into a fire. I feared being splattered with sizzling fish oil.

巫师开始在附近施法,似乎要将沙丁鱼罐头扔进火中。我担心会被炙热的鱼油溅到,所以没有和约翰多聊。

“When the cans explode it means a curse has gone away,” Ayala explained, as, right on cue, a can burst.

阿亚拉解释道, "罐头爆炸意味着诅咒消失。"刚说到此,正好一个罐头爆炸了。

The highlands of Guatemala are blighted by poverty, and many people living in the region, and beyond, turn to San Simón for salvation.

危地马拉高地饱受贫困之苦,许多当地人,甚至当地之外的人,把解脱贫穷的希望寄托于圣西蒙的拯救。

One such person is Chaguita, a 62-year-old hawker, who was selling San Simón souvenirs – keyrings, necklaces and the like – outside the temple.

小贩察吉塔就是其一,她已经62岁,在神庙外面售卖圣西蒙钥匙圈和项链等纪念品。

“I have been selling souvenirs here for more than 30 years,” she said, her diminutive frame bent over from the weight of her wares. “I suffered a stroke, but I walk for an hour to get here every day.”

她告诉我们说:"我在这里卖纪念品都30多年了,曾经中过风,但我每天还是会花一个小时走来这里。" 她矮小的身躯被她卖的纪念品压弯了腰。

Chaguita prayed to the deity from her hospital bed and believes he helped give her the strength to make her souvenir business a success.

察吉塔在医院病床上时曾向圣西蒙祈祷过。她相信圣西蒙给了她力量让她的纪念品贩售行当获得成功。

“I pray to San Simón to help me sell my things,” she explained, as I bought a keyring of the moustachioed god. “Everything I sell is a blessing from San Simón.”

我在她那儿买了一个圣西蒙的钥匙圈,她告诉我说:"我向圣西蒙祈祷我的东西都能卖出。我卖的所有东西都有圣西蒙的祝福。"

And with that, Chaguita was off, touting her wares to the gathering pilgrims as the car park continued to burn.

凭着这个信念,焚火仪式还在进行中,小贩察吉塔已迎着聚集的信徒们走去,向他们兜售被圣西蒙祝福过的纪念品。

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