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The Aztec Pantheon

Guest Author - Elizabeth Bissette

Huitzilopochtli, (Left Hummingbird/Hummingbird of the South - (hummingbirds were associated with those who died in battle)/the Blue Tezcatlipoca), Omiteotl, Maquizcoatl

The major Aztec God of the Sun and War, he is also the God of death, young men, warriors, storms, and a guide for journeys, including the journey to the afterlife. Born with only bones, no flesh, he is connected to the Sun. He co-created fire, a half sun, the first man and woman (Oxomoco and Cipactonal), the days and months, the God and Goddess of the Underworld (Mictlanteucutli and Mictcacíhuitl), water and a fish, Cipactli. He is ruler of the Fifth Sun, (the age we live in now).

Quetzalcóatl, (Feathered Serpent/Precious Twin), Eecatl

God of Knowledge, second son of Tonacateuctli and Tonacacíhuatl (Xochiquétzal). He is the God of Air, associated with life/life-giving and wind and is related to Venus as morning and evening star. He co-created all attributed to Huitzilopochtli above. He also is said to have created the second world after the flood with Tezcatlipoca. His twin brother is Xolotl. As Eecatl, he is the Wind-God whose breath moves the heavens.

Xolotl

God of lightning and death, fire and bad luck. He sometimes aids the dead in their journey and guarded the sun each night when it went into the underworld. Twin of Quetzalcoatl and personification of the dark side of Venus, the evening star. He guarded the sun when it went through the underworld at night. Xolotl brought people and fire underworld. Xolotl was depicted as a skeleton, man with a dogs' head, or monster animal with backwards feet.

Miclanteotl, (God of Miclan), Miclanteuctli, Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacihuatl

Primary God and Goddess of the Underworld. They are King and Queen of Mictlan, the lowest, northernmost section of it, which was thought to be made of gigantic bones. All must pass through unless they died a violent death. They live in a windowless house and around it is a barren, harsh land that makes the passage of dead souls arduous. The dieties make sure that the trials the dead go through here match the life they led. From here, a one-way path winds through many planes. They are associated with spiders, owls and bats, the eleventh hour and the north. His worship sometimes involved ritual cannibalism.

He was depicted as a blood-spattered skeleton or a person wearing a skull. His headdress was decorated with owl feathers and around his neck draped a necklace of human eyeballs. (To the Aztecs, life and death were closely linked and bones symbolized fertility, health and abundance). They were among the few in the Aztec pantheon who ruled over all three types of souls, those who died of natural causes, those who died heroicly, (battle, sacrifice or childbirth) or did not. With Tonatiuh he symbolised the duality of light and dark.

Chicomecóatl, (Seven Serpent), Xilonen, (The Hairy One), Goddess of Nourishment, Goddess of Plenty

Goddess of corn and fertility at one point, she had three aspects: a young girl bearing flowers, a woman who brings death with her embraces and as a mother who uses the sun as a shield. Every September a young girl representing her was sacrificed. She is the female counterpart of the corn god Cinteotl and their symbol is an ear of corn. As Xilonen, (the name representing the hairs on unshucked corn), she was married to Tezcatlipoca. She often appeared with attributes of Chalchiuhtlicue.

Coatlicue, (The One With the Skirt of Serpents), Teteoinan, (The Mother of Gods), Toci, (Our Grandmother) and Cihuacoatl, (The Lady of the Serpent)

Mother of Gods/Goddess of Earth, Fire and Fertility, Death, Life and Re-birth. She has a human shape with 2 snake heads and claws on her hands and feet. She wears a necklace of human skulls, hearts and hands and a skirt of living snakes. She was is the mother of the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli and is known as the patron of women who die in childbirth.

Chalchiuhtlicue, Chalciuhtlicue, Chalcihuitlicue, (She of the Jade Skirt)

Goddess of lakes and streams, she is related to birth and baptisms. She ruled the fourth world, which was so wicked she destroyed it with in a great flood. She has an aquatic aspect, Acuecucyoticihuati, who is the goddess of oceans, rivers and other running waters and patron of women in labor.

Centzonuitznaua, Centzon Huitznahuas, (Four Hundred Southerners)

Gods of the southern stars.

Centzonmimixcoa, Centzon Mimixcoa, (Four Hundred Northerners)

Gods of the northern stars.

Tepoztecatl, Tezcatzontecatl

God of the drink pulque, of drunkenness and fertility. He is associated with Tlaloc.

Mayahuel

Goddess of the plant pulque is made from (Maguey), the spines of which were used by priests to sacrifice themselves and fertility. She is the protector of wombs. She was once a human girl who Ehecatl fell in love with. He gave love to people on earth so that she could feel the way he did. She was later married to Xochipilli and to Patecatl.

Ahuiateto

Five deities symbolizing excess and over-indulgence and the consequences of these. They are: Macuiltochtli, (Five Rabbit), Macuilxochitl,(5 flower), Macuilcuetzpalin, (5 lizard), Macuilcozcacuahtli, (5 vulture), and Macuilmalinalli, (5 grass), specific days in the Aztec calendar). The days related to them were associated with excess and loss of control.

Centzon Totochtin, (Four-Hundred Rabbits of Drunkenness)

The divine rabbits of drunkenness, a group of dieties who get together and party.

Coyolxauhqui, (Golden Bells)

Goddess of the Moon and Earth, she was the favorite daughter of Coatlicue and was said to have magical powers.

Tlaloc, (He Who is Filled With Earth/He Who Makes Things Stream With Water), Tlaloteuctli

God of Rain, sustenance and life but also of droughts and flods, Tlaloc is also associated with fertility, fire and the south. He lives in Tlalocan, where four gigantic water barrels stand in all four directions. His symbols are an ear of corn and the thunderbolt. The Tlaloques follow his orders and oversee the weather. He is married to one of them, Chalchiuuhtlicue.

Tlaloc is also the guardian of Tlalocan, the land of the afterlife for people who died violently from water-related diseases or incidents. It was thought of as a lush, green place where it is always Springtime.

Ixtlilton

God of Healing, Feasts and Games

Ometeotl/Ometechtli/Omecihuatl, (Two God), Tloque Nahuaque, (Owner of the Near and Far), Moyocoyatzin, (The Inventor of Himself), Ipalnemohua, (The Giver of Life)

God of creation and duality Ometeotl is both God and Goddess. The couple gave birth to the Four Tezcatlipocas. Their realm, Omeyocan, (the Place of Duality/Two Place), has never been reached and is the home of the Gods. It/They are credited self-creation and are thought to govern the souls of the unborn.

Tezcatlipoca, (Lord of the Smoking Mirror)

God of Wild animals, change, magic, the night sky and winds, the north, the earth, obsidian, enmity, discord, rulership, divination, temptation, sorcery, beauty, war and strife. His symbols are an obsidian mirror and a jaguar. He is the supreme ruler of the Aztec pantheon but because he is so chaotic, he is outwardly represented by Quetzalcoatl, who is an aspect of him.

The Four Tezcatlipocas are his main aspects. In one he is 'normal', and called Tepeyollotli, (Heart of the Mountain). His other three aspects are Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli and Xipe Totec. He would surpass all powers in all planes if these were combined into one but they remain dispersed because they actualize their potential more in that way. He often fights against himself.

Xipe Totec, (The Flayed Lord)

God of Spring, sacrifices, death-rebirth, agriculture, the west, disease, spring and goldsmiths. The fourth Tezcatlipoca, Xipe Totec is one of the cruellest and most indifferent Aztec gods. Having flayed himself to feed mankind, (symbolic of the corn seed losing its' husk), he demands human sacrifice in return for bringing Spring. He has no realm or allies.

Xiuhtecuhtli, (Oldest of the Gods), Otontecuhtli or Huehueteotl

God of fire, space-time and opposites. His symbols are pepper and the pine tree. Xiuhtecuhtli is the oldest Aztec god, and is related to abstract concepts of space and elementals. He represents the sun and the hearth and the people in the times between the centuries, (each 52 year cycle of the Aztec calendar).

Huehueteotl, (Old God), Ueueteotl

Huehueteotl, often considered to be another aspect of Xiuhtecuhtli, usually depicted as an aged or decrepit being. Xiutecuhtli is more youthful and he is associated with rulership and young warriors.

Mixcoatl, (Cloud Serpent), Camaxtle

God of the hunt, related to the Milky Way, stars and heavens.

Tonatiuh, (Movement of the Sun)

Sun God/Fifth Sun and ruler of Tollan, heaven. Without human sacrifice it was feared he would refuse to move in the sky.

Metztli, Meztli, Metzi

God or Goddess of the Moon, night and farmers. The diety was afraid of the Sun and of fire. It had the opportunity to become the Sun but was afraid to sacrifice itself so became the Moon instead, where its' face was marked by a rabbit forever.

Tlazolteotl, (The Eater of Sins)

Mother Goddess of Earth, sex and childbirth. She ate the sins of the dying who confessed them to her.

Xochiquetzal, (Flower Feather)

Originally a moon and love Goddess, she became Goddess of flowers, fertility, games, dancing and agriculture, craftsmen, prostitutes and pregnant women. She was originally a moon and love goddess. Birds and butterflies followed her wherever she went. Wife of Tlaloc, she was kidnapped by Tezcatlipoca who then forced her to marry him. He has a twin, Xochipilli. She was also married to Centeotl and Ixotecutli.

Centeotl, Centeocihuatl, Cinteotl Originally a Goddess, the God of Corn.

Xochipilli, (Flower Child/Prince), Macuilxochitl, (Five Flowers)

God of love, games, beauty, dance, flowers, corn, and song. He married a human girl, Mayahuel and had a twin sister, Xochiquetzal. Associated with Tlalo and Cinteotl. He is also related to the psychoactive plants used by the Aztecs.

Yacatecutli God of merchants.

Patecatl God of healing and fertility, discoverer of peyote.









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