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15 Aztec Gods

15 Aztec Gods


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The Aztecs of northern Mesoamerica (c. 1345 and 1521 CE) worshipped some of the weirdest, most fantastic and downright scary gods seen anywhere in history. The Aztec civilization and the empire it created revolved around winning special favour with these gods in order to ensure a measure of balance in nature, the continuance of human life and even the daily rising of the sun itself. In this collection we examine 15 gods in detail, looking at the mythology they were involved in and their particular associations such as their special days, numbers and animals. Here are all the major gods from mighty Huitzilopochtli, Hummingbird of the South, and his links with war and eagles to mischievous Xochipilli, the Flower Prince, linked to summer, butterflies and poetry.

The Aztec gods were appeased through offerings, rituals, festivals and, of course, the infamous blood-thirsty human sacrifices which included beating hearts being ripped from the still-conscious victim, decapitation, skinning and dismemberment. It is perhaps important to remember, though, that the Aztecs believed several major gods had sacrificed themselves for humanity's good. Consequently, blood sacrifices were regarded as a payment back in kind and only one part of the Aztecs' worship. There were plenty of other ways the gods were kept happy, such as giving flowers, foodstuffs, precious objects, and the burning of incense and tobacco.

In the month of Tóxcatl, the sixth month (or 5th) of the Aztec solar year, Tezcatlipoca was worshipped in special ceremonies. As with other Aztec religious rites an important part of the ceremony was the impersonation of the god, most often by a prisoner of war, typically the best looking and most courageous one. For one year before, in fact, the captive was tutored by priests, treated as a noble and even given four women to look after him. These women themselves impersonated goddesses. When the special month finally came around the impersonator was handsomely dressed in a warrior costume and in a symbolic wedding festival he married his four goddesses. Honoured with flowers and dances the man-god was then ferried to a dedicated temple where he was promptly sacrificed and his heart removed to honour the real Tezcatlipoca.


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15 Aztec Gods
Collection

by Mark Cartwright
published on 02 March 2020
Send to Google Classroom:


The Aztecs of northern Mesoamerica (c. 1345 and 1521 CE) worshipped some of the weirdest, most fantastic and downright scary gods seen anywhere in history. The Aztec civilization and the empire it created revolved around winning special favour with these gods in order to ensure a measure of balance in nature, the continuance of human life and even the daily rising of the sun itself. In this collection we examine 15 gods in detail, looking at the mythology they were involved in and their particular associations such as their special days, numbers and animals. Here are all the major gods from mighty Huitzilopochtli, Hummingbird of the South, and his links with war and eagles to mischievous Xochipilli, the Flower Prince, linked to summer, butterflies and poetry.
The Aztec gods were appeased through offerings, rituals, festivals and, of course, the infamous blood-thirsty human sacrifices which included beating hearts being ripped from the still-conscious victim, decapitation, skinning and dismemberment. It is perhaps important to remember, though, that the Aztecs believed several major gods had sacrificed themselves for humanity's good. Consequently, blood sacrifices were regarded as a payment back in kind and only one part of the Aztecs' worship. There were plenty of other ways the gods were kept happy, such as giving flowers, foodstuffs, precious objects, and the burning of incense and tobacco.


Revenge of the Gods

Next week, the California Department of Education will vote on a new statewide ethnic studies curriculum that advocates for the “decolonization” of American society and elevates Aztec religious symbolism—all in the service of a left-wing political ideology.

The new program, called the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, seeks to extend the Left’s cultural dominance of California’s public university system, 50 years in the making, to the state’s entire primary and secondary education system, which consists of 10,000 public schools serving a total of 6 million students.

In theoretical terms, the new ethnic studies curriculum is based on the “pedagogy of the oppressed,” developed by Marxist theoretician Paolo Freire, who argued that students must be educated about their oppression in order to attain “critical consciousness” and, consequently, develop the capacity to overthrow their oppressors. Following this dialectic, the model curriculum instructs teachers to help students “challenge racist, bigoted, discriminatory, imperialist/colonial beliefs” and critique “white supremacy, racism and other forms of power and oppression.” This approach, in turn, enables teachers to inspire their pupils to participate in “social movements that struggle for social justice” and “build new possibilities for a post-racist, post-systemic racism society.”

R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, the original co-chair of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, developed much of the material regarding early American history. In his book Rethinking Ethnic Studies, which is cited throughout the curriculum, Cuauhtin argues that the United States was founded on a “Eurocentric, white supremacist (racist, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous), capitalist (classist), patriarchal (sexist and misogynistic), heteropatriarchal (homophobic), and anthropocentric paradigm brought from Europe.” The document claims that whites began “grabbing the land,” “hatching hierarchies,” and “developing for Europe/whiteness,” which created “excess wealth” that “became the basis for the capitalist economy.” Whites established a “hegemony” that continues to the present day, in which minorities are subjected to “socialization, domestication, and ‘zombification.’”

The religious narrative is even more disturbing. Cuauhtin developed a related “mandala” claiming that white Christians committed “theocide” against indigenous tribes, killing their gods and replacing them with Christianity. White settlers thus established a regime of “coloniality, dehumanization, and genocide,” characterized by the “explicit erasure and replacement of holistic Indigeneity and humanity.” The solution, according to Cuauhtin and the ethnic studies curriculum, is to “name, speak to, resist, and transform the hegemonic Eurocentric neocolonial condition” in a posture of “transformational resistance.” The ultimate goal is to “decolonize” American society and establish a new regime of “countergenocide” and “counterhegemony,” which will displace white Christian culture and lead to the “regeneration of indigenous epistemic and cultural futurity.”

This religious concept is fleshed out in the model curriculum’s official “ethnic studies community chant.” The curriculum recommends that teachers lead their students in a series of indigenous songs, chants, and affirmations, including the “In Lak Ech Affirmation,” which appeals directly to the Aztec gods. Students first clap and chant to the god Tezkatlipoka—whom the Aztecs traditionally worshipped with human sacrifice and cannibalism—asking him for the power to be “warriors” for “social justice.” Next, the students chant to the gods Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, and Xipe Totek, seeking “healing epistemologies” and “a revolutionary spirit.” Huitzilopochtli, in particular, is the Aztec deity of war and inspired hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices during Aztec rule. Finally, the chant comes to a climax with a request for “liberation, transformation, [and] decolonization,” after which students shout “Panche beh! Panche beh!” in pursuit of ultimate “critical consciousness.”

The chants have a clear implication: the displacement of the Christian god, which is said to be an extension of white supremacist oppression, and the restoration of the indigenous gods to their rightful place in the social justice cosmology. It is, in a philosophical sense, a revenge of the gods.

California parents should be concerned. Under the guise of “equity” and “empowerment,” activists within the public education system have developed this radical new curriculum in order to transform California schools into factories for left-wing political activism. They have recast the United States as an oppressor nation that must be deconstructed and subverted through politics. The curriculum’s vision statement makes this aim explicit: it presents education not as a means of achieving competency, but as a “tool for transformation, social, economic, and political change, and liberation.”

The religious element of the ethnic studies curriculum, with direct appeals to Aztec gods, is almost certainly a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Public schools are prohibited from leading state-sanctioned Christian prayers they would presumably be similarly prohibited from leading state-sanctioned chants to the Aztec god of human sacrifice.

The state board of education will vote on this curriculum next week. Any sane governing body would reject it wholesale. Given the nature of California politics, though, the board is likely to pass it. The best hope for opponents is to strike out some of the most galling material, such as the chants to the Aztec gods, and then devise a long-term strategy to push back against the public education establishment. For now, the activists appear to be driving the narrative—and they will not stop until they have solidified their “counterhegemony.”

Christopher F. Rufo is a contributing editor of City Journal and director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty. Sign up for his weekly newsletter and watch his new documentary, America Lost, which tells the story of three “forgotten American cities.” This article is part of an ongoing series on critical race theory in American schools.


2. They were also lovers of sports and the arts

Ullamaliztli, the famous Aztec ball game. Photo credit: wikimedia

Now, you and I may think it preposterous that warriors who skinned hapless men for a living appreciate the finer things in life, like arts and sports. But to the Aztecs, one had absolutely nothing to do with the other. Sacrifices were deemed an essential part of their evolution. Appeasing the gods was something which guaranteed a more prosperous future, whereas playing sports and indulging in arts of all types – from carving to painting and even poetry – was a way to develop comradery and appreciation of skills.


Religion

The Aztecs believed in many gods. Two of the most important gods they worshipped were Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the sun, and Tlaloc, the rain god. ⎗] Another important god was Quetzalcoatl (feathered snake), the god of learning and civilization. ⎘]

The Aztecs did many things to keep the gods happy. These things included human sacrifices. ⎙] They believed this helped keep the world from ending. ⎗] The Aztecs believed that the gods had created them, and that human sacrifice was the most powerful way of giving back the gift of life. The Aztecs also believed that the gods were in an almost never-ending struggle. The hearts and blood from the sacrifice fed the good gods to give them strength to fight the evil gods. The human sacrifices often took place on the Templo Mayor, the Aztecs' great pyramid temple. ⎗] ⎚]

Huitzilopochtli, as depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis

Spanish drawing of a human sacrifice

The Aztecs ate plants and vegetables that could grow easily in Mesoamerica. The main foods in the Aztec diet were maize, beans, and squash. They often used tomatoes and chili as spices. ⎛] Aztec markets sold fruit, vegetables, spices, flowers, dogs, birds, and cocoa beans. They also created chocolate. However, they did not have sugar, so their chocolate was a strong liquid with chili in it. ⎜] They also made an alcoholic drink called chocolatl. ⎝] These foods later spread around the world. ⎜]


Before the Aztec Empire conquered them, the indigenous (native) people lived in many separate city-states. These were small cities with farmland around them. Each state had its own ruler. Around 1100 AD, these city-states started to fight each other for power and control of the area's resources. [4]

Historians think the Aztecs came to central Mesoamerica around 1200. [5] They came from what is now northwest Mexico. According to historian Lisa Marty:

When the "Mexica" arrived sometime in the 1200s A.D. in Central [Mesoamerica], they were [seen] as crude barbarians. Wearing animal skins and living as hunter-gatherers[,] their lifestyle clashed with the settled agrarian [farm-based] communities of the area. At first, they lived as wanderers eating snakes and vermin . For about 100 years, the Aztecs lived like outcasts wandering in the Central Valley. Thrown out of one territory after another, they were forced to eke out an existence in a place where no one else wanted to live: on a group of small, swampy islands in the middle of . Lake Texcoco[.] [6]

By 1325, the Aztecs had built Tenochtitlan on an island in Lake Texcoco. Tenochtitlan became a city-state that gradually became more and more powerful. [6]

By about 1400, three city-states had grown into small empires. In 1428, these two empires fought the Tepanec War for control of the area. The Texcoco empire made an alliance with some other powerful city-states, including Tenochtitlan, and won the war. These allies were supposed to share power equally as they started to gain control of more land. However, by 1430, Tenochtitlan became the most powerful member of the alliance. It became the capital city of the Aztec Empire, and its ruler became the 'high king' of the Empire. [7]


Patolli

Let's face it - the Aztecs were passionate about one of the most common ancient Aztec games - patolli. Patolli is actually a type of board game, which was played by the common people as well as the nobles. The name comes from the word for small red beans, which were used to play the game. Like the Mesoamerican ball game, patolli was played long before the Aztecs came along.

Patolli and Aztec culture

Our understanding of how patolli fit with religion and ritual is limited. We do know that the god of patolli (and other games) was Macuilxochitl (five flowers), also called Xochipilli. There are aspects of the game that can be compared to the Aztec view of the universe, such as the importance of the numbers 4 and 52 (52 years in the Aztec religious cycle). Sacrifices were made to the "dice" in hopes that the gods would bring victory.

Patolli was very common, and it was normal to see players walking the streets with their patolli mats ready for another challenge.

Playing Patolli

As with Ullamaliztli, betting was common. ਋ut in patolli, betting was central to the game.  It was a game of chance and skill, played on a board shaped like a cross.  Players would bet precious metals and stones, plants, or even themselves on the outcome of the game.

In the play itself, players would move their pieces on and off the board based on the throws of the beans or stones (dimpled like dice).  You can play yourself with this software version of patolli.  Read more about the ancient game of patolli and those who play it today.


Aztec sacrifice

In spite of all the great accomplishments of the empire, it's the Aztec sacrifice that the people are often remembered for.  Why were sacrifices offered?  What were they like?  Read on.

Types of sacrifices

Though the human sacrifice is the most talked about, there were actually many types of sacrifices in the empire.  The people believed that they owed a blood-debt to the gods.   They wanted to avert disaster by paying the endless debt.  Blood was a common theme - the sacrifice that the gods required (see Aztec religion for more on Aztec sacrifice).

So, animals would be sacrificed, as well as humans.  Also, there was ritual blood-letting, where people would cut themselves to offer their blood to the gods.

A picture taken from the Codex Mendoza,
created by native scribes for the Spanish in 1541-1542,
showing a ritual Aztec sacrifice.

Human Sacrifice

Human sacrifice was practised to some extent by many peoples in Mesoamerica (and for that matter, around the world) for many centuries. ਋ut it was the Aztec empire that really took the ritual to new heights.  How many people were sacrificed by the Aztecs?  We don't know how many were sacrificed over the years - it's possible that some accounts are exaggerated - but it was probably thousands each year - tens of thousands or more all together.  Some estimates claim 20,000 a year.

The Aztecs had 18 months in one cycle, and for each of the 18 months there was ritual sacrifice.  The victim would be painted as a part of the ritual, they would be placed on a slab where their heart would be removed and held up to the sun.  The body would be thrown down the stairs of the temple/pyramid.

The body would be disposed of in various ways, such as feeding animals at the zoo or putting on display (the heads).  There are some accounts of cannibalism, but it's uncertain if this was practised to any great extent.

There were other ways that humans would be sacrificed - shot with arrows, drowned, burned, or otherwise mutilated.  Killing in a fight (like the Roman gladiators) also took place.

Both the empire's own people, and their enemies were sacrificed.  The warriors were often involved in a special ritual war called a xochiyaoyotl (or flower war/flowery war).  The object was not to gain territory or kill the enemy, but to capture them as food for the gods. ਋oth sides of the battle were required to fight, and they usually were willing participants.  The people would be captured instead of killed, and then sacrificed.

Aztec sacrifice - why?

Of course, as we mentioned there was great religious significance to the Aztec sacrifice.  What its purposes were beyond that are debated.

There's no doubt that it would have struck fear in the hearts of the natives that were not in the empire, and perhaps terrified the people in the empire as well.  Surely the consolidation and power, not to mention wealth, was in mind as the leaders continued to promote the practice. ਋ut in the end, the incredible loss of human life would weaken an otherwise powerful nation.

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Which are the signs of the Aztec Horoscope?

As in other types of horoscopes (the American Indian one for example), the Aztec zodiac signs are represented by totems of the daily life of the members of this region, and there are animals, plants and even minerals and objects.

The Deer

Dates: 08 January / 20 January / 01 February / 06 February / 18 February / 02 March / 14 March / 26 March / 07 April / 09 April / 19 April / 01 May / 13 May / 25 May / 06 June / 18 June / 30 June / 12 July / 24 July / 05 August / 17 August / 29 August / 10 September / 22 September / 04 October / 16 October / 28 October / 09 November / 21 November / 03 December / 15 December / 27 December.

This animal, one of the first in Aztec zodiacs, represents prestige and rarity because it's difficult to locate in the highlands of Mexico. It's synonymous with shyness, daydreaming, and tenacity, and it's one of the genuinely spiritual diurnal signs, but it would be a mistake to identify it with a shy and kind deer.

They are ruling individuals who protect and sacrifice their own interests for the good of others. This desire for domination, which isn't always immediately apparent to others, sometimes complicates their relationship to the point of making them adopt unconventional forms. If they face promises that they haven't fulfilled, they become obstinate, manipulative and deceptive.

The Cayman

Dates: 04 January / 16 January / 18 January / 02 February / 10 March / 22 March / 03 April / 15 April / 27 April / 09 May / 21 May / 02 June / 14 June / 26 June / 08 July / 20 July / 01 August / 13 August / 25 August / 06 September / 18 September / 30 September / 12 October / 24 October / 05 November / 17 November / 29 November / 11 December / 23 December.

The Cayman symbolizes knowledge in the Aztec zodiac. It's a sign that likes logic, common sense: it organizes, understands, analyzes and has a strong will, especially when it comes to undertaking new projects.

The crocodiles usually have a humanitarian side with strong nutritious and productive energy. They care about their offspring and can work hard to provide security for their family and friends, although they must be careful not to be too protective or overbearing.

The House

Dates: 05 January / 17 January / 29 January / 03 February / 15 February / 27 February / 11 March / 23 March / 04 April / 16 April / 28 April / 10 May / 22 May / 03 June / 15 June / 27 June / 09 July / 21 July / 02 August / 14 August / 26 August / 07 September / 19 September / 01 October / 13 October / 25 October / 06 November / 18 November / 30 November / 12 December / 24 December.

According to Aztec astrology, the House loves others and seeks balance with its soul mate. It's rarely lonely and feels good with the family and the routine, and it is said that there is a certain kind of feminine sweetness in people who embody this sign, which can help dispel the uncertainties and doubts born of darkness or the subconsciousness.

They are individuals with excellent protection for their family, and it's remarkable that the bearers of this sign can, in the Maya, become shamans thanks to their knowledge of the darkest areas of the human mind.

The Flower

Dates: 06 January / 18 January / 30 January / 04 February / 16 February / 28 February / 12 March / 24 March / 05 April / 17 April / 29 April / 11 May / 23 May / 04 June / 16 June / 28 June / 10 July / 22 July / 03 August / 15 August / 27 August / 08 September / 20 September / 02 October / 14 October / 26 October / 07 November / 19 November / 01 December / 13 December / 25 December.

The next sign in our list of Aztec zodiac signs is the Flower. This personality is capricious, tender, and full of sensitivity. The people of the Flower are often romantic, visionary and enthusiastic with artistic gifts and are generally perceived as dreamers.

It's difficult for natives of this sign to understand that the world around them hasn't yet reached an elevated stage and that at the moment it's dominated by materialism or greed, and this leads them to be perceived and unrealistic. Thus, their challenge on a daily basis is to approach life with realism without compromising the great dreams that inhabit them.

The Snake

Dates: 07 January / 19 January / 31 January / 05 February / 17 February / 01 March / 13 March / 25 March / 06 April / 18 April / 30 April / 12 May / 24 May / 05 June / 17 June / 29 June / 11 July / 23 July / 04 August / 16 August / 28 August / 09 September / 21 September / 03 October / 15 October / 27 October / 08 November / 20 November / 02 December / 14 December / 26 December.

In Aztec Astrology the Snake symbolizes the reconciliation between heaven and earth in the history of humankind, as well as certain magical powers. Thus, this can be a very spiritual sign but endowed with powers of which they easily abuse.

If this is your sign, you are an intelligent individual who could be electrifying with your new incoming energy. Snakes usually open their hearts for their sincere desire to serve others. They are very flexible, fluid and tend to acquire authority, although they could poison themselves.

The Jaguar

Dates: 09 January / 21 January / 07 February / 19 February / 03 March / 15 March / 27 March / 08 April / 20 de Abril / 02 May / 14 May / 26 May / 07 June / 19 June / 01 July / 13 July / 25 July / 06 August / 18 August / 30 August/ 11 September / 23 September / 05 October / 17 October / 29 October / 10 November / 22 November / 04 December / 16 December / 28 December.

In the Aztec zodiac, this sign that can become aggressive easily (and that to calm them it will be necessary to get together with a flower or a monkey, according to tradition). This is the typical sign of the Mayan prophets, and because of their ability to see the night, jaguars are often clairvoyant along with a certain amount of intelligence.

They are very focused on their tasks and are rarely open to alternative paths of life, tend to be challenging to capture, and their habit is to enter the lives of others and disappear without warning.

The Cane

Dates: 10 January / 22 January / 08 February / 20 February / 04 March / 16 March / 28 March / 09 April / 21 April / 03 May / 15 May / 27 May / 08 June / 20 June / 02 July / 14 July / 26 July / 07 August / 19 August / 31 August / 12 September / 24 September / 06 October / 18 October / 30 October / 11 November / 23 November / 05 December / 17 December / 29 December.

The cane symbolizes joy in the Aztec zodiacs, optimism and the pleasures of life everything that is simple, after all. Their natives are recognized by their style of authority, and those who have their protection have strong and serene energy.

Although they have to learn to be flexible, they are often leaders in society and wise parents who will fight for a cause they have considered valuable. They need a lot of consideration, and because of their inflexible views and demanding expectations, they don't easily relate intimately with others.

The Rabbit

Dates: 11 January / 23 January / 09 February / 21 February / 05 March / 17 March / 29 March / 10 April / 22 April / 04 May / 16 May / 28 May / 09 June / 21 June / 03 July / 15 July / 27 July / 08 August / 20 August / 01 September / 13 September / 25 September / 07 October / 18 October / 19 October / 31 October / 12 November / 24 November / 06 December / 18 December / 30 December.

Our following entry in the Aztec zodiac signs list is the Rabbit. This sign loves the pleasures of life and is delicate and shy, and hates conflict. According to the Aztec horoscope, they are pleasant companions, always smiling and hardworking, who like to have control over their life.

It usually attracts luck, and has a tendency to ease in their life, and is associated with fertility. When a Rabbit thinks they have given too much, it weakens and may even collapse. They aren't hardy people and the challenge for them would be to create themselves, in their own center.

The Eagle

Dates: 12 January / 24 January / 10 February / 22 February / 06 March / 18 March / 30 March / 11 April / 23 April / 05 May / 17 May / 29 May / 10 June / 22 June / 04 July / 16 July / 28 July / 09 August / 21 August / 02 September / 14 September / 26 September / 08 October / 20 October / 01 November / 13 November / 25 November / 07 December / 19 December / 31 December.

The Aztec zodiac, as we mentioned earlier, uses everyday items and animals as part of its iconography. The Eagle symbolizes strength, virility, courage. They are lucid beings, endowed with a constantly renewed energy. They will overcome the darkness to reach the light. Powerful and ambitious, they have great aspirations for their lives because they are full of energy. The Eagles can imagine their life as a flight of constant sleep and usually have success, material abundance, and fortune, due to their superior perspective and intelligence.

The Eagle has a keen sense of detail and technical guidance if they aim for a goal that is too high and strive to achieve it because of their superior abilities, it can lead them to a vertiginous fall.

The Monkey

Dates: 01 January / 13 January / 25 January / 11 February / 23 February / 07 March / 19 March / 31 March / 12 April / 24 April / 06 May / 18 May / 30 May / 11 June / 23 June / 05 July / 17 July / 29 July / 10 August / 22 August / 03 September / 15 September / 27 September / 09 October / 21 October / 02 November / 14 November / 26 November / 08 December / 20 December.

According to Aztec astrology, those born with this sign are modest, charming and know how to adapt to all situations. They are seducers, but they don't seek their interest it's just natural. According to the Aztec tradition, the monkey would have sent fire to humans out of love and compassion.

"El Mono" (monkey in Spanish) is very creative, knows many things and knows how to unite them. Their company is very nice, they are pranksters, and they generally have the skills of artists, although they can become uncontrollable, because they may be in danger of being main characters.

The Flint

Dates: 02 January / 14 January / 26 January / 12 February / 24 February / 08 March / 20 March / 01 April / 13 April / 25 April / 07 May / 19 Mayo / 31 Mayo / 12 June / 24 June / 06 July / 18 July / 30 July / 11 August / 23 August / 04 September / 16 September / 28 September / 10 October / 22 October / 03 November / 15 November / 27 November / 09 December / 21 December.

Objects were successfully used to depict Aztec zodiac sings and so the Flint was introduced. This sign uses its internal qualities to distinguish truth from falsehood, and it's said about them that they are like Saint Michael the Archangel, who with its sword separates good from evil. The natives of this sign have very definite ideas, decided on the good and the bad.

They are very honest and want to serve to discern the truth they can see in others the hidden intentions from the remotest distance, and it is said that they can get information about the problems between people (or perceive the malicious plans of others).

The Dog

Dates: 03 January / 15 January / 27 January / 13 February / 25 February / 09 March / 21 March / 02 April / 14 April / 26 April / 08 May / 20 May / 01 June / 13 June / 25 June / 07 July / 19 July / 31 July / 12 August / 24 August / 05 September / 17 September / 29 September / 11 October / 23 October / 04 November / 16 November / 28 November / 10 December / 22 December.

If this is your Aztec sign, it means that you are a generous person who is willing to do anything to help and feel useful. We're talking about a very brave and loyal sign, very intuitive and very shy (which doesn't mean that they can't be very sensual and know how to enjoy life).

The natives of the Dog are considered warm, alert and courageous people, and if they find the right mission in life to be faithful, they can achieve great things. They love being part of the teams and, often, they are the leaders. Among the Mayans, the dog is considered a strong sexual sign and, paradoxically, despite its religious loyalty, it's considered to be inclined to sexual getaways.


15 Aztec Gods - History

Every ancient culture has one - a goddess so beautiful and alluring that mortal men fall to their knees in awe of Her and wars are fought to gain Her hand.

To the Greeks, She was Aphrodite to the Romans, She was Venus in the misty dawn of Britain, She was Gwenhwyfar and to the Norse, She was Freya. She is the Goddess of Love and Fertility and, in Aztec Mexico, Her name was Xochiquetzal.

Xochiquetzal (pronounced shOw-chee-KET-sAl) was responsible for all that is beautiful in Mexico. The white sand beaches the towering pyramids the breath-taking canyons, gorges and waterfalls the glorious dawns and sunsets the lush greenery of the jungle the grace of the cloudy mountains the sweeping vistas of its deserts the mystery of its deep caves and cenotes and the warmth of the Mexican people, all come under Her domain. If it is beautiful and Mexican, then Xochiquetzal has cast her eye upon it.

Her name translates broadly as 'sacred flower' or 'flower feather'. Xochi is Nahuatl for 'flower' while the second part, 'quetzel', references the strikingly colored birds that still live in the highlands of western Mexico. In Nahuatl, 'quetzelli' means 'brilliant tail feather', which describes these vibrant birds very well. The goddess wore those same feathers in Her head-dress and She was followed everywhere by an entourage of birds and butterflies.


'Xochiquetzal' by Midnightstouch
Every eight years, the Aztecs held a festival in honor of their Goddess of Love. All those attending it would wear masks replendent with feathers. They represented those birds and butterflies that would trail Xochiquetzal. Each year, this deity was the guardian of the 20 days of Xochitl. During this period, beauty and truth reigned. People would take care over their appearance and would share compliments, but only if they were truthful. It was a great time for an ego boost!

Her holy days were times of celebration and dancing, as well as the more carnal activities. There was no judgement here. Xochiquetzal is the patron of all who love She is the guardian of prostitutes. Every time the wild dance causes lovers to catch each other's eye, then look for the presense of Xochiquetzal. She is human desire She is the dance She is the romantic meal and the whispered words.


But this Aztec goddess doesn't leave when the union is made. She was also there during pregnancy and childbirth. She was the patron of young mothers everywhere.

However, this was the Aztec people, so some aspects of Her worship appear horrific to the modern sensibilities.

As the Goddess of Beauty, Xochiquetzal claimed the artisians, sculptors, craftspeople and silversmiths amongst Her people. Every seven years, this sector of society would meet to select the most beautiful young woman they could find amongst the population. She would spend a year living in luxury, as the very personification of Xochiquetzal. People would confess their darkest secrets and deepest desires to her. Her every need would be attended to and she would wear the most wonderful clothes and precious jewels.

Then after the year was up, she would be ritually sacrificed, during the festival of Xochiquetzal. It is believed that her skin would then be flayed from her dead body and stitched into an outfit. This was worn by the chief, male artisian, while he wove his own craft. This would bring the Goddess into the beauty of his weaving and bless their community for another eight years.


Amongst the pantheon of Aztec deities, Xochiquetzal has a twin brother: the flower prince, Xochipilli. She had many lovers and husbands. The first was Tlaloc, the Rain God, as rain and beauty make all of the wonderful vegetation in Mexico. She was also famously abducted by Tezcatlipoca, a central God in Aztec religion. He created the whole world, until a jealous quarrel with Xochiquetzal's son, Quetzalcoatl, led to the destruction of it all. Fortunately for us, Quetzalcoatl then recreated the Earth, thus we have the planet to live on!

(Incidentally, when the Spanish attempted to convert the Aztecs into Christianity, they found resistance. The Aztecs, ironically, found the notion of a crucified deity to be distasteful. Those evangelizing friars only made headway when they learned about Tezcatlipoca, the sacrificed God. They were able to link Him with Jesus Christ and Xochiquetzal with Mary, His mother. Hence the Aztecs were Christianized.)

Mexico is a truly beautiful country, with some of the most exquisite arts and crafts in the world. It is certainly a setting for romance and love. Xochiquetzal may now be merged entirely with Mary, Mother of God, but, as the Mother of Quetzalcoatl, She always was. Next time a magnificient Mexican landscape opens up before you, and you are hand in hand with your lover, nod towards the nearest bird or butterfly. Xochiquetzal has you blessed.


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