Who could send down a bolt of lightning when angered? Who played an important role in the creation of the sun and moon? Who was the supposed inventor of war for the Aztecs? From gods worshipped for fertility to those that directed the elements, this article focuses on facts associated with some of the gods of the ancient Aztec culture: Tlaloc, Ehecatl, and Xipe Totec.
Tlaloc , God of rain, water, and fertility with the power to send hail, lightning and thunder
Facts About Tlaloc
Ã‚Â· Tlaloc was married to the goddess of flowers (Xochiquetzal), but lost his wife to Tezcatlipoca, who kidnapped his bride.
Ã‚Â· The god was associated with an afterlife known as Tlalocan, which was described as a place with a springtime that never ended and a paradise filled with green plants. If you died a violent death linked to water (like lightning, drowning or a disease born out of the water), you were expected to end up in Tlalocan.
Ã‚Â· After he married the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue, he fathered Tecciztecatl , a lunar deity who has been described as the ‘old man on the moon.’
Ehecatl , God of the wind
Facts About Ehecatl
Ã‚Â· Ehecatl is a pre-Columbian deity that was linked to the wind. He appears in Aztec mythology, as well as the myths of other cultures that lived in the central Mexico region of Mesoamerica.
Ã‚Â· In art, the god was sometimes depicted with two protruding masks, where the wind blew.
Ã‚Â· A myth involving Ehecatl centers on the creation of their culture. After the gods were not satisfied with the men they had created, the fourth sun was destroyed. The gods met in Teotohuacan, where Nanahuatzin and Tecciztecatl jumped into a sacrificial fire. As a result, they became the sun and the moon, and required Ehectatl to blow hard on them to get them positioned in the sky. At first, only the sun moved, but as it started gaining momentum, the moon followed.
Ã‚Â· Xipe Totec , God of fertility, agriculture, vegetation, disease, and the seasons.
Facts About Xipe Totec
Ã‚Â· The Aztecs believed that it was Xipe Totec who invented war.
Ã‚Â· A temple dedicated to Xipe Totec was called Yopico.
Ã‚Â· Xipe Totec was not always associated with positive connections. He was also said to cause rashes, skin infections, eye problems, and abscesses on humans.
Ã‚Â· If sculptures of Xipe Totec were constructed in his honor, it is thought that rituals may have called for dressing the objects in the flayed skin of sacrificial victims.
Ã‚Â· A method that worshippers used to make a sacrifice to Xipe Totec was to use an arrow. A chosen victim would be tied in the spread-eagle position across a wooden frame. He was then shot with a multitude of arrows in such a way that his blood would cover the ground. Other methods of sacrifice included tossing people into a firepit and burning the body or cutting open their throats.
Ã‚Â· No one is for sure where Xipe Totec originated. However, the god was widely worshipped in central Mexico during the same time as the Spanish Conquest. He was also known throughout the majority of Mesoamerica. Parts of the Yucatan Peninsula have also displayed recognition of the god. During the early Postclassic (between 500 and 1453 CE), worshipping of Xipe Totec also took place along the Gulf Coast. As for the Aztecs, the deity most likely became a significant figure following the Aztec conquest of the Gulf Coast, which occurred in the middle of the 15th century.