Aztec Gods: Coatlicue

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Coatlicue (/kwɑːtˈliːkweɪ/; Classical Nahuatl: cōātl īcue, Nahuatl pronunciation: [koːaːˈtɬíːkʷe] (About this soundlisten), “skirt of snakes”), also known as Teteoh innan (Classical Nahuatl: tēteoh īnnān, pronounced [teːˌtéoʔ ˈíːnːaːn̥], “mother of the gods”), is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. The goddesses Tocih “our grandmother”, and Cihuacoatl “snake woman”, the patron of women who die in childbirth, were also seen as aspects of Coatlicue.


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Aztec Gods: Chimalma

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Chimalman or Chīmalmā is a goddess in Aztec mythology, and was considered by the Aztecs to be the mother of the Toltec god Quetzalcoatl. Her name means “shield-hand.”

Several oral traditions consider that Chimalman is that she was a spirit which accompanied the Azteca from the homeland of Aztlán. Huitzilopochtli and Quetzalcoatl were spiritual entities adopted from the Toltec legacy when the Azteca lived among the Chichimeca. As with many Aztec myths, there are multiple versions of the Chīmalmā story depending on which tribe and time period is examined.

According to the Manuscript of 1558, section 7, the begetting of Quetzalcoatl happened in this way:

“And then when Mixcoatl went to… Huitznahuac, the woman Chimalman came out to confront him… She stood naked, without skirt or shift.” While she stood thus, Mixcoatl shot an arrow “between her legs”—on two separate occasions. “And when this had occurred, he took the woman of Huitznauac, the one who is Chimalman, and lay with her and so she became pregnant.”

Chīmalmā, Códice Laud
Another version indicates that Mixcoatl saw Chimalman while hunting in the Morelos valley and fell in love with her. When his efforts to approach her failed, he became angry and shot five arrows at her, all of which she caught in her bare hand. She was given the name “shield-hand” and they were later married, but unable to conceive a child. After praying on the altar of Quetzalcoatl, the priest told Chimalman to swallow a small precious stone, after which she became pregnant. This angered Quetzalcoatl’s brother, Tezcatlipoca, such that he persuaded others to kill Mixcoatl. Chimalman fled to her hometown of Tepoztlan and died giving birth to her son Topiltzin. Topiltzin would later discover his identity as Quetzalcoatl and that he was sent to help the Toltec civilization. This version is similar to the Codex Chimalpopoca, that indicated, “…Quetzalcoatl was placed in her belly when she swallowed a piece of jade.”


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Aztec Gods: Itzpapalotl

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In Aztec religion, Ītzpāpālōtl [iːt͡spaːˈpaːlot͡ɬ] (“Obsidian Butterfly”) was a striking skeletal warrior goddess who ruled over the paradise world of Tamoanchan, the paradise of victims of infant mortality and the place identified as where humans were created. She is the mother of Mixcoatl and is particularly associated with the moth Rothschildia orizaba from the family Saturniidae. Some of her associations are birds and fire. However, she primarily appears in the form of the Obsidian Butterfly.


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Aztec Gods: Toci

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Toci (/ˈtoʊsi/; Classical Nahuatl: tocih, pronounced [ˈtó.siʔ], “our grandmother”) is a deity figuring prominently in the religion and mythology of the pre-Columbian Aztec civilization of Mesoamerica. In Aztec mythology she is seen as an aspect of the mother goddess Coatlicue, and is thus labeled “mother of the gods” (Classical Nahuatl: tēteoh īnnān). She is also called Tlalli Iyollo (Classical Nahuatl: tlālli īyōlloh, pronounced [ˌtɬáː.lːi iːˈjóː.lːoʔ], “heart of the earth”).


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Aztec Gods: Tonacacihuatl

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In Aztec mythology, Tōnacācihuātl (Nahuatl pronunciation: [toːnakaˈsiwaːt͡ɬ]) was a creator and goddess of fertility, worshiped for peopling the earth and making it fruitful. Most Colonial-era manuscripts equate her with Ōmecihuātl. Tōnacācihuātl was the consort of Tōnacātēcuhtli. She is also referred to as Ilhuicacihuātl or “Heavenly Lady.”


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Aztec Gods: Chicomecoatl

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In Aztec mythology, Chicomecōātl [t͡ʃikomeˈkoːaːt͡ɬ] “Seven Serpent”, was the Aztec goddess of agriculture during the Middle Culture period. She is sometimes called “goddess of nourishment”, a goddess of plenty and the female aspect of maize.

More generally, Chicomecōātl can be described as a deity of food, drink, and human livelihood.

She is regarded as the female counterpart of the maize god Centeōtl, their symbol being an ear of corn. She is occasionally called Xilonen, (meaning doll made of corn), who was married also to Tezcatlipoca.


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Aztec Gods: Xilonen

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In Aztec mythology, Chicomecōātl [t͡ʃikomeˈkoːaːt͡ɬ] “Seven Serpent”, was the Aztec goddess of agriculture during the Middle Culture period. She is sometimes called “goddess of nourishment”, a goddess of plenty and the female aspect of maize.

More generally, Chicomecōātl can be described as a deity of food, drink, and human livelihood.

She is regarded as the female counterpart of the maize god Centeōtl, their symbol being an ear of corn. She is occasionally called Xilonen, (meaning doll made of corn), who was married also to Tezcatlipoca.


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Aztec Gods: Piltzintecuhtli

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In Aztec mythology, Piltzintecuhtli [piɬt͡sinˈtekʷt͡ɬi] was a god of the rising sun, healing, and visions, associated with Tōnatiuh. The name means “the Young Prince”. It may have been another name for Tōnatiuh, but he is also mentioned as a possibly unique individual, the husband of Xōchiquetzal. He was the lord of the third hour of the night. Piltzintecuhtli was said to be the son of Oxomoco and Cipactonal (the first man and woman that were created) and was seen as a protector of children. He was identified as the Youthful Sun.

Known also as “7 Flower,” he was also a god of hallucinatory plants, including mushrooms.

He was considered the father of Centeōtl, a deity who was sacrificed in order to bring forth plants.


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Aztec Gods: Centeotl

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In Aztec mythology, Centeōtl [senˈteoːt͡ɬ] (also known as Centeocihuatl or Cinteotl) is the maize deity. Cintli [ˈsint͡ɬi] means “dried maize still on the cob” and teōtl [ˈteoːt͡ɬ] means “deity”. According to the Florentine Codex, Centeotl is the son of the earth goddess, Tlazolteotl and solar deity Piltzintecuhtli, the planet Mercury. Born on the day-sign 1 Xochitl. Another myth claims him as the son of the goddess Xochiquetzal. The majority of evidence gathered on Centeotl suggests that he is usually portrayed as a young man (although a debate is still ongoing), with yellow body colouration. Some specialists believe that Centeotl used to be the maize goddess Chicomecōātl. Centeotl was considered one of the most important deities of the Aztec era. There are many common features that are shown in depictions of Centeotl. For example, there often seems to be maize in his headdress. Another striking trait is the black line passing down his eyebrow, through his cheek and finishing at the bottom of his jaw line. These face markings are similarly and frequently used in the late post-classic depictions of the ‘foliated’ Maya maize god.


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