Aztec mythology is incredibly fascinating and filled with interesting gods, myths, and legends. That is why today, I’ve decided to share this beginner’s guide to Aztec mythology because I feel that it is not commonly researched by the average person.
Before jumping in, I wanted to apologize for being silent for the last 15 days. I was going through some family things but I should be back to my normal schedule from now on. On an exciting note, I have a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT coming this Saturday, and because of that, I’ve decided to add an extra blog post this week on Wednesday. Make sure you follow all my social media accounts because those will be the first places where I announce it. The links to them are down below!
I did my best to find the “main” gods and goddesses and use factual sources, but I will link all my sources down below for you to check them out at your own leisure too. I hope you enjoy!
Here is your beginner’s guide to Aztec mythology.
The Gods & Goddesses
Tezcatlipoca “Smoking Mirror” – God of the nocturnal sky, ancestral memory, and time
Quetzalcoatl “Feathered Serpent” – God of life, wind, and the morning star
Tlaloc – God of rainstorm, water, and thunder
Huitzilopochtli “Left-Handed Hummingbird” – Patron god of Mexica of Tenochtitlan and the sun
Metztli – God of the moon
Chalchiuhtlicue “Jade Her Skirt” – Goddess of springs
Xiuhtecuhtli “Turquoise Lord” – God of fire
Mictlantecuhtli – Lord of the underworld
Mictlancihuatl – Queen of the underworld
Omeoteotl/Tonacatecuhtli – Creator gods
The 13 Heavens (Lowest to Highest)
Ilhuicatl meaning: Celestial realm
Ilhuicatl-Meztli “Sky where the moon moves” – Dwellers: Meztli, Tlaloc, Ehecatl (god of the wind)
Ilhuicatl-Tetlaliloc “Where the stars move” – Dwellers: Citlalicue (goddess that created stars)
Ilhuicatl-Tonatiuh “Where the sun moves” – Where the sun travels before returning to Mictlan, dwellers: Tonatiuh (god of the fifth sun)
Ilhuicatl-Huitztlan “The sky of the big star” – Dwellers: Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli (god of the dawn), Huixtocihuatl (goddess of salt)
Ilhuicatl-Mamaloaco “Sky that is sinking” – Where the comets are in motion
Ilhuicatl-Yayauhco “Dark green space” – Where night comes and spreads, dwellers: Tezcatlipoca (god of providence & ruler of the North)
Ilhuicatl-Xoxoaucho “Region of blue” – Where the sun shows its face at dawn, dwellers: Huitzilopochtli
Ilhuicatl-Nanatzcayan “Where the obsidian knives are creaking” – Place of storms and the heavenly residence of Mictlantecuhtli, dwellers: Mictlantecuhtli, Mictlancihuatl, Itztlacoliuhqui (god of darkness & storms), Tlaloc
Ilhuicatl-Teoiztac “Region of white” – Residence of the white god and stellar spirits, dwellers: Quetzalcoatl, Tzitzimime (stellar/star spirits)
Ilhuicatl-Teocozauhco “Region of yellow” – Residence of the yellow god, dwllers: Tonatiuh
Ilhuicatl-Teotlatlauhco “Region of red” – Residence of the fire god, described as having a red sky with rays to symbolize that fire was the first creation of the world, dwellers: Xiuhtecuhtli, Chantico (goddess of homes and volcanoes)
Ilhuicatl-Teteocan “Sky that is the place of the gods” – This is the home of the gods, the place where they can reveal their true faces and are born/reborn, ruled by the 4 creator lords (the Tezcatlipocas): Tezcatlipoca, Xipe-Totec (god of force), Quetzalcoatl & Huitzilopochtli
Ilhuicatl-Omeyocan “Place of duality” – Residence of the creator couple, source of the gods and the creation of the universe
The Creation of Humans – An Aztec Myth
Quetzalcoatl, the god of life, created the new generation of humans for the 5th age, after the humans from the previous age perished. However, it was no easy task. Quetzalcoatl had to journey to the underworld, the home of Mictlantecuhtli, and ask for new bones to create these humans.
Mictlantecuhtli would only give up the bones if Quetzalcoatl could successfully make a sound when blowing into a conch shell with no holes. Quetzalcoatl succeeded though, with the help of trickery. He had worms drill holes in the shell and then filled it with bees! While this was a trick, Mictlantecuhtli fulfilled his promise and gave Quetzalcoatl the bones.
On Quetzalcoatl’s way out of the underworld, a deep pit appeared and he fell into it, dropping the bones. The bones broke underneath his feet and became all different lengths. However, he managed to bring all the bones back into upper world and created the new era of humans. It is said that because he dropped the bones and they were no longer the same length, this is the reason why some people are taller or shorter than others.
And that is the human origin story in Aztec mythology.
I hope you all enjoyed this simple yet informative guide to Aztec mythology, and if you would like to see a part 2 make sure you like this post or comment down below.
Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below!
Thanks for reading 🙂
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