Great Aztec Gods
social 8 webpage, Miss hall
Dec 4th 2013
In Aztec religion, Huitzilopochtli is a Meso-american deity of war, sun, human sacrifice and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. He was also the national god of the Mexicas, also known as Aztecs, of Tenochtitlan. Many in the pantheon of deities of the Aztecs were inclined to have a fondness for a particular aspect of warfare. However, Huitzilopochtli was known as the primary god of war in ancient Mexico. Since he was the patron god of the Mexica, he was credited with both the victories and defeats that the Mexica people had on the battlefield. It is important to remember that the defeat of their patron deity meant the defeat of his people. This is one of the many reasons why they were concerned with providing exquisite tribute and food for him. Not only was it important for him to survive his battles, but the fate of the Mexica people would have rested in the victory of Huitzilopochtli. Huitzilopochtli was the god that sent the Aztec people on their journey for a new home. He told them that they would make their home in the place where an eagle was perched on a cactus with a snake in its mouth and a heart in its claws
Tezcatlipoca was a central deity in Aztec religion, and his main festival was the Toxcatl ceremony celebrated in the month of May. One of the four sons of Ometeotl, he is associated with a wide range of concepts, including the night sky, the night winds, hurricanes, the north, the earth, obsidian, enmity, discord, ruler ship, divination, temptation, jaguars, sorcery, beauty, war and strife. His name in the Nahuatl language is often translated as "Smoking Mirror" and alludes to his connection to obsidian, the material from which mirrors were made in Meso-america and which was used for shamanic rituals.When depicted he was usually drawn with a black and a yellow stripe painted across his face. He is often shown with his right foot replaced with an obsidian mirror or a bone—an allusion to the creation myth in which he loses his foot battling with the Earth Monster. Sometimes the mirror was shown on his chest, and sometimes smoke would emanate from the mirror. Tezcatlipoca's nagual, his animal counterpart, was the jaguar and his jaguar aspect was the deity Tepeyollotl (Mountainheart)
Quetzalcoatl is a Meso-american deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and means "feathered serpent". The worship of a feathered serpent deity is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BC or first century AD. The worship of the feathered serpent deity was based in the primary Mexican religious center of Cholula. It is in this period that the deity is known to have been named "Quetzalcoatl" by his Nahua followers. Early Spanish sources written by clerics tend to identify the god Quetzalcoatl of these narratives with Hernán Cortés,an identification which is also a source of diversity of opinions about the nature of Quetzalcoatl. Among the Aztecs, whose beliefs are the best-documented in the historical sources, Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. Quetzalcoatl was one of several important gods in the Aztec pantheon, along with the gods Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli.
Tlaloc was an important deity in Aztec religion; a god of rain, fertility, and water. He was a beneficent god who gave life and sustenance, but he was also feared for his ability to send hail, thunder, and lightning, and for being the lord of the powerful element of water. He is also associated with caves, springs, and mountains, in which he was believed to reside. He is known for having demanded child sacrifices.The cult of Tlaloc is one of the oldest and most universal in ancient Mexico. Although the name is Aztec, the idea of a storm god especially identified with mountaintop shrines and with life-giving rain is as old as Teotihuacan. Tlaloc means "he who is the embodiment of the earth." This suggests that the deity was identified with the earth and ground water before evolving into a mountaintop rain god. In fact, an underground Tlaloc shrine has been found at Teotihuacan.In Aztec cosmology, the four corners of the universe are marked by "the four Tlalocs" which both hold up the sky and function as the frame for the passing of time. Tlaloc was the patron of the Calendar day Mazatl. In Aztec mythology, Tlaloc was the lord of the third sun which was destroyed by fire. In the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, one of the two shrines on top of the Great Temple was dedicated to Tlaloc. The high priest who was in charge of the Tlaloc shrine was called "Quetzalcoatl Tlaloc Tlamacazqui." It was the northernmost side of this temple that was dedicated to Tlaloc, the god of rain and agricultural fertility. In this area, a bowl was kept in which sacrificial hearts were often placed because if it were to rain, the gods who delivered the rain would need to be fed, for these people believed everything in nature was alive