The Aztecs built huge pyramid temples with carved sacrifical
stones on top of them. Each day, night, week, month and year had
its own deity demanding blood. The Aztecs thought that failure to
honor the deities with blood sacrifices would cause the world to end at
the end of their 52-year calendar (equal to our century). The sacrifices
given to the Greatest God/desses usually required the living heart to be
cut from the body of a human. Many times they used humans who were
war captives. The beating heart was then shown to the Sun and then
thrown onto the sacrificial fire. After this was finished, the body
was then skinned and cut up for cannibalistic ceremonies performed by the
priests and warriors. This rite was held every year and the more
elaborate forms of the rite were held every 13 years.
The Gods and Goddesses
Other Names: "Four hundred rabbits."
Description: Moon Gods. Depicted with black and white faces and moon-shaped nose ornaments.
Other Names: "Precious green lady", "Precious jewel lady", "Precious jade skirt."
Description: Special colors are blue and white. She loves flowers. Flowers were offered to her and cotton headdresses made in her honor. Unpredictable temper. Rules Over: Storms, youthful beauty, whirlpools, spring growth, love, flowers, spirits, streams.
Description: Goddess of Fire. She symbolizes pleasure and pain together. Her symbols are a red serpent and cactus spikes.
Rules Over: Fire, wealth and precious stones within the Earth.
Description: Popular Maize Goddess as maize was considered the giver of life. She wore a large four-sided headdress and carried a double maize cob.
Rules Over: Maize.
Other Names: "Woman snake."
Rules Over: Childbirth.
Description: Corn God which also had female forms. During April festivals done in his honor, reeds were smeared with blood and put at the house doors and an offering.
Rules Over: Earthly food.
Other Names: "Snake Skirt", "Serpent Lady."
Description: Earth Goddess, Great Mother. She was both positive and negative, could bless or harm. She had claws and a skirt of snakes.
Rules Over: All Life, famines and earthquakes.
Other Names: "Golden Bells"
Description: Moon Goddess. Wore golden bells on her cheeks.
Other Names: Ueuecoyotl, "Old, old Coyote."
Description: Mischievious deity who was an uncontrolled and trickster God.
Rules Over: Gaiety, physical sex, irrational fun.
Other Names: "Hummingbird on the Left (South)", "Left-Handed Humming Bird"
Description: National god of the Aztecs. His festival was one of 25 days of a blood orgy with hearts and blood of prisoners dumped on his altar.
Rules Over: Sun, death, war, young men, warriors, storms, guide for journeys.
Description: Terrible aspect of the mother goddess. During her winter festival, a female's heart was cut out and her chopped off head carried during a parade.
Other Names: "Twisted obsidian one", "Curved obsidian knife."
Description: An aspect of the god Tezcatlipoca.
Rules Over: Darkness, terrible cold, volcanic eruptions, disaster.
Other Names: "Obsidian knife butterfly."
Description: A very beautiful female goddess with death symbols scrawled on her face. A mixture of sensuality and death.
Rules Over: Fate, stars, agriculture.
Description: She is depicted naked, holding up a bowl of pulque and seated on a throne of a tortoise and snake. Night was her sacred time and she carried a cord that she used to aid women in child birth. She is the Goddess who discovered and introduced the Gods to pulque.
Rules Over: Pulque, Childbirth.
Other Names: Tecciziecatl.
Description: Represented as an old man with a white shell on his back and sometimes with butterfly wings. The physical Moon at its height.
Other Names: "Lord of the land of the dead."
Description: God of the Underworld and North. Depicted as a skeleton with red bones.
Rules Over: The Dead.
Other Names: "Cloud serpent."
Description: National god of the Chichimecs, god of the pole star. Victims to be sacrificed to him were painted white or red. It was thought that they turned into stars which were considered food for the Sun.
Rules Over: Hunting, weapons that strike from a distance (spears, javelins).
Other Names: "Most precious twin", "Feathered serpent", "plumed serpent", "Morning Star."
Description: Great priest, Master of Life. God of the wind, sea breeze and life-breath. A creator god who identified with the planet Venus. He is a 'good' god as he required only one human sacrifice a year.
Rules Over: Civilization, the arts, metallurgy, fate.
Other Names: "Mirror that smokes", "The Shadow", "He who is at the shoulder."
Description: One of two most known about gods of Mexico, he was a local deity of the Toltecs who was later adopted by the Aztecs. The dark aspect of Quetzalcoatl, his symbol was the jaguar. Evil God of warriors, magicians and sorcerers.
Rules Over: Divination (especially black mirrors), drought, harvest, dancing, music, warriors, magick, cold, north, night.
Other Names: "The One who mankes things sproud", "Lord of the sources of water", "Lord of the waters."
Description: An ancient Nature and fertility god who required constant human sacrifice. Shown holding four pitchers from which he pours the rain.
Rules Over: Thunder, mountains, rains, hail, fertility, water, clouds, thunder, lightning.
Other Names: "Lord of the house of dawn."
Description: The morning star Venus. An aspect of Quetzalcoatl.
Rules Over: Dawn.
Other Names: "Goddess of Filth", "Dirt Goddess", "Earth Goddess", "Lady of Witches."
Description: Goddess of the cresented moon. Terrible aspect of the Goddess. She rode naked on a broom holding a red snake and blood-smeared rope.
Rules Over: Physical love, fertility, death.
Other Names: Pilzintecutli, "Royal Lord."
Description: Sun God who received daily sacrifices of human hearts and blood.
Rules Over: Fate, warriors who die in battle, women who die in childbirth.
Other Names: Teteoinnan, "Our grandmother."
Description: Mother of the Gods, personification of all the aspects of Nature. She had a festival; in August which honored midwives and women healers.
Rules Over: Healing, sweat baths.
Other Names: "The flayed one."
Description: The Aztecs celebrated his festival on February 22 by skinning prisoners alive to help the growing corn.
Rules Over: Agriculture, west, goldsmiths, self-torture to give penance.
Other Names: "Flower Plume", "Flower Feather."
Description: Mother of the maize god. Goddess of the underworld and flowers.
Rules Over: Underworld, flowers (especially marigolds which are laid on graves), sexual love, twins, children, craftsmen.
Other Names: "The Animal", Lord of the Evening Star, Lord of the Underworld.
Description: A monster animal with its feet on reversed. The evil form of Venus and adversary of the Sun. He did bring humankind and fire from the underworld, though.
Rules Over: Fire, Bad luck.
Other Names: "Lord Nose", "He who goes before."
Rules Over: Merchants and traders.