Aztec Gods and Goddesses, Aztec religion and Aztec mythology – are the pillars on which Aztec civilization stood strong. The Aztecs relied on the Almighty in form of several Gods and Goddesses. Their opinion was that if Gods are satisfied nothing else could harm them. A security from the divine rage was a way towards peaceful existence.
In talking about Aztec religion and Gods, we would see that it was divine power, which the Aztecs believed made things possible. This tribal group however believed that it was the gods who made the sun to rise, the rain to fall, the crops to grow and the fire to burn. For them Nature was an embodiment of god himself.
According to the Aztecs, they resided in the five eras or “suns”. These natives thought that a day would come when they would have to face the ultimate, when everything would be destroyed and the Aztec sun would set forever. Now the question was how could they delay this destruction. They thought that if they become successful in satisfying the gods by feeding and worshipping them with human blood their depletion would be restricted and deferred. They attempted to quench the thirst of the Gods by sacrificing innumerable war prisoners. The execution process was either committed on elevated pyramids or in front of temples.
It was a form of divine jubilee – the way the Gods of the Aztecs were worshipped. Most of the celebrations happened according to the time denoted by the sacred calendar. The calendar highlighted significant farming events like planting, rainfall or harvest. The priests however, were considered precursors of religion whose lives centered around religion itself. The priests mostly lived in temples and engaged themselves by looking after sacred fires and praying to the Almighty. They almost appeared unusual because it was a custom that they should paint their whole body black, wear black clothes, and never allow their hair to be trimmed or cut. However, the priests were held in high respect in the Aztec society. They were in fact the overseers of the Great Temple of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
The Aztecs or more popularly known as the Mexicans, had strong faith in religion and supernatural elements. They were believers of the paranormal and loved everything mystical. When conventionally judged the Aztecs are considered mythological believers, but when judged from the perspective of their prejudices they simply appear to be pagans. There are in fact innumerable Aztec Goddesses and Gods to rule the various aspects of Aztec life and culture.
A Brief List Of Aztec Goddesses And Gods
- The God who ruled the underworld was Mictlantecuhtli – The Lord of Death
- The god who ruled the upper world was Ometeotl – Quite interestingly he is both male and female
- The God to create the world was Quetzalcoatl – He is also the God of the wind who is portrayed as the bearded old man
- The God of war and hunting was Camaxtli – He is one of the four creator Gods
- Te Aztec god of obsidian knife was Huitzilopochtli – He directly sprang from his mother’s womb to kill his siblings
- Xochipilli – The God of flowers, maze, love, games, song and dance
- Tlaloc – the God who makes things grow. He is also known as seashell serpent
- Chalchiuhtlicue – Goddess of lakes and streams and she is also personified as youthful beauty
- Xipe Totec – God of suffering, diseases and goldsmiths
- Xochiquetzal – Goddess of erotic love, vegetation, artistry and prostitutes
For these tribal people Gods were both generous and destructive. The divine beings were the ones to regulate solar energy and the falling of the rains. The Aztecs believed that the Gods decided their fates. Therefore, if any misfortune happened to an Aztec individual it was thought to be an outcome of the divine rage. As a way to satisfy the Gods, large monumental ceremonial centers were being built and several religious rites were followed with utmost sincerity and devotion. Human blood and wealthy possessions were used as means to satisfy the Gods of the Aztecs.
For the Aztecs, religion made them live and religion caused their death. For them Aztec gods were responsible for their survival, well being and misfortune. Their religious beliefs at times seemed to be irrational sentiments, which to some extent restricted their potentials and development in life.