⒈ Aztec Mythology

Sunday, August 22, 2021 8:12:58 AM

Aztec Mythology

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The Aztec myth of the unlikeliest sun god - Kay Almere Read

This vision fulfilled a prophecy telling them that they should found their new home on that spot. The Aztecs built their city of Tenochtitlan on that site, building a great artificial island , which today is in the center of Mexico City. This legendary vision is pictured on the Coat of Arms of Mexico. To the Aztec, the Toltec were the originators of all culture; " Toltecayotl " was a synonym for culture. Aztec legends identify the Toltecs and the cult of Quetzalcoatl with the legendary city of Tollan , which they also identified with the more ancient Teotihuacan. Because the Aztec adopted and combined several traditions with their own earlier traditions, they had several creation myths. One of these, the Five Suns describes four great ages preceding the present world, each of which ended in a catastrophe, and "were named in function of the force or divine element that violently put an end to each one of them".

She found a ball filled with feathers and placed it in her waistband, becoming pregnant with Huitzilopochtli. Her other children became suspicious as to the identity of the father and vowed to kill their mother. She gave birth on Mount Coatepec, pursued by her children, but the newborn Huitzilopochtli defeated most of his brothers, who became the stars. He also killed his half-sister Coyolxauhqui by tearing out her heart using a Xiuhcoatl a blue snake and throwing her body down the mountain. This was said to inspire the Aztecs to rip the hearts out of their human sacrifices and throw their bodies down the sides of the temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, who represents the sun chasing away the stars at dawn.

Our age Nahui-Ollin , the fifth age , or fifth creation, began in the ancient city of Teotihuacan [ citation needed ]. According to the myth, all the gods had gathered to sacrifice themselves and create a new age. Although the world and the sun had already been created, it would only be through their sacrifice that the sun would be set into motion and time as well as history could begin. The most handsome and strongest of the gods, Tecuciztecatl , was supposed to sacrifice himself but when it came time to self-immolate, he could not jump into the fire.

Instead, Nanahuatl the smallest and humblest of the gods, who was also covered in boils, sacrificed himself first and jumped into the flames. The sun was set into motion with his sacrifice and time began. Humiliated by Nanahuatl's sacrifice, Tecuciztecatl too leaped into the fire and became the moon. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: List of Aztec gods and supernatural beings. ISBN Panorama Editorial ed.

Otilia Meza Patricia Turner and Charles Russell Coulter Oxford University Press ed. Dictionary of Ancient Deities. United States. Michael Jordan Library of Congress ed. Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses. Nowotny, Karl Anton Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c ed. But to do this, one of the gods had to sacrifice himself by leaping into a fire. Each subsequent sun was created by the personal sacrifice of at least one of the gods. Thus, a key element of the story—like in all Aztec culture—is that sacrifice is required to begin renewal. The rich and proud god Tecuciztecatl—Lord of the Snails—hesitated, and during that hesitation, the humble and poor Nanahuatzin meaning "full of sores" leaped into the flames and became the new sun.

Tecuciztecatl jumped in after him to become a second sun. However, the gods realized that two suns would overwhelm the world, so they threw a rabbit at Tecuciztecal and he became the moon—that is why you can still see the rabbit in the moon today. The two celestial bodies were set in motion by Ehecatl, the god of the wind, who fiercely and violently blew the sun into motion. The Fifth Sun called "4-Movement" is ruled by Tonatiuh , the sun god. This fifth sun is characterized by the daysign Ollin, which means movement. According to Aztec beliefs, this indicated that this world would come to an end through earthquakes, and all the people will be eaten by sky monsters.

The Aztecs considered themselves the People of the Sun, and therefore their duty was to nourish the Sun god through blood offerings and sacrifices. Failure to do this would cause the end of their world and the disappearance of the sun from the sky. At the end of each year cycle, the Aztec priests carried out the New Fire Ceremony, or "binding of the years. The Aztec people would clean their houses, discarding all household idols, cooking pots, clothing, and mats.

During the last five days, fires were extinguished and the people climbed on their roofs to await the fate of the world. On the last day of the calendar cycle, the priests would climb the Star Mountain, today known in Spanish as Cerro de la Estrella , and watch the rise of the Pleiades to ensure it followed its normal path. A fire drill was placed through the heart of a sacrificial victim; if the fire could not be lit, the myth said, the sun would be destroyed forever.

The successful fire was then brought to Tenochtitlan to relight hearths throughout the city. According to the Spanish chronicler Bernardo Sahagun, the New Fire ceremony was conducted every 52 years in villages throughout the Aztec world. Updated by K. Kris Hirst.

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