The souls of fallen warriors or women who died in child birth, would turn into a hummingbird and join the Sun on a journey through the sky. Coatlicue found a ball filled with feathers and placed it in her waistband, becoming pregnant with the god Huitzilopchitli, god of war and human sacrifice. Chicomecoatl was the Aztec goddess of agriculture, growth and corn. © Greg Schechter - Carving of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan.

Each level of their society had their own rituals and deities. Like most other religions, the Aztec religion believed the world encompassed different planes of existence.

The Aztec calendar played a very important role in their lives: festivals and ceremonies were governed by it. They also contained sacred relics and images of the gods, hidden behind veils and curtains hung with bells and feathers.

Its name means"seven serpents". When the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés first arrived in the region dominated by the Aztecs, many thought that it was the god Quetzalcoatl in flesh and bone. We use cookies to provide our online service. The legend has it that various groups came from the north into the Anahauc valley around Lake Texcoco, where part of Mexico City now stands.

The role of humans was to maintain this balance by practicing appropriate ceremonies and sacrifices. Every festival had a different god or goddess, and a specific ritual that included feasting and sacrifices.

Like other Mesoamerican religions, it had elements of human sacrifice in connection with a large number of religious festivals, which were celebrated with the Aztec calendar masters. Sacrifices became commonplace in Mexico.

Retrieved from, Aztec religion. The Aztec calendar is one of several similar Mesoamerican calendars. Society respected them, and they had a level of authority that sometimes spanned to national levels.

Some, like those sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli, would join the battle against the darkness. Retrieved from, Ancient aztec religion. The prophecies were a large part of the Aztec religion. He was the rival god of Quetzalcoat. Aztec mythology shares similar characteristics as the mythology in other Mesoamerican cultures.

The importance of connecting and controlling the cycles of nature, such as the sun and moon cycles, with human activities, resulted in the use, in the pan-Mesoamerican tradition of sophisticated calendars which were consulted by priests and specialists. Nobility either sat on an elevated platform under the plazas awnings, or they conducted part of the ceremonies on the temple. The Aztec Empire was the largest and most successful Mesoamerican empire in terms of size and demographics. Most of these were associated with agricultural themes. The military conquest and ritual sacrifices were related, and concentrated on helping Huitzilopochtli keep the Sun alive, to avoid a disaster every 52 years. 16, num. The Great Temple in the center of the city was built in honor of Huitzilopochtli and Tlacoc.

Tlaloc was praised in the Great Temple in the city of Tenochtitlan and on the top of a mountain called Mount Tlacoc. The Aztec religion was made up of a complex set of beliefs, rituals and gods that helped the Aztec/Mexica to make sense of their world's physical reality, and the existence of life and death. Blood-sacrifices were necessary to keep the gods fed and to prevent the Sun from falling. On many occasions people represented the gods; dressed like them and acting histories of Aztec mythology. Retrieved from, Aztec religion. The life after a person's death was based on how he died. For example, during the Tozozlti Huey, the same ruler sacrificed himself to ask for rainfall from the gods. The Aztec religion is the Mesoamerican religion of the Aztecs. Our age, considered the fifth creation according to the myth, is the new age that all the gods had gathered to sacrifice themselves to create. Every 52 years people were afraid that the world would end. As already mentioned, the Aztec religion is a Mesoamerican religion. The priests main task was to make sure they gifted the gods with what they were due. The Aztecs looked at existence as a cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Like the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Aztecs created their own unique mythology that is central to their religion.

In general, the Aztecs perceived the world as divided into and balanced by a series of opposing states, binary oppositions such as hot and cold, dry and wet, day and night, light and dark. According to this religion, it took the gods five attempts to create the world. Aztec people took elements from other traditions and customs, and blended them with their own, and a lot of creation myths developed in the process. By using this website or by closing this dialog you agree with the conditions described, Aztec empire: religion, gods and mythology. In this chamber, the Aztecs would often store ritual items and provide lodging for priests, dancers, and temple orchestras.

The Aztec religion was made up of a complex set of beliefs, rituals and gods that helped the Aztec/Mexica to make sense of their world's physical reality, and the existence of life and death.

Gods of Water, Fertility, and Agriculture, AA.VV, 2008, La Religión Mexica, Arqueología Mexicana, vol. Although, there isn't much said about where the actual origin of the Aztecs is. The high priests, or Quetzalcoatls, were in charge of major centers like the capitol.

The Practical and Ritual Dimension: what the adherents of a religion do as part of that religion.

Each of these main layers of existence divided into even smaller layers. It was often drawn as a young girl with flowers, or a woman using the sun as a shield. They underwent strict training, involving fasts and penances, and they even had to bleed themselves. He was the god of rain and water. According to Aztec mythology, he was the first god to create the Sun and Earth, but was defeated by Quetzalcoat and transformed into a jaguar. Its veneration was originated in the significant relevance of the Sun and the Moon, whose natural functions are of great importance for the Earth. As soon as Huitzilopochtli was born, he defeated his brothers and they became the stars. Many deities of the Aztec parthenon were praised by previous Mesoamerican civilizations. It was often drawn with fangs and giant eyes.

In the end, they would live in the dark. For example, gods such as Tlacoc, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca were revered with different names in most cultures throughout Mesoamerica's history. Nicoletta Maestri holds a Ph.D. in Mesoamerican archaeology with fieldwork experience in Italy, the Near East, and throughout Mesoamerica. The Sun would dwell in the underworld at night only to rise anew again in the morning. 91. It was often drawn with feathers and holding a serpent-shaped scepter. Generally, the Aztecs incorporated in their religious practices deities whose cults came from other geographical regions and other people. The Aztec religion was a prominant part of all levels of the Aztec society. The temples were decorated for festivals.

This said to inspire the Aztec people to rip the hearts out of their victims and throw them off of the temple dedicated to this god. People dying of less glorious causes would either go to Mictlan or Tlatocan. Aztec cosmology divides the world into thirteen heavens and nine terrestrial layers of underworld; each level was associated with a specific set of deities and astronomical objects. The Aztecs looked at existence as a cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Each of these layers associates with different gods and goddesses, and celestial objects. The most important of these celestial objects were the Sun, the Moon, and the planet Venus. The Aztec Religion and Gods of the Ancient Mexica. In front of every major temple was a large plaza that occasionally was the place for rituals, but it also served for worshippers and dancers. He was the most powerful and feared Aztec god. This religion was based on keeping nature balanced. Nanahouatl was the first god who sacrificed himself, becoming the sun. Her other children became suspicious that the baby wasn't their father's, and vowed to kill their mother. In heaven there was a constant struggle between light and darkness, a battle that would one day be lost.

The Aztec goddess Coatlicue, was the mother of Centzon Huitznahua, the evil gods of the southern stars, and Coyolxauhqui, the leader of her brothers. The Aztecs believed that the universe was divided into three parts: the heavens above, the world in which they lived, and the underworld. Its name means"smoking mirror". Only through their sacrifice would the sun be set to motion and time and history could begin.

It is said the Mexica/Aztec people built their city called Tehochtitlan, after they had received a vision telling them to do so in that location. These objects represented something deeper, associated with different deities. They thought this cycle followed the cycle the Sun went through. The temple of Tenochtitlán was the place where the forces of the sky and the Earth met. They were solid, pyramid-like structures that held a variety of objects such as, special soils, sacrifices, and treasures. He was also the patron god of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. All the religious fires were extinguished, the people of all the empire destroyed their belongings and practiced the mourning.

The world, called Tlaltipac, was conceived as a disk located in the middle of the universe. Nicholson, Henry B., 1971, Religion in Pre-Hispanic Central Mexico, en Robert Wauchope (ed.

It started out of the Mesoamerican religion, and with that, some elements such as human sacrifice came with it. The Aztecs have a particularly abundant set of gods and goddesses that they worshiped. There was a great temple built in his honor in the city of Tenochtitlan, just south of the Great Temple. The Aztec priests held many responsibilities, yet they did not have full authority within the Aztec religious organization. For example, the Pochteca merchants were involved in the Tlaxochimaco festival; and the plebeians, in the one of Ochpaniztli. Since the gods needed blood to win the battle against the darkness, a human sacrifice was made. He was a mighty god associated with many elements, including magic, night and Earth. He was the god of life and the wind. The most important celestial entities in the Aztec religion were the Sun, the Moon, and the planet Venus. Religion was controlled by the tlatoani, and the high priests ruled the main temples and ceremonial precincts.

Although Tlacoc helped the Aztecs by sending them rain so that plants could grow, he could also get angry and send thunderstorms. Under the high priests, there were many lower levels of priesthood: priests, priestesses, 'nuns', and 'monks'.

The three levels, heaven, world, and underworld, were connected through a central axis, or axis mundi. New Perspectives, ABC-CLIO Inc. Santa Barbara, CA; Denver, CO and Oxford, England. The six most relevant characteristics are listed below:

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