Aztec mythology and religion

This was accomplished through human blood. For festivals, temple steps and tiers were also festooned with flowers, banners and other decorations. The sky had thirteen layers, the highest of which was called Omeyocan "place of duality" and served as the residence of the progenitor dual god Ometeotl.

The most spectacular ritual was the New Fire ceremony which took place every 52 years and involved every citizen of the Aztec realm, during this commoners would destroy house utensils, quench all fires and receive new fire from the bonfire on top of Mt. Sahagun reports that the priests had a very strict training, and had to Aztec mythology and religion very austere and ethical lives involving prolonged vigils, fasts and penances.

Cosmology and ritual[ edit ] Aztec cosmological drawing with the god Xiuhtecuhtli, the lord of fire and of the Calendar in the center and the other important gods around him each in front of a sacred tree.

Human Sacrifice The Aztecs believed that the sun needed the blood of human sacrifice in order to rise each day. The military conquest and ritual sacrifices were all related, and in a great part focused on helping Huitzilopochtli keep the sun strong so that disaster could be averted every 52 years.

They would dress like the gods and then act out stories from the Aztec mythology. He is a fertility god Quetzalcoatlgod of the life, the light and wisdom, lord of the winds and the day, ruler of the West.

He was often drawn with fangs and big goggle-like eyes. All hearts were good, but the bravest captives were considered to be particularly nourishing to the Aztec gods. Interesting Facts about the Aztec Religion, Gods, and Mythology Sometimes people were selected to impersonate the gods.

If the captive was particularly noble or brave, however, he was carried down instead. He was responsible for light in the darkness and for food during times of famine. They feared the day when the fifth sun would die Aztec mythology and religion the world would come to an end.

For example, on the feast of Huey Tozoztlithe ruler himself ascended Mount Tlaloc and engaged in autosacrifice in order to petition the rains. Sahagun reports that the priests had a very strict training, and had to live very austere and ethical lives involving prolonged vigils, fasts and penances.

Aztec Religion

As god of the west, one of the skybearers Huehuecoyotl also Ueuecoyotl - a trickster god of indulgence and pranks. Mextli - a god of war and storms Mictecacihuatl also Mictlancihuatl - goddess of death and Lady of Mictlan, the underworld Mictlantecuhtli also Mictlantecuhtzi, or Tzontemoc - the god of death and Lord of Mictlan, also as god of the south, one of the skybearers Mixcoatl cloud serpent - god of hunting, war, and the Milky Way.

Aztec mythology

To maintain the sanctity of the gods, these temple houses were kept fairly dark and mysterious — a characteristic that was further enhanced by having their interiors swirling with smoke from copal incense and the burning of offerings. The largest of the Aztec festivals was the Xiuhmolpilli, which meant "new fire".

The Aztec priest then made an incision in the ribcage of the captive and removed the living heart. This god, Camaxtli, was the god of war, hunting, fire, and fate. Throughout society, each level had their own rituals and deities and played their part in the larger rituals of the community.

This worldview is best described in the myth of the five suns recorded in the Codex Chimalpopoca, which recounts how Quetzalcoatl stole the bones of the previous generation in the underworld, and how later the gods created four successive worlds or "suns" for their subjects to live in, all of which were destroyed.

The Aztecs often went to war in order to take captives that they could use in their sacrifices. As a result, a special god was included in the Aztec religion to honor the warriors.

Not only would the people have to help this weak sun to keep moving, they would also be responsible to repay the sacrifice. The greatest festival was the Xiuhmolpilli or New Fire ceremony held every 52 years when the ritual and agricultural calendars coincided and a new cycle started. The Sun One of the most important aspects of Aztec religion was the sun.

Huixtocihuatlgoddess of salt Opochtligod of fishing and birdcatchers, discoverer of the harpoon and net Fire deities Xiuhtecuhtligod of fire and time Chanticogoddess of firebox and volcanoes Xolotlgod of death, associated with Venus as the Evening Star Double of Quetzalcoatl Death deities Mictlantecuhtligod of the dead, ruler of the Underworld Mictecacihuatlgoddess of the dead, ruler of the Underworld Xolotlgod of death, associated with Venus as the Evening Star Double of Quetzalcoatl Sky deities Tezcatlipocagod of providence, the darkness and the invisible, lord of the night, ruler of the North.

Often battles would be fought just to capture prisoners to sacrifice - the Aztec flower war or Aztec flowery war. Tepeyollotl is a variant of Tezcatlipoca, associated with mountains Tlalocgod of rain and lightning and thunder.

Plazas were where the bulk of worshippers gathered to watch rites and dances performed; to join in the songs and sacrifices the audience often bled themselves during the rites and to partake in any festival foods.

They had to perform all sorts of ceremonies in the temples to make sure that the gods were not angry with the Aztecs. Aztec human sacrifices and bloodletting were important aspects of the Aztec religion, as they believed it brought balance and peace to the world around them.

Quetzalcoatlgod of the life, the light and wisdom, lord of the winds and the day, ruler of the West. To the Aztecs, death was instrumental in the perpetuation of creation, and gods and humans alike had the responsibility of sacrificing themselves in order to allow life to continue.

According to Aztec mythology, he was the first god to create the sun and the earth, but was struck down by Quetzalcoatl and turned into a jaguar.

Aztec mythology

Your browser does not support the audio element. The actions of the ruling classes and common people can be best understood if we look way back to the Mexica understanding of the creation, or rather creations, of the world.

Humans were responsible for the sun's continued revival. Whether or not the more educated upper class shared this belief is questionable.The Aztec religion is composed of an incredibly complicated, yet interesting, set of beliefs. Filled with stories of human sacrifices and demanding Aztec gods and goddesses, the Aztecs have left behind a legacy that will be studied and marveled for years to come.

In order for teachers to present the mythology of the Aztecs to students, they need an understanding of the basics of the Aztec religion. The religion of the Aztecs is polytheistic. Some of the religion’s gods had been known in Mexico for many years; others were adopted from the religions of.

The Mythology and Religion of the Aztec examines the history and legacy of the religion practiced by the famous Mesoamerican empire. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Aztec religion and mythology like you never have before, in no time at agronumericus.coms: 8.

The Aztec civilization recognized a polytheistic mythology, which contained the many deities Lords or Gods (over one hundred) and supernatural creatures from their religious beliefs. Aztec culture is generally grouped with the cultural complex known as the Nahuatl because of the common language.

Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico.

Aztec Religion

The Aztecs were Nahuatl -speaking groups living in central Mexico and much of their mythology is similar to that of other Mesoamerican cultures.

History >> Aztec, Maya, and Inca for Kids The Aztecs worshiped many gods. When they took over a new tribe or culture they often adopted the new tribe's gods into the Aztec religion.

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Aztec mythology and religion
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