Aztec Gods And Religion

Aztec Religion

Aztec GodReligion played great importance in the life of the Aztecs. The Aztec Religion was a type of Mesoamerican religion comprising various elements of animism, shamanism and - polytheism included in the framework of calendrics and astronomy. The religion of Aztecs had human sacrifice elements that coincided with the various religious festivals of the Aztec calendar. The Aztec pantheon was very large and ever increasing. The Aztec incorporated the religious deities of other people and geographic regions. Numerous gods and goddesses were worshipped by the Aztecs. Each of the Aztec gods and goddesses ruled one or more than one aspects of nature and human activities.

Basis of Aztec Gods

The world was divided into two parts as per the Aztec cosmology- upper world and nether world. Each of this was associated with a particular set of astronomical objects and deities. The celestial objects like the sun, moon and Venus planet were very significant in the Aztec religion and had different religious and symbolic meanings and were associated with geographical places and deities. As Aztec culture depended mainly on farming, most the Aztec gods are agricultural or agro-based. Some Aztec gods were ancestor heroes and some had natural elements like solar energy or rain and some gods represented the elements of destiny, fortune, order, civilization, sorcery and war. The Aztecs thought that some gods were benevolent and some were of terrifying nature.

The belief of Aztecs was rooted in the divine recreation, will and wrath of gods, ceremonial rituals for appeasing the gods and human sacrifice for the purpose of religious rites.

Aztec Pantheon

The Aztec Gods can be classified into various groups as per different themes. The different groups of Aztec gods are cultural gods, nature gods, gods of creation, gods of Pulque and excess, gods of maize and fertility, gods of death and underworld and tradegods. Some of the Aztec gods like Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca had their origin in earlier Mesoamerican civilizations and they were known by lots of names and worshipped by many earlier cultures.

The Aztecs adopted gods from other cultures and worshipped them as a part of the Aztec pantheon. Xipec Totec, the fertility god was originally a god of the Tlapanec people, and was incorporated by the Aztec into their pantheon. Some Aztec gods were connected to particular trades and many gods represented multiple aspects with various names, with each name highlighting a specific trait or function of that particular god. Many Aztec gods were related to aspects of games, fun, excess, pulque and drunkenness.

List Of Aztec Gods

The Aztec cultural gods are:
- Tezcatlipoca- shaman god,
- Quetzalcoatl- god of wind, life and Morningstar,
- Tlaloc-god of water, rain, storm and thunder,
- Mixcoatl-tribal god of Nahua and
- Huitzilopochtli- tribal god of Mexica.

The Aztec nature gods are:
- Tonatiuh- sun,
- Metztli-moon,
- Tlaltecuhtli- earth goddess,
- Chalchiuhtlicue-spring goddess,
- Centzon Huitznahua- star gods and
- Ehecatl- wind god.

The Aztec gods of creation are:
- Ometeotl,
- Huehueteotl and
- Coatlicue.

The Aztec gods of excess and pulque include:
- Tlazolteotl,
- Tepoztecatl,
- Xochiquetzal,
- Mayahuel,
- Auiateteo,
- Ometocthli and
- Centzon Totochtin.

The Aztec fertility and maize gods are:
- Xipe Totec,
- Cinteotl,
- Xilonen and
- Xochipilli.

The underworld and death gods are:
- Mictlantecutli,
- Xolotl and
- Mictlancihuatl.

The Aztec tradegods are:
- Yacatecutli and
- Patecatl.