Aztec Religion

Aztec Calendar

Religion was a very important part of the daily lives of the Aztec people and it was fiercely guarded. Their beliefs that their actions could either please or displease the Aztec gods, led them to capture and offer people as human sacrifices . They offered human sacrifices all year long and even killed their slaves On God's Feast Day in honor of the sun and to sway the gods to provide them with sustenance.

Aztec Religious Beliefs

The Aztec beliefs were varied and vast. They believed in heaven and hell. In fact, they believed in multiple heavens and hells, believing there to be 9 hells and 13 heavens. They also believed that the sun wrestled with darkness each night. The Aztec religion also drove them to create beautiful temples to appease their many gods. Ceremonial temples were called Teocalli. They included pools created for ceremonial cleansing, places for the temple priests to live, gardens and storage areas to hold skulls.

Aztec Gods

The Aztecs named and worshipped nearly 1000 Aztec gods. However, the most prominent god to the Aztecs was the sun god. One of the most celebrated religious days was the O'Nothing Days. During this time, priests would get dressed up like gods and go to an extinct volcano to perform human sacrifices. These sacrifices would occur when the evening star rose high in the sky. The captive would be placed over either a stone chosen just for this purpose or an altar. The victims' hearts would be set on fire and torn out of their chests. Once removed from their bodies, it would be lifted toward the sun and placed in a dish that was believed to be sacred. The bodies of the sacrificed would be pushed down the stairs of the temple. It may be surprising to learn that many of the sacrificed were happy to give up their bodies, as they believed that it was their instant ticket to heaven.

Aztec Religion - Afterlife

In the Aztec culture, the belief in an afterlife was strong. However, unlike in many Western religions where ones' afterlife depends on how they lived, the Aztecs believed that how you died determined where you would end up. Individuals would immediately go to the sun god after death if they died fighting in a war. Women who died while giving birth to a child also enjoyed this privilege. Individuals who died for any other reason, had to travel through the underworld before reaching the resting place of the dead.

Aztec God - Huizilopochtlid

The main god of the Aztecs was Huizilopochtlid. This was the sun and war god. Huizilopochtlid told the Aztecs to settle at the place where the saw an eagle on a cactus with a snake it it's mouth. And that is exactly what they did. Another important god was named Tlaloc. Tlaloc was the rain god and farmers were careful to praise this god so that could grow good crops and not experience drought, which was a common occurrence in the area.

Aztec And Religion

The Aztec people were a very religious people who had many different beliefs and a great number of gods. Appeasing their gods was of great importance and it appeared that their gods were blood thirsty, as tens of thousands of people were sacrificed each year to appease them.