World History

Aztec Religion | Practices, Beliefs, & Gods

Numerous gods were revered by the Aztecs. They frequently incorporated the gods of the new tribe into the Aztec religion when they conquered a new tribe or culture.

The Sun

The sun was among the most significant elements of Aztec religion. The “People of the Sun” were the Aztecs’ self-described group. They believed that the Aztecs had to carry out sacrifices and rituals to give the sun power in order for it to rise every day.

Main Gods

The Aztecs believed in numerous gods, but some of them were more significant and potent than others in their eyes. Huitzilopochtli was the Aztecs’ most revered deity. The most revered deities among the Aztecs are listed below.

Huitzilopochtli –

Huitzilopochtli was the deity of war, the sun, and sacrifice and was the most terrifying and potent of the Aztec deities. He served as the protector deity of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc were the inspiration for the construction of the Great Temple in the city’s center. It’s said that his name means “left-handed hummingbird”. He had a snake-made scepter and was frequently depicted with feathers.

Tlaloc –

The god of rain and water was Tlaloc. While Tlaloc frequently assisted the Aztecs by delivering rain and helping vegetation to grow, he could sometimes become enraged and unleash hail and thunderstorms. at addition to being worshipped at the Great Temple at Tenochtitlan, Tlaloc was also revered at the summit of Mount Tlaloc. He frequently had large, goggle-like eyes and teeth.

Quetzalcoatl –

The god of life and the wind was Quetzalcoatl. His name means “feathered serpent,” and in most depictions, he appears as a flying serpent, much like a dragon. Many Aztecs believed Cortez to be the god Quetzalcoatl in human form when he first arrived.

Tezcatlipoca –

A strong deity known for many things, such as magic, the night, and the ground, was Tezcatlipoca. He was Quetzalcoatl’s adversary as a god. He was the first god, according to Aztec mythology, to create the sun and the world, but he was killed by Quetzalcoatl and changed into a jaguar. Just south of the Great Temple in the city of Tenochtitlan, a huge temple dedicated to him was constructed. His name was an acronym for “smoking mirror”.

Chicomecoatl –

The Aztec goddess of maize, food, and agriculture was known as Chicomecoatl. She was frequently depicted as a young child clutching flowers or as an adult shielding herself from the sun. “Seven snakes” was the meaning of her name.

Priests

The priests were in charge of ensuring that the proper offerings and sacrifices were made to the gods. To ensure that the gods were not displeased with the Aztecs, they had to conduct a variety of ceremonies at the temples. Priests had to go through a lot of training. In Aztec civilization, they were respected and powerful.

Sacrifice of humans

The Aztecs thought that in order for the sun to rise every day, human blood had to be offered as a sacrifice. They carried out countless human sacrifices. Some historians believe that when the Great Temple was first dedicated in 1487, more than 20,000 people died.

The Next Life

The Aztecs held the notion that there are various levels to both heaven and hell. Where you went would depend on how you passed away. The highest level of heaven was reserved for those who died in war. A person who drowns will enter the underworld.

Facts about the Gods, Religion, and Mythology of the Aztecs

Sometimes, people were chosen to play the roles of the gods. They would portray figures from Aztec mythology while dressed as gods.

Their religion benefited greatly from the use of the Aztec calendar. All through the year, they celebrated a number of religious rituals and festivals.

The Aztec festival known as Xiuhmolpilli, which means “new fire,” was the biggest. It was held once every 52 years in an effort to stop the end of the planet.

The Aztecs frequently engaged in warfare to seize prisoners that they might sacrifice.

The Aztecs thought they were under the fifth and last sun. They dreaded the day the fifth sun would perish and the end of the world would occur.