In Aztec mythology, Chicomecōātl "Seven Serpent", was the Aztec goddess of agriculture during the Middle Culture period. She is sometimes called "goddess of nourishment", a goddess of plenty and the female aspect of maize. More Chicomecōātl can be described as a deity of food and human livelihood, she is regarded as the female counterpart of the maize god Centeōtl, their symbol being an ear of corn. She is called Xilonen, married to Tezcatlipoca. Chicomecōātl's name, "Seven Serpent", is thought to be a reference to the duality of the deity. While she symbolizes the gathering of maize and agricultural prosperity, she is thought to be harmful to the Aztecs, as she was thought to be of blame during years of poor harvest, her appearance is represented with red ochre on the face, paper headdress on top, water-flowers patterned shirt, foam sandals on the bottom. She is described as carrying a sun flower shield, she is often appeared with attributes of Chalchiuhtlicue, such as her headdress and the short lines rubbing down her cheeks.
Chicomecōātl is distinguished by being shown carrying ears of maize. She is shown in three different forms: As a young girl carrying flowers As a woman who brings death with her embraces As a mother who uses the sun as a shield She is recognized during Huey Tozoztli, the first of sequence of three festivals held in high season marking the harvest. During the festival, her priestesses designate seed corn, to be planted in the coming season. To appease the deity, as well as to ask for good harvest, priests engaged in child sacrifice. Dried seed maize and retained for the following year, bore the title Chicomecōātl, while maize consumed following harvest season was referred to as Cinteotl. Centeōtl Maya maize god Xilonen god "Maize Deity". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 9 September 2008
In Aztec religion, Ītzpāpālōtl was a striking skeletal warrior goddess who ruled over the paradise world of Tamoanchan, the paradise of victims of infant mortality and the place identified as where humans were created. She is the mother of Mixcoatl and is associated with the moth Rothschildia orizaba from the family Saturniidae; some of her associations are birds and fire. However, she appears in the form of the Obsidian Butterfly. Itzpapalotl's name can either mean "obsidian butterfly" or "clawed butterfly". It's quite possible that clawed butterfly refers to the bat and in some instances Itzpapalotl is depicted with bat wings. However, she can appear with clear butterfly or eagle attributes, her wings are tecpatl knife tipped. She could appear in the form of a beautiful, seductive woman or terrible goddess with a skeletal head and butterfly wings supplied with stone blades. Although the identity remains inconclusive, the Zapotec deity named Goddess 2J by Alfonso Caso and Ignacio Bernal may be a Classic Zapotec form of Itzpapalotl.
In many instances Goddess 2J, whose image is found on ceramic urns, is identified with bats. "In folklore, bats are sometimes called "black butterflies"". Itzpapalotl is sometimes represented as a goddess with flowing hair holding a trophy leg; the femur is thought by some scholars to have significance as a war trophy or a sacred object in Pre-Hispanic art. Itzpapalotl is the patron of the day and associated with the stars Cozcuauhtli and Trecena 1 House in the Aztec calendar; the Trecena 1 House is one of the five western trecena dates dedicated to the cihuateteo, or women who had died in childbirth. Not only was Itzpapalotl considered one of the cihuateteo herself, but she was one of the tzitzimime, star demons that threatened to devour people during solar eclipses. One of the prominent aspects of the ritual surrounding Itzpapalotl relates to the creation story of the Aztec tribe, the Chichimec; the ritual is illustrated in the sixteenth century document known as the Map of Cuauhtinchan No. 2.
An illustration from this document shows Chichimec warriors emerging out of a seven-chambered cave behind Itzpapalotl. The deity is shown brandishing a severed leg, thought to be a symbol of battle. Beginning in the 1990s, archeologists exploring the Barranca Del Aguila region, southwest of Mexico City, have discovered caves carved to simulate the seven chambered cave, known as Chicomoztoc, from the ritual creation narrative. According to the Manuscript of 1558, section VII, Itzpapalotl was one of two divine 2-headed doe-deers who temporarily transformed themselves into women in order to seduce men. Itzpapalotl approached the two "cloud serpents named Xiuhnel and Mimich ", who transformed themselves into men. To Xiuhnel, Itzpapalotl said ""Drink, Xiuhnel." Xiuhnel drank the blood and immediately lay down with her. She... devoured him, tore open his breast.... Mimich... ran and... descended into a thorny barrel cactus, fell into it, the woman fell down after him." In the myth-history narrative of the Annales de Cuauhtitlan, the cloud deity victims take the form of deer, the hearts of whom are eaten by Itzpapalotl.
The theme of the heart devouring goddess appears in other global mythologies. Orizaba the Moth Fairy, a villain in Elena of Avalor, was inspired by Itzpapalotl. Beyond pop culture, the name of the goddess has been used to name formations, the Itzpapalotl Tessera, on the planet Venus which are being studied for our knowledge of the geological history of our planet. Additionally, the goddess is one of the Pre-Columbian motifs found in California Chicano Literature. Aztec mythology in popular culture Cihuateteo Cihuacoatl Tzitzimime Mixcoatl Tamoanchan Huitzilopochtli Tlahuizcalpanteuctli Woman warrior List of women warriors in folklore R. W. Vorder Bruegge. C. Fletcher. A Model for the Shape of Overthrust Zones on Venus. Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, volume 21. De Alva, J. Jorge Klor. “CALIFORNIA CHICANO LITERATURE AND PRE-COLUMBIAN MOTIFS: FOIL AND FETISH.” Confluencia, vol. 1, no. 2, 1986, pp. 18–26. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27921652. Gingerich, Willard. “Three Nahuatl Hymns on the Mother Archetype: An Interpretive Commentary.”
Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, vol. 4, no. 2, 1988, pp. 191–244. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1051822. Carrasco and Scott Sessions, ed. Cave and Eagles Nest: an Interpretive Journey through the "Mapa De Cuauhtinchan N° 2. University of New Mexico Press, 2007. An image of Rothschildia orizaba
Ehecatl is a pre-Columbian deity associated with the wind, who features in Aztec mythology and the mythologies of other cultures from the central Mexico region of Mesoamerica. He is most interpreted as the aspect of the Feathered Serpent deity as a god of wind, is therefore known as Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl. Ehecatl figures prominently as one of the creator gods and culture heroes in the mythical creation accounts documented for pre-Columbian central Mexican cultures. Since the wind blows in all directions, Ehecatl was associated with all the cardinal directions, his temple was built as a cylinder in order to reduce the air resistance, was sometimes portrayed with two protruding masks through which the wind blew
In the Aztec religion, Huitzilopochtli is a deity of war, human sacrifice, the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. He was the national god of the Mexicas known as Aztecs, of Tenochtitlan. Many in the pantheon of deities of the Aztecs were inclined to have a fondness for a particular aspect of warfare. However, Huitzilopochtli was known as the primary god of war in ancient Mexico. Since he was the patron god of the Mexica, he was credited with both the victories and defeats that the Mexica people had on the battlefield; the people had to make sacrifices to him to protect the Aztec from infinite night. He wielded Xiuhcoatl as a weapon; as noted by the Spaniards during their discovery and conquest of Mexico, human sacrifice was common in worship ceremonies, which took place and in numerous temples throughout the region, when performed they sacrificed multiple victims per day at a given temple. The name means "Hummingbird South" or "Hummingbird Left", yet it has been translated as "Southern hummingbird" or "left-handed hummingbird".
The discrepancy between "left" and "south" in translation stems from the Aztec belief that the south was the left side of the world. Despite the popularity of these interpretations, Huitzilopochtli's name most does not mean "left-handed/southern hummingbird" considering that the Classical Nahuatl huītzilin is the modifier of ōpōchtli in this compound rather than the reverse. In the tlaxotecuyotl, a hymn sung in reverence to Huitzilopotchtli, he is referred to as: the Dart-Hurler, the divine hurler, a terror to the Mixteca. There are a handful of origin mythologies describing the deity's beginnings. One story tells of Huitzilopochtli's role in it. According to this legend, he was the smallest son of four—his parents being the creator couple Tonacatecutli and Tonacacihuatl while his brothers were Quetzalcoatl and the two Tezcatlipocas, his mother and father instructed him and Quetzalcoatl to bring order to the world. Together and Quetzalcoatl created fire, the first male and female humans, the Earth, the Sun.
Another origin story tells of a fierce goddess, being impregnated as she was sweeping by a ball of feathers on Mount Coatepec. Her other children, who were fully grown, were the four hundred male Centzonuitznaua and the female deity Coyolxauhqui; these children, angered by the manner by which their mother became impregnated, conspired to kill her. Huitzilopochtli burst forth from his mother's womb in full armor and grown, or in other versions of the story, burst forth from the womb and put on his gear, he attacked his older brothers and sister, defending his mother by beheading his sister and casting her body from the mountain top. He chased after his brothers, who fled from him and became scattered all over the sky. Huitzilopochtli is seen as the sun in mythology, while his many male siblings are perceived as the stars and his sister as the moon. In the Aztec worldview, this is the reason why the Sun is chasing the Moon and stars, it is why it was so important to provide tribute for Huitzilopochtli as sustenance for the Sun.
If Huitzilopochtli did not have enough strength to battle his siblings, they would destroy their mother and thus the world. Huitzilopochtli was the patron god of the Mexica tribe, he was of little importance to the Nahuas, but after the rise of the Aztecs, Tlacaelel reformed their religion and put Huitzilopochtli at the same level as Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, making him a solar god. Through this, Huitzilopochtli replaced the solar god from the Nahua legend. Huitzilopochtli was said to be in a constant struggle with the darkness and required nourishment in the form of sacrifices to ensure the sun would survive the cycle of 52 years, the basis of many Mesoamerican myths. While popular accounts claim it was necessary to have a daily sacrifice, sacrifices were only done on festive days. There were 18 holy festive days, only one of them was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli; this celebration day, known as Toxcatl, falls within the fifteenth month of the Mexican calendar. During the festival and slaves were brought forth and slain ceremoniously.
Every 52 years, the Nahuas feared the world would end as the other four creations of their legends had. Under Tlacaelel, Aztecs believed that they could give strength to Huitzilopochtli with human blood and thereby postpone the end of the world, at least for another 52 years. War was an important source of both human and material tribute. Human tribute was used for sacrificial purposes because human blood was believed to be important, thus powerful. According to Aztec mythology, Huitzilopochtli needed blood as sustenance in order to continue to keep his sister and many brothers at bay as he chased them through the sky. In the book El Calendario Mexica y la Cronografia by Rafael Tena and published by the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico, the author gives the last day of the Nahuatl month Panquetzaliztli as the date of the celebration of the rebirth of the Lord Huitzilopochtli on top of Coatepec; the most important and powerful structure in Tenochtitlan is the Templo Mayor.
Its importance as the sacred center is reflected in the fact that it was enlarged frontally eleven times during the two hundred years of its existence. The Gr
The underworld is the world of the dead in various religious traditions, located below the world of the living. Chthonic is the technical adjective for things of the underworld; the concept of an underworld is found in every civilization, "may be as old as humanity itself". Common features of underworld myths are accounts of living people making journeys to the underworld for some heroic purpose. Other myths reinforce traditions that entrance of souls to the underworld requires a proper observation of ceremony, such as the ancient Greek story of the dead Patroclus haunting Achilles until his body could be properly buried for this purpose. Persons having social status were equipped in order to better navigate the underworld. A number of mythologies incorporate the concept of the soul of the deceased making its own journey to the underworld, with the dead needing to be taken across a defining obstacle such as a lake or a river to reach this destination. Imagery of such journeys can be found in both modern art.
The descent to the underworld has been described as "the single most important myth for Modernist authors". This list includes underworlds in various mythology, with links to corresponding articles; this list includes rulers or guardians of the underworld in various mythologies, with links to corresponding articles. Afterlife Hollow Earth Otherworld World Tree–A tree that connects the heavens, the earth, the underworld in a number of spiritual belief systems
Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America. It extends from central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and northern Costa Rica, within this region pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century, European diseases like smallpox and measles caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people, it is one of five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico in present-day Peru, in the northern coastal region. As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures. Beginning as early as 7000 BCE, the domestication of cacao, beans, avocado, vanilla and chili, as well as the turkey and dog, caused a transition from paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer tribal grouping to the organization of sedentary agricultural villages. In the subsequent Formative period and cultural traits such as a complex mythological and religious tradition, a vigesimal numeric system, a complex calendric system, a tradition of ball playing, a distinct architectural style, were diffused through the area.
In this period, villages began to become stratified and develop into chiefdoms with the development of large ceremonial centers, interconnected by a network of trade routes for the exchange of luxury goods, such as obsidian, cacao, Spondylus shells and ceramics. While Mesoamerican civilization did know of the wheel and basic metallurgy, neither of these technologies became culturally important. Among the earliest complex civilizations was the Olmec culture, which inhabited the Gulf Coast of Mexico and extended inland and southwards across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Frequent contact and cultural interchange between the early Olmec and other cultures in Chiapas and Oaxaca laid the basis for the Mesoamerican cultural area. All this was facilitated by considerable regional communications in ancient Mesoamerica along the Pacific coast; this formative period saw the spread of distinct religious and symbolic traditions, as well as artistic and architectural complexes. In the subsequent Preclassic period, complex urban polities began to develop among the Maya, with the rise of centers such as El Mirador and Tikal, the Zapotec at Monte Albán.
During this period, the first true Mesoamerican writing systems were developed in the Epi-Olmec and the Zapotec cultures, the Mesoamerican writing tradition reached its height in the Classic Maya hieroglyphic script. Mesoamerica is one of only three regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed. In Central Mexico, the height of the Classic period saw the ascendancy of the city of Teotihuacan, which formed a military and commercial empire whose political influence stretched south into the Maya area and northward. Upon the collapse of Teotihuacán around 600 AD, competition between several important political centers in central Mexico, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. At this time during the Epi-Classic period, the Nahua peoples began moving south into Mesoamerica from the North, became politically and culturally dominant in central Mexico, as they displaced speakers of Oto-Manguean languages. During the early post-Classic period, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, Oaxaca by the Mixtec, the lowland Maya area had important centers at Chichén Itzá and Mayapán.
Towards the end of the post-Classic period, the Aztecs of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mesoamerica. The distinct Mesoamerican cultural tradition ended with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Over the next centuries, Mesoamerican indigenous cultures were subjected to Spanish colonial rule. Aspects of the Mesoamerican cultural heritage still survive among the indigenous peoples who inhabit Mesoamerica, many of whom continue to speak their ancestral languages, maintain many practices harking back to their Mesoamerican roots; the term Mesoamerica means "middle America" in Greek. Middle America refers to a larger area in the Americas, but it has previously been used more narrowly to refer to Mesoamerica. An example is the title of the 16 volumes of The Handbook of Middle American Indians. "Mesoamerica" is broadly defined as the area, home to the Mesoamerican civilization, which comprises a group of peoples with close cultural and historical ties. The exact geographic extent of Mesoamerica has varied through time, as the civilization extended North and South from its heartland in southern Mexico.
The term was first used by the German ethnologist Paul Kirchhoff, who noted that similarities existed among the various pre-Columbian cultures within the region that included southern Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, western Honduras, the Pacific lowlands of Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica. In the tradition of cultural history, the prevalent archaeological theory of the early to middle 20th century, Kirchhoff defined this zone as a cultural area based on a suite of interrelated cultural similarities brought about by millennia of inter- and intra-regional interaction. Mesoamerica is recognized as a near-prototypical cultural area, the term is now integrated in the standard terminology of pre-Columbian anthropological studies. Conversely, the sister terms Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica, which refer to northern Mexico and the western United States have not entered into widespread usage; some of the significant cultural traits defining the Mesoamerican cultural tradition are: sedentism based on maize agricultu
The afterlife is the belief that the essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary, may not, as in Indian nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death. In some views, this continued existence takes place in a spiritual realm, in other popular views, the individual may be reborn into this world and begin the life cycle over again with no memory of what they have done in the past. In this latter view, such rebirths and deaths may take place over and over again continuously until the individual gains entry to a spiritual realm or Otherworld. Major views on the afterlife derive from religion and metaphysics; some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by God, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life.
In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Indian religions, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life, rather than through the decision of a different being. Theists believe some type of afterlife awaits people when they die. Members of some non-theistic religions tend to believe in an afterlife, but without reference to a deity; the Sadducees were an ancient Jewish sect that believed that there was a God but no afterlife. Many religions, whether they believe in the soul's existence in another world like Christianity and many pagan belief systems, or in reincarnation like many forms of Hinduism and Buddhism, believe that one's status in the afterlife is a reward or punishment for their conduct during life. Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death, it is called rebirth or transmigration, is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence.
It is a central tenet of all major Indian religions, namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. The idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures, a belief in rebirth/metempsychosis was held by Greek historic figures, such as Pythagoras and Plato, it is a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism and Eckankar and is found as well in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Australia, East Asia and South America. Although the majority of denominations within the Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; the historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of Neoplatonism, Hermeticism and Gnosticism of the Roman era as well as the Indian religions have been the subject of recent scholarly research. Unity Church and its founder Charles Fillmore teach reincarnation. Rosicrucians speak of a life review period occurring after death and before entering the afterlife's planes of existence, followed by a judgment, more akin to a final review or end report over one's life.
Heaven, the heavens, seven heavens, pure lands, Jannah, Valhalla, or the Summerland, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, jinn, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive. Heaven is described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a paradise, in contrast to hell or the underworld or the "low places", universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, piety, faith or other virtues or right beliefs or the will of God; some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a world to come. In Indian religions, heaven is considered as Svarga loka. There are seven positive regions the soul can go to after seven negative regions. After completing its stay in the respective region, the soul is subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma.
This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world is referred to as otherworld. Hell, in many religious and folkloric traditions, is a place of torment and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history depict hell as an eternal destination, while religions with a cyclic history depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations; these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the earth's surface and include entrances to hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include limbo. Traditions that do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward describe hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place located under the surface of earth; the afterlife played an i