The Aztec Gods and Goddesses
It is estimated that the Aztecs had over 1,700 gods and goddesses, many of whom required human sacrifices. Based on the number of sacred temples located, scientists have estimated approximately a quarter million humans were sacrificed every year, roughly equivalent to 1% of the population. Here is a partial list of the Aztec gods and goddesses.
CENTEOTL, the corn god. He was a son of Tlazolteotl and the husband of Xochiquetzal.
CHALCHIUHTLICUE: The goddess of running Water. She was the sister of Tlaloc.
CHANTICO: the goddess of Hearth Fires and Volcanoes.
CHICOMECOATL: the goddess of Corn and Fertility.
CIHUACAOTYL: a goddess whose roaring signaled War.
COATLICUE: She of the Serpent Skirt.
EHECATL: the god of wind.
HUEHUETEOTL: “the old, old deity,” was one of the names of the cult of fire, among the oldest in Mesoamerica. The maintenance of fires in the temples was a principal priestly duty, and the renewal of fire was identified with the renewal of time itself.
HUITZILOPOCHTLI: (the war/sun god and special guardian of Tenochtitlan) the deified ancestral warrior-hero, was the Mexica-Aztec patron par excellence.
ITZPZPALOTL: a goddess of Agriculture.
IXTLILTON: the god of Healing, Feasting, and Games.
MACUILXOCHITL: the god of Music and Dance.
METZTLI: the Moon god.
MICTLANTECIHUATL: the lady and goddess of Mictlan and the Realm of the Dead. Mictlan was the underworld and home of all the dead except warriors and women who died in labor.
MICTLANTECUHTLE: god of the dead.
OMETECUHLTI and his wife OMECIHUATL: created all life in the world the god of Duality.
PATECATLl: the god of Medicine.
PAYNAL: the messenger to Huitzilopochtli.
QUETZALCOATL: (the god of civilization and learning) “quetzal (feather) serpent,” had dozens of associations.
TEOYAOMQUI: the god of Dead Warriors.
TEZCATLIPOCA: (god of Night and Sorcery) “Smoking Mirror” (obsidian), characterized as the most powerful, supreme deity, was associated with the notion of destiny. His cult was particularly identified with royalty, for Tezcatlipoca was the object of the lengthy and reverent prayers in rites of kingship.
TLALOC: the rain deity, belonged to another most memorable and universal cult of ancient Mexico.
TLALOCAN: Tlalocan was the earthly paradise of Tlaloc, located in the East, the place of Light and Life. It was where the souls of those killed by lightning, dropsy, skin diseases, and those sacrificed to Tlaloc went.
TLAZOLTEOTL: the goddess of Licentiousness.
TONACATECUHTLI: the creator and provider of Food.
TONATIUH: the sun, was perceived as a primary source of life whose special devotees were the warriors. The warriors were charged with the mission to provide the sun with sacrificial victims. A special altar to the sun was used for sacrifices in coronation rites, a fact that signifies the importance of the deity. The east-west path of the sun determined the principal ritual axis in the design of Aztec cities.
TONANTZIN: “honored grandmother,” was among the many names of the female earth-deity.
XILONEN: “young maize ear,” and Chicomecoatl, “seven serpent,” were principal deities of maize representing the chief staple of Mesoamerican peoples.
XIPE TOTEC: the god of springtime and regrowth.
XIUHTECUHTLE the fire god.
XOCHIPILLI: the god of Feasting and young Maize
YACATECUHTLI: the god of Merchant Adventurers.