Mictlan  

Posted by Stella Clark

Mictlan Image
In Aztec mythology, Mictlan was the lowest (ninth) level of the underworld, located far to the north. Except for warriors who died in battle, people who died when hit by lightning and women who died in childbirth, people went to Mictlan after death. The journey was difficult and took four years, but the dead were aided by the psychopomp, Xolotl. The king of Mictlan was Mictlantecuhtli. The queen was Mictecacihuatl. Other deities in Mictlan included Ciucoatl (who commanded Mictlan spirits called Cihuateteo), Acolmiztli, Chalmecacihuilt, Chalmecatl and Acolnahuacatl.

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Xochipilli  

Posted by Stella Clark

Xochipilli Cover
"Patroness of Erotic Love" "Goddess of the Flowering Earth". Celebrated during the "Farewell to the Flowers" festival signifying the coming of frost. This was a solemn festival. People would make merry and smell flowers knowing they were about to dry up and wither for the season. A feast in honor of the flowers would occur.

Xochiquetzal was also the divinity of painters, embroiders, weavers, silversmiths and sculptors.

The image of this deity was of wood in the shape of a young woman. A gold ornament was placed over her mouth and a crown of red leather in the form of a braid was placed on her head. Green bright feathered decorated this headband in the shape of horns.

She was dressed in a blue tunic adorned with woven flowers made from delicate feather work. Her arms were open as in the form of a woman dancing. Her idol was placed on a tall alter and her attendants were the same as those who tended Huitzilopochtli as her temple was small and had no specially assigned priests. This is one of the exceptions the Aztec made and were fond of sacrificing virgins to this goddess. The victim's legs were crossed after cutting out their hearts and then sent rolling down the steps of the temple. At the foot of the temple special priests took the bodies of the sacrificed virgins to the Ayauhcalli, "the house of the mist", which was a sort of cellar built especially for this sacrifice, where the bodies were kept.

A woman in the guise of Xochiquetzal was ritually killed and flayed and a priest wearing her skin would sit at the foot of the temple while area craftsmen dressed as monkeys, ocelots, dogs, coyotes, and jaguars would dance about her while she pretended to weave cloth. Each of the dancing craftsmen would carry in their hands a symbol of their craft, a painter his brush, etc.

Also refereed to as Precious Feather Flower-Goddess of Song, Dance, and Sexual Pleasure. Patron of prostitutes. Goddess of Artistry and Delight. In Duality she was also Macuilxochitl, a male representation.

God associated with maize and vegetation. Goddess of flowers, grains, and patroness of weavers. God of sculptors and embroiders. Quail and incense were often offered to this god and depending on the devotion fasting of from 20 - 80 days was common. People who were born on One Flower or Seven Flower were pre-destined to become good at these crafts and worship this god. Said to have afflicted those who displeased her with boils.

in legend she was taken to the underworld by Xolotl and ravaged. She also is said to have eaten forbidden fruit from an aphrodisiac tree and became the first female to submit to sexual temptation. She was expelled from paradise and the tree split into two. She transformed into Ixnextli, "Ashes in Eyes", a metaphor for being blinded by crying. Her pain at not being able to look into the sky that she once lived in is why men can not look directly into the sun.

Goddess of flowers and romantic love depicted with flowers in her head-dress and as a young married woman with a wrap around skirt and a Quechquimitl, or highly decorated type of poncho. Xochiquetzal's flower was the marigold. Today in early November Mexico celebrates the day of the dead, or "All Souls", in which the ground is strewn with marigolds, combining old and new customs. She may have been worshipped under the name Tonacacihuatl, meaning "Sustenance-Woman". Worshipped during the festivals of Matlalcueyeh, Huei Pachtli, and Macuilxochiquetzal.

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