Coatlicue (Coh-ah-TLEE-cooeh) [Skirt of Serpents]

The Aztec goddess of earth and fire, and mother of the gods and mother of the stars of the southern sky. Her daughter is the goddess Coyolxauhqui. Coatlicue was magically impregnated by a ball of feathers. Her outraged children decapitated her, but the god Huitzilopochtli emerged fully armed from his mother's womb and slew many of his brothers and sisters. She represented the type of the devouring mother in whom were combined both the womb and the grave. Coatlicue was a serpent goddess, depicted wearing a skirt of snakes. Coyolxauhqui

Coyolxauhqui (Coh-yohl-SHAU-kee) [Painted with Bells]

"Golden Bells". The earth and moon-goddess of the Aztecs. She is related to the four hundred star-deities Huitznauna, who is under her control. She possesses magical powers which with she can do great harm. Coyolxauhqui decapitated her own mother Coatlicue when she became pregnant in what her children deemed unseemly circumstances. Immediately the sun-god Huitzilopochtli sprang fully armed from Coatlicue's womb and slew Coyalxauhqui and many of her kin. According to one tradition, Huitzilopochtli tossed her head into the sky where it became the moon.

Huitzilopochtli (Wee-tsee-loh-POCH-tlee) [Hummingbird on the Left]

The Aztec god of war and of the sun, chief god of the great Aztec city Tenochtitlan. He is a son of Coatlicue. He slew his sister and tossed her head into the sky where it became the moon. Huitzilopochtli was represented as a humming bird. His name means Humming-bird of the South or He of the South.


Mictlantecutli ("lord of the realm of the dead") is the ruler of Mictlan, the lowest layer of the Aztec underworld. He is portrayed as a skeleton, or as a figure wearing a skull with protruding teeth. His symbolic animals are the spider, the owl, and the bat. His wife is Mictecacihuatl.  (Depicted in blue in scene of human sacrifice.)


The Aztec god who sacrificed himself in a fire so that the sun should continue to shine over the world.


An Aztec creator goddess. She is the wife of Ometecuhtli.


"Two Lord". The creator god, god of fire and the highest god of the Aztec pantheon. He is the lord (or androgynous master) of duality and of the unity of the opposites. He had no formal cult and no cult center, but he was deemed to be present in every ritual and in all things in this world.

Ometeotl (Oh-meh-teh-OHTL)

Deity of antithesis, represented as both male and female.

Quetzalcoatl (Keht-sahl-COH-atl)

"Feathered Snake". One of the major deities of the Aztecs, Toltecs, and other Middle American peoples. He is the creator sky-god and wise legislator. He organized the original cosmos and participated in the creation and destruction of various world periods. Quetzalcoatl ruled the fifth world cycle and created the humans of that cycle. The story goes that he descended to Mictlan, the underworld, and gathered the bones of the humanbeings of the previous epochs. Upon his return, he sprinkled his own blood upon these bones and fashioned thus the humans of the new era. He is also a god of the wind (the wind-god Ehecatl is one of his forms), as well as a water-god and fertility-god.

He is regarded as a son of the virgin goddess Coatlicue and as the twin brother of Xolotl. As the bringer of culture he introduced agriculture (maize) and the calendar and is the patron of the arts and the crafts.

In one myth the god allowed himself to be seduced by Tezcatlipoca, but threw himself on a funeral pyre out of remorse. After his death his heart became the morning-star, and is as such identified with the god Tlahuizcalpantecutli. In dualistic Toltec religion, the opposing deity, Tezcatlipoca ("Smoking Mirror"), a god of the night, had reputedly driven Quetzalcoatl into exile. According to yet another tradition he left on a raft of snakes over the sea. In any case, Quetzalcoatl, described as light-skinned and bearded, would return in a certain year. Thus, when the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés appeared in 1519, the Aztec king, Montezuma II, was easily convinced that Cortés was in fact the returning god.

The Aztecs later made him a symbol of death and resurrection and a patron of priests. The higher priests were called Quetzalcoatl too. The god has a great affinity with the priest-king Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl, who ruled the Toltecs in Tula in the 10th century. The cult of Quetzalcoatl was widespread in Teotihuacan (ca. 50km northeast of Mexico City), Tula (or Tullán, capitol of the Toltecs in middle Mexico), Xochilco, Cholula, Tenochtitlan (the current Mexico City), and Chichen Itza.


An Aztec moon god, who sacrificed himself after Nanauatzin.

Tezcatlipoca (Tehs-cah-tlee-POH-cah)

Tezcatlipoca was the Aztec god of night and all material things. He carried a magic mirror that gave off smoke and killed enemies, and so he was called “god of smoking mirror.” He was god of the north. As lord of the world and the natural forces, he was the opponent of the spiritual Quetzalcoatl, and sometimes appeared as a tempter, urging men to evil. Punishing evil and rewarding goodness, he tested men’s minds with temptations, rather than trying to lead them into wickedness. He was also god of beauty and war, the lord of heroes and lovely girls. He once seduced the goddess of flowers, Xochiquetzal, wife of the god Xochipilli, because such a lovely goddess was a good match for him, being a handsome war-like god. Yet he appeared most frequently as a magician, a shape shifter and a god of mysterious powers. His animal symbol was the jaguar, which was sometimes believed to take human form, like the werewolf of European folklore.

Tlaloc (TLAH-lohk)

The Aztec god of rain, agriculture, fire, and the south. In his kingdom he receives those killed by thunderbolts, water, leprosy, and contagious diseases. He is the consort of the water goddess Chalchiuhtlicue and sometimes regarded as the father of the moon-god Tecciztecatl. Each year a large number of children were sacrified by drowning. He is of pre-Aztec origin and known from the time of the Toltecs. His image figures prominently in their art. He presided over the third of the five Aztec world ages.

Tloquenahuaque (Other name: Tloque Nuhaque)

The unknown god of the Aztecs, believed to be a creator god.  Subject of poetry.

An Aztec mother-goddess.  (Linked to the Virgin Mary after the Conquest.)


The Aztec sun-god, god of warriors. Those who die in his service are rewarded with eternal life. He presides over the fifth (present) Aztec world age.