Aztec gods The role of Religion
Aztec gods and goddesses are numerous. There was a god for almost every purpose and aspect of life in the Aztec culture. Religion was a very important part of the civilization and it was woven into their daily practices, beliefs, ceremonies, and dress. Many sources list more than a hundred different gods or goddesses, while others list dozens more.
Aztec gods The role of gods
Aztec rulers were considered to be the embodiment of their gods and were thought to know the disposition and will of the Aztec gods. Among the many, their three main gods were Huitzilopochtli, Tlaloc, and Tezcatlipoca. Huitzilopochtli, as with others, could only be appeased by the blood of human sacrifice. His great temple was on atop the pyramid in Tenochtitlan.
Victims (many captured in battle) were beheaded and the heads were displayed as trophies on what is called a great rack or wall. Others sacrificed thought it a great honor and volunteered. It is thought that more than 20,000 were ritualistically killed in a 4 day celebration of the temples completion.
Other gods and goddesses include:
- Atlacoya -- goddess of drought
- Chiconahui a domestic fertility goddess
- Citlalicue a creator of the stars
- Cipactonal god of astrology, sorcery (witchcraft)
- Oxomoco goddess of astrology
- Xochiquezal goddess of female sexuality, prostitutes, pleasure
- Patecatl god of healing and creator of peyote (a hallucinogenic)
Aztec gods The comparison
Unlike the God of Judaism and Christianity, who is a God of love, grace and redemption, many Aztec gods were about brutal violence and war. Also in contrast to Aztec gods, the Christian God created all things and saw the need for a one-time only sacrifice.
Because all have sinned (through original sin in the Garden of Eden), God came to earth in the human form of His Son, Jesus Christ. He was the sacrificial Lamb, atoning for the sins of the whole human race. Through His sacrifice, we all are offered this free gift if we turn away from our dark pagan ways; we can reap the promise of spending eternity with the sole deity who created and controls all that the Aztecs thought their gods did. Below, view a few of the biblical verses that address some of the Aztec beliefs and the Christian counterpoints.
- Genesis 1 (creation of all things, stars, water, wind, etc.)
- Jeremiah 17:8 (drought)
- Isaiah 47:8-15, Galatians 5:19-21 (sorcery and astrology)
- Proverbs 6:25-26, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 18 (sexual pleasure, prostitutes)
- Matthew 4:23 and Luke 9:11 (healing)
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