My work has also been published on Buzzfeed and most recently in Time magazine. Quetzalcoatl was not only one of the most important deities in pre-Columbian Mexico, he was also one of the oldest. To the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl was, as his name indicates, a feathered serpent, a flying reptile (much like a dragon), who was a boundary-maker (and transgressor) between earth and sky. Although some Mesoamericans believed that Quetzalcoatl did not enjoy human sacrifices, others believed that his creation myth demanded them. He also had anthropomorphic forms, for example in his aspects as Ehecatl the wind god. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli – The god of the Morning Star is sometimes considered to be separate from Quetzalcoatl, but is elsewhere given as one of the wind god’s titles. Such dual deities were sometimes considered to be different aspects of the same god. Looking at the iconography and retold myths of Mesoamerica, some historians have theories that Quetzalcoatl came to be associated with culture and urban civilization. He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. Public Domain. Feathered serpents appear as early as 900 BC in parts of Mexico. 1 Capabilities 2 Deities 2.1 Major Deities 2.2 Other Deities 2.3 Folk Saint Deities 3 Associations 4 Known Users 4.1 Anime/Manga 4.2 Television 4.3 Cartoons/Comics 4.4 Video Games 5 Gallery The user can have the traits and abilities of Aztec Gods and Goddesses. The confederacy was known for both coveting and maintaining a major pilgrimage center at Cholula – the city dedicated to the worship of Quetzalcoatl. One of the many questions that have risen to the forefront of this scholarly debate regards the role of religious superstitions and the myth of Quetzalcoatl… Several of the peoples of Eastern Mexico united with Cortés in the belief that he would help them overthrow the Aztecs. Quetzalcoatl head in Teotihuacan . Quetzalcoatl was one of the Aztec gods.Quetzalcoatl was referred to as a feathered serpent and was believed by some to be the chief god of the Aztecs. Unsurprisingly, many depictions of Quetzalcoatl pertain to a serpent, with the probable earliest known representation of the god found at the Olmec site of La Venta. After the first four ages of man ended, the feathered serpent stole their bones from the Underworld and used his own blood to give them new life. In essence, Quetzalcoatl was regarded as the ‘unifier’ deity who was to be venerated across tribal lines, on the basis of common social and political grounds. Quetzalcoatl definition, the feathered serpent god of the Aztec and Toltec cultures. The widespread worship of Quetzalcoatl may have even played a factor in the belief that the natives of Mexico identified him with the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. This idea of return stemmed from a supposed speech given by Montezuma, the Aztec ruler, to Cortés when the Spanish arrived at Tenochtitlan. For example, there might have been a Toltec warlord with the namesake Quetzalcoatl, possibly also known as Kukulkán, who invaded the Yucatan in the early Post-Classic Period (circa 900 AD). And lastly, complex legacies of Quetzalcoatl in religious circles were also unexpectedly preserved by fringe groups, like some members of The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Although little is known about the specific ways in which he was revered, some historians believe that the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms and other intoxicants may have played a large role. Quetzalcoatl is the most recognizable name among the Aztec gods. Quite interestingly, in some Aztec traditions, Quetzalcoatl opposes human sacrifice possibly for this very same reason – as the practice goes against the legacy of the gods defeating the bloodthirsty monster. Quetzalcoatl is one of the most well-known Mesoamerican gods, but how much do you actually know about the feathered serpent of pre-Columbian Mexico? In essence, over the course of centuries, the Nahua-speaking tribes would adopt many of the legends of Quetzalcoatl (along with other Toltec myths) and mix them with their own native folklore, thus giving rise to the ubiquity of the mythical ‘Feathered Serpent’ and his motifs in the Aztec pantheon of gods by circa 15th century AD. 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Quetzalcoatl was also associated with Venus, the Morning Star, and thus the dawn. Along with one of his brothers, he was instructed by his parents to create the world six hundred years after his birth. Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec version of this plumed snake archetype. Instead, these stories were probably the invention of Franciscan monks who followed the initial conquest of Mexico. In some versions of the ancient Mesoamerican histories, Quetzalcoatl was reborn as Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli after being burned on a … And as we described before, the Toltec rulers continued the tradition of venerating Quetzalcoatl through their own mythico-historical association of rulers with the deity. ketsal lub quetzal). However, this connection of Quetzalcoatl-Cortés is not really found in any native document that is devoid of the post-Conquest Spanish influence. Online Sources: McGill University / LACMA / World Digital Library / MexicoLore, Featured Image: Artwork by GENZOMAN (DeviantArt), Home » Blog Posts » Culture » Quetzalcoatl: History and Mythology of the Aztec ‘Feathered Serpent’ God. This confederacy went on to provide logistical support to the Spanish conquistadors in their time and even went on to take control of the symbolic Cholula from a pro-Aztec faction. This is also evident in the duality of serpent figures throughout Mesopotamian history. While this legend is disputed, it is clear that Quetzalcoatl was an important deity to the Aztecs and other people of Mexico and Central America. Representations of a feathered snake occur as early as the Teotihuacan civilization (3rd to 8th century CE) on the central plateau. At Cholula, however, the god’s cult is most evident. To that end, the feats of the 10th century Toltec king Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl, who was said to have ruled over the mythico-historic city of Tollan, are almost inseparable from the legends of the god himself. Among these Mesoamerican gods, Quetzalcoatl was also one of the oldest. I have been in love with all things related to Mythology. Furthermore, historians have found only scarce evidence of such a foretelling of Quetzalcoatl’s return in pre-Hispanic traditions. Waking up next morning, the remorseful Quetzalcoatl willingly sets himself on fire (thereby sacrificing himself), and consequently his ashes and heart rise up to the sky to transform into the radiant morning star (Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli or aspect of Venus). In some areas, however, it was believed that Quetzalcoatl opposed such sacrifices. He is an Aztec god, but the Aztecs were late in the game. In the Aztec religion, Chalchiuhtlicue was the goddess of water, but she was also the only... 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