Menu Home

Aztec Cosmology and its Chroniclers

James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence (25 November 1874 – 3 March 1955) was a Scottish journalist, poet, author, folklorist and occult scholar. He was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and Vice-President of the Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society.  His interests included the study of Atlantis, Scottish folklore, and pre-Christian British mythology.

In The Myths of Mexico & Peru, Lewis Spence explored Aztec mythology and its Chroniclers.  The Aztec had a form of writing that was anchored to memory, mnemonic in nature, but limited as it was, it suffered the devastation of the Spanish fire in the name of cultural genocide. Ironically, it is from these same Spaniards that our knowledge of Aztec theology comes from.

What follows is a brief overview of Aztec cosmology and how we have come to know these ideas in the context of the destruction of the Aztec records, and suppression of the Spanish witness.

Month of Xocotlhuetzi

This month is called Fall of fruit or Hueymiccaihuitl (Great feast of the dead) and was commemorated by a ceremonial pole-climbing competition. This month was dedicated to Xocotl, the Aztec god of fire and the stars (also called Otontecuhtli whose cult was especially developed among the Tepanec tribes). Teocuitlanacochtli are associated with worship of the god, Xipe Tótec.

Texcatlipoca

Texcatlipoca, or “Smoking Mirror,” was an omnipresent and omnipotent god, the god of the night sky and memory.  Here he carries the same shield as Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. The volutes on his temple represent butterflies or fallen soldiers. White feathers were placed in the hair of sacrificial victims.

%d bloggers like this: