Sir James George Frazer was a Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. He is often considered one of the founding fathers of modern anthropology. His work, The Golden Bough: a Study of Magic and Religion has a chapter that explores the symbolic eating of the God, a practice central to the Christian faith. The Aztecs, to the surprise of the Spanish chroniclers, also had a similar ritual.
Huitziláihuitl reigned from about 1395 to 1417 CE. Huitziláihuitl’s name is derived from the hummingbird symbol of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli (the god of the sun and war).
Religion was indeed the very fountain-head of their civilization, and on its rites and observances they lavished a devotion rarely equaled in the annals of man. To its great uplifting force was due the conception and evolution of the hieroglyphic writing and calendar, alike the invention and the exclusive property of the priesthood. To its need for sanctuary may be attributed the origin of Maya architecture; to its desire for expression, the rise of Maya sculpture. All activities reflected its powerful influence and all were more or less dominated by its needs and teachings. In short, religion was the foundation upon which the structure of the Maya civilization was reared.
Early European chroniclers made mention of Votan as a civilizer or culture hero in Tabasco and Chiapas, properly Maya traditions. Like Quetzalcoatl, Votan was the first historian of his people, and wrote a book on the origin of the people, in which he declares himself a snake, a descendant of Imos, of the line of Chan, of the race of Chivim. One of his titles was ‘lord of the hollow tree,’ the tepahuaste, or teponaztli.
Tezcatlipoca is the Smoking Mirror. He is the god of the nocturnal sky, god of the ancestral memory, god of time and the Lord of the North, the embodiment of change through conflict, a Mexica Shiva. The prayer to Tezcatlipoca that follows is made after the priest has heard a confession. In the Mexica (Aztec) rite, this absolution from sin exists once only in a lifetime, a feature that echoes certain European medieval practices.