Smithsonian Magazine states the Aztec civilization of Mexico thrived for less than a century. From the founding of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) in 1428 to the conquering of the the capital city by Hernan Cortes in 1521, the Aztecs asserted control over the native tribes of central Mexico. Their meteoric fall and dramatic rise is signified by the art, culture and mythology of the Aztecs.
The pantheon of gods in Aztec culture served many purposes.
Ometecuhtli is considered the father of all Aztec gods. The University of California-Irvine’s faculty resource states Ometecuhtli is translated at “two lord” or “duality.” He was androgynous and was said to be present in every aspect of Aztec life.
Arizona State University posted information on the war god Tezcatlipoca from Mexico’s Museo del Templo Mayor. Tezcatlipoca was the god of night and dressed in tiger skins and carried an obsidian blade. Along the thunderbird god Quetzalcoatl, the two deities created the world.
Quetzalcoatl was a feathered serpent and one of the most popular gods of Aztec mythology. Quetzalcoatl even reached the Mayan civilization as the god Kukulkan. He wears a beak-shaped mask and was represented by Venus in both the daytime and nighttime. Thunderbird myths about the creation of humans state the great bird god flew down to the underworld to get bones from previous attempts to make new people, according to DeAnza University.
The University of Houston states Huitzilopochtli was the patron deity of the capital city, Tenochtitlan. Supposedly he is the god that led the Aztecs to the center of their civilization. Huitzilopochtli was also considered a god of war as well as the sun god.
Coatlicue is the mother of many Aztec gods, according to Pacific Lutheran University. She gave birth to many gods represented by stars in the heavens. She is also the mother of Huitzilopochtli. A statue of Coatlicue was found in Mexico City and excavated. She is the goddess of Earth. The statue depicts Coatlicue holding the roof of the underworld in one talon. Above her head, the goddess has two snakes on top of a pyramid which represents where all the gods were formed in the heavens.
The god of the underworld was M ictlantecutli. It was from him that Quetzalcoatl needed to get bones of humans in order to create the fifth world. Aztec myth purports the world has been destroyed four times in the past and the pantheon of gods oversees the fifth world. The ashes of bones already in the underworld helped create the Earth upon which Quetzalcoatl’s humans live.