Coatlicue Aztec Great Goddess  

Posted by Stella Clark

Coatlicue Aztec Great Goddess Image
COATLICUE IS THE AZTEC GREAT GODDESS OF LIFE, DEATH, AND REBIRTH. HER NAME MEANS SERPENT'S SKIRT FOR SHE OFTEN WEARS A SKIRT OF SNAKES AND A NECKLASS MADE OF SKULLS. IT IS SHE WHO CREATED ALL BEING, ALL LIFE, AND JUST AS SURELY AS IT WAS CREATED, SHE TAKES EACH LIFE BACK INTO HERSELF, INTO THE FOLDS OF HER SERPENT SKIRT. SHE PROVIDES LIFE FROM HER WOMB AND THE HORROR OF THE GRAVE FROM HER HEART.HER TALONED HANDS, BALLED INTO TIGHT FISTS, ARE REALLY THE FANGED HEADS OF LETHAL CORAL SNAKES. SHE IS BOTH NURTURING AND DEVOURING. SHE DWELLS BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH.

COATLICUE WAS THE OLD GODDESS OF THE EARTH; SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF THE GODS AS WELL AS THE GRANDMOTHER OF THE RACE OF MAN. SHE IS DESCRIBED AS THE EARTH BENEATH OUR FEET AND THE GREAT LADY WHO MAKES THE MAIZE GROW. OFTEN, WE FIND HER PORTRAYED AS A DARK AND UGLY CRONE. SHE HAD MANY CHILDREN...COYOLXAUHQUI (THE MOON) AND THE CENTZON HUILZNAHUS (THE 400 STARS OF THE SOUTHERN SKY). HER HUSBAND WAS MIXCOATL, THE CLOUD SERPENT AND THE GOD OF THE CHASE. ONE DAY, WHILE SHE WAS SLEEPING, A BALL OF FEATHERS FELL INTO THE TEMPLE AND BLEW UP UNDER HER SKIRT, MAGICALLY IMPREGNATING HER. HER CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY COYOLXAUHQUI, WERE OUTRAGED BECAUSE THEY FELT THAT THEIR MOTHER HAD BROUGHT A GREAT DISHONOR TO THE FAMILY. LED IN A REBELLION BY COYOLXAUHQUI, THEY TRIED TO COATLICUE, BUT THE GREAT WAR GOD, HUITZILOPOCHTLI EMERGED FULL FORMED AND ARMED FROM HIS MOTHER'S SHOULDERS AND SLEW MANY OF HIS SIBLINGS. IT IS SAID THAT HE THEN CUT OFF COYOLXAUHQUI'S HEAD AND TOSSED INTO THE SKY TO BECOME THE MOON.

AND, AS FOR COATLICUE, SHE IS A GODDESS AND IS, THEREFORE, IMMORTAL AND COULD NOT DIE. IN LATER MYTHS, SHE CAN BE FOUND WAITING...IMPATIENTLY FOR HER SON. IN MEXICO, SHE HAS BECOME THE PATRON OF WOMEN WHO DIE IN CHILDBIRTH.

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