The word Toyecnemiliztli means "The belief" in Nahuatl.
Is one of the two main religions in the Aztec Empire.
The Aztecs were originally one of the Nahua tribes and when they reached the Valley of Mexico, bringing their own beliefs and deities. The most important of their gods is Huitzilopochtli, whose name can be literally translated as left hummingbird, lefty hummingbird or hummingbird south; however, according to esoterism in Nahuatl language it can be translated as The Soul of the Warrior Who Comes From Heaven.
Arriving at the Valley of Mexico or Anahuac Valley, the Aztecs tried to incorporate their culture with the gods of the most advanced civilizations that were already established, including the older civilizations such as the Toltec; thus, they included Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl.
However, some Mexica leaders (such as Tlacaelel) modified the story to fit their interests, making Huitzilopochtli, a tribal god, of the same level as the other Nahua gods. This is a taboo among the aztec people.
As the Mexicans began to conquer other peoples, they started to accept new gods and linking their stories with the gods they already had.
Scholars such as Popochitli Micacan suggests that, at the time of the First Spanish Invasion, an importan faction of the religious Aztec circles were in a process of syncretism where all the gods would only be expressions of the powers of a chief deity, Ometéotl / Omecihuatl. This thinking fostered the adoption of Christianity by an importan part of the population.
Ometeotl/Omecihuatl is an old pair of gods; their names literally mean "Lord God, Lord (female) God," but usually translated as "our lord / lady of duality", which implies a god with female and male characteristics. This god is much older than the Nahua civilization, and according to some legends is the origin of all gods. The common people hardly know him, but among the upper classes he is object of a cult. Other names given are: "The Lord of the Near and together" "The inventor himself" and Tonacatecuhtli (Lord of our flesh).
Outside the popular religion, gods filled with complicated histories and relationships, product of syncretism of the Nahua civilizations and Toltec heritage, priests and tlamatinime (sages) developed a deep monistic view. Most believers in now day Mexico believe that the concept is pantheist.
The synthesis of these concepts is focused on the figure of Téotl (general God), and its translation into the popular religion in the dual (or pair of gods) Ometéotl god.
Téotl, the force that creates, preserves and transforms the universe, which generally occurs in dual form.
Mexican culture was particularly noted for practicing human sacrifice; offerings to Huitzilopochtli would be made to restore the blood he lost, as the sun was confronted on a daily battle. This would prevent the end of the world would happen in each 52-year cycle. The dedication of the great temple at Tenochtitlán was reported by the Aztecs as referenced with the sacrifice of more than 84,000 prisoners; however, this number was probably an exaggeration of the same Mexica to instill fear among their enemies, because in the story insist that all Tlatoani personally sacrificed the victims in the course of four days. As a comparison, in the final days of the Dachau concentration camp, with modern technology 24 hours, you could have 4,500 victims a day.
Moreover, sacrifices have been banned from practice since the XVII century during the period of good relations with Europe.
In the present day only symbolic offerings are made by priests in temples and by people in their homes, commonly including copal, corn, gold, and peacock blood.
- Cihucoatl Earth mother Goddess. Patron of childbirth and those who died while giving birth. Often portrayed with a child in her arms.
- Coyolxauhqui Goddess of the moon and earth. Possesses magical powers with which she can cause great harm.
- Ehecatl God of the winds. A form of Quetzalcoatl, he can bring life to all that are lifeless.
- Huitzilopochtli Mighty god of war, the sun and storms. Creator God; creator of the human world. Represented as the hummingbird.
Sub-Gods and demi-Gods
- Acolmiztli A God of the underworld.
- Acolnahuacatl Another God of the underworld.
- Atlaua God of fisherman and water. Called 'Lord of the Waters'. Associated with the arrow.
- Centzonuitznaua Gods of the southern stars. Rebel brothers of the sun god Huitzilopochtli.
- Chalchiuhtlicue Matron Goddess of rivers, streams and marriage. Ruled over all waters of the earth.
- Chalchiutotolin God of pestilence.
- Chalmecacihuilt A Goddess of the underworld.
- Chantico Goddess of hearth and volcano fires.
- Citlalatonac God who created the stars with Citlalicue.
- Ixtlilton God of healing, medicine, feasting and games.
- Metztli Moon god.
- Patecatl God of healing and fertility.
- Quetzalcoatl Creator god and wise legislator. God of the wind, water and fertility. Light skinned and bearded, or represented as a feathered, flying snake.
- Tecciztecatl Moon god.
- Teoyaomqui God of dead warriors.
- Teteoinnan Mother of the gods.
- Tezcatlipoca God of night and material things. A tempter, he often tried to urge men to evil as a test of their moral character. Sometimes seen as the opposite of spiritual Quetzalcoatl.
- Tlaloc God of rain, agriculture, fire and the south.
- Tonatiuh Aztec sun-god and god of warriors.
- Xochipilli God of flowers, love, games, beauty, song and dance.
Priests and Temples
In the Nahuatl language, the word for priest is tlamacazqui meaning "giver of things"—the main responsibility of the priesthood is to make sure that the gods are given their due in the form of offerings, ceremonies and sacrifices.
The Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan is the head of the cult of Huitzilopochtli and thus of the state religion of the Aztec empire. He has special priestly duties in different rituals on the state level.
Tenochtitlan and Cholollan are great pilgrimage sites for the believers.
The forms and manifestations the sun are a central component of the Mexica cosmogony. Therefore, there will be no surprise that their calendars (religious and civilian) are solar and are directly linked to various religious forms. The Mesoamerican calendar is composed of 18 months of 20 days each, plus five nefarious days.