Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca

2016 Kirby Vickery September 2016

By Kirby Vickery from the September 2016 Edition

One of the greatest stories from the Old Testament in the Bible is the story of Noah and the flood. It has created more backlash and controversy over time in our modern world, almost more than any other story. For Christians of faith, the story is fact. And, actually, for others it is, too. I mean, people have stated that they’ve seen the ark while the Turkish government bans other expeditions, which only enhances conspiracy theories and IMF type intrigue.

There actually have been several floods in human time and before. There was an ice dam in the western United States that let go and released enough water to flood almost the entire western states just east of the Rockies. Another when the damn across the Bosphorus Strait was overcome by the melting of some ice sheets during the decline of the last major ice age (approx. 5500BCE). What happened there was a slow crumbling of the dam across the strait, causing a slow flooding of the Black Sea, which was a fresh water lake until that time.

As with biblical and other sourced myths, the Aztecs had their own version of these stories. To get to the one that deals with a flood, one has to understand the Aztecs’ version of their creation first. (Just a friendly comment to the reader here: You and I are not the first people to see all sorts of correlation be-tween these Aztec Mythologies and the stories in Geneses. My first shot using Google brought over 18,000 web sites with the same idea.

After having looked over several and my own notes of years’ past, I can assure you that we are not the first. My intent is also not to lesson or change or anything toward Christian beliefs as the two stories existed long before anyone from one culture knew anything about the other. To get to the ‘Aztec myth’ of the flood, one has to understand the Aztec creation story or stories because the flooding takes place in the forth.

In the Aztec creation story, there are five “Suns” or worlds. They came, one at a time, one building on another and, before each world was built, the one before it was destroyed only to have the new one be created which was better for man. One must also understand that these stories changed through time to allow for political gain, weather changes, major battles or wars that went wrong, and/or the whims of the priest class to ensure they stayed in power, etc.

At the beginning, there was nothing. Then there was the first and most powerful god, Ometecuhtli/Omecihuatl. This god, as were most of them, was a dual god, meaning that it was both male and female at the same time. This allowed it to be both opposites. That is to say, it was both good and evil, funny and sad, positive and negative and you get the idea. Being both male and female he, she, or it was able to have children and he, she, or it had four which ended up representing the four directions of the compass.

The gods were: Huitzilopochtli (south), Quetzalcoatl (east), Tezcatlipoca (west), and Xipe Tote (north). It is through their inter-actions in satisfying each of their own desires and dislikes of the others that the other four worlds or “Suns” were created and all but the last destroyed and the creation of all the other pantheon of Aztec gods, some of whom were around and worshiped a long time before the Aztecs ever came on the scene. What we have today is a plethora of creation stories for each sun depending on where you are when you hear each story or from which codex you pull your translation. One of the more important gods was Tlaloc who was also worshiped by the Mayans. He was known as the “Provider” and ruled the fourth layer of the upper world. He was also known as the rain god and the bringer of life.

In the fourth Sun, the gods got to fighting each other again and Tlaloc decided to end the world. However, he had grown fond of a young couple, Tata and Nena. Because of their devotion to him, he gave them advance notice that he was going to flood the world. He told them to hollow out a large tree and get in it so they would be able to ride out the flood. He also told them to take two, and only two, ears of corn each with them and he would provide for everything else. When they were ready, he turned on the rain and flooded the entire world.

When it stopped raining, the land started to appear again. Tata and Nena noticed that the waters were loaded with fish and were not only happy to be alive but were very hungry and they got out of their tree trunk canoe, caught a bunch of fish and started to eat them.

When Tlaloc saw this, he was furious and asked them if this was how they returned his faith in them.

And without waiting for an answer, he turned them into the first dogs in the world so they could become man’s best friend and ever faithful companion (until it comes to their stomachs).

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