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Tlazolteotl: Tlazolteotl, Goddess of Purification in Aztec Religion, Mythology


Tlazolteotl: Goddess of Purification in Aztec Religion, Mythology

Tlazolteotl: Goddess of Purification in Aztec Religion, Mythology

Image Source: Nova Development

Name and Etymology:

Tlazolteotl, "Two-Faced Eater of Filth"
Tlaelquani, "Eater of Exrement"
Lady of Witches

Religion and Culture of Tlazolteotl:

Aztec, Mesoamerica

Symbols, Iconography, and Art of Tlazolteotl:

Tlazolteotl is drawn wearing the skin of a human sacrificial victim and squatting over something. She can also be seen carrying a grass broom as a symbol of cleaning or wearing a spindle of raw cotton on her headdress. Very often today you can find small statues of her as a woman squatting and giving birth — her role as goddess of fertility and childbirth is overtaking her role as goddess of filth and purification.

Tlazolteotl is Goddess of:

Filth (tlazolli, which can refer to disease or vice)
Purification from disease or filth
Sexual Behavior
Carnal Desire

Equivalents in Other Cultures:

The Aztecs appear to have acquired Tlazolteotl into their pantheon via the Huastec after the Aztec conquered the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Story and Origin of Tlazolteotl:

Aztecs believed that if they confessed all their sins while on their deathbeds, Tlazolteotl would come to eat this filth, thus allowing them to die while spiritually pure and clean.

Family Tree and Relationships of Tlazolteotl:

Mother of Cinteotl
Mother of Xochiquetzal

Temples, Worship and Rituals of Tlazolteotl:

Aztec warriors were provided with prostitutes while they were in training. These prostitutes dedicated themselves to Tlazolteotl, but their services made them unclean so the Aztecs ritually sacrificed the women and dumped their bodies in marshes. Other Aztecs would purify themselves in front of images of Tlazolteotl by cutting themselves and offering up their blood. During the festival of Ochpanitztli, war captives would be sacrificed to her via the Tlacaliliztli arrow sacrifice.

Mythology and Legends of Tlazolteotl:

unknown — please email me if you have any information to add about this.

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