John Pohl, THE CODICES John Pohl's

ANCIENT BOOKS: Borgia Group Codices

The Gods

The Nahua pantheon was extremely complex but Codex Telleriano Remensis and other works have helped us to identify the most prominant in the codices:

Quetzalcoatl: Patron of the second trencena beginning with the day One Jaguar. Quetzalcoatl was the son of Mixcoatl, who had killed Itzpapalotl or Obsidian Butterfly. This Plumed Serpent founded his cult shrine at Tula-Tollan and later Cholula.

Image - Quetzalcoatl

Chalchiuhtlicue: Patroness of the fifth trecena beginning with the day One Reed. Chalchiutlicue was the goddess of ground water - springs, lakes, and rivers. Her cult along with that of her consort Tlaloc extends back to the mural painting traditions of Teotihuacán.

Tlaloc: Patron of the seventh trecena beginning with the day One Rain. Tlaloc was responsible for the life-giving rains which were brewed in caves on high mountain peaks. He is recognizable by his distinctive blue rimmed eye-mask and fanged teeth. His wife was Chalchiuhtlicue.

Image - Tlaloc

Mayahuel: Patroness of eighth trecena. Mayahuel was the goddess of the maguey, the cactus from which a powerful fermented drink called octli or pulque was made. On occasion she shares ritual dress with Chalchiuhtlicue indicating a close affinity with the water goddess as well.

Image - Mayahuel

Mictlantecuhtli: Patron of the tenth trecena beginning with the day One Flint. His name means "Lord of Mictlan," the place of the dead. He most often appears with a fleshless skull for a head and often a skeleton for a body as well.

Image - Mictlantecuhtli

Tonatiuh: Patron of the tenth trecena beginning with the day sign One Death (together with Mictlantecuhtli). Tonatiuh was the sun incarnate and lord of a celestial paradise where those who fought most valiantly in war were said to reside after death.

Image - Tonatiuh

Tezcatlipoca: Patron of the twelfth trecena beginning with the day One Lizard. Eternal enemy of Quetzalcoatl, he was said to have driven the great hero from Tula-Tollan after shaming him before his people. He frequently wears a smoking obsidian mirror in his head band or on his foot as an emblem of his name.


Xipe: Patron of the fourteenth trecena beginning with the day One Dog. Xipe was both a war and fertility god as well as the god of craftsmen in precious metals. Dramatic combat rituals were performed in his honor that included the flaying of enemy dead. The Zapotecs also claimed Xipe as a special patron of their nation and portrayed him wearing the flayed skin of a war captive.

Image - Xipe

Xochiquetzal: Patron of the nineteenth trecena beginning with the day sign One Eagle. Xochiquetzal was the consort of Xochipilli, Flower Prince, and together they embodied the finest characteristics of the nobility. Xochiquetzal was a patroness of royal craftspeople and she frequently appears wearing richly embroidered capes and skirts, as well as lavish jewelry.

Image - Xochiquetzal

Click on the images to enlarge.

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