The Ancient Religion of the Mexican Aztecs Essay

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The ancient religion of the Mexican Aztec’s was a complex interaction between gods and its adherents through human sacrifice, rituals, and principle beliefs. The fall of the Toltec civilization allowed for the Aztec religion to form and thrive during the 14th and 15th century. They believed the gods were powerful enough to effect everyone from the emperor right down to the slaves. Huitzilopochtli was the tribal sun god and god of war, without whom no life would exist on earth. Although often influenced by the surrounding cultures, the Aztec rituals and beliefs shaped and gave meaning to life for its adherents.

One of principle beliefs of the Aztec religion involved the origins of the universe. Aztec adherents believed that their city, Tenochtitlan, was where the forces of the heavens and the underworld were connected, a similar idea that is represented by the ‘World Tree’. The heavens of their religion were divided into 13 levels with Ometeotl, the supreme creator, living in the highest 2 levels. As the World Tree suggests, their city was connected through the roots to the underworld, which in the Aztec religion consisted of 9 levels of Michtlan. Their belief in a supernatural dimension that was beyond their human experience meant that the gods were responsible for the creation of the Aztec world and provided a moral framework for their lives. Aztecs believed the myth of the Four Past Worlds where Ometeotl’s four sons were given the task of creating the world and humans to live in it. The sons created, fought and violently destroyed each others’ worlds until the new Earth and Sun were born. The two Gods, Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcotl, met a great Earth monster Tlaltecuhtli and killed her, threw her tail into the sky to make the he...

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...ust as the motif of the World Tree implies, the connection between the gods, the sacrifices and the Aztec society was of great significance, uniting them all. It is through these rituals and traditions that they were able to interact with the gods and goddess in the heavens.

As religion played an important part their of way of life it solidifies the idea that the Aztec cultural belief system assisted the adherents in finding purpose and meaning. The Tree of Life mirrors the Aztec religion and reflects the understanding that the gods and the heavens have a direct connection to the world and the lives of the Aztec people.
The World Tree encapsulates the elements of heaven, the land and the underworld. Through the ritual of sacrifice the Aztecs believed they could create and maintain balance and harmony of these elements to attain a prosperity and everlasting life.

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