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Archive for November 22nd, 2013

Xochiquetzal

The post for this week prompted me to look beyond the pantheons that I normally work with and brought me to a Deity of the Aztecs. Xochiquetzal is a Goddess of love, beauty, sex, fertility and protector of women and mothers, pregnancy and the crafts of women such as weaving. Unlike many ofthe Aztec Goddesses who are assigned to the agricultural responsibilities only, she embodies life itself and all of the pleasures, excesses and enjoyment of physical expression. Her archetypal energy is echoed in the more familiar goddesses of Hathor, Brighid, Aphrodite and Parvati.

Xochiquetzal’s  name itself is a composite of two words – xochitl (flower) and quetzalli (feather or precious feather) and when combined means precious flower feather or maiden. She is closely tied to vegetation and butterflies and flowers follow her in honor.  A festival that was held every eight years in honor of Xochiquetzal was highlighted by the maidens wearing animal and flower masks.

She is depicted as a youthful and attractive woman, fully aware of her power of seduction and the potential of that power to be prone to excess. It is for this reason that unlike many of the deities she is depicted wearing fine garments and adorned with luxurious regalia as symbol of the sexual power of youth.

377px-Lombards_Museum_163

Her twin brother is the flower prince,  Xochipilli. Similarly his kingdom was one of painting, dance and music and the beauty of the natural world. Together, they are the masculine and feminine energies that flowed through the Aztec people embracing their human qualities fully and aligning them with the beauty of their natural world devoid of the worries and concerns normally befalling an ancient society. These Deities and celebrations of them offered respite from the hard work that typified their existence. 

I always find it interesting to learn more about another Deity from a lesser known pantheon. The treasure hunt continues on making the connections to those deities and pantheons I do know and comparing the cultural and societal differences that arise.  In meditating on Xochiquetzal’s energies the raw experience of that energy and the strong currents of the feminine polarity and gender were quite profound in their simplicity.

The raw power was that of dipping deeply into that well spring of first aroused sexuality; the first experience that seems to validate your place in this cycle of living creative power and the opening of youthful eyes to the beauty and fertility of life that surrounds you at every turn.  You see every thing from a different perspective and experience the pleasures of day to day living with heightened awareness and sensitivity.

I would imagine that this is the same flow of energetic current that sustained and upheld the hard work ad at times harsh conditions of the ancient peoples. This spring of youthful pleasure and the affirmation of their place in a greater cycle of continuum that was life itself.  Every so often its good to take a side trip down a road you’ve not been and open to the experience of another pantheon or another way of experiencing the Gods and Goddesses. What you may find is a reawakening to the vibrancy you once felt when coming upon what currently sustains your practice.

Pictures:
Xochiquetzal: From the Codex Borgia
Xochipilli. Statue from the Lombards Museum

Resources:
The Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia Mythica

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