View Full Version : Tlaloc {God of the Week}

March 31st, 2008, 05:42 PM
And another from the Aztec pantheon :)

Name and Etymology:
Tlaloc, "He Who Rests on the Land"
Religion and Culture of Tlaloc:
Aztec, Mesoamerica
Symbols, Iconography, and Art of Tlaloc:
Tlaloc is one of the oldest worshipped gods in Mesoamerica the earliest images that can be identified as Tlaloc date to the 1st century CE on vases from Tlapacoya. At this time, Tlaloc is depicted carrying lightning bolts. Aztecs drew Tlaloc with a clay jar or pot in which he kept the waters of the rain. Tlaloc also has jaguar teeth and large eyes some think that Tlaloc was part jaguar, an attribute which may have derived from Olmec religion where the were-jaguar was the primary deity.
Tlaloc is God of:
Equivalents in Other Cultures:
Chac, Mayan rain god
Cocijo, Zapotec rain god
Story and Origin of Tlaloc:
Tlaloc was thought to live in caves in the mountains where he guarded large stores of treasures. Perhaps connected to this was his image as a "provider" for the people through the rains. Tlaloc ruled over the third of the five Aztec ages.
Family Tree and Relationships of Tlaloc:
Husband of Chalchihuitlicue
Father of Tecciztecatl
Brother of Huixtocihuatl
Temples, Worship and Rituals of Tlaloc:
In the 1st and 3rd months of the calendar and also during the festival of Hueytozoztli, "great watch," ( festival to encourage the growth of corn) children were sacrificed to Tlaloc by drowning; orphaned children were especially sought after. Tlaloc had a major temple at Tenochtitlan which, with Huitzilopochtli's, made the Hueteocalli, "Great Temple," a double pyramid which was the focus of Aztec religious ritual. Huitzilopochtli's was red for war; Tlaloc's was blue & white for water.
Mythology and Legends of Tlaloc:
Aztecs believed that Tlaloc kept water in a clay jar and when it broke it, this caused the rain. Aztecs also believed that he had three other jugs. The second would cause disease, the third frost, and the fourth would bring complete destruction if he emptied it or if it broke. With his consort Chalchihuitlicue, Tlaloc ruled the paradise land of Tlalocan, a realm where mortals lived who died from Tlaloc's actions for example being struck by lightning or drowning in a flood. He also ruled over those who died from leprosy and other contagious diseases.

From: About.com's Aztec Mythology (http://atheism.about.com/od/aztecgodsgoddesses/p/TlalocAztec.htm)

The Aztec god of rain, agriculture, fire, and the south. In his kingdom he receives those killed by thunderbolts, water, leprosy, and contagious diseases. He is the consort of the water goddess Chalchiuhtlicue and sometimes regarded as the father of the moon-god Tecciztecatl. Each year a large number of children were sacrified by drowning. He is of pre-Aztec origin and known from the time of the Toltecs. His image figures prominently in their art. He presided over the third of the five Aztec world ages.

From: Pantheon.org (http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/tlaloc.html)

Tlaloc was an important deity of rain and fertility of the Aztec mythology. Aztec people were living in Mexico during the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Tlaloc was pictured as a man wearing a net of clouds, a crown of heron feathers, foam sandals and carrying rattles to make thunder. Tlaloc brought on great wrath upon the Aztec people. He often used his lightning bolts to make the people sick. It is said that he had four different jugs of water in his possession. When he emptied the first one, it brought life to plants. The second would cause blight, the third brought on frost, and the fourth would bring total destruction.

From: here (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/mythology/tlaloc_rain.html)
Tlaloc ['tɬa:lok] was an important deity in Aztec religion, a god of rain, fertility, and water. He was both a beneficient god who gave life and sustenance, but he was also feared for his ability to send hail, thunder and lightening, and for being the lord of the powerful element of water. In Aztec iconography he is normally depicted with goggle eyes and fangs. He was associated with caves, springs and mountains.

In Aztec cosmology the four corners of the universe are marked by "the four Tlalocs" (Nahuatl: "Tlaloque") which both hold up the sky and functions as the frame for the passing of time. Tlaloc was the patron of the Calendar day Mazatl and of the trecena of Ce Quiyahuitl (1 Rain). In Aztec mythology Tlaloc was the lord of the third sun which was destroyed by fire.

In The Aztec capital Tenochtitlan one of the two shrines on top of the Great Temple was dedicated to Tlaloc. The High Priest who was in charge of the Tlaloc shrine was called "Quetzalcoatl Tlaloc Tlamacazqui". However the most important site of worship to Tlaloc was on the peak of Mount Tlaloc, a 4100 metres high mountain on the eastern rim of the Valley of Mexico. Here the Aztec ruler came and conducted important ceremonies once a year, and throughout the year pilgrims offered precious stones and figures at the shrine.


Tlaloc was also associated with the watery world of the dead, and with the earth. His name is thought to be derived from the Nahuatl word tlālli "earth", and its meaning has been interpreted as "path beneath the earth", "long cave" or "he who is made of earth".[1] J. Richard Andrews interprets it as "one that lies on the land", identifying Tlaloc as a cloud resting on the mountaintops.[2]


Tlaloc was first married to Xochiquetzal, a goddess of flowers, but then Tezcatlipoca kidnapped her. He later married the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue, "She of the Jade Skirt". In Aztec mythic cosmography, Tlaloc ruled the fourth layer of the 'Upper World", or heavens, which is called Tlalocan ("place of Tlaloc") in several Aztec codices, such as the Vaticanus A and Florentine codices. Described as a place of unending Springtime and a paradise of green plants, Tlalocan was the destination in the afterlife for those who died violently from phenomena associated with water, such as by lightning, drowning and water-borne diseases (Miller and Taube, 1993).

With Chalchiuhtlicue, he was the father of Tecciztecatl. He had an older sister named Huixtocihuatl. He ruled over the third of the five worlds in Aztec belief. In Salvadoran mythology, he was also the father of Cipitio.

Related gods

The goggle eyed raingod is also known from other Mesoamerican cultures, for example he is a frequent figure in the iconography of Teotihuacan. This has lead to mesoamerican goggle-eyed raingods being referred to generically as "Tlaloc" although in some cases it is unknown what they were called in these cultures, and in other cases we know that he was called by a different name (e.g. the Mayan version was known as Chaac and the Zapotec deity Cocijo).

From: Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlaloc)

Tlaloc, He Who Makes Things Sprout, the god of rain, lightning and thunder. Het is a fertility god, but also a wrathful deity. He is responsible for both floods and droughts.

Tlaloc is commonly depicted as a goggle-eyed blue being with jaguar fangs. Often he is presented wearing a net of clouds, a crown of heron feather and foam sandals. He carries rattles to make thunder.

kidnapped her. He later married Tlaloc was first married to the goddess Xochiquetzal, but then TezcatlipocaChalchihuitlicue. With Chalchihuitlicue he became the father of Tecciztecatl. Tlaloc has an older sister named Huixtocihuatl.

He is the ruler of Tlalocan, the fourth heaven. Tlalocan is the place of eternal spring, a paradise of green plants. Tlalocan is the destination in the afterlife for those who died violently from phenomena associated with water, such as by lightning, drowning and water-borne diseases.

Tlaloc ruled over the third world, 4 Quiahuitl, the world that was destroyed by a fiery deluge.

He is served by various rain spirits called the tlaloque.

In Tenochtitlan, ancient Mexico City, half of the central temple ("Huey Teocalli") was dedicated to Tlaloc. The other half was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the god of the Mexica.

Tlaloc is both the protector of the seventh day, Mazatl (http://www.azteccalendar.com/day/Mazatl.html) (deer) and the seventh trecena, 1-Quiahuitl (http://www.azteccalendar.com/trecena/Quiahuitl.html) (rain). He is Lord of the Day for days with number 8 (http://www.azteccalendar.com/daycount/Chicuei.html) ("chicuei" in Nahuatl). Tlaloc is the nineth and last Lord of the Night.

From: Aztec Calender (http://www.azteccalendar.com/god/Tlaloc.html)

March 31st, 2008, 07:37 PM
Again, thanks for the cool info on this God too.

BTW, there's also this Aztec recon site, The Aztec Gateway (http://www.amoxtli.org/cuezali/)that has a lot of great and cool info on it (and the owner really knows his stuff).

Especially the section on Gods (http://www.amoxtli.org/cuezali/deities.html), it also has a recommended reading (http://www.amoxtli.org/cuezali/list.html) list that has some info on the religion and the deities as well as Mesoamerican Book reviews (http://www.amoxtli.org/cuezali/reviews.html).

March 31st, 2008, 07:43 PM
(again) You're welcome!
Thanks for the links, too :)

March 31st, 2008, 09:18 PM
we have a really cool batik of Tlaloc which is just waiting until i can afford a decent frame to go on my wall.

i have been a little bit hesitant though, as we live in Oregon where there is definitely NO shortage of rain!


March 31st, 2008, 09:45 PM
:lol: sounds like the perfect place a Rain God to set up shop Theres! I was visited by Tlaloc a while back! Good info and thanks!

March 31st, 2008, 10:07 PM
Here's a prayer from the Rig Veda Americanus:
III. Hymn of Tlaloc (http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/aztec/rva/rva03.htm)

March 31st, 2008, 10:19 PM
:lol: sounds like the perfect place a Rain God to set up shop Theres! I was visited by Tlaloc a while back! Good info and thanks!

Really? Do you mind sharing? --unless it's personal of course.
I've never heard of Tlaloc visiting anyone :)