In Aztec mythology, Coyolxauhqui ("golden bells") was a moon goddess. She was a daughter of Coatlicue and the ruler of the Centzon Huitznahuas, the star gods. She was a powerful magician and led her siblings in an attack on their mother, Coatlicue, because she became pregnant in a shameful way (by a ball of feathers). Coatlicue's fetus, Huitzilopochtli, sprang from her womb in full war armour and killed Coyolxauhqui, along with many of the brothers and sisters. He cut off her limbs, then tossed her head into the sky where it became the moon, so that his mother would be comforted in seeing her daughter in the sky every night.
A shield-shaped stone frieze reflecting this story was found at the base of the stairs on the Templo Mayor. In this frieze, Coyolxauhqui is shown spread out on her side, with her head, arms and legs chopped away from her body. She is distinguished by balls of eagle down in her hair, a bell symbol on her cheek, and an ear tab showing the Mexica year sign. As with images of her mother, she is shown with a skull tied to her belt. Scholars also believe that the decapitation and destruction of Coyolxauhqui is reflected in the pattern of warrior ritual sacrifice. First, captive's hearts were cut out, then they were decapitated, their limbs chopped off, and finally their bodies were cast from the temple, to lie, perhaps, on the great Coyolxauhqui stone.
Coyolxauhqui's celestial associations are not limited to the moon. Other scholars feel she should be understood as the Goddess of the Milky Way, or be associated with patterns of stars associated with Huitzilopochtli.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Posted by Raven_Nightwind at 8:21 AM