Aztec Creation Symbol
The Aztec symbol for creation is a group of five swirly circles. There is one circle in the middle, no bigger and no smaller than the other circles. The other four circles surround the middle circle.
Much like a compass, the surrounding circles would match up well with the north, west, south, and east markers on a compass. All these circles lie within one large circle that has no swirls inside of it.
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This is a great tattoo idea if you are mesmerized by the myths and lore of the Aztec people. If you like their creation story or creation stories in general, or if you just think that it looks cool, then go for it. No matter why you are getting the tattoo, you should at least know a little bit about this Aztec symbol’s meaning and the mythology behind it. If nothing else, knowing the history will give you a story to tell later.
One Aztec Symbolic Meaning of Creation
There are many different myths of the Aztec symbolism for creation, but we will go with the most recent one. The ancient Aztec people believed that we are on our fifth sun, meaning that the world was mostly destroyed four times before now. The first sun was destroyed by flooding; the second, eaten by tigers; the third, destroyed by a fiery rain, and the fourth was wiped out by a storm. We are now on our fifth sun, and we will discuss the creation of sun number five because of this.
After the fourth sun was destroyed, the Aztec gods had to decide who would become the next sun so that life on earth could carry on. A proud man, Tecciztecatl volunteered for the position. However, when the time came for him to jump into the fire that would make him the sun, he backed out. He was too afraid to become the sun.
Instead, Nanahuatl jumped in the fire instead. Tecciztecatl was ashamed and jumped in after him. Now there were two suns, and that just wasn’t right with the other Aztec gods. The other gods threw a rabbit at Tecciztecatl for following the first sun. This dimmed his light and turned him into the moon instead.
Even though Nahuatl was now the sun, he would not move. People began to sacrifice themselves so that he would move and sustain life on earth in the process. This is part of the reason why Aztec culture was full of blood, animal, and even human sacrifice. The Aztecs believed that if they continued to sacrifice to the fifth sun then it would not be destroyed like the four before it. This is why the sacrifices went on until Aztec culture itself was ended, or at least heavily dispersed.
Aztec Creation Symbolism
Obviously the Aztec creation symbol stands for creation, but it also represents a few other things as well. For instance, the five circles that make up the symbol symbolize something special themselves: creation, life, order, vitality and astrology. These individual symbols help to explain the makeup of the symbol as well Aztec culture. The symbol is very organized, and the Aztec people paid close attention to the stars and were well verse in all things astronomical.
Each of the outside circles that make up the Aztec creation symbolic meaning also can be shown to represent an Aztec god: Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilopochtli, and Xipe Totec. The god Ometeotl could have represented the central circle. Other, more symbolic, meanings for the symbol include the circle of life, life and death, renewal, order, good and evil, and female and male.
Now that you know the history and symbolism behind the Aztec sign of creation you can better decide if you want to make this your next tattoo. If you already have this tattoo, then you now have some good stories to go with it.