HOW DID THE AZTECS PRACTICE THEIR WORSHIP?
WHAT DID THEY BELIEVE?

  • There was many ceremonies during the year, mostly to try to ensure good crops.
  • Human sacrifices were given to the gods.
  • These sacrifices were performed at large temples.
  • http://www.angelfire.com/az/atid410/(MB)
  • The Aztecs divided the world into time and space. They believed that the world was divided into five different eras, or suns. Past eras were ruled by one God each and had all been destroyed with the destruction of the elements or the phenomena after which the era was named. The Aztecs thought they lived in the fifth and last era, movement. Consequently, they believed it would be destroyed by earthquakes and that would be the end of the world and time would finally come to an end. http://www.philtar.ac.uk/encyclopedia/latam/aztec.html KM
  • Huitzilpochtli favours hearts of his sacrifices – hearts are torn from victims’ bodies
  • Every February children sacrificed to maize gods on mountaintops
  • http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa12 (MH)
  • Every 18 month cycle a human sacrifice was painted, placed on a slab and the heart was cut out while they were still alive. The heart was held up as an offering to the sun, the body was then thrown down the temple stairs http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-sacrifice.html (EG)
  • Aztecs beliefs were based in their perception of nature, its time space, and cycles. (GMS)
    http://www.philtar.ac.uk/encyclopedia/latam/aztec.html
  • most of their rituals are means of avoiding the destructive and chaotic forces of nature, and finding harmony within nature. (GMS)
    http://www.philtar.ac.uk/encyclopedia/latam/aztec.html
  • A special ritual called xochiyaoyotl (flower/flowery war) involved the people of the empire and their enemies capturing and sacrificing each other as food for the gods http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-sacrifice.html (EG)
  • Virgins were also sacrificed in order to honour Xochipilli. A special ceremony in which the victim’s legs were crossed before cutting out their hearts was held for this Aztec goddess. Their bodies were then taken to “the house of the mist,” which was created specifically for these sacrifices.
  • A woman representing Xochiquetzal would also be ritually killed in her honour. A priest would then wear her skin and sit in front of the temple while craftsman would dance around the priest as he pretended to weave. The craftsmen would dress as dogs, monkeys, coyotes, ocelots, and jaguars as they held symbols of their craft, such as a paintbrush.
  • Huitzilopochtli - A special temple on the Main Pyramid was created for this Aztec sun god. Many sacrifices took place here and the heads of the victims were placed on a rack.
  • This sense of loyalty, respect, and even fear lead the Aztecs to perform a variety of rituals, including human sacrifices, in order to appease their gods. Their belief was that by performing these rituals, they could avoid being harmed in any way by the gods. Therefore, Aztec temples were built in order to perform these precise and elaborate rituals and sacrifices.http://www.aztec-indians.com/aztec-gods.html (BW)
  • It is believed that every year the Aztecs would sacrifice around a quarter of a million people to their Gods http://www2.truman.edu/~marc/webpages/nativesp99/aztecs/aztec_template.html KM



  • The Aztecs believed there to be four horizontal points, corresponding to the compass points, and they were associated with the four creator Gods. Everyone was assigned to a point, depending on the day of your birth http://yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1994/3/94.03.03.x.html#b KM
  • What you did on Earth and how you died affected where you went after death – this was a belief of the Aztecs. The ‘House of the Sun’, the eastern paradise, was the home of souls of warriors that died in combat. The souls of enemy warriors were included too. They had a special ‘God of the Enemy Dead’. Sacrificed victims went to the eastern paradise also. The souls stayed in there for four years then returned to Earth as hummingbirds or other exotic birds. http://yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1994/3/94.03.03.x.html#b KM
  • The House of Corn, the western paradise, was for women who died whilst giving birth. They returned to Earth as phantoms of bad omens. The paradise of Tlatoc, the southern paradise, was for the people who died of lightening, leprosy and other sicknesses. Food was plentiful here.
http://ancient-religions.wikispaces.com/How+did+the+AZTECS+practice+their+worship%3F KM


  • The Aztecs had many beliefs. They believed the sun fought darkness every night and rose to save mankind. They believed the earth was flat. They believed that if they fed the sun blood, it would rise. (BH)
    http://library.thinkquest.org/27981/beliefs.html