Gods and Myths were very important to the Aztec society and
culture. The myths that the Aztecs believed in shaped how their
society was structured and how they went about everyday life. By
studying the myths and the gods, people can learn a lot about the
According to Aztec myths, there were five ages, and in each of these ages there was a different sun. The first four ages ended in disaster. During the first age, Tezcatlipoca was the sun god. Quetzacoatl was jealous of Tezcatlipoca and knocked him out of the sky. Tezcatlipoca became a jaguar and destroyed the world out of revenge.
Quetzacoatl became the next god, but Tezcatlipoca was still mad from being knocked from his position of sun god, and he knocked Quetzacoatl from the sky. The world was destroyed by a huge wind after Quetzacoatl fell from the sky.
The gods chose Tlaloc to be the next sun god. Tlaloc was the god of rain. It angered Quetzacoatl that Tlaloc had been chosen, and he made fire rain down from the sky. This destroyed the earth for the third time and ended the age.
Tlaloc's sister, Chalchiuhtlicue, became the next god. She was chosen by Quetzalcoatl. Chalchiuhtlicue was the goddess of lakes and streams. The gods continued to fight over who would be the god, and this once again lead to the destruction of the world. The world was destroyed by floods this time.
After all of these ages and periods of destruction, no other gods wanted to be the sun because of all the fighting. In order to keep the cycle from continuing, a council of gods decided that the next sun god would have to offer their life so that the people of earth would be saved from all the destruction. Tecciztecatl, a wealthy god, and Nanauatl, the god of humbleness, were chosen. The gods made a fire, and the god who jumped in would be the sun god. Tecciztecatl tried to jump in, but he was too afraid of the fire. Nanauatl jumped into the fire. After watching Nanauatl jump in, Tecciztecatl was embarrassed that he did not jump in first, and he jumped in after Nanauatl!
The gods wouldn't allow there to be two suns at one time, so they threw a rabbit at the face of Tecciztecatl. This caused him to dim, and he became the moon. Tecciztecatl would be in the sky, but he would never be as bright as the sun would be. Nanauatl became the new sun god, and he was renamed Tonatuih.
The Aztecs were very religious, and their myths and gods were very important to them. The myths that they believed in were not simple stories; they had many parts and could be told differently depending on what part of the Aztec empire someone was from. The myth of the sun god is a good example of the complex legends of the gods. There wasn't one sun god, but many over the history of the world.