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Tezcatlipoca

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Here comes another illustration for my card game project!
This is a simple interpretation of the Ancient Mexica God Tezcatlipoca ('The Smoking Mirror'), God of Magic, divination, the night sky and the night wind. His name refers to the black obsidian mirrors the Mesoamericans used for divination. Tezcatlipoca also had several other titles, like Yohualli Ehecatl (Night Wind), Tloque Nahuaque (Lord of the Near and Nigh), Titlacahuan (He Who's Slaves We Are), Moquequeloa (The Mocker), Necoc Yaotl (Enemy on Both Sides),  Ilhuicahua Tlalticpaque (Possessor of the Sky and Earth) and Telpochtli (The Youth). He was considered a fearsome god whom the people were careful to call upon by name. As the Lord of the Near and Nigh, Tezcatlipoca governs the fate of mortals, seeing into their minds and hearts with His obsidian mirror. He gives both reward and punishment as He sees fit; having the power to both bestow riches and take them away. As the night wind, Tezcatlipoca would rush through the streets in the night, giving terror or luck to any He came across in accordance with His whims and their worth.

Tezcatlipoca is one of the four brother gods who rule over the directions. He rules over the North, the realm of darkness. In the North, one may see Tezcatlipoca's singular footprint in Ursa Major. His other foot was lost in battle with the Earth Monster, to be replaced by the obsidian mirror of His name.

Tezcatlipoca has two nahualli (sorcerous animal) forms; Tepeyollotl, the jaguar god of the underworld, and Chalchiuhtotolin, the Jeweled Fowl. As Tepeyollotl, He stalks the underworld, causing earthquakes with His roars. As Chalchiuhtotolin, He appears as a beautiful bird, something like a turkey but far more stunning, covered in jeweled feathers. However, as beautiful as Chalchiuhtotolin is, He is also terrifying to behold. Tezcatlipoca often tested mortals' bravery. He would sometimes appear in the night as Chalchiuhtotolin, uttering an eerie cry, or as a huge, decapitated man with a gash in the chest that opened and closed, making a sound something like a chopping ax. The idea was that a human who heard such sounds in the night might be brave and investigate, or might be terrified and flee. Those who were brave would find Chalchiuhtotolin or the headless specter, and their courage would be further tested. If the person fled, Tezcatlipoca would not favor them, for He is a fearsome god not for cowards. If the person was brave, however, they could grab Chalchiuhtotolin by the tail and capture Him, or reach into the specter's gaping chest to grasp it's heart. If they succeeded in facing their fears, Tezcatlipoca would give them a blessing.

Together with his eternal opposite Quetzalcoatl, he created the world. In this process, Tezcatlipoca lost his foot when he used it as bait for the Earth Monster Cipactli. As a god of creation he is known as Ipalnemoani (He by whom we live).

Tezcatlipoca also governs the memories of the ancestors. He dwells in the House of the Night with His four wives: Xochiquetzal, Xilonen, Atlatonan, and Huixtocihuatl, who represent the pleasures of life (erotic love, food, drink, and salt, respectively). The Jaguar Warrior order was dedicated to Him, as was the city of Texcoco. Though considered a dangerous and capricious god, Tezcatlipoca was well honored by the Aztecs, who knew that darkness was vital to the function of the universe.

If you're interested in some more details about this deity, I recommend you to read this

Tezcatlipoca is also interpreted as the embodiment of change through conflict, a value which most people are led to fear and abominate in societies run by the authority of abrahamic monotheist ideologies, where safety is over-valuated and freedom, as well as autonomy, always faces repression. And also where the ability to reproduce is more valued than creativity (being the very modern rationalist ideology a mere result of christendom as the hegemon ideology). In this sense, Tezcatlipoca might also look for those who don't bow down to society's customs and traditions, but make their own way to live their lives.

Make sure to see other Aztec deities represented by me in my gallery :)
Image details
Image size
2040x1991px 1.72 MB
Make
HP
Model
HP Scanjet 5590
© 2014 - 2022 itzamahel
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Rufina-Tomoyo's avatar
Your view on him is more human, but not less impressive.