Blood and Cacao

The Aztec creation story is broken into five periods each known as "Suns". Each Sun expresses a period where one of the main Aztec Gods would take on the responsibility of being the sun for the people. Due to rivalries between gods, and disobedience of the people they created, the gods destroyed the people at the end of each cycle and then began a new cycle.

At the end of the first Sun the people were destroyed by jaguars.

At the end of the second, by a hurricane.

End of the third, by fire.

At the end of the fourth, by a great flood.

Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, god of light, mercy, and the wind had compassion on the people he and the gods had created. He did not want them to cease to exist. So he stole their bones from the underworld, and poured his own blood over the bones and brought his people back to life. When they were restored they entered into a new cycle, the Fifth Sun.

The Aztec believed they were the people of the Fifth Sun, and had been brought to life by their god Quetzalcoatl, in giving them his own blood. Quetzalcoatl also gave the people cacao, stealing it from the gods and planting it in the earth for the people.

The Sun God of the Aztecs was Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. Huitzilopochtli constantly battled Coyolzauhqui, the Moon Goddess and all the Stars. Huitzilopochtli required nourishment to combat the night and rise each day.

This nourishment for Huitzilopochtli came in the form of human sacrifice to continue shining on them each day, otherwise the sky would go black. The Aztec also gave non fatal blood sacrifices to Quetzalcoatl to repay what he did for them.

The cacao pod is a symbol of the human heart, which is extracted from the body during sacrifice. The cacao beans were symbolic of the blood that would flow out. Cacao was involved in these sacrifices.

When a human sacrifice was required for the Sun god Huitzilopochtli, the victim was dressed as Huitzilopochtli and treated as a god for 40 days leading up to the sacrifice. He would be given the finest foods and dress and a lot of cacao. On the day of the sacrifice they prepared a special cacao drink mixed with the blood of former victims, he would then perform a ritual dance, and then be sacrificed.

The Aztec are often portrayed as a brutal civilization because of this aspect of their culture. However, it was considered an honor to be chosen as a sacrifice. One would willingly go and give their blood believing that the Gods continued to make sacrifices for them. Cacao is a symbol of the heart and the blood flowing within it, giving each of us life.

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