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Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxv ] M esoamerican religions had a rich array of mother-earth goddesses, which were forms of Teteoinnan, Mother of the Gods [2: vii ]. These goddesses were representatives of the distinct but sometimes combined qualities of terror and beauty, regeneration and destruction. The goddesses were worshipped in earth-mother cults especially developed in the Huaxteca culture on the gulf coast and among the Aztecs in central Mexico. These cults were generally concerned with the abundant powers of the earth, women and fertility. Among the most prominent goddesses were Tlazolteotl, Xochiquetzal, and Coatlicue ( see H uitzilopochtli ). Tlazolteotl was the earth-mother concerned with sexual powers, passions and the pardoning of sexual transgressions [17: 420–2]. Conceived in quadruple or quintuple forms as the lxcuiname , her powers sometimes merged with the malevolent death forces associated with the earth, crossroads and dangerous places. The youthful dimension of the earth-mother was Xochiquetzal, the goddess of love and sexual desire [7: xvi ]. Pictured as an attractive nubile maiden associated with flowers, feasting, and pleasure, she was also the goddess of pregnancy, childbirth and the feminine arts, like weaving. A ferocious goddess, Coatlicue, the Serpent Skirt, represented the cosmic mountain which conceived all stellar beings and devoured all beings into her repulsive, lethal ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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