Skip to Content


Xochiquetzal is a goddess of Aztec mythology, known for her association with fertility, beauty, love, and the crafts. She is considered the protector of young mothers and patroness of pregnancy and childbirth. According to Aztec mythology, she was originally the wife of Tlaloc, the rain god, but was later abducted by Tezcatlipoca, the malevolent god of night, who enthroned her as his wife.

Xochiquetzal is commonly associated with beautiful things such as flowers, plants, song, and dance, which is quite distinct from the majority of Aztec gods, as they are normally associated with warfare and sacrifice. She was also associated with the moon and the lunar phases. Her name means “precious feather flower” in Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and she was often depicted wearing a headdress made of feathers and holding a bouquet of flowers.

Xochiquetzal’s role in Aztec mythology and her association with beauty, fertility, and love make her an important figure in Mesoamerican culture. Her influence can still be seen today in modern-day Mexico, where she is celebrated during the Day of the Dead festival and other cultural events.

Mythology and Origin

Aztec Creation Myths

Xochiquetzal was a goddess in the Aztec pantheon of gods and goddesses. According to Aztec mythology, she was born in Tamoanchan, one of the thirteen heavens of the Aztec cosmos. It was believed that she was born from a couple of hairs on the head of her first husband, Piltzintecuhtli. Xochiquetzal was considered to be a very beautiful goddess, and she was associated with fertility, sexuality, and traditional female handicrafts such as weaving.

Role in Religion

Xochiquetzal was an important deity in the Aztec religion. She was considered to be the protector of young mothers and a patroness of pregnancy, childbirth, and the crafts practiced by women. She was also heavily associated with the moon and the various lunar phases. The Aztecs believed that Xochiquetzal had the power to bring fertility and abundance to the people.

Xochiquetzal was often depicted in art and sculpture wearing a headdress made of flowers and holding a bouquet of flowers in her hand. She was also sometimes shown with a serpent, which was a symbol of fertility in Aztec culture. The Aztecs would often offer flowers and other gifts to Xochiquetzal in order to gain her favor and ensure a successful pregnancy or childbirth.

Overall, Xochiquetzal played a significant role in the Aztec religion and was considered to be a powerful goddess associated with fertility, beauty, and love.

Iconography and Symbolism

Associations and Attributes

Xochiquetzal is a deity in the Aztec religion who is often associated with beauty, love, fertility, and sexuality. Her name is derived from two Nahuatl words, “xochi” meaning flower and “quetzal” meaning precious feather. She is often depicted wearing a headdress made of flowers and adorned with feathers, which symbolizes her connection to nature and the earth.

Xochiquetzal is also associated with the arts, particularly weaving and embroidery. She is often depicted holding a spindle or a weaving tool, which symbolizes her role as the patroness of the arts. Additionally, she is known to have a close connection with butterflies, which are often depicted alongside her in Aztec art.

Depictions in Art

In Aztec art, Xochiquetzal is often depicted as a beautiful and youthful woman, with long flowing hair and a serene expression. She is usually shown wearing a headdress made of flowers, as well as a skirt and blouse adorned with intricate embroidery. Sometimes, she is depicted holding a flower or a butterfly in her hand, which further emphasizes her connection to nature.

One of the most famous depictions of Xochiquetzal can be found in the Codex Borgia, an ancient Aztec manuscript. In this depiction, Xochiquetzal is shown wearing a headdress made of flowers and feathers, and holding a spindle in her hand. She is surrounded by butterflies and flowers, which further emphasizes her connection to nature and the earth.

Overall, Xochiquetzal’s iconography and symbolism have come to represent the beauty and power of nature, as well as the importance of love, fertility, and the arts in Aztec culture.

Cult and Worship

Temples and Sacred Sites

Xochiquetzal was a highly revered goddess in the Aztec pantheon, and as such, many temples and sacred sites were dedicated to her worship. One such temple was the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan, which was believed to house an image of the goddess. Other temples and shrines were located throughout the Aztec empire, including in the city of Texcoco.

Rituals and Festivities

The worship of Xochiquetzal was marked by a number of rituals and festivities throughout the year. One of the most important of these was the festival of Ochpaniztli, which was held in honor of the goddess in the month of November. During this festival, offerings of flowers, food, and other gifts were made to the goddess, and dances and other performances were held in her honor.

Other important festivals included the festival of Tlacaxipehualiztli, which was held in the month of March, and the festival of Xocotl Huetzi, which was held in the month of December. Both of these festivals were associated with the changing of the seasons and the cycles of life and death.

Overall, the worship of Xochiquetzal was an important part of Aztec culture and religion, and her influence can still be felt in modern-day Mexico and throughout the world.

Influence on Culture

Modern Depictions

Xochiquetzal’s influence can be seen in modern Mexican culture, where her symbolism and mythology continue to inspire artistic expressions. She is often depicted in contemporary art, festivals, and cultural events as a beautiful and alluring woman adorned with flowers and other natural elements. Her image is also used in advertising and branding to evoke feelings of love, beauty, and fertility.

Cultural Legacy

Xochiquetzal’s legacy extends beyond just art and advertising. Her associations with love, beauty, and fertility have made her an important figure in Mexican culture. She is often invoked in love spells and rituals, and her image is used in weddings and other celebrations of love. Her patronage of weaving has also made her an important figure in the textile industry, with many modern weavers and designers drawing inspiration from her work.

Overall, Xochiquetzal’s influence on Mexican culture is a testament to the enduring power of myth and symbolism. Her legacy continues to inspire new generations of artists and creators, and her image remains a fixture in the cultural landscape of Mexico and beyond.