The Aztec Religion is composed of an incredibly complicated, yet interesting, set of beliefs. Filled with stories of human sacrifices and demanding Aztec gods, the Aztecs have left behind a legacy that will be studied and marveled for years to come
Aztec Religion gods
Ancient Aztec religion was a complex interaction of gods, dates, directions and colours. It seems that most of the preoccupation in the religion had to do with fear of the nature, and a fear of the end of the world.
By the time the Mexica's Empire (Mexica is the proper name for the Axtecs) was at its height, the political and religious systems were in close interaction. The actions of the ruling classes and common people can be best understood if we look way back to the Mexica understanding of the creation, or rather creations, of the world.
Many ancient civilizations and religions practiced some form of human or animal sacrifice to appease the gods and ensure prosperity. Even today, some cultures practice ritual sacrifice of bits of food or crops to ensure continued abundance. However, no one practiced human sacrifice to the degree of the Aztecs in their devotion to appeasing the gods. The Aztecs didn't always practice human sacrifice.
Sometime around 1450, the growing Aztec empire was experiencing severe drought that lasted for four years and destroyed their valuable corn crops. The Aztec priests encouraged the people to sacrifice blood to the gods to regain their favor. In desperation, the Aztecs sacrificed thousands of people in a few weeks.
Aztec Religious Ceremonies
The religious rites and ceremonies where related to the various aspects and needs of Aztec life. Worship was done through offerings, prayers, performing symbolic acts, games, sacrifices. Daily rituals were associated with food, and thanksgiving. The ceremonies were performed in the temples that could be round or pyramidal.
Attached to the temples there were courts for the ball game (tlachtli), sacrificial stones (techcatl) and other special areas for the different kinds of rituals and ceremonies. Though the rituals differed from place to place they followed a basic structure that consisted of preparation- fasting, purification and offerings- after which came blood sacrifice that was an act of major importance for the Aztec. For them there could be no new life without death