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Other names:

Location:  Central America

Notes from Hrana

Goddesses & Heroines text

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Hrana's Notes

I painted Coatlique in 1996 for The Goddess Oracle. She was also in the 2001 Llewellyn Goddess calendar.

from Goddesses and Heroines
  Exerpt from Goddess & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan
[Used by permission. This text is NOT included in the Goddess Oracle]

The earth was a fivefold "serpent-skirted goddess" to the ancient Mexicans, who counted four directions and a central point, up and down, on their compasses. The fivefold earth goddess therefore sometimes appeared to them as a woman with four sisters; they gathered, it was said, on Coatepec ("Snake Hill") to meditate. There Coatlicue gathered white feathers to adorn her breasts; becoming pregnant while remaining a virgin, she gave birth to the savior-god Quetzalcoatl. In other legends, she was impregnated by emeralds or jade stones.

Sometimes the fivefold goddess was called a moon divinity, wife of the sun-god. She was also called the creator: she was preeminent and pre-existent, floating for eons in a misty world. Even the sun and his magicians did not realize her magnificence. Once they did, however, they brought her love charms, and she suddenly flowered forth as the great mother of all living.

But Coatlicue was the death mother as well. Her most famous images show her as the ruler of life and its end, garlanded with hearts and hands, wearing a skirt of swinging serpents, hung with skulls, vested in a flayed human skin. Coatlicue, honored with spring's earliest flowers, was also rightly attired in claws and snakes, for to the ancient Mexicans the goddess was both Tlaltecuhtli, the ugly earth toad, and Tonantzin, the mother redeemer.

Back to TOP Text from Patricia Monaghan's The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines
Published by Llewellyn, copyright 1997.   Used by permission of the author.

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