So have we all seen this? A pre-Columbian Mesoamerican statue was unearthed depicting who CNN calls "The Flayed Lord". In Nahuatl, his name is Xipe Totec and despite the scary name and, uh, face (or lack of face), he's probably like the second best deity/ omen that could have been uncovered tbh.

I wanna talk about him because he's pretty interesting, so here we go: Xipe Totec, Our Lord The Flayed One.

as an aside, if you're feeling especially vulnerable due to the whole .. global thing going on right now, you might wanna mute me or else just dont pay attention to this thread. so here's some starter CWs: disease, death, blood, human sacrifice. i'll CW individual posts that are gory too.

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So, Xipe Totec, one of the major gods of the Mesoamerican pantheon. His roots go on back to the Olmec and were later adopted by the Aztec Empire, though his worship can be observed in the Zapotec, Mixtec, Tarascan, and Tlaxcaltecans among other tribes. He's even migrated further south and his influence can be seen carved into Chichen Itza.

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He's one of the elder gods born of Ometeotl, the duality god, that make up the main four which represent four of our five suns and the four cardinal directions: Huitzilopocthli (south), Black Tezcatlipoca (north), Quetzalcoatl(west), and Xipe Totec (east) (who is sometimes swapped with Red Tezcatlipoca).

He is the god of the east, goldsmiths, agriculture, spring, the seasons, and disease. What a list.

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So two things jump out here: The mesoamerican god of Spring and Disease was unearthed just as spring and a major pandemic hit, hmmm? 🤔

While Xipe Totec was very closely associated with death and disease, he was also the god to please for a cure for what ailed ya.

In the third month of the year, the second ritual festival took place: Tlacaxipehualiztli or The Flaying of Man. Here's where it gets gorey, so CW warning time.

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blood, human sacrifice, mutilation 

We have all heard about the Aztec blood sacrifices and Xipe Totec's thirsts were no less violent than his brothers'. Captured warriors were were skinned and hung upside down to let their blood run freely, imitating spring rains desired to feed the crops. The skins, onced dyed yellow, were called teocuitlaquemitl ("golden robes") and worn by priests during ceremonial dances during the next festival.

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blood, human sacrifice, mutilation 

The robes were also worn by young men for the 20 days after Tlacaxipehualiztli, or until the skin rotted to pieces and fell off. They wore these skins and went around begging in the city, and when the skins were no longer wearable, they were buried in Xipe Totec's temple (the one uncovered in the first paragraph!)

There was always one special sacrifice however. Chosen 40 days before Tlacaxipehualiztli, this warrior lived a fat, full, drunk life.

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blood, human sacrifice, mutilation 

He was a captive, either of the many Mexica conquests but usually captured during a Flower War, a ceremonial skirmish where warriors were captured for the honor of sacrifice. He was decked in gold, jewels, and red feathers, ate like a king and enjoyed a lavish 40 day life right up until the moment of his sacrifice which he would have held the highest of honors, the greatest death he could achieve.

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He went out fighting, as any respectable Mexica warrior would. He was given a mock weapon and thrown into the arena with an elite Jaguar and Eagle warrior, armed with macauhuitl, and fought to his inevitable death before a cheering crowd.

The rest were often disposed of by arrow or the now standard practice of removing the heart.

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Goldsmiths looking to be blessed by Xipe Totec held their own festival yearly by his temple, known as Yopico, where their satrap (leader, governor?), was decked out in a headpiece and skirt made of brightly colored feathers, a rattle in the right hand, a gold shield in the left, and gold jewelry in his ears and septum. They then offered Xipe Totec a tart of uncooked maize, ears of corn, fruit, and seeds. This ended in a dance, and a ritual skirmish.

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Oh and one last gross tidbit: Xipe Totec is the god to look to for curing an illness, especially those of the eyes. It was not uncommon for mothers to take bits of flayed sacrificial hide and use it on their children, laying it over their closed eyes like a salve to try and improve eyesight, cure pink eye, or heal wounds gained from play fights.

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In spite of his fearsome look and the frankly kinda gross habit of flaying and shedding his skin, everything about him boils down to what he represents. Spring, renewal. He is covered in a layer of death and decay that sheds like the outer layer of germinating corn and reveals him later to be the shining, golden god of crops and agriculture and blessings.

As with everything else about the Mexica beliefs, life is cyclical. Something must be given to be gained. A death for a life.

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We know of at least one hymn that existed that sun his praises and called him, "Yoalli Tlauana" or the night drinker, probably referring to the spring rains that fell at night. It names him as the one that ushers in the path for the beloved feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, a god of fertility and abundance.

It could also just refer to his priests gettin LIT for the ceremony lol

anyway thats it on Xipe Totec! Consider tipping me and I'll consider doing this again!

ko-fi.com/newfire

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just a teeny tiny ask to be sure to mark any tips as 'digital goods' if you're asked on checkout with paypal, because otherwise my funds get held over for like, two weeks for an imaginary item to ship lol

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