Inspirational Form

Since around 1998 I've been inspired to consider the ways, both ancient and modern, in which human sacrifice is practiced. I will for a later writing a more detailed consideration of the modern practice, and with this paper focus on human sacrifice within the Aztec state of ancient Mesoamerica. It began as an investigation into what the Aztec concept of the divine was, and how they saw it manifest in the world. I do not know what jewels that treasure hunters to this site may be in search of, so I have left all text on a single page so that that who have come to sift may do so more easily.

For the rest, i have retained a broad range of reserach information and collected it in the hopes that those without a great history of Aztec material may still make it through these concepts.

Academician Caveat

To the Aztec scholar, I offer that the life-cycle of Tezcatlipoca's ixiptla was considered to be a maturation of the Aztec state, from birth through sacred warfare to the taking of wives in adolescent maturity. The ixiptla's sacrifice at the peak of his mythological maturity ensure that the life of the Aztec state was renewed at its cosmological prime.

In order to convey this point I will develop a concept of the 'sacred body' of Tezcatlipoca, and then use this to illuminate the historical descriptions of the ixiptla presented by Bernadino Sahagún, David Carrasco and others. As well, I shall present some of Arid Hvidtfeldt's foundational material on 'ixiptla' and 'teotl' in the hopes that we may find additional clues to their interpretation.

Consideration of the life of an ixiptla, and the reoccurrence of the ritual, will frame a kind of 'research' performed by the priestly and ruling class in their attention to and exploration of teotl. The discussion shall help inform a view of teotl's forms and the way that state-sponsored ritual realized these forms to all social levels, thus establishing the Aztec 'empire' via poetic expression.

Those who are familiar with Aztec culture may find this text more concisely addresses its thesis.

New Alexandria 2005