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Religion Beliefs and Rituals of Aztecs

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Some people will find that most Western cultures believe in God and he is their ultimate and almighty God, and as he leads the head of their lives. Some believe in the ever-changing universe and others believe as atheists do, that there is no God at all. There are many layers in the structures of religion such as deacons, pastors, bishops, church services, sacrifices, and worshippers. All these beliefs and understandings that God does exist and that he awaits us eternally in heaven.

The Aztec religion is made up of human sacrifice and the involvement of Aztec gods, priest, rites, ceremonies, magic, and omens that are such important components in making it so important.The Aztec culture has a religious belief that was unheard of in most societies and cultures. This Aztec form of religion consisted of a ritual that occurred about every half-century involving a spiritual ceremony where a human life was to be sacrificed. The Aztec priest believed that “the sacrificial victim was believed to supply cosmic energy to the various gods who personified various aspects of nature”. Aztec beliefs were grounded in the aspect of being led by human-like gods to direct their paths. Aztec priest “climbed to the top of a mountain in the dark, sacrificed a victim, and attempted to kindle a fire in his open chest cavity”. The result of this religious feat for the Aztec, determined if their lives would exist until the next half-century if the fire was to ignite, and if it did not ignite “the sun would grow cold and the universe end”. This belief of the Aztecs was the bread and butter of their religious culture and society. To sacrifice one’s life was the apex of their belief system. There are not too many cultures that expresses their religious culture by committing the ultimate sacrifice.

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Aztecs’ beliefs in idol gods were prominent in the “big household” which had their own individual gods. These idol gods were affixed to the group with whom it was associated with. The Aztec also had three tiers that represented the idol gods. They were the “gods believed responsible for creation, those associated with the elements, and those affiliated with war”. They are also considered “supreme’ creation deities. These deities were responsible for the order of everyday lives of the Aztecs. The Aztec priests worshipped idol gods continuously and trusted in their blessings upon the acts of Mother Nature and the aspects of nature that gave these people a reason to live. The idol gods were a staple to all noblemen and commoners in the Aztec society.

The Aztec priests were held accountable to meeting the needs of the gods. As was the norm in the Aztec culture, priests were selected from the ranks of the noble to the lows of the commoners. Although in our Western culture priests are usually of the male gender, females served as priest also in the Aztec culture. Priests were held solely responsible for the upkeep of their idol gods. They were to do the necessary daily maintenance on them and to also give of their own blood at times as a sacrifice to them. Priests also taught young males of the hierarchies and still went to extreme lengths to profess their dedication to their gods. Magic was incorporated into the culture of the Aztecs by diviners who “read signs of illness by throwing grains of maize on a piece of cloth and interpreting their pattern”. These acts were orchestrated by shamans who represented a distinct human being who felt that he could maneuver around the Aztecs supernatural views.

In conclusion, although the Aztec worldview of religion was composed of many artifacts, the one that mattered most and was greatly influential was the ritual of human sacrifice. To the Aztecs, to sacrifice one’s life was the truth of what today had in store, and of what tomorrow would bring. As they became more of a part of the Spanish rule, their idol gods were also discontinued along with the sacred ritual of human sacrifice. The peace that they found that may have connected them to their religious similarities, was that the saints of the Catholic faith sometimes became one with the idols of the Aztec faith. The Aztecs still live on today in a society where their beliefs are intact, but their hearts baring a scar of not having a meaning sacrifice to depict their future lively hood.

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