Man like Gods ...


The gods assembled at Teotihuacán

when yet no sun had shone and no dawn had broken .... it is said ...
And they debated who would bear the burden, who would carry on his back - would become - the sun. /---/
One of them Tecuciztecatl who was there spoke: 'O gods I shall be the one.'
Again the gods spoke: /---/ who else? /---/
And not present was one man (ce tlacatl) Nanahuatzin ... listening among the others. They said to him: Thou shalt be the one, O Nanahuatzin.

For these two, for each on singly, a hill was made (cecentetl intepeuh muchiuh). They are now called pyramids (tetepe tzacuilli) - the pyramid of the sun and the pyramid of the moon (itzacuil tonatiuh, yoan itzacoal metztli). /---/
There they remained, performing penances for four nights. /---/ at the time of the lifting [of the penance], they were to do their labour (tlacolozque), they were to become gods (teutizque). /---/
The gods spoke: Take courage, O Tecuciztecatl, fall - cast thyself - into the fire. /---/ Four times he tried ... he could cast himself no more. /---/ thereupon they cried out to Nanahuatzin: Onward, thou, O Nanahuatzin. Take heart!
All at once he quickly threw and cast himself upon [the fire].
And when Tecuciztecatl saw that already he burned, then, afterwards he cast himself upon [the fire]. Thereupon he also burned.
And when the sun came to rise. /---/ Intensely did he shine, his brilliant rays penetrated everywhere.
And afterwards Tecuciztecatl came to rise following behind him from the same place - the east.
And so they tell it: Exactly equal had they become in their appearances as they shone.
Then one of the gods came out running. With a rabbit he came to wound in the face this Tecuciztecatl; with it he darkened his face. Thus doth it appear today.
When both appeared [over the earth] together, they could - not move nor follow their paths. /---/ So once again the gods spoke: /---/ through us the sun may be revived. Let us all die.
Thus the sun cometh forth once, and spendeth the whole day [in his work]; and the moon undertaketh the night's task; he worketh all night.

Here endeth this legend and fable, which was told in times past, and was in the keeping of the old people.» (FC, Book III: 1, VII: 4-8)

[The fifth Sun]

Figure 1. The Fifth Sun of World Age - created at Teotihuacán - is ruled by Tonatiuh, the sun: «the soaring eagle (quauhtleoanitl), the turquoise prince (xipilli), the god (teutl)» (FC, Book VIII: 1).

In the center of the so-called Aztec Sun Stone the face of Tonatiuh is seen surrounded by the signs of the previous destroyed eras simbolising their days and ways of destruction: Ocelot, Wind, Rain (of Fire), and Water. The Fifth Sun - the present age - will be destroyed by earthquakes.

Source of the illustration: Alfonso Caso «El Pueblo del Sol» (1953), p. 48.