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Depiction of Metztli

In Aztec mythology, Metztli (Nahuatl: [metstɬi]; Meztli, Metzi) was a god or goddess of the moon, the night, and farmers. She or they were probably the same deity as Yohaulticetl and Coyolxauhqui and the male moon god Tecciztecatl; like the latter, she feared the sun because she feared its fire. Also referred to as the lowly god of worms who failed to sacrifice himself to become the sun, and became the moon instead, his face darkened by a rabbit.

Mexican traces[edit]

The origin of the name of the Mexica possibly derived from Metztli. For more detailed explanation see Toponymy of Mexico.


The Moon and Sun were at one time equally bright. It not being appropriate for gods to be equals, one of them threw a rabbit in the face of the other, and the one struck darkened to become today's moon. Henceforth it is possible to distinguish a figure of a rabbit on the moon's surface. During a full moon, the "Rabbit in the Moon" becomes readily visible.

Otomi mythology[edit]

For the Otomi people, Zäna was the Moon, the Queen of the Night, probably the main deity. They called her the Old Mother, who represented both Moon and Earth simultaneously. Her spouse, the Old Father, was the god of fire. The Otomi counted lunar months as a period from new moon to new moon. They gave every month 30 days.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  • Galindo Trejo, Jesús (1994). Arqueoastronomía en la américa antigua. México: Equipo Sirius, S.A. ISBN 84-86639-66-2.
  • Esperanza Carrasco Licea & Alberto Carramiñana Alonso, "Metztli, La Luna", Diario Síntesis, 28 de Mayo de 1996