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Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, as depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis. The sign above him is the year 1 Reed in the Aztec calendar.

In Aztec, the word comes from tlahuizcalpan [t͡ɬaːwisˈkaɬpan] "dawn" and tecuhtli [ˈtekʷt͡ɬi] "lord".[1]


Motolinia's Memoriales, the Histoyre du Mechique and the Annals of Cuauhtitlan relate that the Toltec ruler Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl became the morning star when he died. The Annals of Cuauhtitlan gives his year of death as 1 Reed, one 52-year calendar cycle from his birth.[2][3]

In the Legend of the Suns, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli attempts to shoot Tonatiuh, the sun god, with arrows, but misses and is shot himself, being transformed into the god of obsidian and coldness, Itztlacoliuhqui.[4]

Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli wounding a woman, in the Codex Borgia.


Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli was believed to cause harm to people by shooting darts. According to the Annals of Cuauhtitlan, after Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl died, he spent four days in Mictlan making darts before emerging as the morning star.

The Annals list his victims according to the days of the Aztec calendar: old people on 1 Alligator; small children on 1 Jaguar, 1 Deer and 1 Flower; nobles on 1 Reed; everybody on 1 Death; and young people on 1 Movement. On 1 Rain, he shoots the rain, so that no rain falls, and on 1 Water, he causes drought.[5]

Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli (left) and Xiuhtecuhtli (right), surrounded by the signs of their trecena, in the Codex Borbonicus. (Click to enlarge.)


In the Aztec calendar, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is patron of the trecena beginning with the day 1 Snake and ending with 13 Movement. In this he is paired with Xiuhtecuhtli, the god of fire.[6]


  1. ^ Nahuatl Dictionary. (1997). Wired Humanities Project. University of Oregon. Retrieved September 1, 2012, from link
  2. ^ Quiñones Keber (1995): p. 175.
  3. ^ Bierhorst (1992): p. 36.
  4. ^ Bierhorst (1992): pp. 148–149.
  5. ^ Bierhorst (1992): pp. 36–37.
  6. ^ Quiñones Keber (1995): pp. 175–176.