As you’re concentrating on saying Quetzalcoatl twenty times while looking in the mirror, ponder these 10 factoids that make this seemingly normal feathered serpent really, really freakin’ cool.
Quetzalcoatl is a part of Mesoamerican history. And Mesoamerican culture, if you had previously missed it, is nicely packed full of weirdos, like Tlaloc (the god of rain responsible for giving sustenance to the people, and an occasional lightning bolt to the ass), Tezcatlipoca (associated with everything, chiefly elementals and chaos) and Huitzilopochtli (mainly your deity of sun and death with an insatiably wimpy name derivative). Enter now Quetzalcoatl aka Kukulcan, your more creative deity primarily known within arts, merchants and wind-related activities. Is he noteworthy in 2016? Here’s ten reasons I say yes.
#1: Mormons argued Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ
Sure, this once popular figure in Mesoamerica may wield your traditional white Santa Claus beard, have white skin and drive a mean nail into lumber, yet debunking Mormon scholars’ belief that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ was simple: our maker stated that several different actions must transpire on earth before his return, whereas Quetzalcoatl simply skinned a peace sign and said he’d be back. Besides, the scholars that conflated Christ with this deity must’ve forgotten where Jesus was born, and where in Cholula the Big Q hailed – and the fact our Father would be perturbed for being considered a serpent.
#2: Montezuma associated Spanish invaders with ‘Q’
Ninth ruler of Tenochtitlan and philandering stud muffin, Moctezuma II, concentrated most of his 18 year reign expanding his territory down into present-day Chiapas, although many historians consider his actions during his eventual Spanish conquest drubbing to be ‘sissified’. In any case, many believe that Montezuma believed Cortes was, in fact, the ‘returning incantation of Quetzalcoatl’. The derivative of this ruler’s name basically means ‘pissed off Lord’, sort of funny when you think about how historians make this womanizing ruler out to be something of Big Q’s caliber.
#3: Dinosaur gets named after him
Granted, various historical figures get shoes, clothing and porn named after them – but how many can actually say get pterodactyloids names after them? Like, no one! Quetzalcoatlus, the 30-some odd foot (because historians cannot seem to get their facts straight) pterosaur, was given its name based off Quetzalcoatl. With a beak sharp and long enough to impale your Escalade, this azhdarchid was capable of flying roughly 80MPH for as long as 10 days straight. Try doing the same, and see how quickly you shoot pistons through your small block Chevy – if you could manage to afford the gas.
#4: Discovered corn
Yes, the indigestion you receive from that mysterious vegetable is credited to Quetzalcoatl. Most people praise him for his calendar creation, yet those who love this mostly shat ingredient of maize should be thanking this god. How did he accomplish this? After prayer and permission by his upper echelon rulers, he awoke one morning to an astonishing discovery outside his house: golden stalked plants, with some bearing what today we find in Del Monte cans: corn. And from there, our cities have been blessed with sewer upon sewer filled with this mystery object. Many believe he transformed himself into an ant, went to the mountains, and brought maize back to his people.
#5: He was tricked – in a cool way
Normal college pranks include being roofied, stealing mascots or simply getting drunk and pissing on your best friend’s pillow. Tezcatlipoca did one better: he was able to schmooze Quetzalcoatl into getting stupid drunk, sleep with a celibate chick that many claim is his sister, which then forces Q to burn himself upon waking up and discovering this mistake. Shortly after his ashes settled, it’s believed his heart became the morning star, although it appears the Aztec will tell us anything these days.
#6: He may have created our universe
Hold on, faithful denizens of Christian soldiers, before you jump through your monitors. Aztec mythology, as sketchy as it appears, pits Quetzalcoatl dying by way of funeral pyre, heading southward into the Mictlan underworld, and begin bone collection services. From there, he was able to gather many epochs of previously high up beings, sprinkle his own blood upon these bones, and create mankind’s current beings. While most people believe the traditional Book of Genesis method of mankind creation, it’s definitely interesting to see how cool Quetzalcoatl is to the people that worship him. Coatlicue, mother to this mystery serpent, would be proud of her corn bearing son. Did he also teach the Mesopotamians how to save money or use sidewalk chalk, too?
#7: Ce Acatl Topiltzin is his stunt double
All worldly citizens have their own twin; they just haven’t found them yet. In Aztecan lore, tenth century rule Ce Acatl Topiltzin is often conflated with Quetzalcoatl because two major calendars, Toltec and Gregorian, place their periods of rule miles apart in years. Therefore, researchers literally make them exist concurrently in some legends, and never existing in others, or possibly being around in two separate periods (like it really was). This has caused historians to literally give up, and just call this dude Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl for purposes of keeping something straight.
#8: He went into exile, in style
Not sure about you, but I’m really never looking forward to seeking my destiny in exile. If this came to pass, allow me to handle the situation like Quetzalcoatl did: he burns his palace, buried his treasure, gathered his faithful denizens of worshippers, then headed out into the great unknown, hoping only to find serenity. Don’t forget that, before heading out of Tula, he decided the cacao beans looked better as thorn bushes, and made the transformation like a true godly champion.
#9: Education was his thing
Quetzalcoatl believes solemnly in hitting the books, considering part of his godly duties entailed educations and bookworm creation. Many religious universities existed within the temples, creating an instant vexation for the uneducated, and an instant point of gratification for Q. Afterall, if people accused him of being the prime creator, he may as well show interest in scholastic betterment around his hometown.
#10: He made a cool wind God
Ehecatl, his wind god identity, was perhaps his most brief yet serene guise. As ruler of all that blew, he was depicted through drawings identifying himself as wearing what appeared to be gas-mask like facial coverings. He love the circular shape of temples because they provide unrestricted wind action; of course, Ehecatl never really stayed in docile mode often, as with an entire Yucatan to raid, and theocracy to destroy, he frequently changed back into his Quetzalcoatl doppelganger.