Who is Tezcatlipoca, the invincible lord of heaven and earth?

History has taught us that Quetzalcoatl was the most important god for the Nahuas, however Tezcatlipoca in the books seems to have even more power and presence.
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Destroyer and creator, antagonist of the civilizer and generous Quetzalcoatl and some believe that greater in importance within the wide catalog of pre-Hispanic gods.

Bernardino de Sahagún in "General history of the things of New Spain" tells us that Tezcatlipoca is practically omnipotent and has dominion over all creation, unlike Quetzalcoatl, who only enjoys being generous and possessing an impeccable trajectory.


In addition, Tezcatlipoca is the one who generates the consequences of all kinds on earth, both those that benefit us and those that affect us, being the judge of our existence:

“… He was considered a true god, and invisible, who walked everywhere, in heaven, on earth and in hell; and they had that when he walked on earth he moved wars, enmities and discords, where many fatigue and restlessness resulted.

They said that he himself incited against each other to have wars and that is why they called him Necoc Yáotl, which means sower of discord on both sides; and they said only to be the one who understood in the regiment of the world, and that he only gave the prosperities and riches, and that he only removed them when he felt like it; he gave riches, prosperities and fame, and strength and lordships, and dignities and honors, and he took them away when he felt like it, that's why they feared and revered him, because they had that in his hand he was to lift and depress, of the honor he was given toward."

Bernardino de Sahagún, "General history of the things of New Spain".

Tezcatlipoca is then the balance that balances the world and does not tempt the heart to punish those who believe it deserves it.

It is even so popular that it was called 360 different ways among different peoples, with their most popular names being the following:

Tloque Nahuaque: the possessor of what surrounds us Titlacahuan: the one of which we are slaves Tlazopilli: precious prince Teyocoyani: creator of humanity Yáotl: enemy Ichoacán Tzintli: merciful Ipalnemoani: who everyone lives for Ilhuicahua Tlaticpaque: holder of heaven and earth Molnenequi: referee Moyocoani: the creator of himself

As you can see, each name gives us a clue about the importance of Tezcatlipoca, because it owns everything our senses can perceive.


Henry B. Nicholson in "Religion in Prehispanic-Mexico" describes him as the most important Nahua god by naming him "the greatest of his gods." This perhaps inspired by the descriptions made in the codices, such as the following:

"He was the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, virile, always young god, before whom all creatures were defenseless."

Magliabechiano Codex

The Nahua legend of Tezcatlipoca says that Ometecuhtli (lord dual) and Omecihuatl (dual lady) had four children: Tezcatlipoca, Quetzalcóatl, Tláloc and Xipe Totec, of which Tezcatlipoca was the firstborn and was responsible for the regency of the first of the created worlds by the gods, called Nahui-Ocelotl (Four-Jaguar).

Later, Quetzalcóatl and Tezcatlipoca collaborated to create our world, facing the Cipactli monster to death and once defeated, both gods were transformed into trees that support the sky and thus prevent it from falling on the earth.

In another legend it is Tezcatlipoca who intoxicates Quetzalcoatl when he ruled Tula, so the latter decided to leave, promising to return one day.

It seems that we misunderstood the Mexican worldview and the most important of its gods is none other than Tezcatlipoca, the powerful lord of heaven and earth.


What do you think?