Friday, November 23, 2012

Xochitl (PBP wk 47)

Xochitl, 'flower' in Nahuatl.
December 2,2012

Since I'm working backwards and my last post was about my Ex I decided to write about an actual spirit for this second blog post.

I searched the X section of Judika Illes' Encyclopedia of Sprits for a spirit that spoke to me, the first two called my attention. The first spirit, Xichipilli [Sho-CHEE-pee-lee] the patron of life's pleasures: lord of flowers, love, maize, beauty, fun, games, music, art, dance, shamanism, and prophecy. The second, Xochiquetzal [Sho-CHEE-ket-zul] Aztec goddes of love, pleasure, flowers, and vegetation, lady of birds and butterflies; she's the very essence of youthful female sexuality and generative, creative power. When I came across the third one, I knew I'd found who I was looking for: Xochitl [Show-CHEE-tul]. Xochitl literally means "flower' in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs.
I actually have a cousin named after this Aztec flower. An aunt & uncle decided to dig really deep into our native roots and named their kids after different Aztec rulers, deities and spirits; from oldest to youngest here are their names: Xochitl, Itzcóatl, Tonantzin or Tona & Huitzilihuitl or Huitzi.


My cousin Itzcóatl [Itzcōhuātl  [it͡sˈkoːaːt͡ɬ],] which means 'Obsidian Serpent' in Nahuatl, was named after the fourth king or emperor of the Tenochtitlan (1428-1440.) Under his ruling, Tenochtitlán formed alliances with Texococo and Tlacopan two neighboring states that aided him in becoming the dominant power in central Mexico.


Tonantzin, La Virgen de Guadalupe y Juan Diego
Tonantzin 'Our Revered Mother' is a general title given to female deities, particularly Mother Earth Godesses such as Goddess of Sustence, Honored Grandmother, Snake, Bringer of maize and Mother of Corn.  
The Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico's city 17th century Roman Catholic church was built in honor of la Virgen de Guadalupe, also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, at the base of the hill of Tepeyac. This hill is believed to be a site used for pre-Columbian worship of Tonantzin.


Huitzilihuit [wit͡si'liʔwit͡ɬ], the youngest of the bunch, was named after the second tlatoani of Tenochtitlan. Tlatoani is the Nahuatl term for the ruler of an altepetl (a pre-Hispanic state). Huitzilihuit means Hummingbird Feather.

Anyway, enough family history. This post is supposed to be about Xochitl; according to Judika Illes's research, Xochitl also possesses other implications:

* Xochitl names a type of power implicit in beauty, goodness, love, and purity.
* Xochitl is the power of creativity, Art may be a physical expression of this power.
* Xochitl means "to flower," as in to bloor or blossom.
* Xochitl also refers to genitals. Xochitl --the title of a small 1938 painting by Friday Kahlo, sometimes called The Flower of Life--portrays a flower consisting of two parts, one resembling a vulva, the other a phallus.

Frida Kahlo, Xochitl (1938)
Xochitl is the root word in the names of the twin deities Xochiquetzal and Xochipilli who epitomize this power.

Xochitl is also the name of a goddess who is the perfect embodiment of this force.

Usually Xochitl refers to Xochiquetzal but may refer to Mayahuel, her brother's wife.

In Frida Kahlo's originally private but now plublished letters written to her lover, photographer Nikolas Muray, this contemporary goddess adopts Xochitl as her nom d'amour. (From The Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Illes)