Temple of Ehecatl - exterior
Acozac is below it, and those at Huexotla and Zultepec are top right and bottom right, respectively. While we have not visited these last three yet, we have seen other temples to Ehecatl in distant parts of Mexico. These include the circular pyramids known as the Guachimontones, west of Guadalajara, and the spiral temple at Xochitécatl, north of Puebla.
Zapotec capital of Monte Alban contains a very similar shaft once used by ancient priests to observe Venus' movements.
Top of Temple
other sites around Mexico, similar projections were used as supports for decorative elements. Beyond the walkway's outer wall, you can see one of several altars that surround the temple.
Ehecatl and Quetzalcoatl
Ehecatl became associated with Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, another important and widely revered god. One possible connection between them was the snake symbolism the two deities shared. Among the later Mesoamerican civilizations, the Wind God is referred to as Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl. The Aztecs built a circular temple for the double-god in the Sacred Precinct in their capital of Tenochtitlán. According to the Aztec cosmology, the Sacred Precinct was located at the center of the world and only the most important among their plentiful array of gods were assigned space there.
Spanish policy to destroy native religions by destroying their temples. Sometimes they used the rubble to build a churches on the same spot, but in the case of Ehecatl's temple, they simply left it in ruins.
Ehecatl was a very ancient god, so was Quetzalcoatl. Representations of the Feathered Serpent have been associated with the Olmecs (1500 BC - 400 BC), known as the "Mother of Cultures." Later, the great empire of Teotihuacan (100 BC - 650 AD) revered Quetzalcoatl, as did their successors, the Toltecs (700 AD - 1000 AD). Each of these great civilizations maintained extensive trade networks through which the cult of the Feathered Serpent spread.
Maya areas of Yucatan and Central America. Quetzalcoatl is associated with knowledge, culture, civilization, and the use of maiz (corn). The image of a human emerging from a snake's mouth represents the Feathered Serpent's role as the creator of human beings.
Mexicaltitan) from which they began a meandering, 200-year migration. Their journey finally ended in the Valley of Mexico where they settled on another island in a broad shallow lake called Texcoco. There, they built their capital, Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City). During their journey, they came upon the crumbling ruins of Tula, the Toltec capital, and later the abandoned but still overpowering site of Teotihuacan. The magnificent remains of these half-forgotten civilizations had a tremendous impact on these primitive. nomadic people. The Aztecs called Teotihuacan "the place where the gods were born". Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. The Aztecs adopted what they found, almost wholesale, including the worship of Quetzalcoatl.
This completes Part 1 of my series on Calixtlahuaca. In the next part, we'll explore the temple complex devoted to Tlaloc, the Rain God. I hope you have enjoyed Part 1. If so, please leave any of your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below or email them to me directly.
If you leave a question in the Comments section, PLEASE leave your email address so I can respond.
Hasta luego, Jim