Ezequiel history lesson, part III: The lore of Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl is a mythic figure in Mexico. As legend has it – and Ezequiel explains it – Quetzalcoatl existed in two forms: as a feathered serpent and as a pale skinned, blue-eyed, bearded, blond guy. Apparently both forms of Quetzalcoatl produced some interesting stories and the mythic figure dominates much of Mesoamerican folklore. Today I’ll post a story about the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl. Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll post one about the white guy Quetzalcoatl. So here goes…
The feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl was seen as a heavenly God who presided over the rain and wind. He was the Lord of Light and the Morning Star. He embodied pure goodness. This Quetzalcoatl was also a God prince of sorts who had three brothers and was the son of Coatlicue, Goddess of the moon and stars. Together, he and his brothers created the Sun, Earth, and Heavens. With his twin Xolotl, he is said to have entered the underworld in order to create mankind. This specific folklore makes Quetzalcoatl the God of Creation for many Mesoamerican religions.
Now let’s here Ezequiel’s version of Quetzalcoatl, feathered serpent, God of Creation and how humanity came to exist:
During the fourth sun Quetzalcoatl entered into war with Tezcatlipoca – God of the Nocturnal Sky and warrior patron. This war resulted in earth’s complete destruction and its subsequent reconstruction (similar to Iraq 2003-present). *Coincidently, Tezcatlipoca also embodies change through conflict.
For more on the epic battle, check here.
Whence the war was over, Quetzalcoatl saw the need to create people to occupy the newly constructed earth. And like a charm, it took him three times before he got Man’s creation right.
The first time, Quetzalcoatl wiped the sweat from his brow and fashioned it to create humans. But, he found that these humans party’d too much and would not be serious. This would not work for Quetzalcoatl, so he tried again.
From his tears, Quetzalcoatl created Man 2.0 but found yet another problem: these humans slept too much and never had any fun. So he tried again, for one last time.
And to ensure that he got this one right, Quetzalcoatl pulled out all the stops. He went to the underworld and took bones of the dead. From these bones he made a powder which he brought back to earth. With this powder Quetzalcoatl mixed his own blood. Then he put the mixture in a corn husk (something like a tamale) and let it grow into a human. Quetzalcoatl’s perseverance paid off because he found the third version of humans to be much more suitable.
And there you have it. The story of how earth and the humans who live here came to exist.
Note: Who is Ezequiel? My co-worker and distributor of Mexican folklore. He is not a historian, but a student of history.