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Xipe Totec

by Micha F. Lindemans
The mysterious Aztec god of agriculture, spring and the seasons, the symbol the death and rebirth of nature. In order to stimulate the growth in both nature and mankind, he flayes himself to offer food to humans (such as the maize seed loses its outer skin to enable the shoot to grow). After he has shed his skin, he appears as a shining, golden god.

In his honor, each year in the beginning of spring, people were sacrificed to him. These victims were flayed alive and the priests wore these skins in various rituals. These rituals symbolized the renewal of the earth and the budding of new life.

Xipe Totec is also the god of the west and the patron of goldsmiths. He is thought to be responsible for sending diseases to man, such as the plague, blindness and scabs. He is depicted as a flayed man, covered in (his own) skin and his name means "our lord the flayed one".

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