posted April 17, 2007 12:32 AM
Notice how there are so many legends which are similar to Osiris.
The Legend of Quetzalcˇatl
Quetzalcoatl: "Feathered Snake." Quetzalcoatl is one of the major deities of the Aztecs, Toltecs, and other Middle American peoples. The story goes that he descended to Mictlan, the underworld, and gathered the bones of the human beings of the previous epochs. Upon his return, he sprinkled his own blood upon these bones and thus fashioned the humans of the new era. After he banned himself from earth, and was burned while traveling on the ocean, the heart of Quetzalcoatl became the morning-star. According to legend, Quetzalcoatl, described as light-skinned and bearded, would return one day to rule over his people and destroy his enemies (Tezcatlipoca). Thus, when the Spanish conqueror Hernßn CortÚs appeared in 1519, the Aztec king, Montezuma II, was easily convinced that CortÚs was the returning god.
According to Aztec legend, Ometecutli, "Lord of Duality," and Omecihuatl, "Lady of Duality," initially created all life and produced four sons, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilopochtli and Tonatiuh, who represented different cardinal directions and who were associated with different colors. These sons became very powerful, ruling gods.
Quetzalcoatl was a benevolent god, and the founder of agriculture, industry, and the arts. Tezcatlipoca was the patron of evil and sorcerers, god of the night, omnipotent and multiform. Tezcatlipoca had transformed himself into the first sun, wanting to light the world. Because he was evil, the other gods were not pleased, and Quetzalcoatl struck Tezcatlipoca down into the sea, causing Tezcatlipoca to assume the form of a tiger. In the darkness that followed, the tiger Tezcatlipoca devoured all the giants and humans.
Quetzalcoatl then became the second sun. He ruled until one day Tezcatlipoca reached up with his tiger paw from the ocean and pulled Quetzacoatl down to earth. The fall of Quetzalcoatl caused a hurricane, which uprooted all growing things and destroyed man (again). The few humans that survived were turned into monkeys.
The other gods then banished the two quarrelers, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, from the sky and made Tlaloc, god of rain and heavenly fire, the third sun. But angry Quetzalcoatl caused a rain of fire to devastate the earth, drying up all the rivers and destroying man (yet again). Those few men who did not perish were transformed into birds.
Quetzalcoatl then made the goddess Chalchiutlicue, "She of the Jade-Green Skirts," the fourth sun. But jealous Tezcatlipoca sent a flood to destroy both the sun and the earth, and most of humanity perished(for the fourth time). Those who survived became fish.
In response to the darkness, all of the gods assembled in Teotihuacan to offer sacrifice so that there might be light again. Two gods sacrificed themselves, such a large offering that, because of the sacrifice, a brilliant moon appeared. The gods, angered at the moon's nerve, threw a rabbit at it, causing the dark holes in the moon that form the shape of a rabbit. The sacrifice was, after all, successful, and light returned to the earth.
Quetzalcoatl then descended to the underworld and collected all of the bones of the humans who had been destroyed. He fashioned new humans by sprinkling the bones with his own blood. Thus the Aztec people are the direct descendants of Quetzalcoatl himself.
Tezcatlipoca, still angry, laced Quetzalcoatl's drink with a poisonous mushroom, causing him to commit incest with his sister. Being a good god, Quetzalcoatl was so overcome with shame that he left Teotihuacan, never to return.
Legend has it that Quetzalcoatl's raft caught on fire on the ocean when the sun was especially hot one day, and his ashes turned into birds and carried his heart back into the sky. This is how Quetzalcoatl became the god of the morning star.
The Aztec people believed that one day, Quetzalcoatl would return to destroy his enemies and reign once again. In anticipation, every Aztec king was named Quetzalcoatl. Unfortunately, this messianic belief was exploited by the Spaniards who, upon arrival in Mexico, spoke of peace and prosperity, causing the Aztecs to believe that Quetzalcoatl himself had returned in the shape of the Spanish priests. Instead, the Spaniards took advantage of the vulnerability of the Aztecs and the Aztecs, despite their military might, were ruthlessly slaughtered.
The legend of Quetzalcˇatl is well known to Mexican children. It is the origin of how the plumed serpent god, originally from the Toltec region of central Mexico, came to be known to the Maya.
Quetzalcoatl ("feathered snake") is the Aztec name
for the Feathered-Serpent deity of ancient Mesoamerica,
one of the main gods of many Mexican and northern
Central American civilizations.
It tells of a man who was revered as a great mystical leader much in the same ilk as Britain's King Arthur. Though there is some evidence to suggest that Quetzalcˇatl was actually a living man that ruled the Toltecs. He first appeared to the people of Teotehuican near current day Mexico City, and taught the Toltecs all of their arts and science and became their ruler and led thir city to great prosperity and importance. He eventually fell in disgrace for violating his own laws and set himself on fire. He rose in flames to become the planet Venus and vowed to return one day to his people.
After this event, all priests in the Toltec cult were given the title of Quetzalcˇatl. One such priest by the name of Ce Acatl Topiltzin rose to power and proclaimed himself as the second coming of Quetzalcˇatl returning as promised, and in 968 AD became king of the Toltec people once again. He reigned for decades and built the Toltec capital of Tula. Eventually he was disposed of by his enemies and this time sailed east on a raft of snakes, vowing, like the first Quetzalcˇatl, to return one day to rule his people. It is this snake reference that has caused the artwork depicting Quetzalcˇatl as emerging, or being "reborn" as he emerges from the mouth of a serpent.
This raft of snakes carried Quetzalcˇatl east and south across the gulf of Mexico to a Yucatan beach. By coincidence, the Mayan people were, at this time, expecting the return of their plumed serpent god Kukulkan. Kukulkan, in the same fashion as Quetzalcˇatl, promised to return to rule his people after being forced to leave, and he was greeted as the returning Kukulkan by those that discovered him. Topiltzin-Quetzalcˇatl-Kukulkan became the king of the Itzß Maya and rebuilt the ancient capital of ChichÚn Itzß. Massive stone sculptures reflecting his image as the plumed serpent god were built in his honor and can be seen in a large portion of their artwork.
His enemies eventually caught up with him again and he fled to Uxmal where he committed suicide and, according to legend, was buried under the Temple of the Dwarf where he remains to this day, though no burial plot has yet been discovered.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.