Xolotl Watercolor

This watercolor painting is of the Aztec god Xolotl a dog deity. This was painted for a benefit for Southeastern guide dogs, and the launch of St. Pete Pups in a doggie themed exhibit featuring another 30 artists.

Xolotl and Quetzacoatl

Although the Aztecs regarded twins as a form of deformity, Xolotl’s twin, Quetzalcoatl , was considered to be one of the most important deities. In some myths, the Xolotl and Quetzalcoatl appear together. The two gods are believed to be born of Coatlicue (which means ‘skirt of snakes’), a primordial earth goddess. In one version of a particularly well-known myth, that of the creation of mankind, Quetzalcoatl and his twin travel to Mictlan, the Aztec underworld, to retrieve the bones of the dead so that humans can be created. It may be added that it was also Xolotl who brought fire from the underworld for human beings.

Xolotl and Quetzalcoatl were also believed to have constituted the twin phases of the planet Venus, as the Aztecs believed that the former was the evening star, and the latter the morning star. As the evening star, Xolotl had the important task of guiding and guarding the Sun on its perilous night journey through the realm of the dead. It is perhaps also due to this role that Xolotl was regarded by the Aztecs to have been a psychopomp, i.e. a being who guided the newly deceased on their journey to the underworld.

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