Feeling rather listless and irreligious in 2012? In the market for a deity to worship?
Allow me to suggest the Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl, the “goddess of filthy things.”
Her name is derived from the Nahuatl word for garbage, tlazolli, literally “old, dirty, deteriorated, worn-out thing … which was used to connote filfth, garbage, or refuse, all of which subsumed human waste products” (Klein 21). Her moniker “The Eater of Filth.”
Bitumen (also called tar or asphalt) is the byproduct of decomposed organic materials. Could there possibly be a more apt decoration for Tlazolteotl than a paint made of deep, black, decomposed material associated with the burgeoning sexuality of young women? The black around Her mouth is linked with Her role as an “eater of sins,” as the “eater of filth,” but here the sin and filth are transformed into symbols of the dark erotic genesis of life.
As Tlazolteotl-Tlaelquani, She was the Goddess of the black, fertile earth, the rotting earth, the fecund earth that gains its energy from death, and in turn feeds life. Associated with purification, expiation, and regeneration, She turns all garbage, physical and meta-physical, into rich life.
In this image, She is the cycle of death and life, of death feeding life, of life cycling to death. The twinned snakes encapsulate ollin, the movement of life. Tlazolteotl is the provoker and the pardoner, the active female principle in the continual cycle of death and life.
How can you even begin to resist her? She’s like the ancient Aztec honey badger. Tlazolteotl don’t care, she’s just gonna eat your filth and garbage and turn it into fecund new life in the universe through burgeoning adolescent sexuality. My head just exploded. Where’s that tumblr .gif of my head exploding?
Also, I need to obtain this Belgian Tlazolteotl fashion shirt and wear it to bed.