The first hippy

Xochi is Nahuatl for flower, Pilli means child or prince. Xochipilli (pronounced sho-chee-pee-lee) is therefore rightfully a royal flower child. He was also revered by the Aztec as the important deity of maize, love, feasts, games, beauty, summer, poetry, song and dance - and flowers, of course. Yet he was not all jolly happiness. One of his symbols was a heart on a stake, and he also stood for rain, psychedelic ecstacy and fertility. Xochipilli was, together with Huixtocihuatl, the god associated with the 8th trecena (month) of the Aztec calendar called Tecuilhuitontli, or the Small Feast of the Lords.

A 16th century statue of Xochipilli, found in the side of the volcano Popocatépetl, depicts the deity sitting crosslegged on a carved base, his eyes and mouth open, a look of ecstacy on his face. The carvings depict sacred and psychoactive plants: xochinanácatl, the flower mushroom, tobacco, coaxihuitl (morning glory), sinicuichi (loosestrife), possibly cacahuaxochitl (quararibea funebris), and one unidentified flower. Aztecs did use hallucinogenic plants in some of their sacred rites, so a connection between the depictions and real entheogenic usage seems not unlikely. (I told you he was a hippie)

The god was also named Macuilxochitl, which means five flowers. He was the husband of Mayahuel according to some sources, and was definitely the twin brother of Xochiquetzal, the Flower Bird or Princess. Xochipilli has given name to parks and organisations promoting handicrafts and folklore.

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