Aztec Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In all the Mesoamerican cultures, blood had a very important place. Blood was provided not only by human sacrifice, but also by self-sacrifice. Tlacaelel made changes so that it became a constant necessity to offer blood to restore the blood the sun lost in his daily battle against the darkness. Every 52 years there was the possibility the world would end. They did not believe it was necessarily a daily sacrifice, but they did believe human sacrifice would postpone indefinitely the defeat of the sun. In a way the Aztecs considered it their duty to maintain the world.
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Tlacaelel thus created a new history for the Aztecs. He also created the institution of ritual war (flowery war) as a way to maintain trained warriors, and supply the necessary people for sacrifices to keep the Sun moving. A flower war (or more correctly, flowery war) from the Nahuatl xochiyaoyotl; was among the Aztec, a planned war in which the objective was not to kill enemies or conquer territory, but rather to capture as many prisoners as possible, who would then be sacrificed in religious ceremonies and maybe eaten. On account of this institution, Aztec warriors were trained to prefer capturing their enemies in battle, rather than killing. For the Aztec warriors, providing blood for the gods was a sacred duty and it was a noble occupation. In the Aztec world, flowers and feathers were the most precious things, so the word "flower" means "precious" and it was used as an descriptor for the activity of sacred war. The blood flowing from a wound was described as a flower of war.
In order for the sun to keep burning and producing light and heat, which is necessary for our crops, agriculture, and all of life, there must be human sacrifice given to the gods.
A Brief History of Chocolate | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
Because the Aztec adopted and combined several traditions with their own earlier traditions, they had several creation myths; one of these describes four great ages preceding the present world, each of which ended in a catastrophe. Our age – Nahui-Ollin, the fifth age, or fifth creation – escaped destruction due to the sacrifice of a god (Nanahuatl, "full of sores", the smallest and humblest of the gods) who was transformed into the Sun. This myth is associated with the ancient city of Teotihuacan, which was already abandoned and destroyed when the Aztec arrived. Another myth describes the earth as a creation of the twin gods Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl. Tezcatlipoca lost his foot in the process of creating the world and all representations of this god show him without a foot and with a bone exposed. Quetzalcoatl is also called "White Tezcatlipoca".