Tzitzimime are the brothers of TEZCATLIPOCA who were cast out of heaven for their acts of sacrilege and desecration against the gods. Tzitzimime means “dangerous beings.” Prior to their fall, the brothers had the names of stars and constellations.
The Tzitzimime assume the shapes of scorpions, hideous insects, frogs, and toads. At certain times of the year, they have the power to enter households in the form of beams of light. In earlier times, people filled the cracks in their homes on those nights in order to keep the Demons out. One of the brothers, Tacatecutli, was idolized as a walking stick in strange rites. Followers drew Blood from their noses and ears and smeared it on walking sticks placed on the altar.
It was believed that this would placate the Demon and prevent him from troubling people. Another brother took the form of a donkey skull and terrorized people traveling on roads at night. If people happened to see the skull, it followed his or her relentlessly to their destination.
Tzitzimime are female star spirits who linger at crossroads. Star Demons of Darkness, they are feared spirits who attack people during solar eclipses.
They usually appear in the guise of a female skeleton wearing a shell-fringe skirt.
Itzpapalotl; Santissima Muerte
Also known as:
Tzitzimitl (singular) –
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.
Tzitsimine (the monsters descending from above) In Aztec mythology, spirits of women who died in childbirth and who returned to plague the living. They appeared skull-faced and brought children sickness and injury, as well as contagious diseases. Sometimes a Tzitsimine would appear sitting on a lonely rock, weeping. When a passerby would ask what was wrong, she would display her skull face, frightening the person almost to death.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S.Mercatante