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First published: October 2000

Xochiquetzal and Yappan

by Michael Sones

Xochiquetzal was the Aztec goddess of love. She had several other names including Ixquina and Tlaelquani. She had a beautiful garden and was an unparalleled beauty herself. Anyone who touched a flower from her garden became a passionate lover. The Aztecs, who had a passionate love of flowers, associated them with poetry, art, symbolism. music, sport, love and sexuality.

Xochiquetzal had been married to Tlaloc, the god of Rain , but Tezcatlipoca, Lord of the Smoking Mirror, kidnapped her and brought her to the Nine Heavens where he made her the Goddess of Love.

There was an Aztec ascetic named Yappan. He, being a pious man, went to live as a hermit in the desert where he hoped to win the praise of the gods He climbed a giant rock called Tehuehuetl where he sat doing his penance. The gods were watching all of this but doubted his resolve and so sent Yaotl, his enemy to watch him. Many women were also sent to tempt him but he sent them away and did not yield to his desires. His chasteness Aztec scorpion sculptureand resolve were admired by the gods who began to think about transforming him into a more elevated lifeform. Xochiquetzal was angry with him because she felt rejected and determined to successfully tempt Yappan. She left her beautiful flower garden and appeared before Yappan as the most beautiful of women. She asked him to help her climb up the rock to where he was. He descended, she tempted him, he succumbed to her temptations. After she left he was killed by Yaotl. The gods transformed him into a scorpion. Yaotl then went to find Yappan's wife, Tlahuitzin. He brought her to the place where Yappan had succumbed to the temptations of Xochiquetzal and murdered her. She, too, became a scorpion and crawled under a rock to find her husband.

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