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Goddess and Prince of Flowers

While teaching painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute, I was always drawn to the Codex Borgia. Sadly, seldom did I actually find ways of incorporating that gorgeous, ancient, illustrated manuscript into my lesson plans. I would just go through the book of images and savor them on my own.

Now I understand why it was calling out to me. It is the tool of healers, diviners and scribes--it contains prophesies. It is going to take a while, still, but some day I will understand the lessons it seeks to teach me.

Now in "Mama Nature's Spiritual Guide to Weight-loss" as I write, I am finding my book is being fleshed out by Aztec and Mayan deities. They just showed up and wanted in. I find myself questioning their appearance and loving it all at the same time. Pictured above is Aztec Goddess, Xochiquetzal, pronounced Sho-chi-ket-sal. Her name is in the language Nahuatl. The first part Xochitl (flower or to flower) and the second Quetzal (bird of splendid feathers).

As you know, I am Stephanie Bird and I do love my last name, spelled as it is. I also companion birds indoors and feed wild birds outside. I love flowers, the arts, crafts, weaving and sensuality--much like Xochiquetzal. While she travels with a posse of butterflies and birds, she is also a fierce goddess that turned one of her lovers into a scorpion. It is my understanding that she was the first to menstruate, after being bitten on the vagina by a bat. Apparently the bite didn't phase her.

This is her playful twin brother, Flower Prince (quite literally) Xochipilli, pronounced shok-el-Peel-eh. Xochipilli loves all the pleasures in life--art, games, beauty, dancing, flowers and singing. He caters to creativity and soul. This god is a free spirit.

Followers of Xochiquetzal and Xochipilli typically get flower tattoos.

These two have arrived in my life and I will continue to explore our relationship. I admire that Xochiquetzal stayed in full bloom her entire life. She never looked old. She has a tendency, so some say, of leaning towards excess but I wonder if that is a Christian judgement. She believes in sex for pleasure not just to result in pregnancy, an idea seemingly before her time in terms of being accepted practice.

Xochipilli was a bit of a dabbler in the hallucinogenic flowers and he is also considered a god of fertility, farming, beauty, dancing, flowers, singing, art and homosexuals.

Just like with the Codex Borgia, I was a little stumped, as to why these two deities have presented themselves in my life and work. I am coming to understand and enjoy their presence and wisdom.


  1. Ever since I was a child I've loved learning about gods and goddesses from all cultures, so I found this post beyond fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing this information! I look forward to reading more of your posts. And best of luck to you with "Mama Nature's Spiritual Guide to Weight-loss". I love the concept! :)

  2. Thanks so much Chrys! I hope to hear from you again, here, over at or on Good Reads!


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