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Image of Xochipilli.

Xochipilli was the god of art, games, beauty, dance, flowers, maize, and song in Aztec mythology. His name contains the Nahuatl words xochitl ("flower") and pilli (either "prince" or "child"), and hence means "flower prince". As the patron of writing and painting, he was called Chicomexochitl "Seven-flower", but he could also be referred to as Macuilxochitl "Five-flower". His wife was the human girl Mayahuel, and his twin sister was Xochiquetzal. As one of the gods responsible for fertility and agricultural produce, he was also associated with Tlaloc (god of rain), and Cinteotl (god of maize). Xochipilli corresponds to the Tonsured Maize God among the Classic Mayas.

Xochipilli was also the patron of both homosexuals and male prostitutes, a role possibly resulting from his being absorbed from the Toltec civilisation, who had a reputation for sodomy amongst Aztecs and Mayans.[1][2]


Xochipilli Statue

A copy of the statue (located in Washington, D.C.).

In the mid-1800s, a 16th-century Aztec statue of Xochipilli was unearthed on the side of the volcano Popocatépetl near Tlalmanalco. The statue is of a single figure seated upon a temple-like base. Both the statue and the base upon which it sits are covered in carvings of sacred and psychoactive plants including mushrooms (Psilocybe aztecorum), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), Ololiúqui (Rivea corymbosa), sinicuichi (Heimia salicifolia), possibly cacahuaxochitl (Quararibea funebris), and one unidentified flower. The figure himself kneels on the base, head tilted up, eyes open, jaw tensed, with his mouth half open and his arms raised to the heavens. The statue is currently housed in the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City.

Entheogen Connection

It has been suggested by Wasson, Schultes, and Hofmann that the statue of Xochipilli represents a figure in the throes of entheogenic ecstasy. The position and expression of the body, in combination with the very clear representations of hallucinogenic plants which are known to have been used in sacred contexts by the Aztec support this interpretation.

Wasson says "He is absorbed in temicxoch, 'the flowery dream', as the Nahua say in describing the awesome experience that follows the ingestion of an entheogen. I can think of nothing like it in the long and rich history of European art: Xochipilli absorbed in temicxoch" of the statue of Xochipilli.[3]


  1. ^ Greenberg, David. The Construction of Homosexuality. p. 165, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990. ISBN 0226306283.
  2. ^ Conner, Randy P.; David Hatfield Sparks, Mariya Sparks (1998). Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit. UK: Cassell. p. 351. ISBN 0304704237. ""As David F. Greenberg states 'Xochipilli is the patron of male homosexuality and male prostitution'. His patronage of individuals engaging in these behaviors suggests a complex set of associations including the role of entertainer, the love of exotic foods and perfumes, male gender variance, and same-sex eroticism""  
  3. ^ Wasson, R. Gordon (1980) The Wondrous Mushroom

External links

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