Xolotl: Canine God of Aztec Religion

Xolotl is a dog-headed god of lightning, fire, and twins in Aztec mythology. He is referred to as one who is responsible for guiding souls into the underworld, when the people die.

People also frequently paired him with the Quetzalcoatl in various sacred texts and books. They both are believed to be twins or the canine companion of each other.

Origin and History

The story of the god of twins & sickness in Aztec religion began in Mesoamerican culture. In this particular culture, the dogs were considered to be filthy and immoral animals.

Origin and History
Origin and History

It is believed that the canine god embodies all the worst characteristics which are ascribed to the dogs. He was also responsible for accompanying the dead people to Mictlan.

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This was considered to be the final journey of the person or the soul after death. He also guarded the sun and helped it to make its way through the underworld every night.

Family of Xolotl

It is believed that the god of dogs, had many family members and relationships in his life. He is considered to be the twin brother of Quetzalcoatl.


It is also written in various sacred texts and mythological pieces of evidence that he was the son of Coatlicue.

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It is also believed that the twin brother Quetzalcoatl was the canine companion of the canine God, the canine God of Twin and sickness in Aztec religion.

He is also famous by the name of the brother of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, who was the lord of Venus and also famous with the name of the morning star.

Legends and Mythology of the Canine God

It is believed by the people of Aztec religion that the canine God of twins was the one who brought a bone to the Gods who then sprinkled it with some of their blood.

Legends and Mythology
Legends and Mythology

The bones were then transformed into the first human boy and girl whose further give rise to the entire human race. Another myth that is famous regarding Xolotl is that the primordial God of Aztec was the one who executed the canine God.

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It is believed that the canine God was acting as the executioner and killed all the Gods as they sacrifice themselves as part of the creation of humanity.

Some other stories are also famous which tell that the canine God of twin killed himself and he was supposed to do the same but in some other sacred texts and writings.

He refused to do the same by changing himself into some other forms like the maize plant or the salamander.

Another famous myth is that the canine God was the one who was responsible for repopulating the planet when humanity died.

It is believed that he traveled in the form of a dog into the underworld and then removed the bone from the early humans.

He picked up the bone and then dropped and broke it when he was pursued by the Aztec God of the underworld, but he kept all the things which he could and added some of his blood to repair the things.

After four days it is believed that a human baby boy was born and after 7 days, a human girl was born.

To which culture did Xolotl belong?

The Canine God, who was also known as the canine God of twins and sickness in the Aztec religion was part of the culture of Mizo America.

To which culture did Xolotl belonged
To which culture did Xolotl belonged?

The Mesoamerican timeline is built on the standard periodization which was used in the archaeology, upon which specialists generally agree.

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It was a dynamic culture and never a single unified block of cultures and styles.

Ollin and Xolotl

Many stories of the association of Ollin with the canine God are present which says that the canine God of death portrayed a dog with the belief that the dogs will accompany the souls of the dead in Mictlan.

Ollin and Xolotl
Ollin and Xolotl

In the manuscript of the setting sun, which is devoured by the earth, the opposite image of the canine God can be seen. Ollin is considered to be oscillating and pulsating and also centering motion change.

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It is affected by Bouncing Balls and labor contractions and also sometimes by earthquakes. It is also considered to be the motion change of cyclical completion.

Symbolism of The Canine God

The people of the Aztec religion believed that Xolotl was God with red ears and also had various deformities. He was portrayed with reversed feet in many of the old paintings and texts.


It is also believed by the people that he was depicted as a dwarf Jester whose eyes were missing.

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It is believed that his eyes were missing because he cried so much that his eyes came out when the other Gods died as a part of the sacrifice for saving humanity and mankind on earth.

Sometimes, he is also depicted in the form of a skeleton or even as a human being which has the head of a dog instead of a human being. Mexican hairless dog, which belongs to the breed before the time of Columbus is named after him.

The species of the dog is known by the name of Xoloitzcuintli.

The canine God and the Quetzalcoatlwere twins and were believed to have a special type of deformity in themselves and treated the people as both heroes and tricksters.

It is shown that there was a connection between the twins and the dogs which is a beautiful portrait in the Mesoamerican art and literature which is rated as far back as the beginning of the common era in the ancient textbooks and writings.

Other Names of Aztec Canine God

The Xolotl or the canine God of twins and sickness in the Aztec religion is famous by many other names. In some of the Ancient sources or written texts, he is famous by the name of the dog.

Other Names
Other Names

Some other sources have quoted him by the name of the animal. He was also famous by the name of Xolotl Huetzi.

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Myths Related to the God

The Xolotl was considered to be the center God of monster sites and was believed to wear the spirally twisted wind jewel and some other special ornaments.

Myths Related to Xolotl
Myths Related to the Xolotl God

It is believed that his job was to protect the sun from the dangers of the underworld every night and also to guide the souls in the underworld.

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His eye sockets were empty and they were explained in the legend of Teotihuacan. In this particular legend, it is explained that the Gods decided to sacrifice themselves for the sun which was newly created.

He has been typically depicted as a dog-headed man and also sometimes as a skeleton and also in the form of a deformed monster with reverse feet. He was also depicted in the form of an incense burner in a skeleton.

He served as the companions to the Aztec people in his life span and also in the afterlife and many dogs remained with him which further lead to the construction of dog sculptures in the Aztec burial grounds.

It is believed that the main duty of all these dogs was to help their owners cross a deep river.

The two spirit animals which are associated with him are believed to be the salamander species, which is known as Axolotl and the Xoloitzcuintli dog.


The folklore of the god has been mentioned in many sacred written texts and paintings. He is believed to be the god of twins and sickness in the Aztec religion.


It is also mentioned in various places that he loved the deformities of the human beings and also their sufferings.

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He was considered to be the symbol of bad luck lightning and fire. He is the one who guides the souls in the underworld and is related to the Venus planet.

He is the one who also likes to play ball games. He is also known by the name of the shining planet son.


Xolotl is God in the Aztec religion. He is considered to be the God of lightning, fire, and twins. He is also considered to be the God of the dogs.

He also plays the role of guiding the soul after death to the underground.

Various relations between him and Quetzalcoatl are present in sacred textbooks and other writings and paintings from the past.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How is the name Xolotl pronounced?

The name of the God of dogs is pronounced as SHOLO + TSAL. The first portion of the name, which is Xolo is pronounced Sholo, while the last portion Tl is pronounced as Tsal.

What is the meaning of the word Xolotl?

The meaning of the term is considered to be the dark personification of Venus, which is also the evening star and is also associated with heavenly fire. The meaning of his name is also shown as a symbol of misfortune and sickness along with deformities in the body.

What important role is played by Xolotl?

The important role which the Aztec religion God of twin plays is directing the soul through the underworld in the right direction and destination.