Updated: Dec 21, 2020

¨Eternity is a circle, a serpent that swallows its own tail.¨

-Elsa Barker

¨Kundalini is seen as a serpent that can shoot up the Sushumna, past the chakras, opening them all and bringing you into different states of awareness.¨

-Frederick Lenz

From Skye Alexander's ¨Your Goddess Year¨

Dates For Inviting Her: December 4–10

Like many winter goddesses, Coatlicue is usually portrayed as an old woman who has been there, done that, and grown strong in the process. Aztec mythology considers her a formidable force, involved in both life and death. Therefore, at this time of year, which we associate with endings, we recognize the goddess’s destructive nature as being essential to the ongoing cycle that leads to renewal.

The Aztecs honored Coatlicue as a divine matriarch. As a matriarch of a human clan, she’s not only the creative source of everything around her -myth says she birthed the celestial bodies as well as human beings— she also manages our ongoing existence. Nothing in heaven or earth occurs without her putting her stamp on it.

She governs everything from birth to death and is a goddess of childbirth and of war, one who directs the fertile planting season and the final harvest. Coatlicue’s name means “serpent skirt,” and artists depict her wearing a skirt made of entwined snakes. A statue of the goddess in Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology shows her with snakes where her head should be, a snake belt with a skull buckle, and claws on her hands and feet. Snakes, of course, signify death and rebirth by shedding their skins, so they present an apt symbol for this goddess.

According to one myth, Coatlicue was busy cleaning a shrine on Snake Mountain when feathers fell from the sky and magically caused her to become pregnant. She was already the mother of the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui and four hundred more children —the stars, known as the Huiztnaua. This immaculately conceived child turned out to be the sun god Huitzilopochtli. Before long a family feud erupted, during which Huitzilopochtli killed his sister and his star-siblings with a solar ray. The story may describe a shift from a matriarchal society to a patriarchal one, as it was written down in the Florentine Codex in the late sixteenth century, after the Spanish conquest.

Another legend says that four suns existed before the present one. When it became time for a fifth sun to emerge, a group of goddesses that may have included Coatlicue sacrificed themselves so that life on earth could continue under the new luminary.

Folklore connects Coatlicue with a group of dangerous star-deities called the Tzitzimime, who came to earth for five days each year and terrorized the Aztec people. However, these deities also served as divine midwives who guided mothers and infants through childbirth, continuing the idea of destruction and renewal in Coatlicue’s story.

Because Coatlicue is both a creator and a destroyer, she can assist you when you want to start something new or bring something to a satisfactory conclusion. As the goddess of rejuvenation, she encourages renewed well-being after a period of decline or loss. As a mother deity and divine midwife, she offers protection to women and their newborns. Her terrifying appearance, it’s said, scares away harmful entities that might endanger mother or child.

If you’re birthing another type of creative ventures, such as beginning a new job, Coatlicue will lend you her formidable vitality and help you succeed. This cosmic manager can also guide you in the day-to-day operation of a business, family, or collective endeavor. She’ll show you how to plant seeds for the future, nurture your crop through the development stages, and reap a rewarding harvest. Where to Seek Her Go outside on a crisp, clear night and gaze up at the stars.

According to Aztec folklore, these are Coatlicue’s children. Legends tell us we are all her children too. Sensing your connection with the goddess; feel her protecting and nurturing you in all you do.


Snakes show up in the myths of many cultures as symbols of knowledge and power, sexuality and fertility, life, death, and rebirth. This meditation lets you connect with the serpent power of Coatlicue to aid rejuvenation. If possible, acquire a serpentine stone to hold during this meditation on the chakras, the body’s vital energy centers.

1. Sit in a place where you feel safe and comfortable, and know you won’t be disturbed for a while. Silence your phone, TV, and other distractions.

2. Begin breathing slowly and deeply. Focus on each inhalation and each exhalation, letting your mind grow calm.

3. Envision a ball of glowing red light at the base of your spine, where a school of yoga called kundalini says serpent power resides. Sense the “serpent” that lies here uncoil and begin to twine slowly up your spine.

4. As the serpent rises through your body, feel the power and energy of the serpent awaken, gently removing blocks to your well-being. Allow the energy to pleasantly travel upward in a spiraling motion, enlivening each chakra.

5. When the energy reaches the top of your head, envision it spouting like a beautiful geyser from your crown chakra. Sense it wash down over you, healing and cleansing you in body, mind, and spirit.

6. Sit in meditation as long as you like, then gradually ease back into your everyday awareness. Thank Coatlicue for lending you her power.

photo by @kalliarte

Photo by @roseabellator

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