After the fourth and final destruction of Earth, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca repented of their disputes. This time they agreed together that they had to create a new Sun. But it had to be better than the previous ones.

In the Aztec account, before the creation of the day, summoned by Huehueteotl the god of fire, the gods gathered again in the sacred place of Teotihuacán. The purpose of this regrouping, to create once again a new sun. They debated for a long time and then, among the many ideas proposed, one was accepted by all. A god had to throw himself into the sacred fire to transform himself into the sun. But the hardest part was still to be done, we had to find a volunteer. Teucciztecatl, lord of the snails, famous both for his strength and his beauty but also for his character of smooth talker came forward and volunteered. But almost all the other gods felt that it was not to him that he should be entrusted with this mission, could he be trusted, would he really throw himself into the fire? They then decided that he had to be accompanied by another god. After a moment of silence, all eyes then converged on Nanautzin, a shy, syphilitic, ugly and unlucky little god, who never refused anything. As usual, Nanautzin accepted. The gods therefore validated his acquiescence and immediately attacked the preparations for the fire where the sacrifice of these two gods would take place.

The sacrifice of Teucciztecatl and Nanahuatzin

For their part, the two volunteers retired to the mountains to prepare for the sacrifice by doing penance for four days. Teucciztecatl made it big. He slashed himself with feathers, gold, and sharp fragments of gems and coral. Nanahuatzin did this humbly, simply offering his blood and pus. At midnight, all the gods gathered around the big fire. When the time for the sacrifice came, Teucciztecatl appeared clad in armor of quetzal feathers. Nanautzin was wearing his humble straw coat, and they both walked towards the fire. Teucciztecatl took four steps forward, but at the last moment turned his back on the huge blaze. Several more times he pretended to throw himself into the fire, then gave up all courage and let his fear dominate him. The gods then turned to Nanautzin and asked him to throw himself into the fire. Without a second of hesitation, Nanautzin threw himself into the flames. The hearth rumbled, sparks flew everywhere and engulfed him immediately. At the same moment, Teucciztecatl, unable to let such an affront pass, also threw himself into the flames.

The birth of the sun and the moon

Then there is a great silence. The gods were waiting to see the fifth sun rise… Moments later, they saw Nanautzin turn into a sun. The long-awaited fifth sun. But then suddenly a second sun began to shine simultaneously, it was Teucciztecatl. In anger, one of the gods then threw a white hare at Teucciztecatl’s head to chastise him and diminish his brilliance. Teucciztecatl then became the moon, the one that always comes after the sun. The spots of the moon are for the Aztecs, the scars of the punishment inflicted on Teucciztecatl. However Nanautzin, the only resplendent Sun did not move. When the gods asked him why he was not moving. Nanautzin answered them that he wished that each in turn sacrificed himself for him by bleeding himself. Each of the gods then offered his blood so that the star began its revolution. This Fifth Sun, the Sun of Movement, still illuminates our world today according to the Aztecs. This legend explains in particular why the Mesoamerican peoples carried out human sacrifices. It was to, they believed, keep the sun moving…