Feminine Dimension of Water | Chalchiuhtlique

The following is an excerpt from John Mini’s “The Aztec Virgin.” It gives a brief but beautiful insight on the feminine aspects of water.  As with all the “Gods”, Deities, Energies, or whatever word one wants to use, the myriad faces of Creation’s manifestations are very poetic and profound. John Mini’s books are a great read and incite great perspectives and considerations. I highly recommend them.

– quimich

chalchiuhtlicue | Mexica | Aztec

Once water touches the ground it becomes one of our most valuable resources. So the ancient Aztecs chose the word Chalchiuhuitl, jade, to describe it. The Aztecs often use the qualities of jade to illustrate the highest level of a thing or an item of surpassing beauty. The essence of water that has come down to Earth and is following its course is called Chalchiuhtlique, She of the Jade Skirt.

As an Aztec goddess and a singular force in nature, Chalchiuhtlique takes different forms at different times. For example, when lakes begin to ripple in the slightest breeze, she manifests as Xixiquipililihui, She who Makes Bags. Also known as Aticpac Calqui Cihuatl, The Lady whose House is on the Surface of the Water, Chalchiuhtlique is the spaces where rivers flow, and the rising and falling of lakes and lagoons. She’s the Lady of the Sea. Tlaloc is her consort in the world of water.

People know her as Ahuic when she’s the goddess of running streams, rivers and beaches. Chalchiuhtlique is Apozanolotl, Foam from the Water, when she makes sea and river foam, substances that Mexican shamans are always in search of because of their tremendous purifying and healing properties.

chalchiuhtlicue | Mexica | Aztec

When seeds are germinating, Chalchiuhtlique transforms into Atlatonan, Our Mother who Lights up in the Waters. When she takes on the form of mists and vapors, she’s Ayauhteotl, the Fog Goddess. In this aspect she connects with the dawn, night, fame and vanity.
When our lakes and streams are in the process of drying up, and when a lack of water restricts agriculture, Chalchiuhtlique becomes Atlacoya, Sad Water.

As the spirit of hot natural mineral springs, Chalchiuhtlique is Pozoncihuatl, Boiling Woman. This is a good example of how two gods can come together to form a third god, or natural essence. In this case, Chalchiuhtlique and Xiuhtecuhtli, the God of Fire, interact to embody hot springs.

When she’s the protectress and purifier of those who’ve recently been born, Chalchiuhtlique is called Ayopechtli, She Who Lives On Top of a Tortoise. Midwives and women giving birth invoke her presence and offer her flower garlands.

About the author

Quimichipilli is a fifth generation Chicanah hailing from Venice, CA. He's a former graffiti artist turned Web & Graphic Designer, promoting Ndgns Values and positive community culture. You can find him on and Twitter.
  • Marisela

    Thank you so much for this website! It’s been really helpful. I currently don’t have any elders around me that know these stories. I’ve been looking for a website like this for sometime. I just wanted to know more about our culture and needed a source to draw from for creative purposes as well.