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Tezcatlipoca

Lost has drawn on many religions and pantheons over the years. The most obvious has been Egyption with the hieroglyphs, ankh, and statue. Then there is the Hinduism suggested by Dharma. And then the Greek pantheon suggested by the Apollo bars and Cerberus notations. We have finally seen the temple and it suggests a Aztec influence on the show. While doing research on an unrelated topic I stumbled upon an Aztecs God that may be the inspiration for Nemesis. The name of this god is Tezcatlipoca.

Tezcatlipoca was the Aztecs god of the nocturnal sky and ancestral memory. He was also the god of temptation, discord, and the embodiment of change through conflict. His name means god of the smoking mirror because he carried a obsidian mirror that bellowed black smoke.

Tezcatlipoca had many names and aspects for he was a shapeshifter. As Tezcatlipoca Yaotl he was the enemy. As Tezcatlipoca Telpochtli he stands for eternal youth and when he was Necoyaotl he was the enemy of both sides.

Tezcatlipoca had two aspects that he used often. In his jaguar aspect, Tepeyollotl, he was the lord of darkened caves and echoes. In his blood stained Turkey form, Chalchihuihtotolin, he would tempt humans into self destruction. But in this form he could also cleanse humans of contamination, absolve their sins, and overcome their fates. When Tezcatlipoca carried his smoking mirror the black smoke could kill bad people or punish them with illness.

Tezcatlipoca, along with his twin brother (and also his opposite ) Quetzalcoatl, created the world. There is one myth about Quetzalcoatl that says that he allowed himself to be tempted by Tezcatlipoca but then threw himself on a funeral pyre. After that Quetzalcoatl became a symbol of death and resurrection.

There is an interesting story told by the Aztecs about Tezcatlipoca. They say that if you are alone in the woods at night and see a glowing light accompanied by a sound like chopping wood beware, for Tezcatlipoca is near. The wood chopping like sound is the sound of his ribs opening and closing. The only way to escape Tezcatlipoca is to wait for his ribs to open, thrust your hand inside and pull out his heart.

I believe that it is obvious that Tezcatlipoca parallels many of the same aspects that Nemesis/Smokey has. Considering that the writers have drawn from many areas and subjects to craft Lost I don’t think it is farfetched to think that Tezcatlipoca is the inspiration for Nemesis / Smokey. And even if Tezcatlipoca didn’t inspire them there are a lot of interesting similarities.

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Written by

Achalli

Lungbarrow, Achalli Number516644 Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. - T.H. Huxley

45 thoughts on “Tezcatlipoca

  1. this is a really good read and the most plausible idea as to what Nemesis, Smokey and Jacob may be.

    Achalli, i do think you’ve hit the nail on the head, as it were with this theory because all the pieces do fit together almost perfectly.

    i’d go as far as to say that this isn’t really a theory, its probably fact!

  2. Thanks I Am Jacob. The relationship with Quetzalcoatl and the sound of Tezcatlipoca’s ribs is what really drove it home for me. I actually hesitated about posting this because of the heavy Egyption motif but a friend pointed out that Lost draws from various mythologies. The smoking mirror aspect really cinches it though.

  3. yeah, i really think that this idea is one of the best ive read in a while. the connections are far to close to be coincidental.

    Following on from your friend’s point, the island seems to be a focal point of many different religions and beliefs which im guessing will turn out to be an important part of the plot by the time the series finishes.

  4. The Island may turn out to be the source of a lot of legends in the world. When I stumbled on Tezcatlipoca I was actually looking into the various legends about the ‘naval of the world,’ specifically the ones from Pacific civilizations. These are the legends that spawned the stories of Lemuria and Mu. Tezcatlipoca was mentioned in one of these stories and I looked into him.

  5. Hi Achalli, interesting thoughts on this. There are certainly some parallels between the Smoke Monster and what you have depicted here. I especially like the ‘smoke and mirror’ connections.

    You are correct in, that the writers have stated that there were many ancient civilizations who previously inhabited ‘the island’ and have contributed to the mythology and mystique.

    As always, very nicely written and researched.

  6. Thanks Dabs. When I read that Tezcatlipoca carried a mirror that actually bellowed black smoke I just had to read more about him. I also like the fact that one of his aspects is a blood stained killer turkey. I don’t think I’ll be inviting him to Thanksgiving.

  7. I was looking at some of the images of Tezcatlipoca from a google search and alot of times he is represented with just a skull. Kind of reminded me of the freaky doll in the cradle at Claires campsight.

  8. Awesome research conducted there Achalli.
    And Roland YES! I thought the exact same thing when after having just searched it myself!
    I’ll link the pic of most concern:

    http://anthropologynet.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/mosaic-mask-tezcatlipoca-skull-of-smoking-mirror.jpg

    Also of interest is the wikipedia page and the Mythical Stories section, which illustrates the Aztec creation story. Note the circular combat between tezcatlipoca and his brother – representative of a battle between Jacob and Nemesis.

    I love the way tezcatlipoca is described as a night deity, especially when Nemesis is represented by a black token.

    Awesome theory. I have a feeling that the writers are aiming to link most religions to the island in order to demonstrate how all religions are essentially the same, just construed differently by different races and cultures…

  9. Roland, Cyan Eyed,

    That mask is one of the creepiest things ever. While looking at the images when I was researching this I saw that they have t-shirts with that image on it.

  10. OOh Achalli, that is intriguing.

    i never thought about the temple having an Aztec feel, but you’re right, and upon further research i found this info about Aztec mythology,

    “In the mythology of the Aztecs, the first age of mankind ended with the animals devouring humans. The second age was finished by wind, the third by fire, and the fourth by water. The present fifth epoch is called Nahui-Olin (Sun of Earthquake), which began in 3113 BC and will end on December 24, 2011. It will be the last destruction of human existence on Earth. The date coincides closely with that determined by the brothers McKenna in The Invisible Landscape as “the end of history” indicated by their computer analysis of the ancient Chinese oracle-calendar, the I Ching.”

    The end of the world on December 24th 2011? The invisible landscape? veeeeery interesting.

    Good stuff!

  11. Thanks Shepards Flocke! Hinduism has a similar concept of the world going through several stages of birth and destruction.

    Aztecs and Mayan mythology can be pretty out there. I remember reading once about two brothers wanting to bring their father back from the Aztec/Mayan underworld and the demons challenge them to a game of soccer. The demons provide the ball by using the father’s head.

  12. I definitely think the temple was a mix of Aztec and Hindi design. So, very interesting connection that you made with the Aztec mythology… I love it!!! Tezcatlipoca is associated with “dark”, and is called The Black Man. While Quetzalcoatl is associated with “light”, and is called The White Man.

    Dab’s and I were talking about the Hindu Trimurti not too long ago because of the statues present at the temple. So, I just looked up to see if there is an Aztec equivalent to the Hindu gods of the Trimurti… And sure enough, Texcatlipoca along with Tlaloc, and Huitzlipochtli are considered their equivalents…

    I just love how the writers are combining all aspects of various belief systems to tell their story… It’s rather ingenious!

    Achilli: On a side note; here is an article that you as well as the rest of the fantastic theory writers on this board may find of interest. I completely forgot that I had this article saved until reading your post. I saved this back when I first thought the island had properties of a huge particle accelerator. Please, take note to the Mayan, Egyptian, Hindu and other belief systems that are all mentioned. But, it was the Mayan/Aztec picture with the 8 spoke wheel that originally got my attention to the article. It’s quite interesting… Dab’s if you read this and the article below, please take note the Lord Shiva statue (one aspect of the Trimurti) that is present at the CERN building. Now how’s that for coincidence?

    http://www.williamhenry.net/art_dis-cerning.html

  13. Elsewhere, thanks for the link to the Fern article. It was very fascinating. I was surprised to see that the Mayans had a version of the eight spokes wheel. I was already aware of the Hindi wheel. And the tie in to wormholes ties in to moving the Island. Thanks again for providing such great information.

  14. elsewhere, thanks for the link….very nice connections! I really enjoyed reading all of the similarities, that seemingly are not coincidental, but lend credence to the ideas expressed here.

    The mention of the Mayan Calender end date is of interest to me, as I was just reading an article on the 1111 phenomena surrounding this date.

  15. Achalli: I first saw that Aztec picture of the 8 spoke wheel on the History Channel or it may have been The Science Channel, I forget which one… It was an episode about “Time” and “time manipulation” narrated by physicist Michio Kaku… It definitely made me sit up and take notice! I then searched for that picture and info on-line but I couldn’t find it anywhere until searching info on particle accelerators and CERN.

    Glad you and Dab’s enjoyed it…

    Dab’s: Do you think the 1111 phenomena can be applied to Lost? If so, I would love to read a theory about it… That is, if you are willing to write one. 🙂

  16. Hi elsewhere, I haven’t given this too much consideration in terms of Lost until recently, but am seeking a connection, if one exists.

    What is fascinating is, that this end date signifies a universal shift in ‘consciousness’ from ‘duality’ to ‘oneness’, and is one of the reasons why I am looking at.

    If I find any connections, I will post on it. Thanks for your interest.

  17. Dab’s: I recently had a conversation with my daughter who has taken an interest in the Mayan prophecies ever since the 2012 movie came out. I’ve been trying to explain to her that the prophecy is not so much dealing with the end of the world, but rather a shift in consciousness, a way of universal enlightenment…

    I can definitely see the “shift in consciousness and enlightenment” aspect being a possible connection…

    Again Achalli, great post!

  18. Thanks Elsewhere,

    As far as the 2012 prophecies go, I think that the Maryanne calander will just roll over and start again. They were big on the cyclical and circular nature of time. However, I don’t rule out a consciousness shift.

  19. Really interesting thoughts. It really seems as more people come up with connections to more and more spiritual beliefs that the island is the special place that spawned these beliefs across the world.

  20. You did all of that from your phone! Wow! That’s impressive. It takes me about a half an hour just to type a 10 word text message… So, good job! 5 more stars!!!

    Nice thought Tas.

  21. Awesome research, Achalli and brownie points for typing everything on your cell lol!

    Black smoke, shapeshifting, mirrors… im getting goosebumps here. My mind if full of ideas regarding the mirrors, but i need to organize them haha.

    Great job!

  22. Elsewhere, Cliff87, it’s an android with a full keyboard. Sometimes I get going so fast with it that I don’t pay attention to what the predictive text is doing and it inserts what it thinks I meant to right. If I don’t catch what it does the results can be entertaining.

    Cliff87, I’m glad you liked it. I just couldn’t believe all the similarities as I was doing the research.

  23. Pretty scary thing when a phone has a mind of its own…lol!

    I was doing a little more reading on Tezcatlipoca… A couple of other things that I read of interest:

    On his mirror is the symbol for “War,” which are the “Fire and Water” symbols… References to “Fire and Water” have been popping up all over the place since the very beginning.

    He is the God of Destiny who in his mirror reflects the fragile human condition… I know you pretty much covered this in your theory, (not in those exact words) but it really makes sense as to how Smokey has the ability to scan and judge.

  24. Sorry Im late on this Achalli…Ive been behind on the site lately…

    I have to say, if they were to come out and name the smoke monster in the form of a mythological/religious figure/god, with the info of what we have seen this would be a very strong possibility.
    Between the smoke and mirrors combination, and the ever increasing culture on the island Tezcatlipoca seems almost impossible to resist.

    I read your theory a few days ago, and although I didnt get a chance to post, I tried researching to try and add something to this thought…the problem was, you did such a great job covering everything!

    The smoke and mirrors thing blows my mind…how you found this and nobody else did is even more nuts…so I must say, excellent researching skills here!

    Seriously, great ideas and I hope we at the very least get a reference to Tezcatlipoca in the show before it is over…fantastic job Achalli…

  25. Elsewhere, I missed the symbol on the mirror. Great job! Another thing about destiny, Tezcatlipoca was supposedly the god who decided a child’s destiny at the time of birth. There are parallels to this on Lost also.

  26. AES, it really is strange how I stumbled on this. The book I was reading is called ‘Opening the Arm of the Covenant.’ The first few chapters deal with the different places that have been called the umbilicus mundi, the Navel of the World. It also deals with a lot of the legends of Mu, Lemuria, and Atlantis. The book starts to talk about similar legends of the Aztecs, Maya, and Toltecs and that is where Tezcatlipoca and his mirror pops up.

  27. Roland, your right about smoke and mirrors. Today when some one says that it brings up images of stage magicians and is a reference to decieving people. Tezcatlipoca was also the god of sorcery, so there is yet another connection.

  28. Thank you to Achalli and everyone else who has the time and inclination to research all the names and places and books etc. that pop up on LOST. I do not have the time to do it myself, so all of your research, insight and comments are much appreciated. Keep it coming, please 🙂

  29. I read this book by Stel Pavlou called Decipher a while back. It weaves all the flood myth legends from all over the world together. I don’t remember it being that great of a story but it does have a ton of info on all kinds of stuff. Might be a book you would like to read.

  30. Odette, I’m sorry I haven’t responded sooner. I’m glad you enjoyed this. You may enjoy some of my earlier post such as ” Nehebakau.” For really interesting theories you should check out AES’ past posts.

  31. Roland, thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll put it on my list of books to read. I’m currently reading “Anathem” by Neil Stephenson.
    Elsewhere, thanks for suggesting “Anathem” to me, I’m enjoying it very much.

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