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Exploring Malinalli: The 12th Sacred Day in Aztec Culture

Malinalli, the Nauhatl word for ‘grass’, is the 12th sacred day in the Aztec calendar (the tonalpohualli). Associated with the god Patecatl, Malinalli is a good day for forging alliances and a bad day for oppression.

What is Malinalli?

The religious Aztec calendar consisted of 260 days, divided into units called ‘trecenas’. There were 20 trecenas, each consisting of 13 days, represented by a different symbol and associated with a deity who governed the day and provided its ‘tonalli’¸or life energy.

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Malinalli, meaning ‘grass’, is the first day of the 12th trecena in the sacred calendar, associated with rejuvenation and tenacity. Also known as ‘Eb’ in Maya, it’s considered a good day for persevering and creating alliances, but a bad day for being oppressive.

The Governing Deities of Malinalli

The 12th day of the Aztec calendar is said to be governed by Patecatl, the Mesoamerican god of fertility and healing.

It was Patecatl who discovered peyote, a spineless cactus, that he gifted to humankind. This plant was used by the Mesoamericans to make an alcoholic beverage known as ‘pulque’ and due to this, Patecatl was called ‘the god of pulque’.

According to some sources, Patecatl was also responsible for governing Ozomahtli, the first day of the 11th trecena.

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Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.