This year's fashion is an opportunity to see Aztec symbols flourish on all the possible accessories that fashion can touch, and we can see Aztec motifs blooming everywhere that do not have much to do with the historical patterns.

The representation of the patterns that we see is often simplistic and stereotype Aztec culture in frescoes made of squares and triangles. As we will see, the Aztec representations were much richer than that.

We accompany you to learn more about the Aztec patterns and their meaning. The latter, after saturating the fashion print is about to disappear a time stores, perhaps allowing people to rediscover the authentic symbolic expression Aztec.

Patterns with astronomical meaning

The vast majority of Aztec graphics represent deities, animals (related to the deities) or religious reasons. The Aztec writing consisted of glyphs representing a sound or a word or a letter. They were used to using symbology to express messages, whether on walls, codices, religious artefacts or everyday life.

This symbology allowed to express a message while being decorative, a function for which Aztec motifs are so much resumed nowadays.


The social life of the Aztecs revolving around the religion related to the stars, all the reasons that one finds on the ceramics or the decorative objects are related to their astronomical interpretation of the stars and the sky which they could observe. 

ceramic aztec patterns

Aztec ceramic covered with astronomical reference patterns

A range of Aztec representations

Here is a presentation of the patterns most often found by archaeologists and the interpretation given to them.

The Aztecs represented the sun by a flower in different ways, the flower was the symbol evoking the precious :

Aztec flower pattern Ceramic Aztec flower pattern Aztec flower pattern


This drawing represents the immobile full sun, it is characterized by concentric circles in its center and the petals of the flower represent the rays of the sun. Note that the representation was not fixed and varied according to places and times, which complicates the work of linguists and archaeologists.

 aztec flower pattern

This represents the full sun moving during the day, characterized by its center consisting of a spiral.

 half flower aztec pattern

The half-flower represents the sun at dawn or at dusk.

 Aztec flower pattern

The flower with the center in the form of a split spiral represents the sun in relation to the world inhabited by men.

 Aztec flower pattern

This flower of four petals represents the four directions of the universe delimited by the four days marking the solstices. Another interpretation given is that it represents the four directions of the world and its center.

 Aztec pattern spiral

Aztec ceramic

This split spiral represents the course of the sun during the day and throughout the year. Archaeologists have named this motif "the shape of the year". There is sometimes a similar pattern on ceramics, resembling the same pattern cut in half and folded on itself.

 Aztec pattern

Representation of the day composed of a split spiral separated into two equal sections representing the day and the night.

Aztec stairs pattern Aztec stairs pattern


Aztec pattern ceramic 

Like all Aztec patterns, this one frequently varies according to the representations. This spiral and stair-shaped pattern is associated with the top, the movement of the sun, the sky, the clouds and the rain.

 Aztec stairs pattern

This spiral and rugged staircase represents the world below, the path of the sun during the night as it travels through the subterranean worlds, night, darkness and cold.

 Aztec pattern

A pattern marking the four directions of the universe and also the four solstices of the year traveled by the sun and in the middle, the center of the world, where the Aztecs live.

aztec pattern
Aztec ceramic


These wavy and intertwined bands may represent the alternation of day and night, or sometimes, depending on the associated glyphs, could represent half a year from the winter solstice to the summer solstice.

 Aztec pattern

Aztec pattern indicating the daily and annual rate of the sun in relation to the days of solstices marking the directions of the universe. It must be understood that for the Aztecs, the solstices correspond to respective positions of the stars (sun and earth) and therefore to directions.

 Aztec pattern

Aztec representation of the celestial vault with on the periphery the shining stars in its center the mexica observing the universe.


To find out more, we invite you to consult this website from which we have obtained this information.

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September 06, 2019 — Hugo Maherault
Tags: Mexico

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