Thursday, June 30, 2011
Guest Blogger: Gabriella Hewitt
Please welcome today's guest blogger: Gabriella Hewitt as she shares with us a bit on lore near and dear to her heart- and books ;).
I love Aztec lore. Why? Simple. Aztec stories are fascinating tales that are riddled with vengeance, blood thirsty deities, beautiful alluring gods and goddesses who scheme against each other in deadly family squabbles. The Aztec gods were some of the first daytime soap operas!
It was only natural I built stories of heroes and heroines pitted against larger than life immortals, thrust into the throws of peril and passion, fighting for humanity and love.
While I could talk about gods and goddesses all day, I have to admit I am most intrigued by the small roles played by a cast of strange and cunning characters that stay in the background but play a major role in the tales –the tzitzimime. Also known as TZITZIMIMI, TZITZIMIMEH, TZITZIMITL
The what? The who?
The word tzitzimime is not a typical word—and don’t’ ask me how to pronounce it—but the term is universal. Never heard of them? Well, maybe you have but they go by many names: demons, diablos, devils, evil creatures, hags, skin walkers, dark angels, etc. You get the point.
According to Wikipedia.com, the tzitzimime were female deities, and as such related to fertility, they were associated with the Goddess Itzpapalotl, better known as the Obsidian Butterfly, a goddess with a wicked temper, considered lustful and beyond beautiful. She was the ruler of Tamoanchan - the paradise where the Tzitzimime resided. The tzitzimime were worshipped by midwives and parturient women.
The best description and one that puts smile on my face comes from GodsLaidBare.com;
Tzitzimime were the protectors of females, especially during pregnancy and childbirth, but became unpredictable and dangerous around solar eclipses and other cosmic instabilities. Women, on the other hand, become unstable, dangerous and unpredictable around pregnancy. Yup, I know I was a tzitzimime during childbirth, no one was spared from my vile tongue and thrashing. I scared them all from the nurse to the doctor to the dude with the big needle. Seriously, no one was safe from my wrath but I digress…
In the Shadow Warrior series, I took liberties and made them men as well as women. Why? Well, for starters it’s not as common for women to die in childbirth today, and honestly, I am not sure how well it would go down in today’s society if I made a woman who suffered an unfortunate death a harbinger of evil. So, I took a more liberal approach and made tzitzimime, both male and female. The modern version is of people who were evil in life and are now evil in death, their blackened souls devoured by the tzitzimime and made into ghouls who walk the earth doling out pain and torture for their goddess and the gods in her camp who seek to destroy humanity.
Tzitzimime can be anywhere and they are always on the outlook for new victims to feed the darkness inside them. Now that the battle lines have been drawn, the world will never be the same, and it’s humanity who will pay the ultimate price.
For a tale filled with intrigue, passion, and rich Aztec lore, including those tzitzimime, check out the first book in my shadow warrior series OUT OF THE SHADOWS, coming August 16th from Samhain Publishing.
Aztec word: huitzilin (hummingbird)
In celebration of the 1st book in the SHADOW WARRIOR series, I am putting together a contest. Become a Shadow Warrior and hunt down tzitzimime, celestial demons and nemesis to Shadow Warriors. Follow me on the blog tour and keep track of where a dreaded tzitzimime has popped up. Contact me (www.gabriellahewitt.com/contact/)with the location you have spotted a tzitzimime and the secret Aztec word. One entry per day, please. The more tzitzimime you spot the better your chances of winning. One winner will be chosen at random, the prize a $25 Samhain Publishing gift certificate. All entries must be in by August 18th. The winner will be declared on the blog August 19th. Contest starts June 5th and ends midnight August 18th (EST).
Gabriella Hewitt is the pen name of creative writing talents Sasha Tomaszycki and Patrizia M.J. Hayashi. Together they weave tales of romantic suspense and dangerously sensual paranormals. Check out their website www.GabriellaHewitt.com to find out about upcoming releases and events on their blog.