Tlazolteotl (“Tlats-ohl-TAY-oat-l”) is a Toltec earth mother, the goddess of carnal love and desire. Like Kali in India, she is portrayed as a horrible, devouring girgure yet is also honored as a moving, creative principle. She is sometimes pictured as four sisters (the four ages of woman) who are present at the crossroads of one’s life.
Tlatzolteotl is best known as the Eater of Impurities. Once in a lifetime, a person confessed her worst deeds and sins to Tlazolteotl, holding back nothing. In return the confessor received absolution: no impurity or defilement was too great to be forgiven. Tlazolteotl is that deep part of ourselves that we fear because it is so powerful and unfamiliar. Yet when we touch her through her fearsome countenance, we find absolute mercy.
She is proof that anything that can overwhelm and destroy us also has the power to heal and grant forgiveness.