Tezcatlipoca, (god of Night and Sorcery) "Smoking Mirror" (obsidian), characterized as the most powerful, supreme deity, was associated with the notion of destiny. His cult was particularly identified with royalty, for Tezcatlipoca was the object of the lengthy and reverent prayers in rites of kingship.
The creator God - The God of the Hunt - Patron of Princes - God of Providence. The Lord of the Here and Now - The Enemy on Both Sides. The true invisible god who walked over the heavens and surface of the earth and hell. Where ever this god went wars, anxiety, and trouble were sure to follow. Tezcatlipoca was thought to incite wars against one another and was called Necocyautl, which means "sower of discord on both sides".
Also metaphorically refered to as Moyocoyatzin, (Capricious Creator), Titlacahuan, (He Whose Slaves we Are), Moquequeloa, (The Mocker) , Moyocoyani, (Maker of Himself), Ipalnermoani, (Lord of the Near and the Nigh), Nahuaque, (Night Wind).
His cruel hand was felt to be at fault when a rich man was brought to mis fortune. When Tezcatlipoca chose to appear on the earth he brought destruction, and only rarely did he provide good fortune to an individual, after all why should he? The ruler of the Mexica was said to be "The Flute of Tezcatlipoca" in his title of Great Speaker.
Tezcatlipoca was also worshiped under the name Titlacahuan, "He Whose Slaves We Are", who was the master of human destiny. In some ways like Huitzilopochtli who represented the blue sky, or day sky, Tezcatlipoca represented the night sky.
He was the warrior of the North while Huitzilopochtli was the warrior of the South. He was the god of sin and misery and had a fetish for the obsidian knife. A young god, legend has him carrying off the wife of aging Tlaloc, "Xochiquetzal", goddess of flowers and love.
His name was derived from the painting of his image with soot containing shining metal flakes which the Indians called "Tezcapoctli" or "shining smoke". He can be identified in codices by a smoking mirror and a mirror drawn in place of a foot torn off by the earth monster, a representation of myth why at Southern latitudes one of the stars of the Ursa Major is missing form the night heavens. Tezcatlipoca is nocturnal and represented by black coloring and his hair and is often represented cut in two different lengths characteristic of warrior classes.
Tezcatlipoca is the patron of sorcerers and related to the stellar gods, the moon and to those that represent death, evil, and destruction. His "Nahual", or disguise, is that of the Jaguar. Master of men's destinies.
In Toltec mythology he was the adversary of his brother Quetzalcoatl, the Mexica borrowed much of this legend adding and deleting where it suit the purpose of the Mexica. Sahagun relates that the ill or afflicted would pray to Tezcatlipoca in his name of Titlacaoan in the hope of getting well by his mercy. On all road and street crossings a stone seat, called Momuztli, adorned with flowers was placed for this most revered god, the flowers were replaced every five days.
The Mexica knew that intercourse was necessary to help in the birthing process, but the child was "seated" in the womb by Tezcatlipoca where it would receive it's fate. Family characteristics were explained as the whim or fancy of Tezcatlipoca, not a matter of genetics.
An obsidian highly polished black idol of Tezcatliopoca was the common veneration to this god, in some smaller towns a wooden idol painted black from the temples down was used. The forehead, nose, and mouth were painted in a human Indian color.
An intricate lip plug of crystalline beryl with a green or blue feather complimented the image. Around his neck would be placed a huge golden Jewell and on his arm golden bracelets. In his left hand was placed a fan of blue, green and yellow feathers, surrounding a round plate of gold, polished like a mirror.
His mirror was called Itlachiayaque, "Place from Which He Watches", as Tezcatliopoca could see all by looking into the mirror. In his right hand the idol would carry four arrows signifying punishment for sin he would inflict on the evils of man.
On his ankles he wore twenty golden bells.
Tied to his right foot was a deer hoof, which represented his swiftness and agility. His main temple in Tenochtitlan was a dark and mysterious place where the idol was kept behind a curtain with only special priests allowed to view and serve the image.
In the chamber of this god was an altar approximately 6 feet tall upon which rested a wooden pedestal, on this pedestal stood the idol.
His name spelled properly is Tezcatl Ipoca, "Mirror that Smokes".
An early Mexica prince "Texcatlpopocatzin", bore his name. Tezcapoctli, is the Mexica name for the black obsidian with a reflecting surface used in the making of mirrors. Tezcatlipoca was left handed and also known as Opoche, "He Who Has Left Handedness", one of his priests was known as "His Left Hand". Also known as Itzcaque, "He Who Has Obsidian Sandals".