Quetzalcoatl has become an important historical figure in the study of Mesoamerican culture as well as the inspiration for various literary works, notably D. H. Lawrence’s The Plumed Serpent.
Located on the central plateau of Mexico, hidden to the naked eye, sits the world’s largest ancient pyramid at Cholula, a small village just outside Puebla. The colonial church of La Iglesia de los Remedios, built in the 16th century, sits atop the Great Pyramid of Tepanapa, oftentimes referred to as the Cholula Pyramid.
Hidden by vegetation, the hill upon which the church was built, actually houses the great pyramid. Approximately one hundred years before Christ, the pyramid’s construction begun. Cholula was one of Mexico’s largest cities at the time, having been settled circa 1700 B.C. The pyramid’s construction along with affiliated temples, was carried out by various groups over hundreds of years. Its early period coincided with the great city of Teotihuacan’s development and power. Expansion of the pyramid continued with the arrival of the Olmec-Xicallancas, who further added to the pyramid’s scale. Next, the Toltec-Chichimecas occupied Cholula (circa 1100 A.D.).
Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, already a long established deity of the Mesoamerican world, undoubtedly helped to inspire the pyramid’s initial construction. With the arrival of the Toltecs, the cult of Quetzalcoatl truly flourished. Additionally, under the rule of the Toltecs, Cholula became a major center for trade and commerce. Having established strong ties with all other cities in the region, Cholula maintained its independence for a time from the ever expanding Aztec Empire.
Quetzalcoatl also operated also under the names of Kukulkan, Ehecatl, and The Lord of the Dawn. Quetzalcoatl left, however, when he could not change the Aztec’s warlike ways. When Cortes arrived in 1519, the pyramid, stood silent, hidden under grass and stone.
There is also the Aztec Hydra, Coatlcue, a symbol for nature. Coatlcue was sometimes depicted with two dragonheads and a skirt made of snakes.
And there are the Xiuhcoatl, small fire-serpents. They aided Huitzilopochtli in the defeating of his two siblings. It is undetermined, however, if this was a singular creature or if it was a dragon type.
Quetzalcoatl – A Pre-Columbian Messiah in Mexico by Dominick Dalywas an article originally published in 1889 and republished in this book.
Mr. Daly presents the theory that the ancient Mexican legends of Quetzalcoatl represent a real Christian missionary who sailed to the New World from Europe almost a thousand years before Columbus.
Daly, the author, also names the most likely candidate – the Irish monk Brendan the Navigator.
Saint Brendan of Clonfert (born 484 in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland) left Ireland 1,500 years ago in a leather boat to find paradise and to spread the word of God. Brendan’s first voyage took him to the Arran Islands, where he founded a monastery. He also traveled to Wales, and finally to Brittany, on the northern coast of France. Tales of the wonders he and his crew saw and the Monster Territory they encountered during their trip have become part of Irish legend. And legend also says that the island of unsurpassed beauty that St. Brendan called paradise was actually America.