Beware theses female entities for they may steal your children.
The cihuateteo is a female spirit in Mexico that originated in ancient Aztec mythology. They were the deified spirits of women who died in childbirth.
On traditional feast days, it is said the cihuateteo haunt crossroads in the darkest part of the night. They lay in wait for their victims, hoping for young ones.
Skip forward to modern times were Mexican parents still warn their children to stay indoors and hide on feast days. For they fear a cihuateteo may kidnap them. If they succeed in taking a child, all that is left behind is a sacrificial knife.
These spirits are also feared because for it is believed they cause sickness, paralysis, and seizures. The cihuateteo can also possess their victim’s bodies. Men were cautioned to beware, for these spirits would try to seduce them.
Some believe the legend of La Llorona is based upon the cihuateteo spirits. More about this legend is located here.
The Aztecs gave the cihuateteo offerings on feast days in order to appease them. These consisted of bread or tamales shaped like butterflies or lightning. These offerings were left at altars or at crossroads.
The cihuateteo are described as having skeleton faces, claws for hands and pale white limbs. They wear horned headdresses, black blouses, white sandals and skirts embroidered in several colors.
Statues that the Aztecs made depicting the cihuateteo are always naked from the waist up.
The Aztecs treated these women like fallen warriors. They were given the same privilege as warriors who fell in battle. They were allowed to go to the Heaven of the Sun, which was an honor.
After four years, their spirits could then inhabit the clouds. It was at this point they were turned into cihuateteo or goddesses. They were allowed to return to their earthly homes—where their former husbands sometimes saw them.
These women were so powerful after death their bodies had to be guarded by loved ones to prevent theft.
Warriors would steal their middle fingers and hair for it was believed that if these items where placed on their shields they became braver in battle. It was also believed these two relics blinded their enemies.