yn ilhuicame, yn inca in cicitlaltin


The Codex Yoalli Ehecatl, or Codex Borgia

All of the Aztec figures featured in this new interpretation of the modern constellations of the Northern Hemisphere are digitally redrawn from the ancient Mexican book of rites called the Codex Yoalli Ehecatl, or Codex Borgia.

A page from the Codex Yoalli Ehecatl, or Codex Borgia

Here is an example of how the Aztec figures from the above codex are interpreted as modern constellations as part of the work featured on this website. From the codex page above, the figure called “Chalchiuhtotolin” is featured in the top section. It is a stylized and adorned turkey. The word itself means “Jade Turkey” in Nahuatl.

Below is a digitally redrawn version of the “Jade Turkey”:
© Fernando Rodriguez

Modern Constellations as Aztec Figures

According to a unique, comprehensive analysis and correlation of Aztec figures from the Codex Yoalli Ehecatl to modern constellations, the “Jade Turkey” is found to physically resemble the following modern constellations:

  1. Draco
  2. Lynx
  3. Camelopardalis
  4. Perseus
  5. Auriga
  6. Ursa Minor
  7. Ursa Major
  8. Cassiopeia
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It may be impossible to recuperate the exact manner in which pre-Columbian people from modern-day Mexico organized the stars in the sky. Instead of lamenting over this tragic loss, we propose a creative way of addressing the issue. Aztec Astronomy shows how modern constellations can be regrouped into patterns which represent pre-Columbian icons like Quetzalcoatl, Ixnextli, the Tamoanchan and Mictlantecuhtli, among others.

The work of assigning pre-Columbian codex icons to modern constellations began in 1997 under the auspices of the Brown Berets de Aztlan ministry of education. This work was continued as independent research over the next 20 years, culminating in the publication of the series of astronomy maps entitled Aztec Astronomy.

The Author

Fernando Arturo Rodriguez is a former member of the Brown Berets de Aztlan. He lives in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico with his family. Mr. Rodriguez has lectured on the topic of Aztec astronomy at several universities in the US and in Mexico.


Fernando Arturo Rodriguez

Author of Aztec Astronomy