Tlaloc is one of my personal favourite gods within my personal favourite cultural mythology. Nobody can deny that the Aztecs were some of history’s greatest badasses - and they have the gods to prove it. That and human sacrifice. Also, Tlaloc has probably the most kickass garb of any god ever. He is usually depicted wearing goggles (one of my aesthetically favoured accessories) and he has fangs.
Tlaloc is an interesting case because he is a god of rain, fertility and a god who was salubrious - but he could also be kind of a withholding dick.
What Tlaloc giveth, Tlaloc can taketh away. And taketh away hard.
See, Tlaloc could bring rain and fertility, but also hail, thunder, and diseases like leprosy and rheumatism.
When Tlaloc was pissed enough to unleash leprosy and disease and hardship, there was a simple solution: Human sacrifice.
But not your run-of-the-mill cut open your ribcage and rip out your heart while it was still beating so you could see it before you died sacrifice that the Aztecs usually did. Tlaloc only wanted children. Crying children, to be specific.
So when Tlaloc got all angry and frowny behind his ass-kicking steampunk goggles, priests would round up some kids and, in order to have a successful Tlaloc-appeasing sacrifice, the kids were made to cry. (Yeah, what a surprise. Priests traumatizing children.) The more the kids cried, the more Tlaloc was appeased.
So, behold Tlaloc - one of my favourite dudes who could only be pleased by having traumatized children killed for him. Best ever or best ever?
The rituals pertaining to those who died in water (from drowning) or other Tlaloc-related deaths (see: struck by lightning), and strangely enough those stunted in growth, are interesting because those who died tied to Tlaloc were not cremated as was customary in Aztec culture, but instead buried with blue paint on their foreheads and seeds in their faces. They were also dressed in paper and buried holding a digging stick for planting.
Tlaloc: demands crying children to be killed, and wants plants to grow out of your dead face.
What is there not to love?