This article addresses the perennial debate over the origins and nature of female power by examining the significance of ‘Women of Discord’ in Aztec (more properly, Mexica) culture. Influential, but often troublesome, these formidable figures embody the complex significance of female power, rooted in women's privileged access to the awesome earth forces through childbirth. This chaotic energy lent cosmological and dynastic significance to the mytho-historical Women of Discord, but also led to a persistent female association with disorder which had tangible (and often overlooked) consequences for the lives of ‘real’ women in Aztec culture. This article explores the ways in which beliefs about the female capacity for disruption both reflected and shaped reality, ensnaring all women in a cycle of myth and history which made femininity a source of both authority and apprehension. Importantly, in Tenochtitlan ideas about ‘disorderly women’ did not lead inevitably to their practical subordination or suppression; women held practical markers of influence and esteem in Aztec culture. Thus, the Women of Discord challenge our assumptions about gender by offering a distinctive perspective on the ways in which femininity and fertility may be seen as disruptive, without necessarily debasing women or depriving them of individual agency.