Tag Archive: mayan


Goddess Ix Chebel Yax

“Ix Chel” by Hrana Janto

“Ix Chebel Yax’s themes are protection, banishing, health, providence and home. Her symbols are lunar emblems, spinning tools and baskets.  In Guatemala, this Goddess bears a striking resemblance to Ix Chel (see May 7) in that She teaches spinning, weaving and basketry to humans. More important, She is a mother figure who watches over all household concerns from the moon, Her home.

Part of the Guatemalan advent season, La Quema del Diablo (The Burning of the Devil) finds people burning bundles of garbage in ritual fires to banish the spirit of evil, negativity and sin from their midst, especially from the home. Doing so also purifies the people, keeping them healthy and staving off hunger. Considering that winter is in full swing, this isn’t a bad idea. Go through your living space and gather up any garbage (including items that have been waiting for a trip to the second-hand shop). Find one item that can be safely burned, and snip a swatch off of it. Release it to any fire source to burn away any tensions or sickness troubling your home.

Afterward, clean as much of your house or apartment as time will allow. Invoke Ix Chebel Yax’s blessing by placing a spool of thread in the room where you’re working (white or green are good choices for peace and health, respectively). Carry this spool from room to room, then put it in your pocket for the day to keep the Goddess and her providence close by.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ixchel, Mayan Goddess of the Moon” by Rita Torfs

My research on today’s Goddess from a few different sources seem to back up the claim that very well could have been the same Goddess known as Ix Chel.  Many of the sites that I found that had mentioned Ix Chebel Yax were in Spanish, so honestly, I didn’t browse through or translate too many of them.  In one source, I found that: “Ix Chebel Ya’ax was the wife Itzamná, patron Goddess of painting and embroidery. She was portrayed with a snake coiled on the head and a roll of cotton. Ix Chebel accompanies Itzamná Ya’ax as he also throws water on earth. [1]

Another site stated that “Ix Chebel Yax is the mother of all gods and goddesses. As consort of Itzamna, Mayan creator god, She is also therefore a creator Goddess. Weaving and working cloth was an important feature of all Mesoamerican civilizations, even before the Maya and the Aztecs. Because of this, Ix Chebel Yax occupied a very important position in the pantheon for Mayan women. ” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Es.wikipedia.org, “Mayan Pantheon“.

Tribes.tribe.net, “Ix Chebel Yax“.

 

Suggested Links:

Bradley, Kris. Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells and Recipes, “Ix Chebel Yax (Mayan)“.

Kampen, Michael E. Iconography of Religions: Ancient America.

Goddess Xmucane

“Xmucane – Her themes are time, cycles, creativity and divination. Her symbols are calendars, blue-green items and light.  This Mayan Goddess of time created time’s calculation and the calendar along with Her partner Xpiyacoc. She continues watching over all calendar functions and acts as a prophetess because she can see both past and future consecutively. Her folkloric titles include Day’s Grandmother and Maker of the Blue-Green Bowl (likely the sky).

Mayans believe the universe began on this date in 3114 B.C.E. They also teach that time will end on December 23, 2012. Exactly what this means in terms of human evolution is left to the imagination. In either case, today is a time for fresh beginnings. Call upon Xmucane to bless your appointment book and help you make the most productive possible use of your time. Try this mini-ritual:

Light a blue-green candle secured in a bowl and place it behind our calendar. Hold your hands palms-down over the datebook and say,

‘Lady of time, see where I stand in your stream.
Grant me the perspective with which to move forward confidently,
using each day on this earth to grow and learn the ways of the Goddess.
Inspire my efforts to transform every moment of my life with positive magic.
Today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, let my moments be filled with you.
So be it.’

Blow out the candle and keep it for other rites.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Xmucan (pronounced SHMO-cane) was “the Maya Goddess of childbirth. She was the consort of Xpiyacoc (god of marriage), and the mother of One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu (mighty warriors).” [1]

“Xmucane and Xpiacoc (alternatively Xumucane and Ixpiyacoc) are the names of the divine grandparents of Maya mythology and the daykeepers of the Popol Vuh. They are considered to be the oldest of all the gods of the Maya pantheon, and are identified by a number of names throughout the Maya sacred text, reflecting their multiple roles throughout the Mayan creation myth. They are usually mentioned together, although Xmucane seems to be alone during most of the interactions with the Maya Hero Twins, when She is referred to as simply ‘grandmother’.

The pair were invoked during the creation of the world in which the Maya gods were attempting to create humanity. Xmucane and Xpiacoc ground the corn that was used in part of the failed attempt, although the beings created were described as being simply mannequins and not real people. These two are also invoked, often by other powerful deities, for their powers in divination and matchmaking.

“Bag of Corn” by Molybdenum-Blues

Xmucane Herself also plays an integral role in the development of the Maya Hero Twins. She was at first wary of them and their mother, Xquic, and ordered them out of Her house when they were yet infants, but She would come to accept them almost as Her own sons, raising and caring for them.

Twin brothers from the Mayan legend of creation by John Jude

Xmucane is considered by some to be the Goddess associated with the waxing moon, contrasting to the hypothetical role of Her daughter-in-law as the waning moon.” [2]

“Triple Goddess – Crone” by TwistedSwans

 

 

Sources:

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Mayan Goddesses“.

Wikipedia, “Xmucane and Xpiacoc“.

 

Suggested Links:

Gallardo, Susana. SJSU WOMS 101, “Day 3 – Popol Vuh“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Xmucane“.

Nathan. Vovatia.wordpress.com, “Oh, Maya Gods!“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Xmucane“.

Goddess Alaghom

“Muerte Azteca” by BreakthroughDesigns

“Alaghom’s themes are time, destiny, cycles and magic. Her symbol is the calendar.  In Mayan tradition, Alaghom created the human ability to think, reason and mark time using those skills. She also designed the intangible parts of nature, which take us beyond concrete realities into the world of the Goddess and Her magic.

Mayans believed that each day and year had its own god or Goddess and that this being governed destiny during its time frame. So the new year was greeted with either joy or trepidation, depending on the divine persona in charge! For our purposes, this means invoking Alaghom’s aid in making every moment of our lives count, making them magical and filling them with Goddess energy. Gather all your calendars and appointment books and place your hands, palms down, over them. Then try this prayer:

‘Alaghom, today is but one day out of many, yet let me recognize the possibilites that lie within it. Give me the good judgement and sensibility to use my time wisely. Help me make every day on earth something truly magical and filled with your power. As I walk through the world, let me see beyond my eyes into the soul of creation. Let me appreciate the abundant spiritual power in every blade of grass and stoen and mos important, within myself. So be it.'”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Mayan Goddess of Mind and Thought” by thickblackoutline

Today’s entry is short and sweet.  Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Alaghom Naom [pronounced allah-gome nay-ome] Tzentel – ‘Mother of the mind’ was the ancient Mayan Goddess of thought and intellect” (p. 39).  Encyclopedia Mythica states that She was “the mother of wisdom, the highest of Goddesses in the mythology of the Tzentals of Chiapas, Mexico. She is responsible for the mental and immaterial part of nature.” [1]  The Probert Encyclopaedia says that “Alaghom-Naom was Goddess of the earth, abundance and wisdom. She who fosters forth conscious awareness and thought. ” [2]

I thought it was pretty neat, that a Goddess all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in Central America, is associated with wisdom and knowledge as the Goddess Sophia or the Holy Spirit is in the Hebrew and early Christian traditions.

Sources:

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Alaghom Naom“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Alaghom Naom Tzentel”.

Probert Encyclopaedia, “Mythology (Aztec and Mayan)“.

Suggested Links:

Bassie, Karen. Mesoweb.com, “Maya Creator Gods“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Alaghom-Naom“.

Goddess Ix Chel

“Medicine Woman” by Lisa Iris

“Ix Chel’s themes are weather, children, fertility, and health.  Her symbols are water, turquoise, jade, silver, and blue or white items.  The aqueous Mayan Goddess of water, the moon, medicine and childbirth, Ix Chel lives in the land of mists and rainbows. Art shows Her wearing a skirt that flows with fertile waters, dotted with water lilies, and adorned with tiny bits of turquoise and jade. This skirt reaches all the way to earth, filling our lives with Ix Chel’s well-being and enrichment.

Believing that the Frost Spirit lives in the cliffs of Santa Eulalia, people brave the sheer stones once a year and make prayers to the weather deities to keep away further intrusion by the frost, which would ruin crops. Ix Chel is present to witness, being part of the frost and part of the nurturing rains, for which the priest also pray. For our purposes this equates to calling on Ix Chel’s energy to ‘defrost’ a frozen or emotionally chilly situation, or to rain on us with her healing power.

To protect your health specifically, carry a turquoise, which also safeguards you during your travel today. To inspire productivity or fertility, wear blue and white items, repeating this incantation as you put them on:

Ix Chel, be in this <…….> of blue
so my thoughts stay fixed on you
Ix Chel, be in this <…….> of white
bring abundance both day and night.'”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ix Chel” by Hrana Janto

Ix Chel (pronounced ‘ee shell’) is the Maya Goddess of the Moon, Water, Weaving and Childbirth. She was worshipped among the Maya of the Yucatan peninsula.  She is the Mother of all of the Mayan deities and rules over the cycles of life and death.  As the ‘Keeper of Souls’, She is constantly evolving from a young beautiful maiden into the wisened old crone who shares the wisdom of the ages with Her people.

Ix-Chel was almost too beautiful, this girl with opalescent skin who set in the skies brushing Her Shimmering hair for hours on end.  All the gods were captivated by Her.  All but one, that is.  Kinich Ahau, the Sun God, seemed immune to Ix-Chel’s charms. Yet he was the only one She really ever wanted. For years She had longed for him as She watched him glide across the sky in all his golden splendor.

But the more Ix-Chel followed him around, the worse the weather on earth became.  As She chased after him the tides would rise, creating floods that inundated the fields and caused the crops to die. So enamored was She, that Ix-Chel did not even notice the havoc She was causing.

Like many moon Goddesses Ix-Chel was a fine weaver, and it was the beautiful cloth She wove that finally captured Kinich Ahau’s attention. Soon they had become lovers.

“Mayan Myth – Goddess Ixchel” by emanuellakozas

Out of disapproval, Her grandfather hurled lightning jealously at Her, killing the girl. Grieving dragonflies sang over Ix Chel for 13 days, at the end of which time She emerged, whole and alive, and followed Her lover to his palace. But there the sun in turn grew jealous of the Goddess, accusing Her of taking a new lover: his brother, the morning star. He threw Ix Chel from heaven; She found sanctuary with the vulture divinity; the sun pursued Her and lured Her home; but immediately, he grew jealous again.

During the time the two were together, Ix Chel had born the Sun God four sons.  They are the jaguar gods who are able to creep through the night, sight unseen.  They were named for the ‘Four Directions’, and it is said that each one is responsible for holding up his corner of the earth.

“Ix Chel” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Ix-Chel finally realized that Kinich Ahau was not going to change and decided to leave him for good. Waiting until he fell asleep, She crept out into the night, taking the form of a jaguar and becoming invisible whenever he came searching for Her.

“Ix Chel” by Marcia Snedecor

Many nights She spent on Her sacred island, Cozumel, nursing women during their pregnancies and childbirth. Ix-Chel, like other moon Goddesses, governed women’s reproductive systems so it was quite understandable that She would become the protector of women during pregnancy and labor.  Mayan women were expected, at least once in their lifetime, to complete a pilgrimage to Her sacred island to offer Her gifts and to receive Her blessings.  For hundreds of years, these women made the twelve mile trip by boat, and many of the Mayan shrines dedicated to Her are still standing today.

The small Isla Mujeres (“Island of Women”) was devoted to the worship of Ix-Chel. Comfortable with all phases of life, She was honored as the weaver of the life cycle. She protected the fertility of women and was also the keeper of the souls of the dead.

“Ix Chel” by Meg Easling

As the ancient fertility Goddess, Ix Chel was responsible for sending the rains which nourished the crops, and while She was fulfilling that function, She was called ‘Lady Rainbow’.  Ix stands for Goddess and Chel for rainbow. [1] [2] [3]

“Ix Chel is shown below in three of Her many aspects. Left to right: Chak Chel, the Old Moon Goddess, called the Midwife of Creation; Ix Chel in Her main form as Mother Goddess and Weaver who set the Universe in motion; and the Young Moon Goddess, shown with Her totem animal the rabbit.

“Ix Chel” by Thalia Took

Ix Chel is a great Water Goddess, the consort of the chief God of the Maya pantheon, Votan. Her name means “Lady Rainbow”, and She is said to have founded the city of Palenque at the command of the Gods. She is a Weaver Goddess, whose whirling drop spindle is said to be at the center of the motion of the Universe. She has many aspects and titles, such as Ix Kanleom, the ‘Spider’s Web Catching the Morning Dew’, and Ix Chebal Yax. Her Nahua (Mexican/Aztec) counterpart is said to be Chalchiuhtlicue.

Chak Chel, ‘Great (or Red) Rainbow’ is the Goddess who brings about the destruction of the third creation by causing a great flood. By pouring the waters from Her jar, She prepared the way for the next age, known in Maya legend as the Fourth Sun. She is shown as an old midwife, for experienced elderly women helped younger women to give birth, and were traditionally caretakers of children. Chak Chel also helped the Maize God to be reborn, and helped in the birth of His own sons. She is shown in a pose traditional to Her, with the twisted hair-do of elderly women (though they usually wrapped it up with a strip of cloth rather than a snake).

The Young Moon Goddess may have originally been a different Goddess of the Moon who was later absorbed into Ix Chel’s legend. She is often depicted with a rabbit, for the Maya, like the Chinese, saw a rabbit in the markings on the face of the Moon. She is said to be of a merry and somewhat loose character, and rabbits are also famed for their reproductive abilities. She (as Ix Chel) had a great shrine on the island of Cozumel (one of the places to which hurricane Wilma recently caused great destruction) to which pilgrims came from all over. The crescent-shaped chair on which She sits is the Maya glyph for the Moon, Her symbol.

Thalia Took pained Ix Chel in modern Maya traditional clothing featuring the astonishing gorgeous handwoven textiles still made in remote areas of Maya country (mostly modern-day Guatemala). She sits upon a Sky-Bar, known from Maya glyphs and carvings and used as a symbol of the sky; figures drawn above or over the Sky-Bar are usually deities, or the dead. Chak Chel pours water from a jar marked with the glyph for water, and the color scheme and water critters are taken from the beautiful Maya-style frescoes found at Cacaxtla, Mexico.” [4]

“Ix Chel Mayan Moon Goddess” by Katherine Skaggs

“There is a lot we can learn from Ix Chel.  Ix Chel is the Goddess who REFUSED to become a victim of oppression.  This was a woman who, when faced with adversity, took control of Her own life and turned it around.  She teaches us that women do not have to be a victim, that we have the power of choice, and we should never let anyone take that away from us. She encourages us to acknowledge the negative forces affecting our lives and prompts us to assert ourselves fully in the face of physical or emotional violence that would diminish our sense of self.” [5] [6]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Related Names: The Queen, Lady Rainbow, Eagle Woman, Our Mother, the White Lady, Goddess of Becoming, Mother Earth, the Womb, the Cave of Life, Keeper of the Bones

Related Patronages: Water, Healing, Medicine, Weaving, Sexuality, Fertility, Childbirth, Magic

Related Animals: Dragonfly (symbolizing sense of self and creative imagination); Feathered Serpent (symbolizing energy of transformation); Snake (symbolizing renovation, renewal and medicine); Rabbit (symbolizing abundance and fertility); Red Jaguar (symbolizing authority and power)

Related essences: Almond, bergamot, marigold, oriental lily, vanilla

Related gemstones: Agate, brown jasper (orange stones), carnelian, coral

 

Sources:

Franklin, Anna. merciangathering.com, “IX CHEL“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ix-Chel, Goddess of the Moon“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Ix Chel”.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Ix Chel“.

Mystic Wicks, “Ix Chel {Goddess of the Week}“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Ix Chel“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Ix Chel“.

Suggested Links:

Artemisia. Order of the White Moon, “Ixchel“.

The Blue Roebuck, “Ix Chel“.

Carol. Tribe.net, “Ix Chel – Goddess of the Moon“.

Home, Shonagh. Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “IxChel: romantic radiance“.

Wikipedia, “Ixchel“.

Xtah

“Mayan Princess” by castrochew

“Xtah’s themes are weather, harvest, fertility and prayer.  Her symbols are rainwater.  The Guatemalan Goddess of rain and water sprinkles Herself into today’s celebration in answer to Her people’s fervent prayers. As She does, Her rain also bears constructive, fulfilling energy to maintain the gardens of our spirit with spring’s growth-centred magic.

This is the time of the year when people in Mexico and Central America begin praying to the sacred powers for rain. In Guatemala, specifically, they pray and make offerings to the Goddess so the crops will not fail from draught.

If your spiritual life has seemed a bit ‘dry’ lately or lacking in real substance, pray to Xtah with words like these:

 Xtah, as you pour forth from the heavens, see my need
[Pour out a glass of water Her,
this is a type of sympathetic magic
that encourages Xtah to follow your example]
Rain upon my life and heart with your fruitful waters
so I may grow with clarity of spirit
Thank you for your bounty
for fulfilling my inner well with your richness
So be it.’

If it’s raining outside, dance in the rain as you pray so you can literally touch Xtah’s presence. Alternatively, pray in the shower or in the rains created by a lawn sprinkler.

Wear water-colored clothing today (blue, purple, dark green) to accent whichever of Xtah’s attributes you want to develop.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Original Mayan Art – Lady Hand Sky” by rico2012

I pretty much found nothing on this Goddess.  The only reference I found to Her was with another Goddess named Xpuch.  Xpuch and Xtah were “maidens of the Vuc Amag tribe who were forced to offer themselves to the gods Tohil, Avilix and Hacavitz, who would leave the tribe alone if the maidens returned with proof they had been violated by the gods. This tale appears in the Popol Vuh, an ancient Maya manuscript combining mythological characters and history.”

Sources:

Marks, Dominic. Chinaroad Löwchen. “Mayan Goddesses“.

Suggested Links:

Florida International University, “Popul Vuh“.

Spider Woman

"Spider Woman" by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Spider Woman’s themes are magical charms and growth.  Her symbols are spiders and woven items.  Spider Woman appears in the myths of the south-western Native Americans as a resourceful helper who spins magical charms and each person’s fate. No matter what problems or obstacles you face, Spider Woman creates the right network of energy to put you on the road toward accomplishment.

In metaphysical traditions, all life is seen as a network within which each individual is one strand. Spider Woman reveals the power and purpose of each strand psychically and keeps you aware of those important connections in your life. To augment this, get a Native American dream catcher, which looks like a web, and hang it over your bed so Spider Woman can reveal her lessons while you sleep. Or, carry a woven item with you today. It will strengthen your relationship with this ancient helpmate and extend positive energy for success in all you do.

 In Mexico, the Native Americans perform the Hikuli dance today, searching for peyote for their religious rites. As part of this ceremony, worshippers dance to reach altered states of awareness, honor the ancestors and help crops to grow. So, if your schedule allows, put on some music and boogie! Visualize a web as you move, and empower your future path with the sacred energies of Spider Woman’s dance.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Grandmother Spider is an important Goddess amongst the many Native American tribes.  They call Her the “Great Teacher” and “The Creator of Life”.  She has also been called ‘Spider Woman’ which is a metaphor for She who creates from a central source. Her webs represents the matrix of our societies.  She is the guardian of everything that exists on Earth and uses Her magickal power to weave the fabric of time.  Although She can occasionally be destructive, She is almost always portrayed the beneficent Goddess who created everything that there is with Her thoughts and dreams.  It is She who brought the sun and the fire; She taught pottery, weaving, and the making of ceremonial magic.  She created the Moon.

Her legends are a part of the creation mythology for several southwestern tribes including the Hopi, Pueblo, and Navajo.  One myth says that in the beginning of time only two beings were in existence…Tawa, the Sun God, who held all the powers from above, and Grandmother Spider, the Earth Goddess, with all the powers from below.

It was Tawa who imagined all of the creatures of Earth and Grandmother spider who turned these thoughts into living things.  And, for every person She created, She spun a fine line of spider silk that She attached to their heads so they would always be connected to Her and have access to Her wisdom and Her teachings. And for as long as they kept the doorway from the top of their heads open, to let the spider silk in, they would be protected by Her.” [1]

The legend of Spider Woman in the Americas goes back to Pre-Columbian times. In fact, as far back as the Maya, Olmec, and pre-Toltec civilizations. Teotihuacan is an archaeological site in Mexico, and early city there, that existed from about 200 BCE until the 7th or 8th century CE (AD).  The Great Goddess of Teotihuacan (or Teotihuacan Spider Woman) is thought to have been a Goddess of the underworld, darkness, the earth, water, war, and possibly even creation itself. To the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica, the jaguar, the owl, and especially the spider were considered creatures of darkness, often found in caves and during the night. The fact that the Great Goddess is frequently depicted with all of these creatures further supports the idea of her underworld connections.  However, we know Her to be a goddess of both creation and destruction. It is possible that Coatlicue is a later version of this Spider Woman. Coatlicue is the Aztec Goddess who gave birth to the Sun and the Stars, and is the patron goddess of women who die in childbirth. She is also the giver of death, by Her knife that cuts the cords or strand of the Web that ties one to the Web of Life. She gives life, and She takes life. [2]

In many murals, the Great Goddess is shown with many of the scurrying arachnids in the background, on her clothing, or hanging from her arms. It has been concluded that the figures in these murals represented a vegetation and fertility Goddess that was a predecessor of the much later Aztec goddess Xochiquetzal. The Great Goddess is often seen with shields decorated with spider webs, further suggesting her relationship with warfare. Her nosepiece is the single most recognizable adornment of the deity, finalizing her transformation into the arachnid-like goddess.

Mural from the Tepantitla compound showing what has been identified as an aspect of the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, from a reproduction in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

In the Tepantitla and Tetitla murals, the Great Goddess wears a frame headdress that includes the face of a green bird, generally identified as an owl or quetzal.  She is shown among several spiders and with a yellow body coloration, further distinguishing Her from other Mesoamerican deities. Her single most distinguishing feature is a nosepiece consisting of a rectangular bar with three circles. Immediately below this bar hang three or five “fangs”. The outer fangs curl away from the center, while the middle fang points down.

In the depiction from the Tepantitla compound, the Great Goddess appears with vegetation growing out of her head, perhaps a world tree or hallucinogenic morning glory vines.  Spiders and butterflies appear on the vegetation and water drips from its branches and flows from the hands of the Great Goddess. Water also appears to be flowing from her lower body. It was these many representations of water that led Caso to declare this to be a representation of the rain god, Tlaloc. [3]

If you’re interested in researching Spider Woman further, I highly suggest visiting Michelle Phillip’s site, Sacred Spirituality and read Spider Woman and Spider Symbolism.  It packed full of great information, how Spider Woman has had an impact on her life, links to Spider Woman’s many stories and Native American lore.

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