“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]


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



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“.