Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ix Chel

Ix Chel
from Goddesses and Heroines

Exerpt from Goddess & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

Among the Maya of the Yucatan peninsula, this was the name of the snake goddess of water and the moon, of childbirth and weaving. Once, it was said, she took the sun as her lover, but 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.
Ix Chel, weary of the sun's behavior, left his home and his bed to wander the night as she wished, making herself invisible whenever he came near. The night-riding goddess spent her energies in nursing the women of earth through pregnancy and labor, taking special care of those who visited her sacred island of Cozumel.

FROM: Ix Chel

In Maya mythology, Ixchel or Ix Chel was an earth and moon goddess, patroness of weavers and pregnant women.
One myth states that the sun was her "lover," but that her grandfather was very upset with this and he threw lightining at her out of jealousy which in turn killed Ix Chel. In the story it stated that dragonflies sang over her for 183 days and then she awoke again only to follow the sun to his palace. But the sun soon after too started to become jealous of Ix Chel, thinking that she was having an affair with the morning star, who was the sun's brother. The sun threw her out of heaven and then persuaded her back home, but soon after her return he became jealous again. It is said that Ix Chel became annoyed with the bahavior of the sun and so she went off into the night and remained invisible whenever the sun came around. At her new place in the night it is said that Ix Chel spent the nights nursing women of Earth through their labor (during the stint of their pregnancy and birth).

The story of Ix Chel and Itzamna shows both interesting similarities and differences with the Japanese myth of Izanagi and Izanami. The names and personalities are reversed in one version of the story as compared to the other. Izanami is the female, and she is the one who violently attacks her husband.

Ix Chel was said to pay special attention to the pilgrims who visited Cozumel, which was her sacred island. Isla Mujeres was also devoted to her worship.

FROM: Wikipedia "Ix Chel"

Ix Chel, the "Lady Rainbow," was the old Moon goddess in Mayan mythology. The Maya people lived around 250 AD in what is now Guatemala and the Yucatan in Mexico. Mayans associated human events with phases of the moon.

Ix Chel was depicted as an old woman wearing a skirt with crossed bones, and she had a serpent in her hand. She had an assistant sky serpent, whom they believed carried all of the waters of the heavens in its belly. She is often shown carrying a great jug filled with water, which she overturns to send floods and powerful rainstorms to Earth. Her husband was the benevolent moon god Itzamna. Ix Chel had a kinder side and was worshipped as the protector of weavers and women in childbirth.

FROM: Windows to the Universe: Ix Chel

Ix Chel (pronounced e’ shell or eesh-chel) is the ancient moon goddess worshipped by the Maya throughout the Yucatán peninsula, Southern Mexico, and as far south as El Salvador for more than a millennium. Cozumel, called Ah-Cuzamil-Peten, or "Island of Swallows", her sacred island, is the largest of the chain in the Caribbean Sea, located in the jurisdiction of Quintana Roo territory. For hundreds of years, women would make the 12 mile trip from the mainland to Cozumel by boat to offer gifts and seek the blessings of Ix Chel. Every Mayan woman was expected to make this pilgrimage at least once in her lifetime, and many shrines dedicated to Ix Chel still stand today.

In Mayan mythology, Ix Chel is the Mother of a pantheon of deities; she is an insightful, serene, and resplendent goddess, presiding over the Cycle of Life and acting as Keeper of Bones and the Souls of the Dead. Ix Chel is a shape shifter, portrayed as often as a young maiden radiant with the prosperity of life, as she is portrayed as a wizened crone sharing the wisdom of the ages with her people. She is the Patroness of Weavers and the makers of clothing, as well as an inspiration to artisans and crafters. Her frequent depiction holding the sacred womb jar upside down over the earth emphasizes that Ix Chel ensures that the waters of creation flow in abundance.

Legend teaches us that Ix Chel once took the Sun as her lover, but was killed by lightening bolts hurled at her by her grandfather in a fit of jealous rage. For thirteen days, dragonflies sang over her in mourning, their magic bringing her back to our world alive and whole. Her sojourn in the palace of her lover, the Sun, was brief. Accusing her of unfaithfulness with his brother, the Morning Star, the Sun evicted Ix Chel from heaven, then changed his mind and pleaded for her return. Soon he grew jealous again, and one legend tells how he "took her brilliance away after they quarreled, leaving her with only a silvery light". Drained and saddened by the inexplicable and unpredictable behavior of the Sun, Ix Chel left to wander the night, and forever after would make herself invisible whenever the Sun appeared. In this way, she is free to come and go as she chooses, allowing no one to own her, and demonstrating her supreme independence of body and spirit.

Of all the valuable lessons this Goddess has to teach us, the most important is that it is vital to allow your creative energy to flow. Your personal innovations may range as widely and diversely as the women of earth themselves: from experimenting with new cooking herbs to painting a self portrait ... from singing an aria to birthing a child ... from knitting a sweater to dancing on the side of the river ... these and thousands of other acts are our way each day to channel the power and energy of our creativity into our lives and the lives of those around us. Expressing our originality makes us healthy and happy ... the very act nurtures, revitalizes, heals. Take the time to explore the possibilities of your creative outlets ... cherish them, open yourself to them and make them a part of your daily life.

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

FROM: Ix Chel, Goddess of Creativity

Ixchel (pronounced Ish-shell) is the Mayan goddess of the moon, childbirth, healing and weaving. To the ancient Mayan culture of Central America, the the phases of the moon were associated with the cycles of humans. The Mayan's God of the Moon, Itzamna, was married to the powerful Goddess Ixchel.
Ishell is the protector of women in childbirth and a Goddess of medicine. She is also the Goddess of weaving and is often shown sitting peacefully at a loom. Her animal is the dragonfly. Call on Ixchel when you wish to express and inspire your creativity. She makes women fruitful and sends rain to the earth.

FROM: Ixchel Goddess Pendant

Ix Chel -- some info, modern poems to her, and images
Small summary
All words on IxchelMany Authentic Mayan images of Ix Chel
Ix Chel -- info

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