Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Ix Chel : The Moon Goddess

Ix Chel

Introduction

Ixchel or Ix Chel was a 16th-century name given to a female jaguar goddess of medicine and midwifery in the ancient Maya culture. She is related to another Aztec goddess called Toci Yoalticitl, who lives in a sweat bath. Ix Chel was originally referred to as the Mayan moon Goddess O before records revealed her name. Ix Chel was depicted as an evil old woman who held unfavourable aspects, and she was patroness of womanly crafts. 

It is believed that Ix Chel was a part of the God Itzamna. She was regarded as the goddess of the moon, water, childbirth, and weaving in the Maya of the peninsular of Mexico. She is also the mother of all the Mayan deities and has rules about the cycles of life and death. As the keeper of souls, Ix Chel constantly changes from being a young beauty into a wise old crone who shares her people’s wisdom.

Physical Traits

Ix Chel was capable of taking various forms. It’s possible that some of her aspects were actually depictions of other goddesses. There are also two major aspects of her that are generally agreed upon.

Ix Chel was often depicted as an older woman who was wearing a serpent crown and wearing traditional Mayan clothing. In this version, she may have also worn a skirt that had crossed bones on her dress. She was also said to have had claws on her feet and hands. Ix Chel was often depicted with a frightening mouth and a large earthen vessel.

Sometimes, Ix Chel was portrayed as a young woman. She was attractive and wore a headdress. Her beak was also present on her upper lip. This younger version of Ix Chel was often presented in a more friendly manner than her older one.

Family

The most significant event in her family’s life was her husband. In some Mayan tales, she was married to a man known as Votan, while in others, she was married to Itzamna. In the mythology of Shex Chel and Itzamna, she has 13 sons. One of these is a deity known as Bacab, who holds the sky in Mayan mythology. It’s also possible that the four Bacabs were only sons of Shex Chel and Itzamna. Ix Chel had a connection with Hun Hunahpu, who was a Maize god. Although it’s not clear if he was one of her 13 sons, she reportedly helped him in his efforts to be reborn.

Other Names

Ix Chel has been referred to as 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 and other localised names.

Powers and Abilities

As a fertility goddess, she was said to have the power to cause great floods. It’s uncertain if she had the ability to cause catastrophes or if she was responsible for the seasons’ changing seasons. Regardless of how her waters were used, she was said to have managed them through an upside-down jar. As a weaver, Ix Chel was responsible for creating a special spindle that was the centre of the universe. Her role in this area of the universe is not clear, though she had a lot of power.

Modern Day Influence

Ix Chel was frequently invoked during and after childbirth, specifically in her role as a midwife. This practice of an aged women acting as a midwife continues to exist even today in the many cases of home births that still occur in the region. 

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
VK
Tumblr
Telegram
WhatsApp
Email
Print

Latest additions

Disclaimer: While it is the intention Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.

Follow Us on
Youtube!

Prefer a more visual study of mythology? Head over to our YouTube Channel for more videos, interviews and snippets on all the different mythologies, characters, origin stories and much much more!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive updates, promotions, and sneak peaks of upcoming products. Plus 20% off your next order.

Promotion nulla vitae elit libero a pharetra augue