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Forked material[edit]

I have removed the following from IxChel: A Spiritual Approach because it is not neutral and is, in any case, a fork. Anything useful here should be incorporated into this article. Tuf-Kat 04:23, September 5, 2005 (UTC)

Removed content[edit]

‘Lady Rainbow’: Ix Chel The Mayan Healing Crone of the Moon is ‘Lady Rainbow’: Ix Chel The Mayan Healing Crone of the Moon

Ix Chel (pronounced EE-SHELL) or “Lady Rainbow” is a Mayan Goddess who rules over childbirth, medicine, weaving

and water. She is the goddess of the sexual and birth-giving roles of women as well as of fate and the life-and-death cycle. [1]

She is often depicted as an old woman wearing a black skirt with crossbones. She wears a serpent on her head or she holds one in her hand, it is a symbol of rejuvenation and change of the seasons. The serpent association “reflects her status as a wise woman dispensing healing visions.” [2] Ix Chel is also commonly seen holding a vessel of water. She uses this water to create thunderstorms and inundations on earth. Many interpretations of the myth see this as her destructive form.

The Mayans associated the moon with rabbits. “Ix Chel is a shape-shifter, consorting with the rabbit in spring,” [3] as the rabbit is considered the scribe of the moon calendar. [4]

Herstory Variation[edit]

At one time, Ix Chel took Itzamna, the Mayan sky and sun god, to be her lover. However, her grandfather struck her with lightning out of jealousy and killed Ix Chel. After 183 (some stories say 13) days of dragonflies mourning over her lifeless body, she reawakened and followed the sun back to his throne. However, Itzamna turned jealous in fear of Ix Chel having an affair with his brother, Morning Star. He threw her out of his kingdom and was comforted by a “vulture divinity.” [5] The sun eventually found Ix Chel and persuaded her to come back to the kingdom. But shortly after her return, Itzamna once again forced her to leave for the same jealous accusations.

After that moment, she would disappear whenever her ex came near to drift through the darkest half of the day. This explains the day's cycle, connects her to the Moon and, thus, places her rule over women's sexuality. [6] When she left the sun is when she takes on the role of caring for women’s menstrual cycles and pregnancies. Those who visit her sacred temple on the island of Cozumel are given special care. The “Isla Mujeres” [“Women’s Island”] was also devoted to her worship.

She is not only known to be Itzamna’s wife, but she also had four children, known as the Becabs with Voltan, a male earth deity (Voltan and Itzamna have been known to switch roles in various myths). These children are the four cardinal points: East, South, West and North. They represent all of the “fours” that appear in nature: the four winds, the four seasons, etc. [7]

Worshipers honor Ix Chel through ritual and dance admiring her supernatural and curative gifts every sixth day of the month. [8] Honoring Ix Chel’s nurturing spirit still lives on today.

“Isla Mujeres . . . historically has been used for retreat and healing rituals among the Mayan peoples because it powerfully evokes elemental life . . . the Mayan Moon Goddess, invites all women to gather here for a time of retreat and replenishment. As we step through her portal, we recommit ourselves to fully enter our beauty-wisdom nature . . . to form a circle, to weave together our stories . . . to become midwives of our dreams and visions.” [9]

IxChel for Modern Times[edit]

Not only does her myth explain the changing of each day but she also teaches us the importance of women’s ability to give birth and to understand their menstrual cycles through the altering phases of the moon. Her copulation with the rabbit is symbolic of her lunar and reproductive knowledge. The cycles give an indication of how to deal with the cycles in our own lives. When the moon is black, plant new seeds for what you want to manifest in your life. This can also be a time of retreat, reflection and regeneration from everyday life. When the moon waxes (working into fullness), water and nurture your seed and watch its new life. Do what it takes to manifest what you desire. When the moon is full, watch your seed grow. Continue your needed efforts to keep it alive as you view the blossoms and fruits of your labors. When the moon begins to go back into the dark is when you can harvest and reap the rewards and bask in accomplishment, but share without greed or self-serving motive. The cycle continues when the moon goes black once again. This is also true for men to try and understand for their own lives as well as for understanding women.

In addition, Ix Chel teaches people to set boundaries with the uncanny amounts of stress that marriage and relationships can dish out. We speculate, however unverified, that her changing of consorts happened around the time Ix Chel left the sun’s kingdom. If your mate is being too irrational or irresponsible towards your feminine nature [Itzamna], ditch them for someone more grounded and caring [Voltan] to achieve your relationship needs [she bore the four directions]. However, when Ix Chel immediately leaves Itzamna, we see her go to the aid of the vulture divinity and then to women. We too are to find healing with our animal totems and women when we come out of a pain-staking relationship, job, family debacle, etc. The current celebrations at the Isla Mujeres show us the necessity for that shared connection with other feminine souls.

Ix Chel's escape from the sun is also a reminder that once and a while we need to take time for ourselves. We need our own special time to rest and renew so that we can deal with pressing responsibilities in our lives. When we take time to go into ourselves, we can come out reborn and ready to take on any challenge that life may give us. This is true for both sexes.

We need to learn to accept and adapt to the day-to-day as well as life transformations. If we fight these changes it will only lead to more stress and tension within our lives. When a perplexing or challenging situation comes to us, we should sit and consider the ways we can view it as a positive thing. What did we learn from this experience? It’s quite unrealistic to say we’ll never do something again, but is more palpable to say, “What can I change about myself if this ever happens again?” We cannot control the actions of others, but we can be strictly mindful of our own.

See also[edit]


  • [6] Monaghan.
  • [7] Turner, Patricia & Russel Coulter, Charles. 2000. “Dictionary of Ancient Deities.” New York Oxford University Press. Pg. 94

External links[edit]

de:article names in German

Sources and content[edit]

Per WP:RS, I think that we should not be relying upon such arguably inauthentic and third-hand sources such as Monaghan, which the present article seems exclusively to do. Sources which actually directly study the history, archaeology, and iconography of the Maya are better placed to inform, than 'neopaganistic' reinterpretations such as these. I'll see what can be added; most of the present content I fear needs rewrite or scrapping altogether.--cjllw | TALK 13:55, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

While the neopaganistic interpretation should probably be mentioned(I doubt it's such a minority POV that it should not be mentioned) it certainly shouldn't be the primary focus of the article. Adding more authentic facts and sources would be great. JesseW, the juggling janitor 06:55, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Ix Chel was a post-menopausal, aged goddess of midwifery. Karl Taube has written the basic texts about her. The tale presented here as the myth of Ixchel actually refers to a well-know Q'eqchi' myth about the origin of Sun and Moon (see JES Thompson, Maya History and Religion 1970) which has a young, fertile woman for a protagonist. Moreover, this myth is terribly misrepresented here. This part should no doubt be removed. This leaves us with four lines on Ixchel which contain as many errors as facts. I suggest the article should be deleted. 22:07, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the {prod} tag- while I agree, and as stated above, the content here at present leaves a lot to be desired, deleting the article altogether is not the best way to go about remedying the situation. Rather, it should be rewritten, even if only as a stub initially, using more reliable sources. I'll see what I can do on this front in the next little while.--cjllw | TALK 00:35, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

rewriting of the text[edit]

Since I found it impossible just to amend the existing text, I have completely rewritten it, trying to preserve some useful passages. The language could probably be much improved upon, don't hesitate to interfere with the wording.retal

Hi Retal- a nicely-done rewrite, the article is now much improved. Many thanks!--cjllw | TALK 07:33, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

be patient![edit]

I have deleted a passage only to substitute an almost identical, but somewhat expanded version of it; this may have seemed vadalism, but had a constructive intention! 14:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Link with Ixmucane and/or with divining?[edit]

I saw a book (sorry, don't remember the title, it was a large-format yellow softcover with just the classic mayan deities,black-and-white copies of traditional representations and glyphs, and explanations, one per page) which had some data not mentioned here:

-Identification with divining (along with Itzamna); this is why I mention Ixmucane, a more modern crone-goddess associated with divining -Identification with herbalism (follows from medicine) -Paired with Itzamna as wet season/dry season pair

Also, I've seen a vase where she is the midwife to a younger moon goddess, the birthing child is a rabbit. This midwife aspect is also vaguely reminiscent of Ixmucane who tends (after testing the honesty of) the pregnant Ixquic.-- 03:49, 30 June 2007 (UTC)


I removed the line about Tezcatlipoca as a jaguar, because that introduces a very complicated and confusing subject and does not appear to contribute to an understanding of Ixchel. (talk) 13:19, 17 August 2008 (UTC).

Wrong Picture Added and Removed[edit]

I again removed the picture illustrating the young moon goddess with her rabbit, since it does not belong in this article about the aged goddess of childbirth and curing. (talk) 16:34, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Itzamna and Ixchel[edit]

Where does it said that Itzamna & Ixchel are similar to Orpheus & Eurydice, Izanagi & Izanami, Savitri & Satyavan, and Lot & his wife? It doesn't said anything in Itzamna or Ixchel. Cococrash11 (talk) 06:46, 9 August 2012 (UTC)