martes, 6 de marzo de 2012
White Jaguar - Jaguar Blanco IX-CHEL
Ix Chel is the 16th-century name of the aged jaguar goddess of midwifery and medicine in the ancient Maya culture. She corresponds, more or less, to Toci Yoalticitl ‘Our Grandmother the Nocturnal Physician’, an Aztec earth goddess inhabiting the sweatbath, and also appears to be related to another Aztec/Mayan goddess invoked at birth, viz. Cihuacoatl. In Taube's revised Schellhas-Zimmermann classification of codical deities...
Mayan Goddess of the Moon
And "Lady Rainbow"
As an ancient fertility goddess, Ix-Chel was responsible
for sending rain to nourish the crops.
When fulfilling that function she was called “Lady Rainbow”.
She helped insure fertility by overturning
her sacred womb jar so that the waters would flow.
Though sometimes depicted as a goddess of catastrophe
(the woman who stands by as the world floods),
many of her myths show her in a more benevolent light—as a goddess who refused to become a victim of oppression.
This was a woman who, when faced with adversity,
took charge of her life and turned it around!
Ix-Chel was almost too beautiful,
this girl with opalescent skin who sat 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.
Ix-Chel bore the Sun God four sons.
They were the jaguar gods and could creep
through the night unseen. They were named for the four directions,
and each one was responsible for holding up his corner of the sky.
Unfortunately Ix-Chel’s love affair with the Sun God
drew the ire of her disapproving grandfather.
In his anger he struck Ix-Chel with lightning, killing her.
For the next 183 days she lay lifeless as hundreds of dragonflies
surrounded her body and sang to her.
Waking suddenly, she returned to the palace of the Sun God.
Their relationship was turbulent—Kinich Ahau had a suspicious nature
and was often consumed with jealousy.
To make matters worse, he also had a fiery temper.
Suspecting that the innocent Ix-Chel was having an affair with his brother
(the Morning Star),
Kinich Ahau threw her out of the sky.
Ix-Chel quickly found refuge with the vulture gods.
Hearing this, Kinich Ahau rushed to plead with her to return and
promised never to treat her so poorly again.
Little time passed before he became jealous and abusive again.
Finally Ix-Chel realized he was not going to change.
She 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.
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.
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 encourages us to acknowledge the negative forces affecting our lives.
And she prompts us to assert ourselves fully
in the face of physical or emotional violence
that would diminish our sense of self.
Ix Chel is the Maya Goddess of the Moon, Water, Weaving and Childbirth.
She is shown here 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.
Rainbow Mayan Symbol:
Mayans were a primarily agricultural group, and so we see rain plays a vital role in their community, beliefs and consciousness. So, anything resembling or having to do with rain will be a remarkably important icon. Clouds were especially revered, and consulted as auguries (namely, seeking optimal agricultural cues). Rainbows would have been very powerful Mayan symbols because they are associated with rain, which is a life-giver. Rainbows were guideposts to the Mayans, and were considered to be oracles of renewal, life and an appeased status among divine moods. This ties in nicely with Ixchel's function as a divinatory goddess. Further, there were members in the Mayan community with specialized ability to interpret deeper meaning from rainbows (you can get in a zone, cross your eyes in funny ways and see patterns in the pixilated colors of rainbows. From the patterns, profound understanding can be derived). Ixchel would have been called upon to aid in interpreting a rainbow's portent. This lends creed to Ixchel's role as a consulted goddess of divination. Or, better said, Ixchel would have been a gateway into divine knowing. She would have been responsible for sending rainbows to the Mayan people as a symbol of life and renewal. Lastly, as a Mayan symbol of life, the rainbow is a common-sense feature associated with Ixchel in her role as divine midwife.
These are just a few Mayan symbols associated with the goddess Ixchel. There's more to her than meets the eye, so be sure to do more research on your own.