This is an artist's depiction of Ix Chel.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original image
Ix Chel, the "Lady Rainbow," was the old Moon
goddess in Maya mythology.
Mayan people lived from around A.D. 250 in the territories that today are
part of Guatemala and the Mexican province of Yucatan. The Mayans had a
system of writing that has been only recently decoded.
Scientists have been able to decipher the content of some Mayan books that have survived until today. Mayans associated human events with Moon phases. They observed a war-avoidance period during lunar eclipse intervals.
Ix Chel was depicted as a malevolent old woman wearing a skirt with
crossed bones and with a serpent in her hand. She had as an assistant, a sky
serpent, who was said to possess all the waters of the heavens in its belly.
She often carries with her a great jug which she overturns to send calamitous
floods and rainstorms on the Earth. Surprisingly, her spouse was the
benevolent Moon god Itzamna.
The Character of Ix Chel also has a benign aspect. She was worshipped
because she protected weavers and women in childbirth.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more
Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more
According tho the Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the misbehavior of the mischievous deity, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars...more