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.
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