THE MAYAN GODS AND GODESSES

The ancient civilization of the Maya worshipped a number of Gods. They would sacrifice humans in order to communicate with them. After death, the soul was believed to go to the Underworld (Xibalba) where the sinister Death God (Yum Cimil) tested, tortured and tricked their unfortunate visitors.

The most powerful god was HUNAB KU. He was the creator. In the daytime he would be KINICH AHAU, the Sun God, who was the patron god of the city Itzamal. He was believed to visit the city at noon and would descend as a macaw and prepare offerings to the people. His feathery serpent mode was also know as KUKULCAN or also known as the Wind God: QUETZALCOATL.  The feathered snake, Kukulcan is believed to of settled at the archeological site of Chichen Itza.  At the two yearly equinoxes the play of light and shadow on the staircase of El Castillo makes them appear like a snake is slithering up the pyramid.

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Hunab Ku was married to IX CHEL, the Moon Goddess, also known as “The Rainbow Lady”. The Mayans associated all human events with the phases of the moon. Ix Chel was an old woman wearing a skirt of crossed bones, and a serpent in her hand.  She had an assistant sky serpent, which carried all of the waters of the heavens in its belly. She was believed to be more kind than her somewhat cruel husband. She was also the protector of women in child birth. On the most southern tip of Isla Mujeres there is a Mayan Temple named after Ix Chel. This temple is the most eastern point of the whole of Mexico and at this exact point is where the sunrise first touches Mexico.

The Maize God was know as YUMIL KAXOB and is shown as ripe grain, which was the base of the Mayan agriculture. Yumil Kaxob was young and powerless and was protected by CHAC (the Rain God). His fortunes and misfortunes were decided by rain and drought.  Yumil Kaxob suffered a painful death when YUM CIMIL (God Of Death) ordered famine and drought. Yum Cimil was also known as AH PUCH, the god of the Underworld. His body was a skeleton. The body of Yum Cimil is represented as being covered with black spots and also wears a collar with eyeless sockets.

Human Sacrifices were most commonly directed at Yumil Kaxob, for the maize and also to CHAC: the Mayan Rain God. The Mayans often sought for his help to help their crops grow. Chac was associated with creation and life.

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We know that the Mayan offered human blood to their gods. However, Suicides in the Mayan World were very common. This was sometimes due to depression however most probably due to the fact that they would be taken directly to heaven and to paradise.  IXTAB was the Suicide Goddess. The ancient carvings would show Ixtab with a robe around her neck.

The topic of Mayan Gods and Goddess’s and their brutally complex beliefs about blood and human sacrifice astonishes and continues to fascinate people all around the world.

About mayanexplore.com

Travel guide to the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum. Features hotels, original activities, tours, restaurants and wedding planning.
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