Ixchel | Maya Goddess

Ixchel | Maya Goddess

The Maya Goddess Ix Chel

“Ix”, in Maya, means goddess or the feminine sacred, and “Chel” means rainbow or light, thus her full name translates as – Lady Rainbow, Goddess of the Rainbow or Lady of Sacred Light. Ix Chel is always associated with bodies of water where one is likely to see rainbows.



Ix Chel the Maiden; the ancient Maya goddess of weaving, fertility, and childbirth. She wears a snake on her forehead to signify that she is the goddess of medicine and to symbolize intuitive knowledge and great control over earthly forces. She is in the kneeling position because she is in front of a back-strap loom, weaving. She is responsible for the formation of the baby in the mother’s womb and decides if the child is to be male or female. Maya midwives placed her image carved in wood under the birthing bed.

Ix Chel the Mother; Maya goddess of fertility, motherhood and the moon. She is considered to be the mother of all the Maya people and every young woman made a pilgrimage at least once in her life to the temple of Ix Chel located on the island of Cozumel in what is now Mexico. She sits poised on the crescent moon representing the cycles and phases of a woman’s reproductive life and holds a rabbit in her arm representing fertility. She is no longer depicted with the snake on her head because she is no longer the village healer; in this phase of her life she is taking care of her own family.








Ix Chel the Crone, Maya goddess of medicine and the moon. Here we see the elder goddess in charge of medicinal plants, healing and the moon phases. In early Maya culture, elderly women were revered and respected, their knowledge and experience was a vital element of daily survival for the people. Once again Ix Chel wears the snake on her forehead symbolizing medicine, intuitive powers, spiritual knowledge and a show of her control over earthly forces. Ix Chel has a clay pot full of rainwater and herbs from which, when in a good mood, she pours blessings upon the world, but, when vexed, she sends forth storms, floods and hurricanes.

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