Exploring the Maya Goddess IxChel
IxChel (pronounced ‘ee shell’) is a Maya Jaguar Goddess of the Moon, midwifery, fertility, rains, rainbows, sacred healing and medicine, weaving, and death. The name IxChel has many Maya interpretations, but loosely it means “Lady Rainbow” or “Goddess of Iridescent Light.” She is associated with all bodies of water, especially areas with rainbows or shimmering light, such as waterfalls, rivers, lakes, etc.
She is a moon and weather Goddess who controls and the rains and influences all water. She is also honored as the weaver of the life cycle & Her whirling drop spindle is said to be at the center of the motion of the universe.
As a midwife Goddess, She protects the fertility of women and helps ensure a healthy birth by overturning Her sacred womb jar so that the waters flow. The snake on Her head signifies She is a Goddess of medicine. All plant medicine and sacred healing is under Her domain. Truly a gateway Goddess, She is also the keeper of the souls of the dead.
Triple Goddesses are Goddesses who embody three main aspects—Maiden, Mother, and Crone. IxChel is definitely an example of this.
- Maiden: In Her maiden aspect, IxChel is a young Goddess of fertility and medicine. She is often seen with her rabbit companion. Rabbits are symbols of both fertility and the moon. Sometimes shown with fish, another fertility symbol. The snake on her head shows her connection to sacred medicine.
- Mother: As Mother Goddess, She is associated with weaving and the moon. She sends dreams to weavers and healers. All weavers are said to receive their patterns from IxChel Herself, in their dreams. In this aspect she is typically not shown with Her snake headdress. This is because only the maiden and crone have time and energy to heal others. In the mother phase, IxChel is busy raising, healing, and caring for Her own brood.
- Crone: In Her crone aspect, She again wears Her snake headdress showing She is a Goddess of medicine and healing. She is the wise healer and midwife who empties her sacred womb vessel to get the waters flowing. It is also in this aspect that She is keeper of the souls of the dead.
Which aspect of IxChel do you connect with the most?
Working With IxChel
Here are some ideas on how to incorporate the magick of IxChel into your daily life and rituals:
- Focus on healing yourself, explore different forms of sacred healing, try Arvigo Maya Abdominal Massage, If you have a yoni, try a yoni steam, learn all you can about plant medicine, Plan your own medicinal herb garden, connect with jaguar, snake, and/or rabbit medicine.
- Bring fragrant beautiful pink and white flowers into your home or a bouquet with the whole rainbow of flower colors in it. Watch for rainbows and shimmering light in your daily life—it's a sign She's responding to you. Wear the rainbow, decorate with the rainbow, eat the rainbow (select produce from each color group), practice color magick.
- Gaze at the moon, dance in the rain, collect rain water for magick & spells, make moon water dedicated to IxChel and Her healing gifts. Visit your favorite body of water and meditate or commune with the spirit of IxChel. Lead or attend a moon ritual dedicated to IxChel.
- Learn or practice any of the weaving arts. Keep a dream journal and ask IxChel to visit your dreams. Honor, remember, and send love to the dead. You can also build an altar to IxChel or to your ancestors.
Symbols and Magickal Attributes
Use these items with intention on your Altar or in your daily rituals to welcome the energy of IxChel:
- The moon, rainbows, weather, rains, waters.
- Water vessels, pitches, vases, or sacred womb jar.
- Jaguars, rabbits, fish, snakes, dragonflies.
- All weaving arts & the drop spindle.
- Plant medicine, the sacred healing arts, flowers especially pink & white ones.
- All the colors of the rainbow.
- Copal, passion flower, rainbow moonstone & turquoise.
Incorporating Plants Native to IxChel Into Your Practice
IxChel and the Maya civilization originate from the Yucatan region & peninsula of South America. Some of the plants and trees sacred to that area include copal, passion flower, plumeria or frangipani trees, habanero chilies, mangos, avocados, papaya, pomegranate, bananas, plantain, lemons, palms, agave, aloe vera, and many others.
Respectfully incorporating these resins, flowers, herbs, and food into your daily rituals is a terrific way to honor IxChel and to bring Her magick into your life and magickal practice. They also make great offerings to the Goddess.
As you can see, IxChel is a multi-faceted Goddess and there are many ways to invite Her energy into your life. Working with Her is sure to bring rewards and to enhance your overall practice. I hope the above suggestions inspire you to connect with IxChel in a deeper way.
References and Resources
The Witches' Goddess by Janet and Stewart Farrar
The Goddess Oracle Book & Deck by Amy Sophia Marashinsky
© 2019 Jennifer Jorgenson