Kukulkan, the Mayan God’s name meant “Feathered Serpent.” He is known to the Mayan K’iche’ as Gukumatz and has a Aztec equivalent or counterpart named Quetzacoatl.
Following the prior post about the supposed Mayan Goddess, Ix Tab. Her names said to mean “Woman of the Rope.” Some people believe that there is, in fact, not the Suicide Goddess, but instead another God-like depiction or a Lunar Eclipse. Though some Mayans themselves and other Mayan archaeologists say there really was no Mayan Suicide Goddess, that its all a hoax and some weird form of cultural appropriation.
Ix Tab was the supposed Mayan Goddess of Suicide. For some people believed that suicide was an acceptable way to die and that Ix Tab lead them directly into paradise, where they could rest from the suffrage of living. She was also one of keeper of the souls of woman who died in childbirth and woman. Ix Tab was associated with the deceitful goddess Xtabay, who lured men into the woods, with her seducing techniques and then made them go crazy with their love of her or they remained in the woods, forever lost.
In the few depictions of her, she is shown wearing a rope around her neck, hanging. Eyes closed with decomposition spots on her face. The one of two recorded mentions of her is in the ‘Relación’.
“They said also and held it as absolutely certain that those who hanged themselves went to this heaven of theirs; and on this account, there were many persons who on slight occasions of sorrows, troubles or sickness, hanged themselves in order to escape these things and to go and rest in their heaven, where they said that the goddess of the gallows, whom they Ix Tab, would bring them.” – Diego De Landa
The picture above is from the Mayan book of Dresden. It depicts a woman with a rope around her neck, hanging from a celestial bar, and is often shown to represent the Mayan Suicide Goddess of Ix Tab. However some people believe it is in fact not the Suicide Goddess, but instead another moon god or a Lunar Eclipse. Though Mayans themselves and other Mayan archaeologists say there really was no Mayan Suicide Goddess, that its all a hoax and some weird form of cultural appropriation.
This will be gone over in more detail in Part Two of the Mayan Suicide Goddess.
A civilization with gods and goddess considered pagan is the Mayans. The Mayans are the indigenous people that lived in Mexico and parts of Central America, in places such as Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico and Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. Against some peoples belief that the Mayan people just vanished, it is known that the descendants of people who built the amazing cities like Uxmal, are still alive today, living in places such as Guatemala. My family on my father’s side are an example of those descendants, even speaking the Mayan language, Cakchiquel. Though most of the people and traditions were Christianized around the 16th century by colonizers, the old traditions are still there in a hybrid mix between European Catholicism and Mayan mysticism.
The The Maya believed deeply in the idea that nothing was ever ‘born’ or ‘dead’. This belief inspired their versions of the gods, goddesses and as the world was. Their views caused their imaginative achievements in architecture, math, and astronomy.
There are two Mayan calendars. The Haab, the civil calendar of 365 days in an 18 months of 20 days each, and the Tzolkin, the sacred calendar, of 260 days placed in three groups of months that had 20 days each. The Haab and the Tzolkin worked together to make the Calendar Round, it could not view or show any dates farther 52 days in the future. For the longer calculations, the Mayan people created the Long Count Calendar, this has attracted so much global attention in past years because it claimed the world would end on 21 December 2012 CE.
The many gods and goddesses all go toward their function in helping a person through the cycles of life or hindering their ability to reach the final resting place of Tamoanchan. There was land of eternal happiness, but this paradise thought to not exist in the sky, but instead on the earth. After going through the thirteen levels of the after life, the people who succeeded did not live in the air or sky, but on a mountain on Earth. This is at least what some depictions of the religion shows. The following picture is an example of Tamoanchan.
The months of the Mayan calendars were controlled by a specific god. As those gods were immortal, they showed the continued energy of their particular month to the following. The Mayans worshiped gods such as Chac, sometimes depicted as a thunder god, a sun god , Kinich Ahau, a death god called Yum Cimil, a suicide goddess called Ixtab and so many more, which will be discussed and gone over in more depth in the next couple of blog posts.
Pagan definitions as provided by Merriam-Webster are the following: “a follower of a polytheistic religion, heathen and one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods”.