Manual American Goddesses

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One day he dragged an enormous pole to help out boys who were building a new house. The boys conspired to kill him, but Zipacna saved himself. Thinking they'd killed him, the boys got drunk, and Zipacna came out of his hiding places and pulled the house down on top of them, killing them all. In revenge for the death of boys, the Hero Twins decided to kill Zipacna, by toppling a mountain onto his chest and turning him into stone.

Chac alternately spelled 'Chaac, Chahk, or Chaak , one of the oldest known gods in the Maya pantheon, can be traced in the Maya region back to the preclassic period. Some scholars consider Chac the Maya version of the Aztec Quetzalcoatl. This god is illustrated with a long, pendulous and curling nose, and often holds axes or serpents in his fists, both of which are widespread symbols of lightning bolts.

Chac is closely identified with war and human sacrifice. The primordial couple of Xmucane and Xpiacoc appear in the Popol Vuh as the grandparents of two sets of twins: the older set of 1 Monkey and 1 Howler, and the younger of Blowgunner and Jaguar Sun.

American Gods mythology guide: Who is Bilquis, Queen of Sheba and goddess of love?

The older pair suffered great losses in their lives and because of that learned to paint and carve, learning the peace of the fields. The younger pair were magicians and hunters, who knew how to hunt for food and understood the violence of the woods. The two sets of twins were jealous of how Xmucane treated the others and played endless tricks on one another.

Eventually, the younger pair won out, turning the older pair into monkeys.


In pity, Xmucane enabled the return of the pipers and singers, the painters and sculptors, so that they live and bring joy to everyone. Kinich Ahau is the Maya sun god, known as Ahau Kin or God G, whose defining characteristics include a "Roman nose" and a large square eye. In frontal views, Kinich Ahau is cross-eyed and he is often illustrated with a beard, which might be a representation of the rays of the sun. Other traits associated with Kinich Ahau are his filled incisors, and rope-like elements curling out of the sides of his mouth.

Inscribed on his cheek, brow, or another part of his body is the quatrefoil symbol of the sun. His "Roman nose" has a pair of beads at the very tip. The identification of Kinich Ahau with decapitation and jaguars is common in Maya iconography from the Late Preclassic to Postclassic periods.

South American Gods and Goddesses – Occult World

Moan Chan is the aged merchant called Moan Chan or "Misty Sky" and God L, who is most often illustrated with a walking stick and a merchant's bundle. On one vase God L is portrayed with a broad-brimmed hat trimmed with feathers, and a raptor sits on the crown. His cloak is commonly a black-and-white design of stepped chevrons and rectangles or one made from a jaguar pelt.

Misty Sky is most often illustrated as an ancient man, stooped with age, with a prominent, beaked nose and a sunken, toothless mouth. Occasionally pictured smoking a cigar, God L is also associated with tobacco, jaguars, and caves. Chac Chel "Rainbow" or the "Great End" is known as Goddess O, an old and powerful woman who wears spotted jaguar ears and paws—or perhaps she is an older version of Ix Chel. Unlike modern western mythology which perceives rainbows as beautiful and positive omens, the Maya considered them the "flatulence of the deities," and were thought to arise out of dry wells and caves, sources of sickness.

Frequently appearing clawed and fanged and wearing a skirt marked with death symbols, Chac Chel is associated with birth and creation, as well as death and the destruction and rebirth of the world. She wears a twisted-serpent headdress. Ix Chel , or Goddess I, is a frequently clawed goddess who wears a serpent as a headdress. Ix Chel is sometimes illustrated as a young woman and sometimes as an old one.

Sometimes she is portrayed as a man, and at other times she has both male and female characteristics. Some scholars argue that Ix Chel is the same deity as Chac Chel; the two are simply different aspects of the same goddess. There is even some evidence that Ix Chel is not this goddess's name, but whatever her name was, Goddess I is the goddess of the moon, childbirth, fertility, pregnancy, and weaving, and she is often illustrated wearing a lunar crescent, a rabbit and a beak-like nose. According to colonial records, there were Maya shrines dedicated to her on Cozumel island.

There are many other gods and goddesses in the Maya pantheon, avatars of others or versions of Pan-Mesoamerican deities, those who appear in some or all of the other Mesoamerican religions, such as Aztec, Toltec, Olmec, and Zapotec. Here are a few of the most prevalent deities not mentioned above. Bicephalic Monster: A two-headed monster also known as the Celestial Monster or Cosmic Monster, with a front head with deer ears and capped with a Venus emblem, a skeletal, upsidedown rear head, and the body of a crocodile.

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Diving God: A youthful figure that appears to be diving headfirst from the sky, often referred to as a bee god, although most scholars believe he represents the Maya Maize God or God E. Fat God: A huge potbellied figure or simply a massive head, commonly illustrated in the Late Classic period as a bloated corpse with heavy swollen eyelids, refers to sidz , signifying gluttony or excessive desire.

Jester God: A shark god, with a head ornament that resembles that used on a medieval European court jester. Long-nosed and long-lipped deities: Numerous gods have been called long nosed or long lipped; those with upward-turning snouts are associated with serpents, those with downward curving snouts are birds.

Pauahtun: The Skybearer god, who corresponds to the four directions and appears in both single and quadripartite form God N , and sometimes wears a turtle carapace. Scribal gods: Numerous avatars of gods are illustrated sitting cross-legged and writing: Itzamna appears as a scribe or a teacher of scribes, Chac is illustrated writing or painting or spewing out numbers strips of paper; and in the Popol Vuh are illustrated the monkey scribes and artists, Hun Batz and Hun Chuen. Sky Bearers: Pan-Mesoamerican gods who had the task of sustaining the sky, four deities known as bacabs , related to Pauahtun.

Tohil: Patron god of the Quiche at the time of the Spanish conquest, and the principal god named in the Popol Vuh, who demands blood sacrifice and might be another name for God K. Vision Serpent: A rearing serpent with a single head and prominent snake markings whose mouth belches out gods, ancestors, and other nobles. Water Lily Serpent: An undulating serpent with a head with a downward curving beak of a bird wearing a waterlily pad and flower as a hat; associated with the surface of still water. Share Flipboard Email. Gill is a freelance classics and ancient history writer.

She has a master's degree in linguistics and is a former Latin teacher. Updated February 18, Skip to main content. Blog Home About Archive. The goddesses of currency. By Hillery York , April 16, Posted in Numismatics , Women's History. Related Blog Posts. Top 5 best beards of Byzantium.

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