The Moon in Maya Mythology đź”®

The Moon has always been an essential part of Maya mythology. To them, the Moon was nearly as important as the Sun, and Maya astronomers accurately analyzed and predicted the Moon’s movements. As with planets and other celestial objects, many dynasties often claimed to be descended from the Moon. Mayan mythology generally associated the lunar moon deity with a maiden, an old woman, and a rabbit.

Ix Chel, the primary Maya Moon goddess, was a powerful deity who fought with the Sun, and she caused it to descend into the Underworld every night. Although she could be fearsome, she was also responsible for childbirth and fertility.

Ix Ch’up is another Moon goddess mentioned in some ancient texts; she was young and beautiful. It’s unclear if she represented Ix Chel in her youth or if she was another entity altogether.

There is an old lunar observatory on Cozumel island that seems to chart the progress of the Moon during a “lunar standstill.” This refers to the erratic movement of the Moon through the sky during this period.

The Maya believed that the gods directed the Sun and Moon across the sky. The Mayans thought that even at night, when there was no light, the Sun and Moon continued to travel through the Underworld, risking everything along the way from malevolent gods attempting to halt their progress!

Fascinating, isn’t it?

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