7 IX: Ixchel and The Jaguar
My original introduction to the goddess, Ixchel, was through a dream.
I saw a field, beautiful and green and covered in flowers of every color. And in the field were tiny people. I believed they were aluxob (plural for alux), the elemental beings that protect the forest. There was a beautiful rainbow in the sky and I heard a disembodied voice say, “The children of the rainbow are not happy.”
And that was all.
I opened my eyes, puzzled, and began to do a little research to see what it might mean. And when I crossed reference the words rainbow and Maya, I found her. The Lady of the Rainbow. Ixchel, the mother goddess of the Maya, the goddess of fertility and of the earth.
So, what did it mean? The children of the rainbow are not happy? I asked several of the indigenous people who live in my community and the consensus was the same. The rainbow was indeed the goddess Ixchel and her children were indeed the aluxob, the mystical and powerful guardians of the jungles. Everyone I spoke with agreed that the reason aluxob were not happy was because of the destruction of the jungles to make way for tourism here in the Rivera Maya.
Our coast is stunning. The second largest reef in the world lays just off shore. Water filled caverns complete with stalactites and stalagmites snake underground, and thick jungle—a natural home to monkeys, deer, wild pigs, anteaters, boa constrictors, and jaguars--covers the land. Unfortunately, all of this is being exploited in order to make way for tourism in the area. Tourism is good for the local people, because it creates jobs. But it is having an impact on the pristine nature here. And her guardians, the children of Ixchel are not happy.
The Maya people take the protection of the earth very seriously. With every step they are aware of the impact they are having. They live carefully here. They work in harmony with the earth, understanding that she provides them with everything they need for life and that there is no way they can live here without harming her.
And so they are careful to give thanks to the Earth for her provision and they are careful to ask her forgiveness for the damage that they do as they walk consciously and carefully through her think jungles and collect water from her secret cenotes. They thank her for the palm branches as they cut them to bind them together and make roofs and they ask permission before they cut down her great trees in order that they might build homes to shelter their families.
Of course, Ixchel’s children are not happy.
We have walked here in this beautiful Caribbean paradise without thankfulness, without asking permission, thinking mainly of our own happiness and not of her sacrifice.
So, it makes sense that today is a day dedicated specifically to the earth. And it makes sense that this day, Ix, is represented by the jaguar, the apex predator on the jungles. And it makes sense that the places where the energy is the strongest today are in the jungles and on the steps of the ceremonial pyramids where sacrifice is still given in thankfulness, even today. While the Maya no longer practice human sacrifice, they still do give offerings and gifts to the earth and to her guardians of tobacco and alcohol and sweets and corn and even sometimes deer and wild boar from the wild places.
Today is a day of magic.
Its name is the sacred name of divinity on earth. Its energy is feminine and filled with vitality. And while it is the day to give back to Mother Earth, it is also a day to ask for provision from her. In addition to being the day of the goddess and of her jaguar, today’s tone is seven. And seven is strong, stable energy. It is the perfect day to invest in your home. Ask for the resources you need (money, building materials, land) to provide and care for the shelter for yourself and your family. Because while Ixchel is mother to the earth, she is also a kind and generous mother and she knows your needs. She understands that you, along with all life on earth, have need of a safe and comforting place to live. After all, she is the mother, her arms are open, and she desires good things for you, because you too are one of her children.
To Sum Up:
7 Ix: Ixchel and The Jaguar
The day of the goddess
Energetic Places: Jungles and ceremonial places, especially the stepped pyramids of the Maya.
Focus on: Caring for the earth, protecting animals--both wild and domestic, asking for help with the care and maintenance of your home, the use of feminine energy and magic.
First, determine where north is. Then sit comfortably facing north and close your eyes. Envision yourself surrounded by trees. You are deep in the forest or jungle and there is a happy stream singing nearby. Breathe in and inhale the scent of damp earth and growing things. Breathe out and expel all negative energy. Do this three or four times until you feel relaxed. Then allow yourself to explore the scene in your minds eye. What do you see? What do you feel? What can you hear? What can you smell?
As your vision of natural beauty becomes clearer, give thanks for all that you see, allowing a feeling of gratitude to rise up inside of you. Hold onto that feeling for a few moments. Then open your eyes and look around you. What do you see around you that connects you to nature? A wood table or chair? A pottery coffee mug? The sunlight streaming in the window? A wool carpet? The sound of birds chirruping outside? Your dog or cat snuggling up next to you? A pretty green plant in a pot in the corner? Just take a moment and realize that nature is all around you, all the time. Everything you have comes from nature, even the synthetic fibers in your shirt originally came from raw ingredients that came from the earth and eventually found their way to a lab where they were transformed into fibers and then woven into clothing for you to wear. There is nothing you have that supports your life and comfort that did not originally come from the earth.
As this revelation comes to you, as you reflect on it (reflection is the energy of today because it is a seven) just say, “Thank you.”
Tomorrow is 8 Men: The Wise Eagle and The Moon . . . more to come