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The List of Mayan Gods in Alphabetical Order

Posted in Maya  by antiques

the-list-of-mayan-gods-in-alphabetical-orderSeveral gods who played significant roles in the Postclassic codices can be identified on earlier Maya monuments. The most important of these is Itzamnб, the supreme Maya deity, who functioned as the original creator god, as well as lord of the fire and therefore of the hearth. In his serpent form he appears on the ceremonial bar held in the arms of Maya rulers on Classic stelae.

“A”: Lord of Death, and ruler of the realm of the dead. His dwelling place is in the uttermost West, a land of the bones of His subjects. His attributes are a skull and an obsidian knife.

Acan: He is the Patron of drunkeness and ruler of the the art of brewing Balche, a fermented honey concoction flavored with Balche bark.

Aca: one of those referred to as a Becab, possibly the Becab of the East. He has several diverse functions, among which He is Lord of the art of Tattooing. He is regarded as a Life Spirit, and has charge over the growth and proper development of fetuses.

Ah Bolom Tzacab: Meaning “the leaf-nosed god,” he was a god of agriculture, thunder and rain. He was depicted with a leaf in his nose. Alternative names: Ah Bolon Dz’acab, God K.

Ah Cancum: A god of hunting.

Ah Chuy Kak: A god of war.

Ah Ciliz: A god of solar eclipses.

Ah Cun Can: A god of war.

Ah Cuxtal: A god of childbirth.

Ah Hulneb: Associated with the island of Cozumel, he was a god of war. Ah Hulneb means “he the spear thrower.”

Ah Kin: Meaning “he of the sun,” he was a solar deity and controlled disease and drought.

In Maya mythology, Ah Kin was the Sun god. An ambivalent god he is feared as the bringer of doubt, but also as a protector against the evils associated with darkness. He is the young suitor of the moon goddess Acna but is also the aged sun in the sky. At night he is carried through the underworld on the shoulders of the god Sucunyum.

Ah Kin is prayed to at sunrise with rituals which include the burning of incense. He is invoked to cure disease and to brings wives to unmarried men. His attributes include a square third eye subtended by a loop, a strong Roman nose, a squint and incisor teeth filed to a T-shape. Other names for this deity include Acan Chob; Chi Chac Chob, Kinich Ahau, and God G.

Ah Kinchil: the Sun god.

Ah Tabai: a god of the hunt.

Ah Uincir Dz’acab: a god of healing and medicine.

Ah Puch: the god of Death; also the King of Metnal, the underworld. He was depicted as a skeleton or corpse adorned with bells, sometimes the head of an owl; even today, some Mexicans and Central Americans believe that an owl’s screeches signify imminent death.

Ahulane: A war god, also called the archer. The island Cozumel was the location of Ahulane’s shrine.

Ajbit: One of the thirteen creator gods who helped construct humanity from maize.

Ahau Chamahez: one of two gods of Medicine, often called Lord of the Magic Tooth.

Ahau-Kin: Meaning “lord of the sun face,” he was a sun god and moon god; he had two manifestations. At night, he became a jaguar god and lord of the underworld.

Ahluic: a merchant’s God, and ruler of wealth. He is a member of a Triad, with Chac and Hobnil.

Ahmakiq: a god of Agriculture who locks up the wind when it threatens to destroy the crops.

Ahmucen-Cab: a creator divinity, one who figures in several tales of earliest times, albeit with some lack of clarity as to His role. He is said to have descended from the skies, and scattered seeds and boulders over the land which had newly arisen out of the depths. This creation was erased, however, by the Becabs, who started the work anew.

Ahpuch: a God of Death, cthonic demon ruler of the Ninth Underworld Realm of Mitnal.

Ahulane: A war god, also called the archer. The island Cozumel was the location of Ahulane’s shrine.

Ajbit: One of the thirteen creators; one of a group of thirteen who attempted the creation of sentient creatures - from wooden models - after two previous attempts had met with failure.

Ajtzak: One of the thirteen creator gods who helped construct humanity from maize.

Akhushtal (Akna): the goddess of Childbirth.

Akna: Meaning “mother,” she was a goddess of fertility and childbirth. She is associated with the Becabs.

Alaghom Naom: A goddess of wisdom, consciousness, education and the intellect. Also known as Alaghom Naom Tzentel and the Mother of Mind.

Alom: A sky god and one of the creator deities who participated in the last two attempts at creating humanity. He attempted to form sentient creatures at the beginning of days. His associates in this were Bitol, Qaholom, and Tzacol. At the time of the third creation, He became Hunahpu-Guch.

B’alam: the Jaguar God, dweller in the forest and Lordof the wild. He is mainly described in Quiche sources.

The B’alams: a group of four entities who are the progenitors of humankind, in Quiche tradition. They were originally Godlike in form and power, created by Gucumatz, Huracan, and Tepeu from stalks of maize to govern the four quadrants of the earth. Granted the ability to see all things, no matter how well hidden, they drew upon themselves the jealousy of other divinities, who clouded their sight and reduced them to human level. They were : B’alam Agab (Night Jaguar), B’alam Quitze (Smiling Jaguar), Iqi B’alam (Dark Jaguar), and Mahucatah (Not Right Now).

Bacabs: the bacabs are the canopic gods, thought to be brothers, who, with upraised arms, supported the multilayered sky from their assigned positions at the four cardinal points of the compass. (The Bacabs may also have been four manifestations of a single deity.) The four brothers were probably the offspring of Itzamná, the supreme deity, and Ixchel, the goddess of weaving, medicine, and childbirth. Each Bacab presided over one year of the four-year cycle. The Maya expected the Muluc years to be the greatest years, because the god presiding over these years was the greatest of the Bacab gods. The four directions and their corresponding colours (east, red; north, white; west, black; south, yellow) played an important part in the Mayan religious and calendrical systems.

The Becabs: a set of divinities, normally regarded as being four in number. They are creator Gods, and represent the successful attempt (after previous failures) to construct the world as we know it. They have many functions, but are primarily Lords of the Winds, each seated at a corner of the world and holding up the sky. They appear as immense iguana-like entities. They are intimately associated with a number of four-part divisions and symbolic orderings.

Unfortunately, Mayan society is diverse enough that there are major inconsistencies in the various accounts of these entities; these will be noted in individual descriptions of the four: Cauac, Ik, Kan, and Mulac. Also associated with these four are other spirits as well: Acat, Akna, Backlum Chaam, Chin.

Backlum Chaam: the god of masculine sexual prowess. He is Lord of male sexuality, invariably displayed with the appropriate attribute.

Balam: any of a group of jaguar gods who protected people and communities against threats.

Balam-Agab: meaning “night jaguar,” he was the second of the men created from maize after the Great Flood sent by Hurakan. He married Choimha.

Bitol: a sky god and acreator divinity, one who attempted to form sentient creatures at the beginning of days. His associates in this were Alom, Qaholom, and Tzacol. In the third creation, He was transformed into Ixmacane.

Bolontiku: A group of underworld gods.

Buluc Chabtan: sometimes referred to as “God F,” he was a war god who received human sacrifices.

Cabaguil: a sky god.

Cabrakan: a god of mountains and earthquakes. He was a son of Vucub Caquix and Chimalmat. He had six children, though only the name of one survives: Chalybir.

Cacoch: a creator god.

Cakulha: a lightning god, an underling of Yaluk. His brother was Coyopa.

Camaxtli: a god of hunting, war, fate and fire (which he invented). He was one of the four creator gods, who made the Earth. The Chichimec considered him their tribal deity.

Camalotz: Demon servitor of Alom, His name means “Sudden-Bloodletter”. He aided in the destruction of the Second Creation, by beheading most of the Tsabol-People who inhabited that world.

Camazotz: Demon Bat-God inhabiting the Mayan hell, Xibalba. He clawed the head off of Hun Hunahpu, but was ultimattely defeated and cast out of creation.

The cult of Camazotz began around 100 B.C. among the Zapotec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico. The cult of Camazotz worshipped an anthropomorphic monster with the body of a human, head of a bat (though the exact proportioning varies with account). The bat was associated with night, death, and sacrifice. This god soon found its way into the pantheon of the Quiché, a tribe of Maya who made their home in the jungles of what is now Guatemala.

The Quiché identified the bat-deity with their god Zotzilaha Chamalcan, the god of fire. These bat-like monsters were encountered by the Maya Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque during their trials in the underworld of Xibalba. Forced to spend the night in Bat House, the boys are able to keep the creatures at bay until Hunahpu loses his head while trying to watch for the coming of dawn. The grieving Xbalanque calls all the animals, instructing each to bring back its favorite food. When the coati returns with a squash, Xbalanque carves it into a new head for his brother, and they continue their adventures, bringing about the eventual defeat of the Xibalbans.

Caprakan: Demon spirit of earthquakes, Child of Gucup Cakix and brother of Zipacna. He was defeated by Hunahpu and Ixbalanque.

Caua: one of the principal Becabs, Cauac is regarded as the Upholder of the South. He represents the beginning of the year, and the first quarter of the 260-day religious calendar cycle (the so-called Tsolk’in). His color symbol is normally red, but some authorities say it is blue, or even yellow.

Chac: (image above) Mayan god of rain, especially important in the Yucatán region of Mexico where he was depicted in Classic times with protruding fangs, large round eyes, and a proboscis-like nose. In post-Classic Mayan and Toltec ruins, reclining figures known as the Chacs Mool are thought to represent the rain god. Following the Spanish conquest, the Chacs were associated with Christian saints and were often depicted on horseback.

He presides over the Chacs, who may be considered as extensions of His power. He is also a member of a Triad, alongside Ah-Kluic and Hobnil. For a sense of the context of His importance, note that the Yucatan is a water-poor region: the soil does not hold rain well, and rain patterns are often unpredictable to begin with.

The Chacs: a group of four lesser weather spirits, servitors of Chac, and located at the four corners of the world. They are thereby closely associated with the Becabs as well.

Chalybir: the son of Cabrakan. He is only mentioned once in the surviving literature, in the epic “On the Shores of the Dead”.

Chamer: a god of death, particularly popular in Guatemala. He was married to Ixtab.

Chaob: the four wind gods.

Ch’en: Goddess of the Moon, and the first female entity to experience intercourse.

Chibirias: a goddess of the earth.

Chiccan: a group of four rain gods who live in lakes and make rain clouds from the water in those lakes. Each of the rain gods was associated with a cardinal direction, similar to the Bacabs. Chiccan was also the name of a day in the Tzolkin cycle of the maya calendar.

Chi: a death God associated with the Becabs.

Chirakan: a fertility goddess

Chirakan-Ixmucane: a creator Goddess, formed out of partition of four earlier creators. She is among the Thirteen divinities who attempted a new creation. Other tales speak of a Goddess with many of Her attributes, called Ixcuiname.

Cit Bolon Tum: a boar-headed god of Medicine. A healer divinity, whose image is that of a wild boar bearing nine tusks.

Cizin (Kisin): “Stinking One”; Mayan earthquake god and god of death, ruler of the subterranean land of the dead. He lives beneath the earth in a purgatory where all souls except those of soldiers killed in battle and women who died in childbirth spend some time. Suicides are doomed to his realm for eternity. He may possibly have been one aspect of a malevolent underworld deity who manifested himself under several names and guises (e.g., Ah Puch, Xibalba, and Yum Cimil). In pre-Conquest codices, or manuscripts, the god of death is frequently depicted with the god of war in scenes of human sacrifice. One aspect of the dualistic nature of the Mayan religion is symbolically portrayed in the existing codices, which show Cizin uprooting or destroying trees planted by Chac, the rain god. Cizin is often depicted on pottery and illustrated in the codices in the form of a dancing skeleton, holding a smoking cigarette. He is also known by his death collar, the most prominent feature of which consists of disembodied eyes dangling by their nerve cords. After the Spanish Conquest, Cizin became merged with the Christian devil.

Cotzbalam: demon servitor of Alom, His name means “Crunching Jaguar”. He aided in the destruction of the Second Creation, by devouring the bodies of the Tsabol-People who inhabited that world.

“E: an agricultural divinity, evidently Patron of maize and maize produce.

Ekahau: the god of Travellers and Merchants. Also spelled Ek Chuah, the “black war chief” was the patron god of warriors and merchants, depicted carrying a bag over his shoulder. In art, he was a dark-skinned man with circles around his eyes, a scorpion tail and dangling lower lip. In early modern studies of Maya art and iconography, he was sometimes referred to as God M before his identity was firmly established.

Ekchuah: earler known as “M”. An agricultural divinity, the Patron of cacao and cacao products. He also has associations with travelers and journeys. He is often portrayed as an opponent (usually unsuccessful) of God “F”.

“F: a god of war, with some associations in human sacrifice. He often occurs in tales of conflict (usually successful) against Ekchuah (God “M”).

Gucumatz: the Quiche version of Kukulcan. In Quiche tradition, He is one of thirteen creator divinities who between them shaped the world. A shapeshifter, and master of many realms, He is primarily an agrarian deity, concerned with wind and rain. His essential shape is that of a feathered serpent.

Gucup Cakix: an evil giant, who pretended to be both the sun and the moon, but was thrown down and defeated by Hunahpu and Ixbalanque. Astrologically, He corresponds to the seven primary Pleiades (and, in fact, His name means “Seven Macaw”). His children are Caprakan and Zipacna.

Gukumatz (”feathered serpent”) was a feathered snake god, one of all three groups of gods who created Earth and humanity. He taught mankind civilization and agriculture. Gukumatz was the K’iché Maya name for the deity in the highlands of what is now Guatemala; in Yucatán he was known as “Kukulcan”. He was the Maya equivalent of the central-Mexican Quetzalcoatl. All these names mean specifically “quetzal-feathered serpent”.

Gukumatz was a culture hero who taught the Toltecs, and later the Maya, the arts of civilization, including codes of law, agriculture, fishing and medicine. He came from an ocean, and eventually returned to it. According to one Mayan legend, Gukumatz will return to the Earth during the End times. He also represents the forces of good and evil, similar to the yin-yang paradigm of Oriental religions.

Gukumatz was a god of the four elements of fire, earth, air and water, and each element was associated with a divine animal or plant:

Air –Vulture
Earth –Maize
Fire –Lizard
Water –Fish

In Mayan writing and sculpture, Gukumatz can be represented by at least six symbolic images. First, he is found as the plumed serpent. He can also be represented as an eagle, a jaguar, a pool of blood, a conch shell or snail, and finally as a flute made of bones.

Hacha’kyum: an astral divinity, He created the stars by scattering sand into the sky.

Hapikern: an evil adversary-deity, He is a world-girdling serpent who is ever at war with Nohochacyum, and is fated to be slain by that God at the end of days. Note a rather startling parallel to Jormungand and a culture the Maya surely never had any contact with, the pre-Christian Scandinavians.

Hobnil: Bacab of the east, is assigned the color red and the Kan years, son of Itzamna and Ixchel (later replaced by Chaac). An agricultural God associated with bountiful harvests, he is a member of a Triad, alongside Ahluic and Chac.

Hozanek: Bacab of the south, is assigned the color yellow and the Cauac years, son of Itzamna and Ixchel.

Hun Came: A demonic lord of the underworld Xibalba who, along with Vucub Caquix, killed Hun Hunahpu. They were killed by his sons, the Maya Hero Twins.

Hun Hunahpu: The father of the Maya Hero Twins Ixbalanque and Hun-Apu by a virgin. He was beheaded in Xibalba, the underworld, by the rulers of Xibalba, Hun Came and Vucub Caquix. His sons avenged his death.

Hunab-Ku The supreme deity in the Mayan pantheon. Invisible, emmanent, and formless, He is the husband of Ixazalvoh and the father of Itzamnaj. To the extent that He has a definable essence, He is often referred to by the style “Eyes and Ears of the Sun”.

Hunahpu & Ixbalanque Demi-god hero twins, born in miraculous fashion from the saliva of the dead Hun Hunahpu. As adults they went on a number of adventures, defeating several sorts of evil beings, Gucup Cakix and His children Caprakan, and Zipacna chief among them. Hunahpu is, among other things, God of evening, at the commencement of which He restores to the sky those stars Zipacna has swept away.

Hun Hunahpu & Vukubahpu: Demi-god hero twins, ensnared in Xibalba, the Mayan underworld hell. They were tricked into playing a ball game there and, losing, forfeited their lives. Camazotz hung Hun Hunahpu’s head on a Calabash tree, whereupon the tree grew heavy with miraculous fruit. A young woman, Xquiq, approaching the tree, was enduced by the head to take saliva from it, and thereafter bore Hunahpu and Ixbalanque.

Hunahpu-Gutch: one of the thirteen gods in Maya mythology who created human beings. As a name, Hunahpu, or Hun-ahpu, is usually understood as Hun-ahpub, or ‘One-Blowgunner’, the blowgun characterizing the youthful hero as a hunter for birds. - In Classical Maya iconography, Hunahpu regularly occurs together with his twin, Xbalanque, and with the Tonsured Maize God.

Hun-Ahpu or Hunahpu was a son of Hun-Hunahpu and Xquic, and an older twin to Xbalanque; the two are usually referred to as the Maya Hero Twins. The story of Hunahpu and his brother is told in the Popol Vuh. The pair was apparently well favored by the greater Mayan gods, and over their lifetimes had a long career of defeating their enemies through trickery and great powers.

In Maya calendrics, Hunahpu, or Ahpu, is the name of the 20th day. In the Classic Period, a depiction of the hero, or of his head, denotes this 20th day, which, alternatively, is called Ahau ‘Lord’ or ‘King’. Therefore, the ancient Maya king appears to have strongly identified with this ancestral hero twin.

Hun-Nal-Ye: earlier known as “GI”. A sea God who is clearly related to, or patron of, sharks.

Huracan (from Mayan Jun Raqan “one legged”): a wind, storm and fire god and one of the creator deities who participated in all three attempts at creating humanity. He also caused the Great Flood after the first humans angered the gods. He supposedly lived in the windy mists above the floodwaters and repeated “earth” until land came up from the seas. In appearance he has one leg, the other being transformed into a serpent, a zoomorphic snout or long-nose, and a smoking object such as a cigar, torch holder or axe head which pierces a mirror on his forehead. He associated with Gucumatz and Tepeu in the second and third creations, building sentient creatiures from wood, and then from maize. He is said to have given humans the gift of fire.

“I”: a Goddess whose name is likely to be something like “Ixik”, but this is not certain. She is an early Goddess of water, springs, wells, and perhaps the sea.

Ik’: one of the principal Becabs, Ik’ is regarded as the Upholder of the West. He represents the last quarter of the 260-day religious calendar cycle (the so-called Tsolk’in). His color symbol is black.

Itzam-Y: the Serpent Bird, or Celestial Bird. The Way of Itzamnaj, and an important divinity in its own right. It was regarded as being seated at the top of the World Tree, able thereby to survey all of creation. A master of magick and sorcery, its image when placed upon human structures marks them as houses of sorcery, places where the vital spells were cast to organize and protect the World.

Itzamnaj: a senior God, Patron of many functions and attributes. A creator and a healer deity, He can bring the dead back to life. He is a fertility Lord, and among His gifts to mankind are maize and rubber. Perhaps His chief gift though, are the arts of drawing, carving, and above all writing; thus, He is Lord of scribes and priests. The son of Hunab-Ku and consort of Ix-Chel, He is normally pictured as a toothless and gnarled but spry old man.

Itzamná: “Iguana House”;, principal pre-Columbian Mayan deity. The ruler of heaven, day, and night, he frequently appeared as four gods called Itzamnás, who encased the world. Like some of the other Mesoamerican deities, the Itzamnás were associated with the points of the compass and their colours (east, red; north, white; west, black; and south, yellow). Itzamná was sometimes identified with the remote creator deity Hunab Ku and occasionally with Kinich Ahau, the sun-god. The moon goddess Ixchel, patroness of womanly crafts, was possibly a female manifestation of the god. Itzamná was also a culture hero who gave humankind writing and the calendar and was patron deity of medicine. See also Bacab.

Ix Chel (Ixchel): the goddess of the Moon. Earlier known as “O”. Consort of Itzamnaj, She is a healer Goddess, Keeper of medicines, and Patroness of childbirth. She is also a Patroness of the weaving arts. Despite Her pleasant-sounding name (it means “Lady Rainbow”), She is normally pictured as a rather ominous-appearing gnarled old woman, with a medusa-like hairdo and a bone skirt.

Ixazalvoh: consort of Hunab-Ku (in some versions of Kinich Ajaw), She is inventor and Goddess of weaving, of female sexuality, and of childbirth. She has healing functions, and She has oracular powers.

Ixcuiname: Goddess of the four ages of womankind, Her name means “Four Sisters”, or “Four Faces”. Some tales connect Her with the four creator divinities Alom, Bitol, Qaholom, and Tzacol - in these relations She is called Chirakan-Ixmucane.

Ixmacane The final form of the creator deity originally called Bitol.

Ixmucane: One of the thirteen creator gods who helped construct humanity.

Ixpiyacoc was one of the thirteen creator gods who helped construct humanity. A late form of Tzacol, a creator deity who, in the third creation, was split into two separate entities, Ixpiyacoc being one of them.

Ixtab: the goddess of the Hanged. She receives their souls into paradise. ‘Rope Woman’ was the Mayan goddess of suicide. In Yucatec Mayan society, suicide, especially suicide by hanging, was under circumstances considered an honorable way to die. Ixtab would accompany such suicides to paradise (thus playing the role of a psychopomp). The picture of a dead woman with a rope around the neck in the Dresden Codex is often taken to represent the goddess. Since it occurs in a section devoted to eclipses of sun and moon, it may have been used to symbolize a lunar eclipse and its dire consequences for women. No other pictures possibly representing Ixtab are known.

Ix-Tub-Tun: a serpent deity who is said to spit precious stones, and is associated in some fashion with rain.

Ixzaluoh: a goddess of water and weaving.

Kan: one of the principal Becabs, Kan is regarded as the Upholder of the East. He represents the second quarter of the 260-day religious calendar cycle (the so-called Tsolk’in). His color symbol is normally yellow, but some authorities say it is red.

Kan-u-Uayeyab: the god who guarded cities.

Kan-xib-yui: a creator god.

K’awi: earlier known as “K”. Patron of royal lineage, Kingship, and the nobility.

Kiant: a minor God whose theme is Unwelcome Influences; most notably foreigners and disease.

Kichigonai: in Quiche tradition, the creator of Day, and a God of light in general.

Kinich Aja: earlier known as “G”. Patron of the Numbers 4 and 14. Solar deity, the Face of the Sun. He is a healer and Patron of medicine. In some sources he is regarded as the consort of Ixazalvoh.

Kinich Kakmo: the Sun god symbolised by the Macaw.

Kisin: see Cizin: an earthquake deity, brother of Nohochacyum and the Yantho Triad; He is associated closely with Usukun.

Kukulcan: the Wind god, who is recognizable in Classic reliefs is the Feathered Serpent, known to the Maya as Kukulcán (and to the Toltecs and Aztecs as Quetzalcóatl). Probably the most ubiquitous of all is the being known as Bolon Tzacab (first called God K by archaeologists), a deity with a baroquely branching nose who is thought to have functioned as a god of royal descent; he is often held as a kind of sceptre in rulers’ hands.

Originally a Toltec God, He is primarily a creator deity, and associated with several of the creation works current in Mayan cosmology. He is probably best known today by His Nahuatl name, Quetzalcoatl. He has many forms and functions; His most typical form is that of the Feathered Serpent. In the current creation, He seems to have invented the calendar, and instituted the laws governing human conduct. His tale varies from culture to culture, but in essence, He is said to have journeyed to a land of the dead, there to steal bones and revivify them to create the current race of men. Authorized to rule over mankind as a just earthly King, He falls under evil spells and thereby breaks taboos. This requires him to leave the world, and he journeys across the eastern waters, vowing to return again some day. As Kukulcan, His chief center of worship was in the city-state at the modern town of Quirigua.

“L”: a God asociated with darkness; perhaps a divinity or Patron of evening or night.

Manik: God of sacrifice, and purificatory suffering.

Mitnal: Mitnal was the underworld hell where the wicked were tortured.

Mulac: one of the principal Becabs, Mulac is regarded as the Upholder of the North. He represents the third quarter of the 260-day religious calendar cycle (the so-called Tsolk’in). His color symbol is normally white.

Nacon: Nacon was the god of War.

Naum: The god who invented the mind and consciousness.

Nohochacyum: a creator-destroyer god, he is the most important deity of the Lacandon. His name means “Our True Lord”or “Grandfather”. He is a brother of the Yantho triad and Kisin. The eternal opponent of the evil world-serpent Hapikern, He will succeed at the end of days in wrapping Hapikern around Himself and smothering it, not incidently snuffing out earthly life in the process.

Pawahtuun Also known as “N”. Patron of the Numbers 5 and 15. A calendar deity associated with the end of the year. He stands at the four corners of the sky, upholding both it and the world. He is also known to be a Patron of scribes.

Qaholom: one of the second set of creator gods who attempted to form sentient creatures at the beginning of days. His associates in this were Alom, Bitol, and Tzacol.

Tecumbalam: a bird that dearly injured the first men.

Tepeu: a sky god and one of the creator deities who participated in all three attempts at creating humanity. He associated with Gucumatz and Huracan in several creations, building sentient creatiures from wood, and then from maize.

Tlacolotl: a god of evildoers and villains.

Tohil: a god of fire.

Tzacol or Tzakol was a sky god and one of the creator deities who participated in the last two attempts at creating humanity. During the third creation, He became two separate deities, Himself and Ixpiyacoc. They then joined with Ajbit and Ajtzak to fulfill that creation.

Tzultacaj (Tzuultaq’ah): For the Mayan Indians of central Guatemala, known as Kekchí, this was the god of the mountains and valleys.

Uc-Zip Cthonic herald of the Vision Serpent in Xibalba.

Vukub-Caki: a giant with emerald teeth who was fought and ultimately defeated by Hun Hunahpu and Vukubahpu in one of a series of adventures those heroes experience. Vukub-Cakix also has strong solar and lunar associations.

Vukubcane: in Quiche tradition, a demonic lord in Xibalba, the Maya hell.

Voltan: an earth and drum god (originally a human hero who was deified), married to Ixchel.

Vucub-Caquix: a powerful demon ruling the Mayan underworld of Xibalba together with his second-in-command, Hun-Came. According to Mayan myth, he was almost the god of the sun, but he lost in a game of darts against the hero-twins, Ixbalanque and Hunahpu. Despite his loss, Vucub-Caquix carried a false sun in his beak until he was shot down in flames at the end of the last creation.

The Ways: any of a class of protector spirits (or, perhaps, emanations of Spirit-Doubles from the soul). Each person has a Way who looks after that individual’s needs on a spiritual level. On the rare occasions when a Way manifests as a material entity, it appears as a small animal of one sort or another. The concept is similar in many respects to guardian angels among Christians, Fetches among Pagan Norse, or Totem creatures among other Amerindian groups.

The Witzob (sing. Witz) “Witz” means “Mountain” in most early Mayan dialects. Mayans regarded mountains as living creatures, material manifestations of spiritual power. The temples the Mayans constructed are explicitly formed as artificial Witzob, and much Mayan ritual can be seen as works designed to imbue and sustain these structures with vital strength and magickal awareness. The cycle of rituals were performed in the plazas adjacent to the temples, and only a few specialized persons could ascend the steps and enter the sanctuaries within, which contained objects associated with the patron deities of the city.

The World Tree: in basic Mayan architecture, a house has four walls, and the roof is held up and supported by a large post. Mayan cosmology regards the world as an immense house, the four walls of which are the Becabs, and the center post is the World Tree. Its base emerges from the cracked shell of the Cosmic Turtle, and its form can be seen as the Milky Way when in a north-south orientation. Itzam-Ye perches high at its crown, surveying all below. In the material world, the Ajaws, the rulers of the cities, were regarded as the earthly incarnations of the World Tree.

Yaxche: Yaxche is the Tree of Heaven under which good souls rejoice.

Xaman Ek: a god of travelers and merchants, who gave offerings to him on the side of roads while traveling.

Xamaniqinqu: a directional deity, Lord of the North. He is a brother of Nohochacyum, and therefore also of Yantho, Usukun, and Uyitzin.

Xbalanque: also God CH; one of the hero twins.

According to the Popol Vuh, the Hero Twins were Xbalanque and Hunahpu. Together with their father and uncle, Hun-Hunahpu and Vucub-Hunahpu, they were ball-players. Following his defeat in the ballgame, the father was killed by the lords of Xibalba, and his skull was hung in a tree. When the daughter of one of the lords of Xibalba, Xquic, approached the tree, the skull talked with her, and then spat into her hand. In this way she became pregnant with the Hero Twins. The Twins grew up to avenge their father, and after many trials, finally defeated the lords of the Underworld in the ballgame.

Popol Vuh features other episodes involving the Twins as well, including the liquidation of a proud avian deity, Vucub-Caquix, and of his two demonical sons. The twins also struggle against the Howler Monkey Gods, who were patrons of artists and scribes, and according to Popol Vuh were also sons of Hun-Hunahpu.

The other main source for Hero Twin mythology is much earlier and consists of representations found on Maya ceramics until about 900 A.D. Clearly recognizable are the figures of Hunahpu, Xbalanque, and the howler monkey scribes and sculptors. Certain scenes are suggestive of Popol Vuh episodes. The Twins’ shooting of a steeply descending bird (the ‘Primary Bird Deity’) with blowguns has been taken to represent the defeat of Vucub-Caquix. Another identification involves a hypothetical extension of the Popol Vuh narrative: the principal Maya maize god rising from the carapace of a turtle and held by the Hero Twins is believed by many to visualize the resurrection of the Twins’ father, Hun-Hunahpu.

It has been noted that in the upperworld scenes of the Popol Vuh, Hunahpu takes the dominant role, whereas in the underworld-related scenes, Xbalanque is the leader. Las Casas described Xbalanque as having entered the underworld as a war leader. Xbalanque is also the male protagonist in the Q’eqchi’ myth of Sun and Moon, where he is hunting for deer (a metaphor for making captives), and is already mentioned by Las Casas in connection with the Q’eqchi’ town of Coban. In these cases, Hunahpu has no role to play.

The name, “Xbalanque” has been variously translated as ‘Jaguar Sun’ (x-balam-que) and ‘Hidden Sun’ (x-balan-que). The initial sound probably stems from yax (’precious’), since in Classical Maya, a hieroglyphic element of this meaning precedes the pictogram of the hero. For the combination of prefix and pictogram, a reading as Yax Balam has been proposed. The name, “Hunahpu”, or rather, Hun-ahpu , is usually understood as Hun-ahpub One-Blowgunner, the blowgun characterizing the youthful hero as a hunter of birds.

In classical Maya ceramics, the twins are regularly depicted together with the main Maya maize god. Hunahpu is distinguished by black spots on his skin, which are probably those of a corpse, i.e., of one who descended into the underworld. Xbalanque is distinguished by jaguar patches on his skin and by whiskers or a beard.

Xecotcovach: a bird which tore the eyes out of the first men. The Demon-bird servitor of Alom, His name means “Face-Gouger”. He aided in the destruction of the Second Creation, by rending the eyes of the Tsabol-People who inhabited that world.

Xmucane and Xpiacoc (alternatively Xumucane and Ixpiyacoc) are the names of the divine grandparents of Maya mythology and the daykeepers of the Popol Vuh. They are considered to be the oldest of all the gods of the Maya pantheon, and are identified by a number of names throughout the Maya sacred text, reflecting their multiple roles throughout the Mayan creation myth. They are usually mentioned together, although Xmucane seems to be alone during most of the interactions with the Maya Hero Twins, when she is referred to as simply “grandmother”.

The pair were invoked during the creation of the world in which the Maya gods were attempting to create humanity. Xmucane and Xpiacoc ground the corn that was used in part of the failed attempt, although the beings created were described as being simply mannequins and not real people. These two are also invoked, often by other powerful deities, for their powers in divination and matchmaking.

Xmucane herself also plays an integral role in the development of the Maya Hero Twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque. She was at first wary of them and their mother, Xquic, and ordered them out of her house when they were yet infants, but she would come to accept them almost as her own sons, raising and caring for them.

Xmucane is also considered to be the goddess associated with the waning moon, contrasting to the role her daughter in law plays as the waxing moon.

Xquiq: the woman who, accepting spittle from the severed head of Hun Hunahpu, became thereby the mother of Hunahpu and Ixbalanque. Thus, She is a fertility and motherhood divinity.

Yaluk: The chief lightning god, and ruled over the lesser ones, such as Cakulha.

Yantho, Usukun, & Uyitzin: a triad of fraternal deities, associated in several ways with another brother, Nohochacyum. The words Yantho, Usukun, and Uyitzin mean “Good”, “Bad”, and “Indifferent”.

Yum Camil: a demon ruler in Xibalba, the Maya hell.

Yum Kaax: the Maize god, god of cacao, god of wild plants and animals important to the hunters. He is equally a protector of the fields against the incursions of wild nature and invoked by traditional farmers.

The Yumbalamob: any of a class of protector spirits. In colonial times, they were regarded as spirits tasked specifically with being the protectors and guides of Christians.

Yumchakob: an elderly, white-haired male, dwelling in the heavens and responsible for rain. He is nearly always pictured smoking a cigar. Some conflation with Kukulcan seems to have occured, since there are a number of close parallels between the two in both image and story.

Zac Cimi: Bacab of the west, is assigned the color black and the Ix years, son of Itzamna and Ixchel.

Zipacna [see Hunahpu]: God of the dawn. Every morning, He attempts to destroy the stars, and succeeds in sweeping away several hundred.

He was a son of Vucub Caquix (Seven Macaw) and Chimalmat. He and his brother, Cabrakan (Earthquake), were often considered demons. Zipacna, like his relatives, was said to be very arrogant and violent. Zipacna was characterized as a large caiman and often boasted to be the creator of the mountains.

Zotz: The god of bats, caves and the patron of the Tzotzil people. Zotz was also the name of one of the months of the Maya calendar. Alternative name: Zotzilaha, Sotz’ — Inspired by river-styx.net

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