Updated: Jul 12
Ixchel beckoned me. I felt her gently pull, insistent, but quiet. She asked me to come meet with her. Uayma, a tiny Maya town on the Yucatan Peninsula was the place she arranged to meet with me. And so I went to Uayma.
The evening before I left, I pulled a few oracle cards. I wanted to know what would await me in Uayma (Why-ma). The first card I turned over was Ixchel in her crone form, an old woman pouring out a pitcher of water, the storms of life and also of birth. I was excited because I knew it was a powerful sign.
The following afternoon we were in Uayma, settling in for a two week stay. We unpacked and then went to find a late lunch at a quaint palapa covered restaurant with traditional Maya food. A brief chat with our server led to a story about his grandmother. She had all of her children at home, naturally, with the help of Ixchel. He told us elaborate rituals were performed that included the burning of copal incense and the offering of the umbilical chord. It was the first evidence we (Max and I) found of Ixchel being and important part of modern life in the Mayalands and not just a legend of the ancient peoples among what are now ruins of a great society.
The following morning we got up very early, before the sunrise, and went for a long walk through the village past round stick houses with grass roofs and old stone buildings wearing bright
pink bougainvillea vines like wedding veils. We rounded a corner and there was another powerful sign. A stone home with beautiful hardwood doors with ornately caved Maya images. Again, Ixchel came to greet us. One of the doors held her image, the same old woman pouring water from a pitcher!
We went home and showered and dressed because we were scheduled to take a pottery class. A family in the area had been producing artisanal pottery created in the old ways for generations. I had seen some of their work in a gallery in Valldolid. The energy it exuded was tangible, mysterious, and held secrets and I was excited to study, even for a day, with these master potters and to hear their stories and learn a tiny bit of the old ways.
We arrived on time and enjoyed amazing conversation with our teacher, Sergio, who is the eldest son in the current family. I mentioned the beautiful doors we passed with the carvings of the Maya goddess and, to my amazement, Sergio exclaimed that he was so happy I loved them because that was his home! Sergio showed us the work area, many pieces were in progress including real alux statues made according to the design of a local shaman and imbued with the first stages of power. It became very clear that there was magic in the pottery here. One of the ingredients used to make some of the pieces is even a type of quartz crystal that they pulverized with a huge stone and mix into the clay!
We spent hours getting our hand into the clay, learning techniques, and listening to stories. (Shapeshifting and alux stories will be in another blog post!) I decided to make a little Ixchel image as an offering to the goddess. Sergio was so struck by my work that he said I have a “don” the word for a very special gift! He was very taken with my design of Ixchel and helped me make sure I had sealed all the seams so they would hold up during the firing. When I finished, he noted that she was missing her snake headdress. He said he would love to add it himself and told me that snakes (very sacred to the Maya and a form of the feathered serpent god) were his specialty!
When the other students left (there were only 2) Sergio sat with Max and I and carefully created the snake headdress for my Ixchel image. I could feel the love and care he put into his work and I just knew there was a very special energy being added to the creation of my little doll. While it may have seemed simple, just a kind man quietly forming some simple art with his hands, I could feel and had an inner knowing that it was a powerful magic he was adding to the mix.
We said out goodbyes and will return in a week once the clay has had time to dry in the sun. Sergio invited us to come see his home as he has other Maya inspired work all around it. I always think these things may or may not materialized, so I was so surprised when the very next morning we were out walking and came across an old ornate gate with peacocks in the garden beyond. We stood admiring it and I took a couple of photos. While we were standing there a car came down the narrow road and stopped. It was Sergio and his family taking their older daughter to school. It was the back entrance to his home and those were his peacocks! His home takes up an entire corner of the block and we, not knowing the area, were unaware that the home with the carved doors was right around the corner. He said to wait a few minutes and he would be right back to show us around!
He returned a couple minutes later and took us on a tour of his home and garden. We met the geese and chickens and little white dog name Sakie and of course the beautiful peacocks. We told him we have a friend coming in this afternoon and we would like to bring her over to his shop. And so we will do that later today. And I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Ixchel is gently guiding, but her power is pervasive. This very real goddess is leading us on a journey and I can’t wait to see where it ends up!
More to come!
Hugs and butterflies