The Gods and Goddesses of the Mayas
The Mayan people were exceedingly religious.  They erected a great number of pyramid and square temples which were brightly painted with pictures of gods, warriors, and high officials.  All Mayan celebration and in fact almost every aspect of life was connected with religion.  Mayan festivals were based on agriculture and the abundance of it, and the seasons.  Little is actually known of their celebrations, but what is known is that there were 18 months in the Mayan calendar and each of these months had it's ceremonies.  Fasting was a common preparation for these ceremonies which usually included large feasts, heavy drinking and sometimes orgies.

According to what we know of Mayan myth, in the beginning after the gods were formed (which is unknown how they were formed), there was only sky and water.  Two of the gods typically named Quetzalcoatl and Tohil, took Hungry Woman and tossed her down upon the ocean.  Then they each took hold of an arm and leg, stretching her until the Earth was formed.  Since these gods had treated Hungry Woman so roughly, they gave her the right to a type of human sacrifice, the right to eat the dead when they were buried within her.  Then the Dieites decided that they needed creatures who could talk to them by prayer and ritual so they created three races of beings before they finally managed to form humankind.  The first race was the ancestors of the animals of today which were unsatisfactory to the Gods because they could only talk through noise.  The second race was made of mud and also proved unsatisfactory.  The third time the deities formed creatures out of wood, but this too was troublesome.  Although these wood creatures could multiply they had blank minds and no knowledge or care for their creators.  Lastly, humanity was created to the delight of the gods.  Here was the race of creatures that could learn and were willing and able to communicate with the deities.


The Gods and Goddesses

Acat
Description:  God of life.
Rules Over:  Life, development of children in the womb.

Ahpuch
Description:  Lord of death.
Rules Over:  Human sacrifice, suicide by hanging, childbirth death and beheading.

Bacabs
Description:  The Gods of the four winds and the four directions who held up the heavens in one legend.  The chief Bacab was Hobnil, patron God of beekeepers.

Chac
Description:  God of rain and vegetation who was popular and the most worshipped deity in the late Maya period.  He rode on a serpent (symbol of rain) and carried a snake-shaped water bottle and torches.
Rules Over:  Rain, vegetation, agriculture.

Cit Chac Coh
Description:  War God whose soldiers danced in his temple and sacrificed a dog to his image.
Rules Over:  War.

Ek Ahau
Description:  War God.  Also referred to as the Black Captain.
Rules Over:  War.

Ek Chuah
Description:  In one aspect Patron of merchants and cocoa planters and in another he is a God of war.  He had a black scorpion tail.  His followers were not allowed to get drunk at his festival as they were allowed in others.
Rules Over:  Merchants, agriculture, War.

Gucumatz
Description:  Lived in both heaven and hell and was associated with Hurukan.  He was a shape-shifter.
Rules Over:  Agriculture and civilization, shapeshifting.

Hun Pic Tok
Description:  War God.  Had a pyramid temple which was the most important in Izamal in Yucatan.
Rules Over:  War.

Hunab Ku
Description:  Supreme but remote and impersonal god.

Hurukan
Description:  Extremely ancient God who created Earth, animals, fire and people.
Rules Over:  Whirlwind, hurricanes, thunder, spiritual illumination.

Itzamna
Description:  Sky god and also Father of the Gods and creator of humankind.  Omnipotent and rather remote.  Fisrt priest of the Mayan religion.
Rules Over:  Healing, drawing, letters, crops, fertility, water, regeneration, medicine.

Ixchebelyax
Description:  Goddess who invented painting and fabric color designing.
Rules Over:  The visual arts.

Ixchel
Description: A goddess who is the consort of Itzamna.
Rules Over:  Childbirth, medicine, the moon, pregnancy, floods, weaving, domestic arts.

Ixchup
Description:  Wife of a Sun god named Ah Kinchil.

Ixtab
Description:  Patroness of hunting and hanging.

Ixtubtun
Description:  Protectress of all jade cutters.

Tkinich Kak Mo
Description:  Sun god connected with the lighting of the sacrificial fire.

Kukulcan
Description:  A form of Quetzalcoatl.  Personification of the West.
Rules Over:  Light, learning, culture, organization, order, laws, calendar.

Mam
Description:  Earthquake god of  Yucatan.
Rules Over:  Earthquakes.

Masaya
Description:  Goddess of volcanoes and divination.  Pictured as a hideous old woman and required victims thrown into volcanic craters.
Rules over:  Volcanoes and divination.

Nohochacyum
Description:  God of creation who was also the defender from evil.
Rules Over:  Protection, creation.

Xaman Ek
Description:  The North Star.
Rules Over:  Business, peace, plenty.

Yum Caax
Description:  God of maize/corn.
Rules Over:  Riches, husandry, fertility, growth, life, joy, good crops.