Religion of Mayan
The Mayan religion was polytheistic, meaning the people believed in many gods. These gods were divided into three main groups: High, Intermediate, and Low. The High Gods were of supreme importance, while the Low Gods were generally unknown outside their locales.
The Maya Creation Myth
Maya religion is loosely organized, being largely syncretic. Each Maya group had its own independent spiritual and religious traditions to contribute. The Maya pantheon usually included a deity that acts as a protector of vegetation and crops (similar to the Aztec god Tlaloc), an evil deity that represented the forces of chaos, and an earth goddess who is alternately portrayed as a self-sacrificing mother or an uninterested deity. Other notable deities in Maya culture include Ch’akch’ejb’al, Ek Chuah, Ix Chel, Itzamnaaj, Kukulcan (identified with Quetzalcoatl), and Mam (the Maya moon god).
Myths & Legends
The traditional religion of the Mayans was based on pantheism, which includes a belief in a divine nature found in every aspect of the natural world. The gods were often merged and transformed into one another, forming new beings as they interacted. For example, Hun-Ahpu – the god who created humanity with his sister-wife Ixmucane – sometimes embodied the deified maize spirit known as Tlaloc while simultaneously existing as an aspect of Xbalanque, the ballplayer god.
Major Maya Gods & Goddesses
The Mayans had many gods and goddesses for people to worship; their deities were often connected to animals or natural forces. For example, Kukulkan (God of the wind) was often represented as a Feathered Serpent, and Quetzalcoatl (God of the air) is depicted as a Giant Bird. Huracan (God of the storm) and Itzamna (the Creator god) as Gaseous Beings. Ixchel, Goddesses of birth and medicine, is portrayed as the Moon.
The religion of the Maya contained many aspects, and although their views on their deities varied from one region to another, there were some general rules.
- General taboos include avoiding sacred animals such as serpents or discussing warfare with others in case the secrets get out.
- To keep track of periods, they divided it into two halves: U Tzolkin (just over 260 days) and Haab (a solar year with 365 days).
- The Maya also distinguished between worshipping a deity as an individual versus getting together in a group to perform rituals and worship collectively.
Rituals & Ceremonies
Mayans believe that deities are the creation authorities, and they worship these deities. There are two main types of deities; one is benevolent and the other malevolent. The three most important deities to the Maya were Tohil, Hobnail, and Ehkis. It was believed that Ehkis required blood sacrifices for the fertility of crops, rain for water, and peace for prosperity. Rituals consisted primarily of prayers and offerings with feasts when a lot had been accomplished, or something good happened.
Mayans had several beliefs in the many religions that existed at their time. The most popular belief was called Kukulcan, which later became more commonly known as Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs and Toltecs. This deity was important to all aspects of life, including agriculture and commerce.
The Religious Leaders of the Religion of Mayan are spiritual. The Religion leaders are the ones who hold the most power and live a life that is revered and respected by all others in the religion. The role of religious leaders would be considered Godly figures. With rituals as an important part of their culture, the people of this religion find solace in music and dance. When it comes to burial practices, these people bury their dead ancestors with only basic ritual practices.
The Religion of the Mayans, which lasted between the 1st and 8th centuries AD, is thought to have had three principal deities – Tlaloc (god of earth and rain), Quetzalcoatl (god of life and resurrection), and Chalchiuhtlicue (goddess of water). The god Tlaloc is also thought to have been associated with mountains, maize, beans, squash, and twigs.
End of Days
Many religions and cultures have long believed at an end of days, often spelled out as the rapture or Armageddon. The Maya, Native Americans, and medieval Christians are just a few groups who shared this belief. And many others besides these have followed suit. It is not hard to understand why so many cultures have come to see the end times approaching; with its death and destruction, the world feels like it is coming to an end. But, unfortunately, we see no peace among us- only hatred, prejudice, and war.
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