After visiting Tulum, El Rey, and Chichen Itza, I have come away wondering what it all might have looked like. If you are like me, then this release I received this morning will definitely turn you on. On a nearly related topic, I had bought a hand-carved version of Ix Chel from a guy carving on the side of the road in Playa del Carmen. Sadly, three weeks later the poor Goddess got termites and was lost.
COZUMEL, Mexico (June 24, 2008) – Cozumel locals and visitors recently celebrated the second annual La Travesia Sagrada Maya — Mayan Sacred Journey — a historical reenactment of the ancient, mystical journey taken by the Maya to pay tribute to the Goddess Ix Chel, whose sanctuary rests in Cozumel.
The Mayan Sacred Journey, introduced in 2007, celebrates one of the Maya’s most important traditions: the journey undertaken from modern-day Xcaret to Cozumel to pay homage to Ix Chel and to petition the powerful goddess for fertile lands, good weather, health and continual life.
As with the ancient Maya, this year’s celebration started in Pole, or Xcaret Dressed in ancient Maya garb, participants performed the traditional ceremonies and rituals in preparation for the sacred pilgrimage. Along the shore at dawn, they began the reenactment of the crossing to Cozumel with 30 canoes. Each of these 26-foot canoes was carefully crafted to match traditional Maya vessels.
Upon their arrival to Cozumel, participants made offerings and performed ceremonies for Ix Chel around the lagoon at the Chankanaab National Park. They revived ancient Maya practices with customary rituals, dances and music to provide an enriching and mystical experience. Participants also heard Maya myths and legends and learned about the ancient civilizations’ sophisticated trade, numerology and navigation.
Continuing the following morning, after making their final offerings, participants departed Cozumel and made the three-hour journey back to Xamanhá, now known as Playa del Carmen. They brought with them the goddess’ omens of good fortune.
The Mayan Sacred Journey aims to reawaken interest in the Maya civilization. This unique event is designed to enhance the area’s tourism appeal, while also preserving the history and cultural legacy of the Maya within the local community.
Ix Chel is considered one of the ancient Maya’s most important deities, especially to Mayan women who were required to take the sacred journey at least once in their life. She often is referred to as the Moon Goddess as well as the Goddess of Love and Fertility. As the lunar divinity, she changes with the cycles of the moon. With the new moon, the young Ix Chel, is called upon for the blessing of newborn children and for the fertility of the land. At the full moon, the elderly Ix Chel, is honored and asked to keep fishermen and crops safe from natural disasters, such as hurricanes and storms.
Each year, the Maya traveled from all over the Yucatan to make the passage to Cozumel to pay homage to this powerful deity. Now, more than 500 years later, the Sacred Journey of the Maya returns. For more information about the Mayan Sacred Journey, visit http://www.travesiasagradamaya.com.mx.
The island of Cozumel named “The Land of the Swallows” by the Maya who inhabited it more than 2,000 years ago, is located in the state of Quintana Roo, east of the Yucatan Peninsula. Situated along the largest reef network in the Western Hemisphere and home to the famed Palancar Reef, discovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1962, Cozumel boasts a first-class international dive and snorkel reputation. Cozumel has also established itself as a prime golf, honeymoon and family vacation destination. The island is recognized as a top vacation destination, noted for its diversity, offering something for every traveler, and great vacation value. Visit Cozumel on the World Wide Web at www.islacozumel.com.mx.