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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Temple...Sacred Travel Story

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

In the Land of Ixchel, Jaguar Goddess of Midwifery and Medicine

In the Land of Ixchel, Jaguar Goddess of Midwifery and Medicine...and Quetzalcuatal

By Karen Tate

During a sacred tour of the Yucatan in Mexico we visited many archaeological sites, but two of the smaller most beautiful sites were Tulum and the Isle of Mujeres, in the domain of the Mayan Goddess, IxChel, known as the jaguar Goddess of midwifery and medicine.

As we were enjoying the sun, sand and beautiful shades of blue-green waters off the Gulf of Mexico in Tulum, a storm came up with little to no warning. With remarkable speed, suddenly there were angry and gray clouds overhead, the rain was pouring and the wind was fiercely whipping and howling catching everyone visiting the archaeological site by the water's edge off guard. Most people ran to the bus for cover or took refuge underneath makeshift buildings or within overhangs of the archaeological remains.

I was enthralled with the storm, reminiscent of the many hurricanes I'd experienced growing up in New Orleans. What better way to experience so many powerful elements simultaneously speaking to us in the natural beauty of this sacred region. I found it exhilarating and fought off Roy's insistence we duck and cover. Now rebuffed, he turned his attention away from me and noticed an older woman and child who seemed to be rather paralyzed and stuck atop one of the large stone monuments, holding on for dear life in the storm. He called out to them but the wind drowned out his voice. He gestured to me he was going to help them and I waved him on as I sat there soaking in the energy of this fierce storm that was upon us - but I kept my eye on him and the object of his focus.

Like my own personal Superman, Roy climbed up the large stones, probably 10 feet into the air, and made his way toward the woman and child and began to assist them to move from this precarious perch. Together all three began climbing down the ancient, now slippery stones, as carefully as possible under these adverse conditions. I silently beamed at his bravery and willingness to put himself out, and in danger, to help this woman and her child. No other men were coming to their aid in this storm! They were clearly on their own.

As they were reaching the bottom of the tall stones and almost on solid ground I started making my way toward Roy, the woman and child to see if everyone was okay and if I might be of any assistance.

Then I suddenly saw Roy's body contort. He reacted as if he were under attack or had been bitten. In that same instant I looked down and noticed this huge green iguana between his two legs, at his feet. Then in a blink of an eye it was gone. It somehow was able to collapse its skeletal structure to squeeze between these narrow cracks in the rocks. As I got closer I heard the young Latina girl Roy assisted pointing to Roy and saying to her Mom, "Quetzal. Quetzal." It wasn't until later I connected the dots as I learned the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl was believed, according to legends, to be tall with light skin, blonde hair and blue eyes - a description that fit Roy to a tee.

It was kinda funny to watch my Superman, this little girl's hero, Quetzal, with his big heart running into the storm to save this woman and her child - then be undone by that gigantic iguana. Roy admitted later he was shocked by the proximity of the iguana and for a moment, in his words - was scared shitless!

Learn more about sacred places of Goddess, including in Mexico in Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations.

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