8/10/09

Goddess of the Week: Chalchiuhtlicue

Museum's captionImage via Wikipedia

The nice thing about blogging is that if you don't like what you're writing you can always hit the delete button and start over. Other creative endeavors are like that too. Bad day painting? Get a new canvas. Too much salt in your cake batter? Add more butter, sugar and flour. It'll be perfect.

The unspoken presumption of many creation stories is that we're not much more than some temperamental higher being's weekend craft project, which is why legends say that when we've gotten too unruly and ugly that higher being just tore out some of the crooked seams and even washed the whole hodge podge of a mess up and started over again. Of course, it must have been a drag. Throwing out a fallen souffle is a drag too, but what else can you do?

This, at least, seems to be the message of the Aztec goddess Chalchiuhtlicue. A creation and water goddess, she got so disgusted with humanity that she flooded the planet, washing it clean so that she could start over from scratch. A little mellower than some other higher being you may have heard of, she turned people into fish so that they would survive the deluge. She also created a rainbow so that truly exemplary souls could climb to heaven and escape all the drama that followed.

She must have been more satisfied with her remodeled creation because she decided to put it on exhibit, where it still receives raves for its inter-active features and fine sense of color and perspective. A fashion-loving goddess, she wore a blue-green jade skirt that resembled waves and looked over laboring women and new-born babies, born, as they were, out of their own small watery worlds.

Channel this goddess: When you are pregnant; looking after pregnant women is what Chalchiuhtlicue does best. Also, when you are birthing creative endeavors and they are just not turning out the way you planned. Darn it. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Elizabeth: This goddess is for you. She's greenish blue and Aztec, not Mayan. Hope that's close enough.

I feel like I'm falling behind giving people their goddesses, so I'm going to double up for a while, starting Wednesday. But if you need a goddess for any reason, let me know and I'll put you in the queue.

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18 comments:

Georgie K. Buttons said...

That is the coolest name.

Desiree said...

Clearly, another wise Latina.
Love the riff on creation stories--
have no handle on her name, so I will be mentally referring to her as Cha Cha.

... daisy... said...

Another useful and wise goddess... I am always thinking about the post about desserts... well the Aztecs are believed to be the "creators" of chocolate... well only a higher civilization like them could "own" such a goddess! :-) have a nice day!

Margaret said...

Georgie: But how do you pronounce it? I'm baffled.

Dez: I think I'll say Cha Cha too.

Daisy: goddesses and chocolate. Both divine.

Shell Sherree said...

Cha Cha sounds good to me! So does the chocolate. How is it we've ended up back at food again? Not that there's anything wrong with that...

altadenahiker said...

Are you on emergency goddess alert?

Is there a goddess for one who gives others a goddess?

Cafe Pasadena said...

I like to see this greenish Aztec friend of yours, named Elizabeth.

At least I know it's not my eLiz.

elizabeth said...

Aw Finn, she's perfect in every way: Female, creative, watery, believes in a fresh start when things go south, protective, jade skirt.....I fell for her at first sight being Aztec and all. Really. My heart did a little leap as I thought, "All for me?" Thank you for introducing her into my realm. Elizabeth (aka Blue)

Italo said...

Interesting goddess!
But I Dont' know if she had these qualities. WHY SHE DIDN'T CHANGE HER IMPOSSIBLE NAME?????? :) CIao Italo.

Margaret said...

Shell: Doesn't every conversation end with chocolate?

AH: Hmmmm. Good question.

Elizabeth: I am so glad you approve. Thanks so much for your request.

Italo: Of course, the name is not hard to pronounce if you are Aztec.

Jean Spitzer said...

Cha Cha seems like a great one at recycling and reusing, perfect for our times.

Margaret said...

Jean: I like your take on that.

pasadenaadjacent said...

These are my favorite lines

"The unspoken presumption of many creation stories is that we're not much more than some temperamental higher being's weekend craft project"

and

"and new-born babies, born, as they were, out of their own small watery worlds. "

I wonder if the Virgin of Guadalupe has her roots embedded in this particular goddess?

Margaret said...

PA: I think she is. You are so smart.

Mandie said...

As far as this Goddess of the Week is concerned, have you ever thought of Morrigan, the Celtic triple goddess of war, death and rebirth? I find her to be one of the most interesting goddesses and even named my daughter after her.

gaelikaa said...

Chalchiuhtlicue! I do hope I get the pronunciation right! I find this very close to the Noah story as the Father sent the Holy Spirit to warn Noah to build the ark and redeem a shred of deserving humanity and put His rainbow in the heavens as a sign of His covenant to never again flood the world. That's amazing!

Margaret said...

Mandie: Fantastic idea. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll let you know when I get to her.

Gaelikaa: It's a little spooky, isn't it?

Alison said...

Most artists have probably gone through a phase where you hate to throw out any of your creations - because they're your babies! You keep working them, hoping they'll get better. Then you "mature" as an artist and realize that it's ok to throw out your crap because you know you'll create something better. It's nice to see there was at least one goddess with the same idea. I hope you'll write about more! It's very encouraging to artists to know that it's ok to start over. I have started over several times on this one sci-fi book I'm still writing. I have also throw away a lot of bad poetry. It doesn't have to be scary - it can be quite empowering.