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The Goddess of Chocolate

Greek Goddess Athena

Mayan Goddess Ixcacao

Goddess of Chocolate

The story of the Goddess of Chocolate is a long and complicated one. She was worshipped as a fertility goddess, with different names and different roles, in the ancient cultures of Meso-America.

We take great liberties with her story. . . letting her keep one name and merging her myths as she moved from one culture to the next -- all in the effort to make her story more accessible.

Enjoy some humor about the
health benefits of Chocolate.

Goddess of Chocolate  

We will call her by her Mayan name, Ixcacao. (By the way, the suffix Ix- in a name makes it clear that it is the name of a female. It literally means "little one". So her name translates into English as "Cocoa Woman")

She featured in the creation myths of the Mayans, introducing agriculture to the people and helping insure the birth of the Sacred Twins. Initially she was an  an earth goddess in a matriarchal society where tending the crops was woman's work.

Banishing hunger and providing for the safety and security of the people was her divine responsibility.

Though she seldom made a public appearance in the myths, Ixcacao, the Mayan Goddess of Chocolate, had been loved by the common folk as a compassionate goddess of abundance.

But that was soon to change!

The patriarchy had begun. At first it was a golden age. Kings and dynasties appeared. A ruling class was born.

Astronomy flourished, as did the arts; writing (glyphs) began to appear on the magnificent monuments, palaces and temples of the kings and many of the nobility. Large cities were established and populated with wealthy people.

Serving The Patriarchy

Then the poor Goddess of Chocolate was whisked away from the fields to marry the God of Commerce, whether she wanted it or not. Soon her lovely cocoa beans were very valuable and had been turned into currency!

Even worse, chocolate was now declared the 'food of the gods', available only to the rulers and the warriors in their service. She heard rumors that there was even widespread starvation.

The goddess Ixcacao missed the fields, she missed being beside her people but, most of all, her heart was broken that human sacrifice was now the practice and the children from the fields were dying in order to assuage the thirst of the Sun and prevent a cataclysmic drought.

And so the Goddess of Chocolate climbed the steps beside them as they ascended to meet their executioner. She offered them comforting goblets of cocoa along the way. Thus she became an important part of the sacred rites each year.

Soon the aristocrats began to regard labor of any sort as beneath their dignity and lived in their fine palaces oblivious to the human suffering on which their lifestyles depended.

Two Goddesses Cook Up a Plan

The Goddess of Love was not amused. No longer did the people laugh, or sing or dance. Who had the energy for love anymore? Conspiring with the Goddess of Love, the Goddess of Chocolate taught the kings' cooks how to ferment the wine and make it intoxicating. And she would 'let it slip' that it was a powerful aphrodisiac.

A period of unbridled gluttony and warfare between the various states was soon to follow. Why, the Emperor Montezuma was even reported to drink 40-50 goblets a day, soaking up the aphrodisiacal stimulant of the cocoa to sustain his energy for his daily visits to his harem.

Just as the Grandmother foresaw, no one with authority was paying attention to the rumblings of the earth. Too many people, too little land available for horticulture, and what land there was couldn't produce food  because either half the workers were off to war or the land itself was being used a battlefield.

Mighty kingdoms fell. The people were malnourished and starving.

The Return of the Goddess

Grateful for the role that Ixcacao had played in reminding the people that there was much more to life than just working for the "masters", the Goddess of Love showered her with great favor, adorning her from head to foot with delicate flower blossoms that fluttered in the gentle winds.

And so, covered in beauty, Ixcacao, the Goddess of Chocolate was allowed to return to her people -- this time as both the fertility goddess who stood watch over the fields of corn and saw that her people were fed, but also as a queen of love and pleasure.

No more work without rest.
No more work without time for family and friends,
     No more work without time for music and dance.
And above all . . .

No more work without love.


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Meanings of the Myths of the Goddess of Chocolate

Ixcacao's wisdom is a lovely counterpoint to the production-oriented hustle of our modern world and its frantic buying and selling for profit and its greed.

The Goddess of Chocolate reminds us that a luxurious world unfolds before your eyes if you take a moment to still your "busy-ness" and take the time to rejoice in those things which give you pleasure.

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