Maya Gods and Goddesses
It took many deities to organize the diverse Maya world, and to understand that world it is important to understand those gods and goddesses that ordered, disordered and reordered it. Some deities are singular in nature, others manifest a sense of duality, whereas others sustain and protect the four corners of the sky-earth in a quadripartite fashion. Most importantly no deity could do it all on his or her own: they needed one another to perform all those divine acts that brought both chaos and order to the face of the earth.
Source: Mayan Gods and Goddesses by Vincent James Stanzione Illustrated by Angelika Bauer
Itzamnaaj – Itzamná
Itzamná was the Old Creator Deity, patron of the Scribal arts, esoteric knowledge, divination, medicine and curing. He was the archetype of the “divine priest”, personified and worshipped by diviners, scribes, healers, temple priests, and sage old rulers. This ancient sorcerer wears an obsidian mirror as a sign of his divinatory powers. He is the “spiny one” or “caiman”, “cipactli” in Nahuatl, “itzam” in Maya. These hardened spines symbolize the hot dry season over which this deity ruled. Itzamná can be translated as “Caiman House”, an allusion to the great power of this earth and sky deity. His terrestrial aspect was the “Spiny Earth Caiman” or “Itzam Kab Ain”. “Itzam Kab Ain” rose from the sea to create the earth and from his massive body came the sustenance of this world. Itzamná’s nighttime celestial aspect was the Milky Way or “serpent of the stars”, the very embodiment of creative wisdom that fed priests and scribes with nocturnal insights and divinatory Knowledge. The daytime celestial aspect of Itzamná and his spirit companion was the “Principle Bird Deity”, a being who plays a great role throughout Mayan mythology as both creator and destroyer of humanity and its various worlds. Itzamná as the supreme divinity of the sky and orginator of the sacred calendar was patron f the day “Ahau”, “Lord” of both Night and Day. As the spiny Ceiba of the coastal plain the thorny “Tz’ite” or “Palo de Pito” of the mountainous highlands he personified the world tree. In this way Itzamná represented the “axis mundi” of the Maya as the great supporter of the heavens above the earth. He was closely related to the sun deity, K’inich Ajaw and the office of divine kingship. He is God D of the Schellhas classifications.