True Spirit Power Hidden by Christian Colonialism?
It is no secret that for centuries now, the cultural and spiritual beliefs of indigenous people around the world have been drastically altered by the arrival of European settlers on just about every continent and country around the globe. What once was common practice by our ancestors is now viewed as paganism and idolatry by most of “civilized society” today, irregardless of race and ethnicity. The story of Xtabay, very well may be one of those cases.
Xtabay, pronounced Shh-tah-bay or Ish-ta-bay, is a Mayan jungle goddess. Legends told throughout the Mayan and Mayan-influenced world, often depict her as a sexy, seductive killer, a spirit to be avoided, but these negative associations may derive from Christian colonialists attempts to defame the character of a powerful tribal goddess. Xtabay lives near lakes, rivers, and sources of freshwater. She is a spirit of wild nature, surrounded by birds, beasts, and intoxicating flowers. Legend has it that Xtabay may originally have been the goddess of the Tree of Life. She is a goddess of lust, love and sex who lures and entices men with her beautiful voice and overwhelmingly gorgeous appearance.
Clues to why she is vilified as a “demon of the woods” might strongly have to die with a tree she is associated with. Xtabay is associated with sacred kapok trees (also known as silk cotton trees), identified with the Tree of Life in Mayan cosmology. As it is so closely identified with traditional Mayan and Caribbean religion, it was vilified post-Christianity. (Attempts to eradicate Haitian Vodou have historically involved chopping down kapoks, also known as Mapou trees.)¹
The kapok is a massive tree with a root system extending over thirty feet from the main trunk. These above-ground roots create the equivalent of caves. Xtabay sits among these roots, singing and combing her long, gorgeous hair using cactus spines as a comb. According to some legends, Xtabay inhabits the tree because she’s its goddess. Other legends state she resides in the sacred tree because it’s a convenient hideout for her mischievous deeds.
Xtabay manifests her presence in the Caribbean too. She combs her hair with cactus spines on the island of Saint John. Legend has it that men falling asleep after sex with her wake to discover themselves seriously wounded. These negative legends may be attempts to discourage veneration and to keep people far from kapok trees. The question is why.
The running theme in Christianity and most organized religions is a complete and utter surrender of all personal power. Any and everything that one hopes and dreams for is to be completely left in the hands of priests, pastors and the god of Abraham, Muhammed and Jacob.
The ancient and sacred knowledge of the metaphysical properties of herbs, roots and flowers has been labeled as witchcraft, the study of cosmology and the stars— heresy, and the veneration of thousand year old gods and goddess, idolatry.
On the quest to spiritual elevation, personal power and knowledge of self, one must first peel off the mask of deception. Deception taught through the school system, media, religion and inherited bigotry and exclusion.
What ancient and powerful knowledge lies waiting for you to find?