You’ve never seen anything quite like the Maya gods—ancient, mysterious, and possibly more powerful than any other pantheon seen to date. No reason to fear, though. We actually have something in common with the Maya gods. Just like us, they worship the cocoa bean.
1. The Root of All Things
Cocoa was introduced to the Maya as early as 1,000 BC. Ancient Mesoamericans cultivated cacao plants found in the tropical rainforests of Central America. They fermented, roasted, and ground the beans into a paste that they mixed with spices and consumed exclusively in water. Centuries before convenient microwave packets with teeny tiny marshmallows were available, the frothy hot chocolate drink was believed to have potent healing properties.
2. Nectar of the Gods
Though their version of the drink was bitter compared to ours, the Maya dubbed cocoa the food of the gods. Chocolate was reserved for rulers, warriors, and priests and used during sacred ceremonies.
3. Your New Favorite God
The Maya worshipped the goddess Ixkawkaw for bringing them the sacred cocoa. In addition to having the coolest name, Ixkawkaw kept her people happy, healthy, and well-fed. Ixkawkaw may not seem that impressive compared to other Maya gods, say, Hurakan, the god of storms, or Nakon, the god of war. But never underestimate the goddess of cocoa. Your hot chocolate might always be lukewarm.
4. Upwardly Mobile
Ixkawkaw didn’t become one of the top Maya gods simply by baking the best galletas. To earn her position on the council of the gods, she had to overthrow Ixchel, the goddess of healing, who is notorious for being averse to conflict. We’re not promoting god-on-god violence, but tell us you wouldn’t have paid good money to see what that battle looked like.
5. Enter the Storm Runner
What has Ixkawkaw been up to lately? Well, her chocolate just might come in handy when thirteen-year-old Zane Obispo has to clean up the huge mess he made by unleashing Ah-Puch, the god of death. In this case, we’ll make an exception and let him have dessert before he tries to save the world.