Ix Chel, the maiden and ancient Goddess of Weaving, Fertility and Childbirth. The snake on her forehead signifies healing through intuitive knowledge and to demonstrate Her great control over earthly forces. She was responsible for the formation of a baby in the mother’s womb and decided if a child would be male or female. Maya midwives placed her image carved in cedar wood under the birthing bed. Each student of midwifery was given a cedar-carved image of the maiden goddess upon completing her studies on the island. Like their ancient sisters, modern Maya women continue to make pilgrimages to San Gervasio temple before they marry to ask for fertility, a loving partner and the right amount of girls and boys to complete their families.