In the most simple definition, Mayahuel is the Mexican goddess of Agave.
Legend has it that she lived in the sky under the watchful eye of her grandmother, Tzitzimitl and her sisters Tzitzimime, dark spirits known for coming down to earth during an eclipse with the intention of possessing men.
However, Mayahuel was unlike her ancestors. Her reputation was one of beauty, joy, and laughter. In fact, it was said that only she possessed the magical element that could bring joy to man, as well as food, shelter, and drink. Knowing this, the gods sent Quetzalcoatl on a mission to bring her down to earth so that humankind could benefit from this gift.
Quetzalcoatl did as he was commanded, but he was caught off guard by her beauty and fell deeply in love with Mayahuel. The feeling was mutual and so together they escaped from the jealous grasp of Tzitzimitl and fled down to earth.
They knew they would be found quickly if they remained themselves, so they decided to be faithfully interlocked for life and took shape as a beautiful tree.
Their facade was no match for a furious Tzitzimitl, who came down to earth in search of her granddaughter. When the evil spirit found the couple she cut them in half and let the Tzitzimime devour the parts that Mayahuel encompassed.
Once the dark spirits had retrieved, a furious and grieving Quetzalcoatl gathered the bits and pieces that remained of Mayahuel and buried them.
It was said that night after night he would water her remains with his tears. Little by little a plant began to bloom until one day it fully blossomed into a plant with long stems.
Quetzalcoatl drank the strange elixir that came from the plant and found that it filled him with comfort.
The plant was soon discovered by man and named Agave.