Aj represents a number of properties associated with the masculine energy within traditional societies. These include leadership, strength and courage, the typical qualities of the wise old grandfather. Today these qualities are combined with the number of the divine feminine, and of life itself. The energy of nawal Aj is seen as a benevolent and helpful energy, after all it represents the sustenance of society. When we take that energy in combination with the more feminine compassion and nurture from the number 9, it can be seen that this day has a very pleasant potential.
The number 9 also brings an independent streak. It represents the divine feminine and this energy is also strong, after all it is the representation of life itself. With this strength and independence combining with the nawal of the spinal column, this can be seen as a day where the energy supports you to stand up for yourself. The additional feminine properties of the nine soften this beautifully to give a compassionate, yet self assured energy. It is a day to nurture the leader within.
This is a day to look to the female leaders within your community, the mothers and the grandmothers, for their support and guidance. It is a day to engage both compassion and authority in leadership.
The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy
The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, that which allows us to stand tall, proud and brave. As the cornstalk, it has its roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, if we wish to lead in a just manner, we should cultivate our connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.
This is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Mayan temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day.
Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for its people, that keeps everything in its rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.
The number nine is very special indeed. It is the number of lunations in the human gestation period and in the sacred calendar. The sacred calendar is known as a calendar of life, and it is women that give life. As such the number nine is seen as the number of life and the number of the divine feminine. It gives all that it is attached to a strong feminine presence and is a day on which women may wish to give thanks for their gifts.