12 Aq’ab’al (1st February 2017)

12 Aq'ab'alToday can be seen as a day of revitalisation. On the day 12 Aq’ab’al we have an ability to breathe new life into old ideas in order to conceive something novel.

The number 12 represents the principle of gathering, bringing things together into a bundle. This is usually applied to life experience, things from the past, or that already exist. The nawal Aq’ab’al is related to the very new, the first light of day, the conception point. So today we have two energies which represent almost opposite ends of the spectrum of possibilities. Despite 12 being a powerful number, it does not necessarily have a difficult influence, and Aq’ab’al is thought of as a very favourable day, after all, it represents the beginnings of the new day and of new life.

Many Mayan temples were altered over time, with new layers built on top of old. Sometimes this was because of a change of ruler, other times it was an astronomical change over time that caused this remodelling. The old structure was given a facelift.  Metaphorically, today can be seen as a day to start building a new layer on your pyramid.

It can also be seen as injecting your life experience into a new concept. Sometimes the dream doesn’t quite make it into reality, it gets stopped short, like those unfinished projects in your workroom/shed/office. You will often know why you stopped, for example you realised the dimensions were wrong half way through, or you ran out of material. This is the experience you draw on to ensure that projects started today can be seen through to completion. You may even be able to rework one of those old projects.

As Aq’ab’al is also linked to romance, this might also be a wonderful day to introduce new vitality into your relationship. It is a day to renovate, with all the strength of the foundation being embellished with new vigour.

Dawn over Lake Atitlan, 21st February 2016, as seen from the garden of Flower House, San Pablo La Laguna. Picture by Mark Elmy

In the K’iche’ language, the word aq’ab means night. The suffix -al changes the meaning slightly, to hint at change and alludes to the dawning of the day, the time between darkness and light, night and day. Just as birth is the beginning of the mortal journey, Aq’ab’al is the beginning of the day, although the detail of the day may still be obscured. Aq’ab’al is representative of new things, things which are not yet fully formed. While in Santiago Atitlan one day, a friend explained to me the different parts of a weaving in process on a backstrap loom. Aq’ab’al is the warp (the vertical threads), B’atz is the weft (the horizontal threads) which creates the whole cloth, and the newly woven cloth is Kawok. In order for the weaver to create, first she has an idea in her head or a dream. She sets out the dream on her loom by setting up the warp. Thus, the design has passed from being just an idea, to the beginnings of a woven reality, although it still requires creative input before it becomes whole. Aq’ab’al can also represent conception, the fertilised egg is far from ready to be born, but has passed from the dream or spirit world into the physical.

Aq’ab’al days are great days for the start of new things, particularly new relationships – Aq’ab’al has a strong affinity with marriage. It is also a perfect day for starting new projects, or at least bringing them into the world of light from the world of dreams and ideas.

The number 12 is the penultimate number. In some ways it can be seen as the last Earthly number, the number 13 representing the spirit world. We travelled through the mortal world with 1 through 6, then the other world with 7 through 12. In this way 12 can be seen as a point of bringing all of the experiences into one bundle for presentation to the spirit world as we step into 13. As such, the number 12 brings a wealth of experience into one place, it is rather like writing an autobiography. It is totality, all that is, brought together.

11 Iq’ (31st January 2017)

11 Iq'The energy of a strong and unpredictable nawal combined with the similar influence of the number 11 may give rise to a day where you have to buckle up for a wild ride.

I once described the energy of 11 days rather like a firework with a broken stick. It has a great deal of energy to expend, but which direction it will go in is unknown. Even when it starts in one direction, it can change in the blink of an eye. With the energy of many nawales, this might be relatively easy to deal with, but Iq’ is changeable in its nature anyway. Iq’ too can move from its soft, gentle breeziness to its hurricane force very quickly, not to mention its ability to change direction. This is a day when sudden, unexpected changes are highly possible, especially is they are connected to a lot of bluster.

The next time that the nawal Iq’ will appear will be as 5 Iq’ the new bearer of the year in the traditional societies of highland Guatemala. We may get an understanding of the year to come through this preview provided by the nawal Iq’, although the events of today may be more turbulent than what we will be experiencing by the time the solar year changes.

With Iq’ governing communication, we could expect a similar experience with regards to our interactions with others today too. The energy of this day could lead to a lot of chatty conversations. These could possibly again be rather directionless, although that is not to say that there will be no wisdom in them – it just may take a long time to get to the point. This may be frustrating in a  busy western world, but it also reminds us of the true art of communication and conversation.

This is where the lessons of Iq’ may come to the fore. Iq’ teaches us to learn to adapt, to embrace the changes it brings, to learn to be flexible. When we learn to “ride” the wind we may actually find it is rather enjoyable, just watch birds playing in the wind. If we try to resist or direct this flow today, it may lead to meeting one of the other properties of Iq’, anger. The power of the wind is too strong for us to influence. As the divine breath, Iq’ reminds us to focus on our breathing. With the potentially wild and unpredictable energy today, it may be more important than ever to take a breath before we react.

The Wind God, depicted in the Dresden Codex

 


Nawal Iq’ is another strong nawal. It represents communication and particularly divine inspiration. It is the wind, the breath of life, that which brings the change in seasons.

The communication brought by Iq’ can be enlightening and inspiring. It is the breath of the divine which flows through us all, in fact the word for soul is Saq Iq’ – white breath. When our breath stops, our divine essence leaves our physical body. When we engage ourselves with the divine breath we are able to create, to manifest with our words, to inspire those around us. However, Iq’ also has a destructive side. It has the ability to blow like a hurricane and may level everything before it. It is the angry words which cut down everything in their path.

Hurricane is one of the few English words which is actually derived from a Mayan word- Junrakan, meaning “one footed”. Junrakan is another name for the Heart of the Sky, one of the creator deities. Once again it seems that certain patterns follow through the sequence of the nawales which are interrelated. Imox, the female creative principle, or egg, is fertilised be Iq’, the male principle. Their combination results in Aq’ab’al, the conception and a change in the state, bringing the dream into reality.

Iq’ is a day of communication, a day of inspiration. It can be a great day to express yourself through written or particularly verbal means. It is also a day on which changes happen. You can either embrace those changes or resist them, but be aware that the wind blows forcefully and resistance of change requires a great deal of energy. Embracing change helps you to learn to dance like a leaf in the wind.

10 Imox (30th January 2017)

10 ImoxThe nawal Imox is already well connected with the collective consciousness and its combination with the number 10 today only serves to make that connection stronger.

Being connected with the psyche of your community can sound like a good thing. In its best aspect we can see this as a community all creating and dreaming together. The energy of Imox can be used to really understand, on a level beyond words, the drives which motivate those around you.

However, there is another side of this as the energy of the nawal Imox does not always give the ability to filter the connection. Today the connection to the group consciousness is wide open, and may not only be connected to the community you choose to be part of. Be aware of what you connect with, this is a day when you might particularly distance yourself from the media or from social media networks.  The power of the the herd mentality may drive you crazy today, it is a day to fully engage your discernment filters.

The strength of the energy of the day would also suggest that anything which helps to access the unseen realms would be unnecessary today. It is possible to dive into your dream world and, without too much effort, get lost there for a while.

In its most positive aspect, it can be a great day to organise an event with close friends with a similar mindset. If you have the opportunity to spend time together by a large body of water, so much the better. The day 10 Imox may also be an excellent day for community water projects, for care of natural water sources, the lakes and oceans. Together you have a possibility to create and nurture collective dreams into this world.

White water lilies. There is some evidence that the flowers were used by the priest/kings to induce visions of the otherworld. Picture by Elise Lutz
White water lilies. There is some evidence that the flowers were used by the priest/kings to induce visions of the otherworld. Picture by Elise Lutz

Nawal Imox represents the collective consciousness, the great ocean. It is the moment before the “big bang”, when all that existed was the dream of the creator. It is everything and nothing in one place, the ovum from which reality was conceived. Imox is still very much in the other world, requiring another component to physically manifest the dream into reality.

Imox is considered to be a feminine nawal. Sometimes called water lily, sometimes crocodile, it is an embodiment of the primordial. It was from the great ocean that the four first men raised sky to create the world which we inhabit. Imox can also be seen as the Darwinian swamp from which all life emerged. It is fertile and creative, the mother that gave birth to our entire reality.

As the water lily, Imox is probably a representative of  Nymphaea alba, the white water lily. It has been suggested that the white water lily was smoked by the ancient Maya in a similar way to the blue lotus was used by the Egyptians. It was a plant which allowed access to the otherworld, a plant from which visions came if used correctly.

Imox is our common origin, and as such links us all together. It is the place of dreams, the collective conscious we delve into on our nightly voyages. It may also relate to the place that certain plant medicines take us to in order to bring us wisdom. However, as the font of all of creation, Imox harbours the dark as well as the light. When faced with the entirety of creation, the line between sanity and madness may become blurred.

Imox is a day to celebrate the spirit of the times, to understand the collective mind, particularly of humanity. It is a day to dream your creations, your art, your music. It is a day when we may all feel connected, a day when the psychic field between us may be particularly strong. Discernment may be called for, to understand when to dissociate from the collective, to remember your individuality, and to pull yourself back out of the dream world.

The number 10 is another number which demonstrates the connection between the sacred calendar and the human body. As five represents one hand, ten represents two hands coming together. This can be seen as the shaking of hands creating agreement between people. Ten is seen as a good number, a number of community and the laws of society, of people acting in harmony with each other.

9 Ajpu (29th January 2017)

9 AjpuSeeing the holiness in the everyday world is a key ability, and objective, for the nawal Ajpu. Today that is compounded further by its combination with the number 9, the number of life and the divine feminine.

The last time that the number 9 occurred, it was combined with the nawal Kej, representing in particular the feminine aspect of spiritual leadership. Here we see the progression from Kej to Ajpu. This is another way of seeing the trecena cycle within the calendar,  where a story of evolution of the soul can be seen. Here the feminine representation of the spiritual leader progresses to radiate her divine self.

Whilst that might sound rather high and mighty for the energy of the day, it is the aspiration. No one is perfect, we are human after all, but we all carry elements of perfection within us, elements of the divine. This could be seen as the progression from the work we did on ourselves on 5 Ajmak, relaxing and releasing in order to step into our true nature.

The energy of the nawal Ajpu may have an effect on us of seeing life through “rose tinted glasses.” Some things are illusions, they are not all that they seem, and it is equally important not to be blind to them. However, in general, society could benefit from remembering that we are all part of one source, we all carry part of the divine with us. When we choose to engage with that part within us, it comes out in others. While all Ajpu days carry the energy to inspire us to seek out divinity, the energy of 9 Ajpu particularly highlights the holiness of life, and the divinity of women, the givers of life.

In this trecena of E’, we are on the new path, still the newborn from the trecena of Kawok preceding it. The energy of 9 Ajpu creates a day when we see the wonders that life’s journey can bring to us. It is the excitement of seeing all that is good about a new place, or your journey, or seeing the old place with new eyes. It is a day to find the joy in everyday life and allowing that enthusiasm to radiate from you, engaging your highest state and inspiring others to do the same.

The goddess and the yellows. Here she sits with the glyphs representing (from top to bottom) E’, K’at, Ajmak, Q’anil and Ajpu. This is the progression in which they appear when arranged in the “Maya Cross” form of divination. From the Dresden Codex

Nawal Ajpu is once again a nawal with a multitude of meanings and translations. In the Yucatec language it is known as Ahau, in Kiche is is also known as Junajpu. These are in turn variously translated into English as lord, hunter, blow gunner, flower and sun. Each one of the translations has it’s merits, and represents an aspect of this auspicious nawal.

Within the ancient Mayan society, the royals were not just political leaders of their particular city-states, they were priest-kings and priest-queens. They served as the conduit to the divine, deriving their wisdom for guiding their people through their connection with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This wisdom enriched both the ruling dynasty and their people, as they would be working in harmony with the gods. Thus the ruler of the city was also the physical embodiment of the divine, and it is to this that Ajpu is so closely related. Likewise it represents our potential, the state of divinity to which we may aspire.

Ajpu represents the holiness in life, the divinity in the physical world, and our search for it. It is that moment when you look closely at a flower to see the beautiful detail, the moment when you see the magnificence of the landscape you live within, the beauty in your child’s eyes or in the face of your partner. It is the random act of kindness that restores our faith in humanity. It is the search for the underlying meaning in all situations, understanding that each person is a part of the whole. Whether we like it or not, and however we judge it, we are all a part of creation. Our every action, and every action of others gives us the opportunity to explore ourselves and our reaction, whether we are attracted or repelled by the action of others. However, sometimes Ajpu can lead us to become immersed in the other world, to lose sight of reality, it is important to remember to stay in touch with the Heart of the Earth as we reach to the Heart of the Sky.

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.

8 Kawok (28th January 2017)

8 KawokThe eighth day of the trecena is traditionally the day most celebrated through ceremony and today we see it in conjunction with the nawal of the midwife and the birth process. It is a day to honour the female healers in life.

Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex
Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex

When we look at the calendar through the perspective of the Mayan cross, we see cycles of conception and birth. What we call the past sign is seen as the day of conception, 8 days (or rather 268 days) before the birth day. When we apply this to the cycles of the calendar, we can see that the eighth day of the trecena was conceived on the thirteenth day of the trecena before. We could consider this to represent a conception from the spirit world, or a conception of the ancestors. Today, we see the number 8 connected with Kawok, and so the conception of this day falls on 13 B’atz. Today we are experiencing a day of birth which was woven by the ancestors, which lead to some rather auspicious properties.

Kawok days are sometimes given a difficult reputation from their storm aspect. We can think of this as very much like the midwife and the birth process, it is not the midwife who is experiencing the turmoil, but she is overseeing and assisting with it. Kawok is very much like this, a helpful energy that clears the way for the new birth. However, once in a while more action if called for and Kawok employs its more forceful side to wash away obstacles to new birth. This can involve a degree of destruction in order to clear the way for the advancement.

8 Kawok embraces both of these aspects. It gives a balanced energy which can help to bring the new into the world using a combination of the two. Today is the day to ask for the compassion and understanding of Kawok to combine with the sufficient force required to birth our new projects into being. It is particularly the day to make thanksgiving ceremonies for the work of the midwives and female healers, for the safe arrival of the newborn children and the protection of their mothers during birth.


Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex
Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex

Nawal Kawok is in some ways a counterpart to the nawal Tijax. Where Tijax has masculine aspects of healing, Kawok has the feminine aspect. Kawok is sometimes referred to as rain or storm. It is this rain that washes away that which has been cut out by Tijax.

While most healing roles within the Maya world do not seem to be gender specific, one is. Both women and men may be healers, prayer makers, herbalists and diviners, only women will become midwives. Kawok is the energy of the midwife. Kawok helps to clear the obstructions from the birth process, in some ways it actually represents the birth process. Kawok brings the new into the world. In the Mayan cross, Kawok, the birth process finishes the sequence which starts with Aq’ab’al (conception) and moves through B’atz (gestation.) In the sequence of the calendar, Kawok precedes Ajpu. Ajpu represents the resurrection of the maize lord, also the creation of the world. Kawok creates the conditions for that to happen, the rain which brings forth the sprouting of the maize.

In its storm aspect, Kawok can be destructive, although it is a destruction which allows a new creation to happen. Kawok energy can give rise to some tempestuous situations, it can be a day which can give people a rough ride, although this may be for the eventual good. It is a day to ask for the gentle rain to bless your crops, and for the harsh rain to stop. It is a day which washes away the old and outworn in life, so that the new growth, life and divinity may emerge.

The number 8 is considered to be a number of wholeness. It can be seen as birth (1) and death (7) combined to represent the whole cycle of the soul. It can also be seen as the point where the four first men who raised the sky from the sea were joined by their wives and the world become whole. It is the most common day for ceremonies to be made, it is still in the balanced range of numbers and is an even number, which is also considered fortunate. As this wholeness represents every aspect of the energy of the day with which it is coupled, it is the wholeness of the nawal that is addressed in ceremony.

7 Tijax (27th January 2017)

7 TijaxIf there is a situation which needs your attention or a decision which needs making, the energy of Tijax brings a degree of discernment to help you make the right choice and the energy of the 7 finalises it.

I can’t resist using the words final cut when it comes to this combination. With the number seven representing endings and Tijax as the obsidian blade, what could be more fitting? However, with the energy it is carrying today, this may be a very final choice.

Tijax has the main intent of perfecting the world around it, creating “holiness” through the removal of evil or the mundane. It gives a keen eye for this, skilfully cutting away at that which creates imbalance. This is seen as its holy quest, and it approaches the task in this manner, it can become fanatical. Here we see it having the perspective from the number 7. We can imagine the sculptor being able to look all around the sculpture before making the finishing touches to bring out its full beauty. In its role as a healer we can also imagine the healing being brought to a conclusion, today is that day that the healing is completed.

Therefore today we would expect that 7 Tijax brings us the ability to see every aspect of what we are applying our energy to, and make the defining cuts where they are necessary. The balance provided by the 7 should ensure that the sharpness of Tijax is employed with just the right strength and direction to bring out the pinnacle of the perfection.Sacrificial Death God 1

The nawal Tijax is often thought of as an obsidian blade or knife. How the blade is used depends on the intention of the person wielding it. It can be wielded by a warrior or by a surgeon. These would seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, but where Tijax is concerned the aim is the same – healing.

Tijax is the nawal of the holy warrior. In the Mayan book of creation , the Popol Vuh, the first act of the hero twins was a mission given to them by the Heart of the Sky to rid the world of the false gods Seven Macaw, Zipacna and Earthquake. This is their quest, their crusade, and is represented by Tijax. They then sacrifice themselves in the underworld (Kame) and are resurrected with magical abilities (Ix). By destroying the false gods, the twins brought balance to the world, and helped mankind, they brought healing to the world. They cut out that which caused disease, exactly as a surgeon would do.

Tijax is celebrated as a day of healers, particularly what could be seen as the masculine aspect of healing. It is a day of crusading, of standing up for what is right. It has a tenacity to it, it is sometimes belligerent, it will not be stopped in its quest. It is the healer who refuses to give up on finding a cure. Tijax gives powers of discernment and refinement. Just as the surgeons scalpel cuts away disease and the warriors blade dispatches the evil, the sculptors chisel creates beauty by remodelling the base material. It is a day of alchemy, both internal and external, turning the ordinary into the divine.

Number Sequence.jpg
The sequence of numbers as they appear with each appearance of a nawal. Here we see that the sequence begins with 1 and ends with 7, giving 7 as a number of finality.

The number seven is the mid-point of the range of numbers. It is known as a number of death and endings, which would seem strange as it is only half way through. It is another representation of the change of state of the soul, showing half of the journey (1-6) in the mortal world and half (8-13) in the otherworld.

The numbers of the days set out as a pyramid.
The numbers of the days as they appear through the trecena. Here they can also be set out as a pyramid, reaching the peak is also the end of a journey.

If we imagine the numbers 1 through 13 as a pyramid, the number seven would be at the top. Seven is the number of balance, it gives the ability to weigh up situations and see all points of view. While this may be very noble, it may lead to indecision.

6 N’oj (26th January 2017)

6 N'ojN’oj, the nawal of the brain and thought is embellished by the number 6 which brings a higher essence into the physical ideas. Today, inspiration may come from more than just what you see around you.

As the trecena of E’ unfolds, today we are entering the balanced period, the sixth, seventh and eighth days which are considered to be some of the easier days to negotiate. The energies of these days are generally conducive in combination with the nawales they are paired with. The E’ trecena can be a time not just of a new direction or new path, but also of new discoveries. The day 6 N’oj would suggest a little help comes from the other realms to help to piece together the new ideas and information you may be discovering in this journey. The path is not always straight and even, sometimes there are blockages and obstructions to overcome. The energy of the day 6 N’oj can bring divinely inspired ideas of how to move through obstacles in the path, ideas which are practical and relevant in the physical world, yet simultaneously fulfil a greater purpose.

In February 2016 we started the Mayan solar year on the day 4 N’oj, a day (and year) for bringing plans and ideas into the physical world. It has been 240 days since the start of the year 4 N’oj, we are entering the eighteenth, and final full, 20 day period of the solar year, or Macewal Q’ij, on the day 6 N’oj. Today is the first day of Uchum translated as the season of second sowingIn some fields, the new maize is already growing, and here is the time that the fields which have been burnt during Qib Ixik are sown. The seeds which are planted receive the final blessings of the old Mam 4 N’oj, his last breath before his final appearance as 13 N’oj, the herald of the Wayeb, the five directionless days at the end of the solar year.

A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N’oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.

The nawal N’oj is the nawal of thought, of intelligence and intellect. Within the count of days, there are two geniuses. B’atz is the creative genius, N’oj the intellectual one. N’oj is an energy of masculine, logical thought. N’oj is the problem solver, it gives ideas and solutions which work in the real world. N’oj gives a different way to understand situations, and through this ability comes innovation. It is thought, but also understanding and, indeed, knowing. As such, N’oj is also a day associated with divination.

This energy is not necessarily social, it can lead to becoming absorbed into one’s work, lost in one’s thoughts. The influence of N’oj can create ideas which may be very much ahead of their time. Do not be surprised if ideas you have on this day take a little time to catch on, the people you express the ideas to may need a little time to process, to see the genius within the idea.

N’oj is also one of the classic year bearers, or year lords. As a year bearer it is thought to be one of the more beneficial and benign energies. This year, which runs from February 21st 2016 to February 19th 2017,  is the year 4 N’oj.

The number six is said to be the number of ultimate stability. It is the first of the three middle numbers of the cycle, the balance point neither too strong nor too weak. It is a day frequently used for ceremony thanks to its conducive energy. It represents the four directions with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. It also represents family, relating to the six qualities that nourish and hold families together – health, understanding, property, employment, friendship and actions.

The cross at the top of the central hill, Paclom, in Momostenango. Paclom is known as "the six place" and the two armed cross represents the four directions combining with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This picture was taken on Wajxakib B'atz, February 2010.
The cross at the top of the central hill, Paclom, in Momostenango. Paclom is known as “the six place” and the two armed cross represents the four directions combining with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This picture was taken on Wajxakib B’atz, February 2010.

5 Ajmak (25th January 2017)

5 AjmakWorking on being a better human might seem like a good theme for any day, but today this is strongly highlighted. Today this work is about embracing everything that makes us human, our joy, our mistakes and our ability to forgive.

When we consider the numbers within the Mayan sacred calendar, there is a general rule of thumb that even numbers are considered more fortunate than odd numbers. Whilst this generally holds true it can be a little more subtle than that sweeping statement and certainly every number has its own overriding properties. However, it can also be seen that odd numbers and even numbers may also represent introvert and extrovert, or internal and external processes. If we try to apply the external properties of a nawal on a day which highlights internal work, we are unlikely to get the desired outcome. Therefore, the day will seem unfortunate, whereas it is just the inappropriate application of principle.

Whilst the number 5 represents work, and we say that these days can represent hard work, this would be particularly the case if we are looking at the external world. These days are more appropriate for internal work, and here we see the number 5 appearing with the nawal of redemption and forgiveness, Ajmak.

Our modern world rewards success, punctuality, perfection and correctness. Sometimes it drives us outside the boundaries of human reality. It is as if the perfection sought after, particularly by the corporate world which cascades into society in general, seeks to dehumanise us. Ajmak is here to restore our balance, to bring us back to being human.

Ajmak is us, it is our humanity. It represents our frailties, our errors, our failures and our imperfection. Today as I pasted the glyph for Ajmak into this post I saw that it was crooked. At first I thought to correct it, but it seemed so appropriate that Ajmak was a little imperfectly aligned. In fact it brought a smile to my face and that is what Ajmak is all about, relaxing, being human and bringing the sweetness into life.

If we choose to look at the 5 representing the internal work, 5 Ajmak would suggest that we work with our inner humanity. Bring out that joyful human, that one that dances through life making the odd mistake. Embrace and work with your imperfection, it is what makes you human, and the ability to forgive is perhaps one of the most essential traits for all humans. So, allow your humanity to forgive yourself for making mistakes, for the imperfections in your life, and allow that forgiveness to extend to those around you who are asking for it.

I’m Sorry

Please forgive me 

Thank you 

I love you


When the creators fashioned the four first men, the Bacab’ob, they created them as equals. These four first humans had superhuman abilities, including the ability to see through space and time. As equals were not desired, the gods smoked the mirror of perception, giving us our human set of senses. When we lost the ability to see through time, we lost the ability to see the true consequences of our actions and thus we needed to start asking for forgiveness. Sometimes even well meaning actions can cause problems at a later date. Ajmak represents this ability to forgive others, the ability to forgive ourselves and the ability to accept forgiveness.

Ajmak is a sensual energy, which creates some of the reasons for its needing to be forgiven. It is kind and very lovable, but irresponsible. It can be a very talented energy, with great ideas. However it can also be very easily distracted, especially by anything that makes it feel nice. This often leads Ajmak to failing to fulfil its true potential, although due to its lovable nature it is easy to forgive. One of the lessons with regards to the Ajmak energy is learning to forgive oneself.

The Sacred Mayan calendar is often said to be a calendar of human life, and parts of it can be seen as a microcosm of the human body. The number five is one of these parts. It is representative of the hand with it’s five digits. It is with our hands that we work, and with what we earn for that work that we pay our debts. Five is also a number that relates to the sacred fire where we pay our debts with offerings and prayers. Five might be so busy working that it fails to remember what it is working for. It can also signify that what it is attached to becomes work, or is “hard work”.

4 Tz’ikin (24th January 2017)

4 Tz'ikinThe nawal of prosperity and vision combined with the number of stability should give some interesting properties to this day. This is the day to ground your vision, to bring your inspiration into prosperous physical reality.

It is possible that the prosperity of the nawal Tz’ikin comes from its foresight. Tz’ikin is an energy which connects the sky to the surface of the Earth, these being the domains of the bird. When flying high, the bird can see the way ahead, it is able to perceive this new path stretching out ahead of us. We are only on the fourth day of this trecena of E’, the new path that we are taking, and today gives us an opportunity to envision the path ahead. When we have prior knowledge of both the challenges and the benefits of the path, we are able to take appropriate action. With the benefit of foresight, the appropriate action leads to prosperity, the ability to walk our path happily, supported on our journey. When we combine these properties with the physical stability of the number 4, very much representing the Earthly plane, it becomes obvious that manifesting your vision into the physical today is likely to bring success.

In the ancient Mayan reliefs, the Principle Bird Deity is an aspect of Itzamna, the ancient creator sky god. Having such a connection to a creator, gives Tz’ikin a great ability to rise above those around it, seeking perfection as it reaches towards the Heart of the Sky. It also gives it the ability to create through its voice. Tz’ikin days are days to ask for what you would like to bring into your life, what you would manifest into your world. You might use your words in prayer or in everyday life, to your peers, your boss or your bank manager! Today is a day when those words should carry an essence of order, and should lead to a physical result. It should also be noted that the power of creativity through words is highlighted on Tz’ikin days, these are days to watch your speech and be aware of what you are asking for.

Itzamna, the principle bird deity, from the "Hero Twins" frieze on the Tecolote pyramid complex at El Mirador. Photo by Mark Elmy
Itzamna, the principle bird deity, from the “Hero Twins” frieze on the Tecolote pyramid complex at El Mirador. Photo by Mark Elmy

 

The nawal Tz’ikin is a nawal of good fortune, almost literally. Tz’ikin is another manifestation and abundance day, a day of prosperity which comes through vision. The word Tz’ikin means bird, although many like to relate it to the Quetzal bird or Eagle. Where the nawal Ix is connected with the Heart of the Earth, Tz’ikin is connected with the Heart of the Sky. In the foliated cross representation of Aj, we saw the bird deity sitting atop the cross representing the Heart of the Sky. Whilst all is one in the general overview, we could see Ix as representing the female principle (Earth energy / yin) and Tz’ikin as representing the male principle (Sky energy / yang).

A nawal of prosperity, sometimes seems odd to people seeking “higher knowledge”. It is not quite seen the same here. If your family is starving, you are more likely to fall off the good road, perhaps into dishonesty or criminal activity. By asking nawal Tz’ikin for prosperity in your life, you are more likely to be relaxed, to be able to help others and to be more constructive within your community. That is not to say that your own input of hard work will not be necessary, just that it is hard work that will pay off.

Tz’ikin has the ability to give visions, it helps people to see the bigger picture within life. It also helps people to focus on details. It has grand aspirations and helps people to rise to the top of their abilities, which of course brings them prosperity.

Just as Tz’ikin can focus, it’s broad vision can occasionally cause distraction. Sometimes, just when it is heading towards it’s goal it can be distracted by something “shiny.” This energy gives an ability to create great social networks, but sometimes spends too much time trying to maintain them.

The number 4 is very important within Mayan mythology. Four represents the cardinal points, the four colours of maize, the four carriers of the year, the two equinoxes and two solstices, as well as midnight, sunrise, midday and sunset. The number four is representative of the four first men, who raised the sky from the sea to create the world we live on. In Mayan myth it is four pillars that support the sky from the Earth. As you can imagine, four is a number which represents stability, a solar number. Even though it is still low, it is thought of as a beneficial number.

3 Ix (23rd January 2017)

3 IxThe external challenges signified by the energy of the number 3 suggest that today is a more appropriate day to look within to find your connection to Mother Earth. It is a day to find the shrine within yourself.

Mother Earth gives us everything, we live on her skin, build our houses from her body, and consume what emerges from her. She is responsible for our ability to live, our entire existence. Industrialised people tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised people see her as a living entity with whom we can interact, and she carries the nawal Ix. So, it is on Ix days that prayers are offered at her places, the shrines and altars, her ears, to ask for what we need in our world. It is very much like asking any of our family for what we need to sustain us. Mostly, our families are delighted to help where they can, just as Mother Earth will if we realise that we can ask her. All she asks in return is a little care and attention, a little show of gratitude.

However, today this connection in the external world may feel unstable. This is not the day to go ask for the material, the energy just is not flowing in that direction, although gratitude is always accepted.

The number 3 representing the hearthstones could suggest that home would be the favourable place to focus your energies, a day to work on your internal connections. Tending to the spirit of the Mother within your own home, and within your heart. Showing gratitude to her for all that she gives, and giving back are a better exercise for today. This is a day to connect your pulse to the heart of the Mother and find the magic within.

A dancing shaman transforms himself into a jaguar. From a late classic era vase found at Altar de Sacrificios. Source http://shortstreet.net/Maya/mayapaintedvases.htm
A dancing shaman transforms himself into a jaguar. From a late classic era vase found at Altar de Sacrificios. Source http://shortstreet.net/Maya/mayapaintedvases.htm

Ix is possibly the most feminine of the nawales. It represents the spirit of Mother Earth and could easily be seen as a Mayan representation of Gaia. Ix can be seen as a mothering energy, nurturing all things, but this should not be confused with weakness – the animal totem of Ix is the jaguar and it is as the jaguar that Ix is often known. The jaguar is, of course, powerful and stealthy. Ix also embodies these qualities. The jaguar is an animal of the night, slipping magically through the darkness, the spots of her back a representation of the milky way. She carries the sun on it’s nightly journey through the underworld.

The connection Ix has with the Earth gives it the ability to manifest material wealth. In the Mayan cross astrological configuration, Kame evolves to Ix. In the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, the Hero Twins sacrificed themselves in the underworld (Kame) and then were resurrected as a pair of catfish, later to become travelling magicians (Ix.) They cut the heads off animals, then resurrected them, they even cut off each others heads and brought each other back to life. In these scenes they are shown with patches of jaguar skin on their clothing, a symbolism denoting that the wearer is a shaman. Thus through the symbolic death or sacrifice, the shamanic power emerges.

Whilst Ix has the power to engage with the magic of the Earth, it also has a tendency towards illness. This is particularly strong when the vain, ungrateful side of Ix emerges. The magic that runs through this nawal comes so easily, that sometimes it forgets that everything really comes from the Earth and it is to the Earth that we must show our gratitude. Ix is also the nawal of natural shrines and altars, the places where fire ceremonies are made to give thanks. A spirit of gratitude and humility keeps Ix healthy. Ix is of course deeply connected with the natural world and it is here that they find their wisdom, power and wealth. This is a day to give thanks, to remember gratitude, and a day to engage with your magic.

There are various myths about the creation which link with the number 3. One is that at the time of creation, three stone jumped out of the fireplace and formed the new world. These three stones are called the hearthstones, and are still seen in many Maya homes today, on the fire supporting the tortilla griddle. From an astronomical point of view, the stones are the stars Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel in the constellation we call Orion, and the Smoky Fireplace is the Great Orion Nebula (M42)

A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is "El Tigre" at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy
A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is “El Tigre” at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy

The number 3 is still in the low end of the range of numbers. It does not have much energy yet, and it is also an odd number. It can represent the home, relating to the three hearthstones laid by the creators, and this is probably a good focus for a 3 day. However, it is possibly the most troublesome of the numbers to deal with, it lacks stability and represents challenges and obstructions. The number three brings up internal/external dilemma. The lack of stability in the physical, external world that it brings suggests that the more appropriate action is to look to the internal world, both of the home and of yourself.