Central panel of the Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque. By Linda Schele

12 Aj (11th June 2017)

12 AjThe energy of the nawal Aj is associated with the home and leadership within the community. Today it associates with the energy of the number 12, bringing your life experience to support those around you.

The nawal Aj brings with it a solid and dependable energy, it is helpful and supportive. As the nawal of the spinal column, it can be seen as the one which holds everything together, keeping everything in its rightful place. It holds the person straight and channels the energy of communication from above and below. We also use the the word backbone to represent honour, integrity and courage to do the right thing, all of which can be summed up in the energy of Aj.

The day 12 Aj can be seen as a day on which you draw on all of your life experience in order to nourish your community, your family and your home. Your past experiences can bring you strength and courage, and help you to stand up for what is right should you need to. They also provide examples that you can pass on to others within your community to help them to grow. This is a day where your life experience clearly shows you how to do the right thing, and how to support those around you, bringing harmony into both home and community.

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 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 it’s roots in the Earth, and it’s 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.

Foliated crossThis 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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 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.

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