5 Ajpu (22nd August 2016)

5 AjpuThe day 5 Ajpu may be a day when recognising the divine in the world around you may be challenging. However, hard work is rewarded, things don’t always get handed to you on a plate! It may also be a day to find a higher meaning in your work or everyday tasks.

The energy of the nawal Ajpu often drives us to try to find the higher meaning in things around us. It fuels our quest for the divine in the everyday. Of course, everything is part of the oneness from where it all came, but over time some things have become very separated from that source. We may have many judgements about the world in which we live, many of which will be correct. However, sometimes we may become overwhelmed by these as the mass media bombards us with images of man’s inhumanity and disrespect for the Earth. Sometimes this can lead us to losing sight of the beauty in our world.

Today is a day when this may be particularly hard, however, the energy of nawal Ajpu encourages us to try. This may be a day when finding that goodness, or divinity, in the world around you may help to remind you of the true beauty which can be perceived. You will just need to actively go and seek it rather than expect it to come to you.

 

Kinich Ahau, the solar deity, lord of space and time. From the Dresden Codex.
Kinich Ahau, the solar deity, lord of space and time. 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 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 Kawok (21st August 2016)

4 KawokThe day 4 Kawok is a day to bring stability by flushing away that which no longer serves you, or obstructs you, and allowing the birth of the new into your world.

The energy of Kawok certainly has a power to it, as the hard rain or the wild storm, but sometimes this energy is needed to break through tough obstacles. Kawok energy helps us to do just that, to bring forth the energy of the flood, washing away the things that impede our progress. Of course the degree to which we engage with the energy will determine its destructive power, and it is certainly not something for a high numbered day. This could certainly lead to undesired and avoidable situations where the power of the storm is more destructive than healing.

However, today is different. The number 4 brings stability to this stormy energy, directing it very definitely in the Earthly realm. This is a day to breakthrough physical obstructions in order to bring new growth into your life. This can be achieved with compassion, coming from the energy of the female healer, bringing stability to your new ideas, projects or direction.


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
While most healing roles 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 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 good number.

3 Tijax (20th August 2016)

3 TijaxThe day 3 Tijax can represent blockages and obstructions in the crusade. Trying to push forward towards external goals may be more trouble than it is worth today.

It is a day where finding resolution or healing may be fraught with difficulties, possibly leading to confrontation. On some days it is better to concentrate on creating beauty, peace and healing within your own home, and this is one of them. This is the day for inner healing, concentrating on what needs attention within you, bringing yourself into balance before working on others. This is the day to polish your inner diamond.


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 it’s 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.

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.

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 is possibly the most troublesome of the numbers to deal with, it lacks stability. 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.

2 N’oj (19th August 2016)

2 N'ojThe energy of the nawal N’oj often brings practical solutions to problems, and today the number 2 highlights polarities. This brings the ability to solve problems by understanding both sides of the issue.

The second day of the trecena of Ajmak, the day 2 N’oj, helps us to move through the trecena of forgiveness by helping us to understand different points of view. N’oj helps us to think things through, its intellect and intelligence empowers our thought processes to come up with the most appropriate solution. However, if we approach problem solving from a unilateral standpoint, we may miss important issues. 2 N’oj brings us the the ability to encompass both. Days carrying the energy of the number 2 are always good for mediation, but here we see it particularly linked with intelligent solutions.

With the number 2 highlighting relationships, this could also be a day to help soothe any friction within partnerships.

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.
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.

Within the Macewal Q’ij, today marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Ib’ota or Botam translated as the season of various colors.  We have reached the half way point in the 365 day count, 180 days have passed since the new mam took his seat and so now his influence should be at its highest. The energy of the fields is further diminishing as the crop ceases to grow any higher and starts to move more rapidly into the ripening process. Additionally, this is the time of “canicular” when the rains may relinquish a little and the flowers of many colours adorn the lush green hills of highland Guatemala.


Macewal Q'ij 2The 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, 2016,  is the year 4 N’oj.

The number 2 is representative of duality, of polarity. Although it is a low number it has surprising strength as it is said to be able to call upon both aspects or polarities of what it is attached to. It is said to be the number of lovers, it signifies relationships and self-sacrifice. Whilst it can lend itself to mediation, seeing both sides of the story, it also can be indecisive.

1 Ajmak (18th August 2016)

1 AjmakToday begins the trecena of Ajmak, which can be seen as a period of redemption and reconciliation. It brings the possibility to bring happiness, the sweetness, into the world through forgiveness.

The day 1 Ajmak can represent a day of turning over a new leaf. It is a day to start a process of peace, to make the first move in resolving any issues with others, particularly long standing ones. However, this process may require some encouragement from others before it becomes realised.

With Ajmak accompanied by the number 1, we also see the internal process highlighted. We carry a seed within us, the first spark of pardon for both others and, perhaps more importantly, ourselves. Ajmak days give us the opportunity to resolve issues through forgiveness, and here there is also a suggestion to dig deep within yourself to see if there is anything you are holding onto which can now be released. It may be easier to forgive others once you have brought the sweetness into your life, by first forgiving yourself and your own actions. Today is an excellent day to start that process.


Ajmak is the nawal of pardon and forgiveness, the nawal of redemption. It is the energy of being human, of falling down and getting back up again, and giving those chances to others.

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 it’s true potential, although due to it’s lovable nature it is easy to forgive. One of the lessons with regards to the Ajmak energy is learning to forgive oneself.

The number 1 is representative of the seed, of unity. It represents birth and beginnings. It is a low and odd number, which usually represents something challenging. However, the seed can grow into a mighty tree, it is full of potential. It just needs the correct nutrients and conditions to germinate and develop, just as sometimes we need encouragement to develop our ideas.

 

13 Tz’ikin (17th August 2016)

13 Tz'ikinToday brings an interesting energy where the nawal of vision and prosperity combines with the number representing the spirit world. Today is the day to ask for guidance towards prosperity.

This is not a day to necessarily expect abundance to just drop out of thin air in front of you, although the strength of this day does not rule that out either. This type of assistance may be a gift, but may also not lead to a long term solution. It is more a day to receive the vision of how to bring prosperity to you, your family and your community. Whilst it might be a better day than usual to buy a lottery ticket, a more sustainable plan may be to seek guidance regarding your future vision for prosperity. True prosperity is, of course, not only financial.

The energy of the number 13 represents the spirit world, including our deceased ancestors. On these days, it is easier to seek their counsel though some form of divination or mediumship. It may even be that the nawal Tz’ikin brings to you directly a vision of how to prosper, acting as the messenger between the unseen world and you. It is certainly a day to keep your eyes open, and be aware of visual pointers, signs and signals which mark your most fortunate direction. If you are really stuck, this is the day to ask for help, verbally, and particularly from your ancestors, and use your eyes to see what they show you. You may be surprised how easily the answers come to you when you look for them today.

The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/
The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/

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).

Nawal Tz’ikin is the nawal of prosperity, which 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 13 is the final number. It represents the spirit world. It is said that on Halloween, the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. However within the sacred calendar, this thinning happens every 13 days. This connection with the spirit world creates a powerful day, where both the positive and negative aspects of the nawal it is attached to come through strongly. It is a very good day for activities such as divination, however, ceremonies on 13 days are generally carried out only by the most experienced Aj Q’ij who understand how to work with that strength of energy.

 

12 Ix (16th August 2016)

12 IxThe day 12 Ix can be seen as gathering together your life’s wisdom, wealth and experience. It is a day for giving thanks for all that you have received throughout your life.

As we travel through our lives, we are having a continuous and ongoing experience with the energy of Mother Earth. Many do not realise it, many choose to ignore it, but it is from the Earth than all material emerges.

Industrialised societies tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised societies 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.

When we understand our relationship with Mother Earth, we enhance our abilities to interact with this world. This can be seen as wisdom, at least with regards to thriving in our Earthly world rather than just surviving. The further we move through life, the more we gather with regards to our experience, and today we celebrate what we have gathered through life about our understanding of the way the world works. This is a day when we can draw on our life experience of how to make things work, how to draw upon our “magic” or our knowing of how to ask Mother Earth for what we need. We also draw on our experience of gratitude, our understanding that this is the lubricant to keep the energy moving. This is a day to be grateful for all you have gathered from Mother Earth.

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.

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 Aj (15th August 2016)

11 AjThe authoritative and just energy of Aj combines with the directionless but powerful energy of the number 11. This may give an energy of leadership, with a focus in many different directions.

It is an interesting combination of energy with the mild mannered energy of the nawal Aj combining with the highly energetic, yet meandering qualities of the 11. Perhaps this is one of the few days that can actually ground the energy of the 11 and put it to good use within the home. You may be distracted when it comes to projects to nourish your community or family, starting many “important” jobs, yet not finishing them. Be assured you may be laying the ground work for an upcoming masterpiece to sustain all.


May the Heart of the Sky be in my heart,

May my heart be in the Heart of the Earth,

May the Heart of the Earth be in my heart,

May my heart be in the Heart of the Sky


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 11 is a high and odd number. This gives it some rather challenging properties, although it can come good in the end. Imagine you visit Ireland and are transfixed by the green of the hills, then you go to Morocco and are awed by the red of the buildings, then you go to the Caribbean and are moved by the turquoise sea. You return home and paint a beautiful picture using those colours. When you were in Ireland you didn’t know you were going to paint that masterpiece, you may not have even known why you were there.  This is how 11 works. You are sure you need to be doing something, but unsure why. You are collecting experience through many wanderings.

10 E’ (14th August 2016)

10 E'The nawal of discovery joins with the number of co-operation and community. This is the day of the joint venture, the communal exploration to new places and new concepts.

The day 10 E’ can be seen as a day to explore your role within your chosen community, to bring clarity and understanding to your life purpose. It can also be a day on which your community may wish to look at the direction it is heading. It should be a great day for an adventure with friends, where you can all expect to learn something profound.

FootprintsNawal E’ represents the journey of discovery, the life path in both its physical and spiritual aspects. E’ is the explorer, it craves novelty. It inspires travel to understand different cultures and ways of life, it is a seeker of experience. It can be a thrill seeker, and sometimes will take risks to understand what it is examining. Whilst it gains experience and understanding through physical travel, E’ also drives us to explore our inner world, helping us to understand our own minds and hearts, and those of others. E’ sometimes creates a restlessness, the desire to find new things within the world means that E’ finds it difficult to sit still.

E’ can sometimes cause us to explore simply for the sake of exploration, we seek the new experience because it is there. This can give rise to a lack of direction, aimless wandering. However, even in it’s wanderings E’ is discovering. It may not know exactly where it is going, but it will when it gets there. In it’s best aspect, E’ seeks out knowledge and experience in order to form an understanding which brings wisdom. E’ enjoys sharing the wisdom gained with it’s peers, for the enrichment of the community.

E’ is another of the classic  carriers of the year, or year lords. It is said that E’ years tend to be some of the more gentle and favourable years. E’  is seen as a good natured nawal. E’ days are considered to be good days on which to travel and explore, whether that be externally or internally. It is a day to find or remember your path, a day to ask for your path to be cleared of obstructions, and a day to ask for guidance and protection on your path.

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 B’atz (13th August 2016)

9 B'atzThe day 9 B’atz is a very special day for women, as it is a celebration of their creativity and their ability to create life. This is the day of women, the day to honour them.

The nawal B’atz is the nawal of creativity and is seen very much as a representative of all the arts. In the Maya world this would include painting, sculpture, music, writing and importantly weaving. Weaving appears to be predominantly a female pastime, it is also seen as one of the most important. It is a physical representation of the creation of the world through bringing together the male warp and the female weft to create the fabric of reality. Women may choose to physically weave in the external world, yet they are also the weavers of life itself, as the gestation process which takes place within them is considered to be the weaving of a new human life. Here we see the specific reference to the number 9 – the number of life and the lunations of gestation – and B’atz – the process of gestation. This is, of course, the most sacred and essential of all of our activities, furthering our existence, and this is the realm of the women in our world.

This is a day for women to honour who they are, to embrace their femininity and creativity. It is a day when men have the opportunity to honour the women, particularly their wives, mothers and daughters. Whilst this day may be a day of the women, it is also a day to embrace the feminine creativity, to allow the women in our lives to inspire our art.

Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy
Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

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.