Tag Archives: Ceremony

8 Ix (11th August 2017)

8 IxThe nawal of the spirit of Mother Earth combines with the number of wholeness on this day of gratitude, when we give thanks for everything we receive from her.

Seven days ago, we started the trecena of Kej, giving us the possibility of drawing our strength from nature. Today we feel what that brings us – the wholeness of connection with the spirit of Mother Earth. This is a day of celebration, a day when we give thanks to Mother Earth and all she provides for us. It is a day to recognise the “magic” in our lives, our ability to work in harmony with Mother Earth to sustain ourselves, our families and our communities with what she provides.

Ix is also the nawal of the natural shrines  and altars, the “ears” through which Mother Earth hears our prayers. We often make ourselves heard, asking for what we need in our lives, and today gives us an opportunity to give back. Whether you have a natural altar near you or not, today brings an opportunity to show her your gratitude by making an offering. This could be using your time to help clear up a local natural environment of the debris left behind by her ungrateful human offspring. Bring a little of your magic to her and she will return it to you magnified.

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 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.

2 Toj (27th June 2017)

2 TojIf there was ever a day of selfless acts it would be 2 Toj, as both Toj and energy of the number 2 have elements of self sacrifice. Whilst Toj implies payment on behalf of the community, the 2 particularly highlights lovers.

The nawal Toj can act as a barometer of our energy. If we fall out of harmony, within our family, relationships and community, it is sometimes the nawal Toj which brings us a message in the form of an illness to remind us that we have debts to pay. These debts may be a stagnation of energy, where we have taken something without exchange, and may be resolved through simple acts within our community which keep us healthy and keep the cycle of energy moving. In this way, Toj can be seen as one kind of healing day, where that healing may be effected through our selfless actions, or through our offerings within ceremony.

The number two can highlight polarities, in one way representing relationships, but in another, also drawing on polar aspects of the nawal it is attached to. This generally makes the days carrying the number 2 stronger than would be expected. The polarities of Toj may be both paying back, and collecting debts. Collection of debts may not be the most pleasant of activities, but it allows others a channel to bring themselves back into balance. This could be a day to remind others of what may be owed, as well as paying back our own debts. We keep the wheel of energy turning and as a result keep ourselves healthy.

On the most pleasant side of this energy, it could be a great day to spend time doing something special on behalf of the one you love, especially if you need to restore balance in your relationship. That said, especially today, random acts of kindness towards your family, community or even complete strangers may go a long way to paying off any karmic debt you might have incurred. If in doubt, give freely and unconditionally, even if the recipient is unaware of your actions.

The nawal Toj represents offerings and payment. It is part of the name Tojil, a Mayan god who gave fire to the people, although this was not a free gift. Tojil asked in return for sacrifice to be made. This is a day of payment and sacrifice, a day to resolve debts, both in the physical and spiritual realms. Toj is the nawal of the sacred fire, and it is to the fire that we make offerings in order to burn away what would commonly be known as karmic debts. In this way we restore balance, we bring our accounts back to zero.

Toj carries with it a form of divine protection, which is enhanced through selfless acts. These acts might involve a sacrifice of our time or energy in order to strengthen our community. We can choose to act or we can choose to ignore, but be aware – ignoring an opportunity to make a payment on a Toj day might bring a ill fortune, the removal of the protection. Payment should be made with an open heart, thanks might not be quickly forthcoming, and may not come at all. Your sacrifice could be  something as simple as picking up litter in your neighbourhood, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate.

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.

8 Iq’ (20th June 2017)

8 IqThe nawal Iq’ governs communication and change and today it is combined with the number of wholeness, the number 8. The words of the young combine with those of the old to bring the complete message.

The eighth day of the trecena is the most widely recognised day of ceremony, and the ceremonies today are to give thanks for the many qualities attributed to the nawal Iq’. First and foremost, they are for the breath of life. As this wind fills our lungs we live and we move, the continual change from inhale to exhale representing life itself. In some ways, we can see life as a constant state of change and when change stops, so does life. It is the nawal Iq’ which breathes life into us. Therefore, in many ways, the celebration of nawal Iq’ is a celebration of life itself. It is also a day to recognise what the passing of the breath of life through our throats brings, that is communication. Iq’ days are wordy days, days to receive and transmit messages, especially when they are of deeper meaning. These are days when your words are empowered by the divine breath, sometimes you might not even recognise the words you utter. They are messages for others, not from you but through you. These messages bring change and therefore life, and today is a day to show gratitude for them.

The day 8 Iq’ can be seen as a day of communication, where inspiration may come to you in a truly useful, practical way. It can also be a day where challenging subjects that need to be discussed can be communicated in such a way that the point gets across without conflict. Changes might happen, but they happen with a particular grace and ease that helps to embrace life rather than turn it upside down. The effect of these changes will wholly depend on your attitude towards them.

Wind God 1

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.

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.

8 Ajmak (25th May 2017)

8 AjmakThe combination of the nawal of forgiveness and pardon with the number of ceremony gives rise to a day for powerful work in the area of redemption.

Ajmak day are not always easy to negotiate. The energy often brings up our “failings” or those of others. They remind us of what it is to be human, both through the ways of compassionate forgiveness, and through actions which give rise to the need to forgive. These are how we learn, but we do not need to keep running the same program once we have learned what we need from it. For example, an action gives rise to a reaction. That reaction may be desirable or undesirable. We may wish to repeat the desirable one and not repeat the undesirable one. However, holding on to guilt about the action which gave the undesirable reaction rarely serves any purpose. In the Maya cross of Ajmak, the future sign is K’at, the net. Thus, the future of Ajmak can be abundance, one aspect of K’at, or it can lead to ensnarement. This ensnarement may be a result of guilt, the inability to move on from an action which produced undesirable consequences.

Of course, this is highly simplified, but we often do choose to hold onto our guilt for longer than we need to. It becomes a burden, stifling our creativity and preventing us from achieving our full potential. It can be something which stops us from living the lives we are able to live, filling us with regret.

Choosing to cleanse ourselves from the burden of guilt over past actions can have a dramatic effect on our lives, as can releasing grudges we hold towards people who have wronged us in our perception. Holding grudges takes a huge amount of our creative energy away, again preventing us from being all we can truly be. Ajmak days give us an opportunity to resolve this in one way or another, and 8 Ajmak points us in a direction of ceremony.

So how might we make a forgiveness ceremony? Unless we are in the Maya lands, we may be unable to make a Maya ceremony, so here are two other ideas of forgiveness ceremonies. I realise they are not insights into Maya ceremonies, and hope that you will forgive me this. The opportunity to free ourselves from what we no longer need to carry seems like too good an opportunity to allow it to pass without comment.

Firstly, we might make a ceremonial fire. It doesn’t have to be a large and ostentatious affair, your intention is the important ingredient. Write down what you want to forgive, or be forgiven for, on pieces of paper. Light your fire and connect yourself with your true essence, connect with the Earth and the Sky. Say some words which have meaning to you, prayers if you like, then lovingly and respectfully put your papers into the fire. You might like to read them out loud first, contemplating each one as you burn it away. When you have finished, say thank you in which ever way seems most appropriate.

Another way may be to use the four sentences of Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian art of forgiveness. Bring the person or situation to mind and use the following four phrases.

I am sorry

Please forgive me

I love you

Thank you

Both of these methods have the ability to release you from your burden through forgiveness. This is the day to energetically wipe the slate clean, and move forward without guilt or resentment to hold you back. Embrace your creativity and allow yourself and others to be human.

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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 it’s 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 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.

5 Ajpu (9th May 2017)

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”.

8 K’at (3rd April 2017)

8 K'atThe eighth day of the trecena is the most prevalent day for ceremony, and today it is combined with the net that gathers the harvest. It is a day to be grateful for your abundance, and for your liberty.

With the bundling energy of the nawal K’at, this can be a day to draw things together. Its combination with the number 8 brings the sense of wholeness to this, it can be seen as a day on which to bring things together with the support of the masculine and feminine aspects of the qualities of the four directions. If we see the 8 as representing the 1 of beginnings and the 7 of endings, they are not only combined in the number 8, but then fully embraced by the nawal K’at. It is a day of gathering, of seeds, of people, of ideas, and celebrating the abundance that these things bring to your life.

The nawal K’at also represents capture, whilst the positive aspect represents harvest and abundance, the darker side represents entanglement and prisons. This is not just those outside of ourselves, but our ability to get caught in our own nets. This is a representation of our own attachment to the physical things which sustain us within our physical body. Whilst this abundance might serve us well, over attachment to physical goods may distract us from our true life path. The same may be true for situations or people, it does not just have to be physical objects that create the net which holds us back. K’at days give us an excellent opportunity to understand what is stopping us from achieving our dreams, and setting ourselves free of it.

Every day is a good day to be grateful for the abundance you receive in life, but today is of greater importance. It is a day on which ceremonies will be made to celebrate harvest and all that comes from it, to give thanks for the ability this gives us to fill the bellies of our families. It is also a day to give thanks for your freedom and to release anything which is holding you back.

Wholly embrace it or set it free.

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

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

However, K’at also has its more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire,  with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us.  These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

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.

8 B’atz (21st March 2017)

8 B'atz

Wajxakib B’atz

Today is one of the most important days in the sacred calendar. It is the beginning of the new ceremonial cycle, the day of initiation of new day keepers, the day where the baton is passed from the old to the new. It is the day of celebration of the Chol Q’ij, the sacred calendar, which brings our ability to navigate through life using the cycles of sacred time. Interestingly, today the new moon also coincides with Wajxakib B’atz, giving an extra impetus to this energy of renewal.

The nawal B’atz represents the thread of time, and the sacred calendar is a representation of how that thread is woven to create reality. It is the nawal B’atz that brings the creativity to our world, re-creating and renewing all around us.

Both the number 8 and the nawal B’atz have a connection with gestation. It is said that the umbilical cord has 8 strands to it, and of course this brings the nourishment to the new life being brought into being. Here, within the Maya cross, we see 8 B’atz sitting between 13 Aq’ab’al (the conception from the ancestors) and 3 Kawok (the day of the midwife/birth process) preceding the day 4 Ajpu (the first day of the new world). It is on 8 B’atz that the new world receives its nourishment within the womb of creation, and this comes from the prayers and offerings made in the ceremonies. From the dawn of this day, the shrines and altars within the Maya lands will be packed with Aj Q’ijab making offerings and prayers on behalf of not just their communities, but the world as a whole. They are imparting the  love and wisdom of the old world into the new world which is being woven. This is the day where the seam is created joining the previous weaving of creation, completed on 7 B’atz (40 days ago), with the new weaving started in 1 B’atz (20 days ago). Here, the past and the future are joined.

We all have some talent to create, through words, music, food or images. We also have the ability to shape the world around us, our homes, our families, our communities. This is the day that we give thanks for our creative abilities, the day to gather inspiration from what you have created before and combine it with a new concept or method. Today we put all our love and energy into nurturing the new world soon to be birthed into being. It is the day where we embrace, and are empowered by, the wholeness of creation.

A dawn ceremony at the Nima Sabal altar in Momostenango on Wajxakib B'atz (11th July 2011)
A dawn ceremony at the Nima Sabal altar in Momostenango on Wajxakib B’atz (11th July 2011)

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the creative genius, the other N’oj, the intellectual genius. 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 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.

6 Toj (19th March 2017)

6 TojAs the nawal Toj represents offerings , it also represents debts. Here we see the two coming into balance. This is a day to bring stability by ensuring payments are made.

The number 6 is seen as representing the six values of the family. At least three of those can be directly related to finances – property, employment and actions. Issues with any of those may lead to incurring debts which put the family out of balance and cause disharmony in the home.

Today is a day to focus on familiar debts in particular, to bring harmony to the family by paying off anything which is outstanding. Additionally this is a potent day to make some forward payment, to get yourself in credit in preparation for future events. Whilst this is all phrased in a financial way, it is of course just an expression of what is happening on an energetic level.

When we make fire ceremonies, we do not offer money to the fire. We make offerings of flowers, incense and candles, but more importantly, we make offerings of our words and our time. These are the most valuable payments we can make, our life breath and our life energy. They are the most precious resources at your disposal to bring stability to your family. These resources can be used in a ceremonial way, or they can just be used within your family. This is the day to repay the goodwill shown within your family through your words and your deeds. This brings balance into your home, it keeps everything healthy on both the physical and energetic levels. After all, they will be empowered by the four directions, the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky.


The nawal Toj represents offerings and payment. It is part of the name Tojil, a Mayan god who gave fire to the people, although this was not a free gift. Tojil asked in return for sacrifice to be made. This is a day of payment and sacrifice, a day to resolve debts, both in the physical and spiritual realms. Toj is the nawal of the sacred fire, and it is to the fire that we make offerings in order to burn away what would commonly be known as karmic debts. In this way we restore balance, we bring our accounts back to zero.

Toj carries with it a form of divine protection, which is enhanced through selfless acts. These acts might involve a sacrifice of our time or energy in order to strengthen our community. We can choose to act or we can choose to ignore, but be aware – ignoring an opportunity to make a payment on a Toj day might bring a ill fortune, the removal of the protection. Payment should be made with an open heart, thanks might not be quickly forthcoming, and may not come at all. Your sacrifice could be  something as simple as picking up litter in your neighbourhood, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate.

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.

8 Ix (24th November 2016)

8 IxThe nawal of the spirit of Mother Earth combines with the number of wholeness on this day of gratitude, when we give thanks for everything we receive from her.

Seven days ago, we started the trecena of Kej, giving us the possibility of drawing our strength from nature. Today we feel what that brings us – the wholeness of connection with the spirit of Mother Earth. This is a day of celebration, a day when we give thanks to Mother Earth and all she provides for us. It is a day when we recognise the “magic” in our lives, our ability to work in harmony with Mother Earth to sustain ourselves, our families and our communities with what she provides.

Ix is also the nawal of the natural shrines  and altars, the “ears” through which Mother Earth hears our prayers. We often make ourselves heard, asking for what we need in our lives, and today gives us an opportunity to give back. Whether you have a natural altar near you or not, today brings an opportunity to show her your gratitude by making an offering. This could be using your time to help clear up a local natural environment of the debris left behind by her ungrateful human offspring. Bring a little of your magic to her and she will return it to you magnified.

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 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.

9 Toj (30th October 2016)

9 TojThis is a day on which women make offerings for the gift of their children, and where men make offerings for the women. It is a day to acknowledge the sacrifices made by the women in your life.

The combination of the number 9 with the nawal of payment gives rise to two important aspects of today. Firstly, the number 9 represents life itself, and our ability to reproduce. Toj days are days on which we make ceremonies, offerings or payments and, as such, today is a day on which offerings are made for fertility, for the ability to reproduce. In particular this aspect is pertinent to women, it is a day of women’s ceremonies, a day of thanksgiving for the divine feminine essence that all carry. The second aspect could be seen more from a male perspective, although not exclusively. This is a day to make offerings to the women in your life for the sacrifices they have made in order to sustain life. Again, it is a thanksgiving for all that the divine feminine, and those who embody it, bring into our lives.

The energy of 9 Toj may also represent what you might consider to be a life debt. Whilst the payment may involve the use of your energy, the results of making a payment today may be very powerful. When life debts are resolved, the momentum to move forward increases. Today is a day when the “karmic cashiers” are open to receiving the payment, and that payment will be accepted on your behalf.

Lady Xoc pierces her tongue and receives wisdom for her people from her ancestor emerging from the mouth of the vision serpent. From http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/maya-lintels.htm
The woman makes a sacrifice. Lady Xoc pierces her tongue and receives wisdom for her people from her ancestor emerging from the mouth of the vision serpent. The original lintel can be seen in the British Museum in London. This beautiful drawing is from http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/maya-lintels.htm

 

The nawal Toj represents offerings and payment. It is part of the name Tojil, a Mayan god who gave fire to the people, although this was not a free gift. Tojil asked in return for sacrifice to be made. This is a day of payment and sacrifice, a day to resolve debts, both in the physical and spiritual realms. Toj is the nawal of the sacred fire, and it is to the fire that we make offerings in order to burn away what would commonly be known as karmic debts. In this way we restore balance, we bring our accounts back to zero.

Toj carries with it a form of divine protection, which is enhanced through selfless acts. These acts might involve a sacrifice of our time or energy in order to strengthen our community. We can choose to act or we can choose to ignore, but be aware – ignoring an opportunity to make a payment on a Toj day might bring a ill fortune, the removal of the protection. Payment should be made with an open heart, thanks might not be quickly forthcoming, and may not come at all. Your sacrifice could be  something as simple as picking up litter in your neighbourhood, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate.

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.