Tag Archives: Dresden Codex

5 K’at (21st August 2017) – US Solar Eclipse Special

The top bar is the sky band, and hanging from it is the glyph which signifies an eclipse. In the centre of the eclipse glyph is the sun glyph, denoting a solar eclipse. From the Dresden Codex.The total solar eclipse of today would have been something that the ancient Maya considered very important. The two most observed heavenly bodies are coming together in an action which will briefly turn day to night, which will stop birds from singing and make the people pay attention to what is happening above them. The temperature will drop as we are reminded where the energy which drives our life on this planet comes from. Many great articles have been inspired by this event, I just thought to add a little of my own perspective.

Apparently, there is a K’iche folk story in which the moon is the wife of the sun. The eclipse occurs due to a quarrel between the two, and the wife “takes a bite” out of the husband. Could this be seen metaphorically for the division which is currently so obvious, not just in the USA, but in many other parts of the world? This has been happening for some time, but right now the pressure really seems to be building, to me it feels the most chaotic that I recall in my lifetime. Society seems to be diverging between what could be seen as the brash, materialistic, masculine energy and the compassionate, caring feminine energy. This eclipse is literally drawing a line of division across the USA, cutting it in two, and beneath the line of totality lies the darkness. Perhaps this might serve to remind us of many things. The feminine (moon) is removing the power of the masculine (sun) as she takes her bite, her answer to their disagreement. With his power removed all becomes darkness, the energy of life disappears from our world.

Old man possum brings the nawal Iq’ to take the burden of time for the year. From the Dresden Codex.

This is all happening in the year 5 Iq’ (according to the traditional Highland count) and at a time when Venus is in the morning sky. The year 5 Iq’ has been with us since February, teaching us to work on our communication, but also bringing sudden and unexpected changes. The number 5 is also known to bring cause people to rush into things without thinking, suggesting that words may be said in haste and regretted later. This is how 5 Iq’ teaches us to be aware of our words. Venus was generally seen as male in the Maya pantheon, and the time of the morning star was also seen as an upset in society, particularly of the leaders. This may happen by shining the bright light of the morning star on the things which had been hidden, this is a time when scandals are brought to light. According to the Borgia Codex, when the heliacal rise of Venus (the day it appears to rise with the sun) occurs on a K’at day (as it did on 8 K’at in April of this year), it is the king/male ruler who is targeted by the Venus deities. Is this once again suggesting that the patriarchal system, or its figurehead, is particularly vulnerable at this time? Venus will continue to rise in the morning sky until 10 Ajpu (25th November 2017) when it will disappear for 50 days (90 days in the codex table) as it travels behind the sun from the perspective of the Earth in its superior conjunction with the sun.

Perhaps this suggests that the feminine energy needs to be listened to, that the quarrelling needs to be resolved before the feminine shows its full potential to eclipse the energy of the patriarchal society, and bring down its leader. This all happens of the day 5 K’at which might also suggest that we, as a society, need to work on bringing things together, it won’t just resolve itself. K’at has the possibility to gather great wealth, great abundance, but it also has the possibility to become the burden, the net in which we become ensnared. Of course, totality will pass, and the light will return, but perhaps this is a decision point. Will we choose to embrace the feminine and work together to our mutual profit, or will we choose to continue to be divided and trapped in the darkness?

For more information on the eclipse calculations of the ancient Maya, I would highly recommend visiting Biblioteca Pleyades. This is a very thorough and well written explanation of the eclipse table within the Dresden Codex.


10 Kame (19th July 2016) – The Return of Venus as the Evening Star

10 KameThe nawal Kame represents transformation, particularly spiritual transformation, and today it is coupled with the number representing community. This could give a day of profound changes in society.

The energy of Kame assists transformation from one state of being to another. If these changes are embraced they can be moved through at a determined rate. However, one way or another they will happen. If they are constantly resisted, they may become enforced changes, transformations which happen suddenly and at a rate we have no control over. The end result may be the same, but the process may seem harsher.

The number 10 is seen as representing community and the laws of society. Today could be a day of profound, possibly spiritual, change within society in general. This could also represent the support of your community to help you through your own transformation and growth. It is representative of our ability to work together to assist each other through our changes, whether they are enforced or voluntary.Venus cycle 2015 to 2017

In addition to this energy of profound change in society, today is also the day within the Dresden Codex on which Venus returns to the sky as an evening star. Astronomically speaking, Venus has been a theoretically visible for a few days now. Tonight Venus should be the first time when it is clearly visible as an evening “star” for a few minutes, appearing from the glare of the Sun, only to set a few minutes after the Sun.

According to Bruce Scofield in the book How to Practice Mayan Astrology, Venus can represent the rise and fall of leaders. They describe the rise of a great leader, seen as a bright shining light who becomes so bright he gets lost in hedonism. This leads to his downfall and eventual exile, the rise and fall of the morning star. The superior conjunction is seen as a time of judgement and redressing the balance before the leader is born again, this time humble, mortal and obeying the laws of society as the evening star. Eventually he is sacrificed, the inferior conjunction, and once again is born as the rising light in the world.

With the energy of 10 Kame combining with the reappearance of Venus, it could signal end end to the trials which began on 11 Ajmak (20th April) with the superior conjunction of Venus. The light travelled through the underworld as the planet Venus disappeared behind the Sun, from the point of view from Earth. Now, the light returns, in the wisdom place of the west, possibly signifying the emergence of a steadying influences as society goes through a profound change. The trials during the preceding 80 days have humbled the false leaders, and now new wisdom emerges.

Additionally, we will be under the influence of the full moon, this time falling in the western sign of Capricorn. This is also a strong emphasis on responsibility, boundaries and structure. Once again we see a stabilising influence emerging after the time of trials, although this may occur by establishing new boundaries.

Venus appearing as an evening star for the first time after its journey behind the Sun relative to the Earth (Superior Conjunction)
Venus appearing as an evening star for the first time after its journey behind the Sun relative to the Earth (Superior Conjunction)


Kame relates to death, which often makes people nervous. However, this nawal is seen as an extremely positive day. Birth is the gateway into the mortal life, death the gateway into the eternal. In many shamanistic traditions, the initiate goes through several death experiences during training. This can be through the use of particular herbs, or sometimes through accident or illness. In these experiences the density of the mortal realm falls away and the greater understanding emerges. It can often be described as a spiritual transformation. In the Popul Vuh, the Mayan book of creation, the Hero Twins descend to the underworld, Xibalba, to confront the Lords of Death. They pass the many challenges set for them, but eventually end up being tricked by the Lord of Death. Instead of giving in, the Hero Twins choose to sacrifice themselves. They give instructions to a pair of seers to convince the Lords of Death to grind the Twins’ bones to dust and throw the dust in the river. Everything went according to plan and five days later the twins appeared as catfish in the river, then transformed into vagabond “magicians”. In this way we see a literal transformation from the crusader (Tijax) through death (Kame) to the higher self (Ix). This is the potential of the Kame day, to face ones fears and attain a higher perspective, to advance the journey of your soul. This is also a day to remember your ancestors and friends that have passed into the other realm, to remember what they taught you, and to thank them for their wisdom that helped you to grow.

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.

Superior Conjunction of Venus Begins – 11 Ajmak (20th April 2016)

The cycle of Venus was used by the ancient Maya to time many ritual practices, including war and sacrifice. The heliacal rising of Venus was seen as a particularly destructive and unsettled time. This was the time when full scale wars would begin.  Venus has been rising heliacally since 9 Ajpu (28th August 2015). The period since the beginning of the heliacal rise of Venus seems to have been a great turmoil for many.  It was at its peak brightness on September 20th 2015 and reached its greatest height (western elongation) on October 26th 2015 (3 Kawok), which could be seen as the height of its influence.

On the day 11 Ajmak (20th April 2016), according to the Dresden codex, Venus will cease to be a feature in our morning sky. The morning star will disappear to the underworld, only to reappear as the evening star on 10 Kame, 19th July 2016.

This is a time that could be seen as a respite from the disturbing influence that Venus has. It can be a time to look at what went wrong and see how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. It is a time to evaluate ourselves, and the leaders of our society, a time to address our values and the values of the society we live in, and a time to redress the balance.

Venus cycle 2015 to 2017

9 Iq’

9 Iq'The breath of life combines with the number of life on this auspicious day. However, this may not necessarily make it the easiest of days to navigate. It has the possibility for life changes.

With Iq’ representing communication, in particular the inspiring, divine word, or flower word, we can always expect the spoken word to be highlighted on an Iq’ day. Today we see those qualities in association with the number that represents life and the divine feminine. This is a day to ask for the counsel of women, to listen to what the women in your life have to say and to draw inspiration from their words.

Changes in the wind are what bring the change from dry to wet, and wet to dry season, here in Guatemala. The change in the wind brings life and here we see this doubled. When life becomes stagnant, decay sets in. Change is what enlivens us, although many of us may try to resist it. Today is a day to breathe the sacred breath and allow the life change to happen. The wind is bringing novelty into your life, are you ready to embrace the adventure that comes with new discovery?

Wind God 1
The wind god, patron of the nawal Iq’, from 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.

Iq’ is the fourth of the classic Year Bearers, or Year Lords. It gives rise to unpredictable, strong years.

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.

4 N’oj 0 Nab’e Mam – The Seating of the New Mam

The Seating of the New Mam is the moment that the Wayeb has ended, when the period of retreat has finished and we can emerge from our “cave” back into the real world. In some communities, this would be celebrated with feasting and drinking, welcoming in the new grandfather who will guide us through the next revolution of the sun.

This year is governed by the Mam 4 N’oj. In addition to 4 N’oj carrying the energy of the day, it is also carrying the energy of this new year. This is likely to be a welcome relief after the difficulties and challenges brought to many by the year 3 E’. The properties and benefits brought by the nawal 4 N’oj are discussed in my post for the day of 4 N’oj here. This is a year to bring your new ideas into the physical world, a year of stable solutions to problems.

Whilst things should become easier, it may not happen overnight. The new Mam may also take a little while to settle in. This is usually the first 20 days. Whilst it is obvious that the “administration” has changed, it takes a little time for all the promises made in the campaign to be adhered to. Nothing in nature moves in a square wave, it is always a gentle transition more akin to a sine wave. This is the first light of dawn, the day is just beginning, but we are still experiencing a little of the cold of the night. It will not be until midday, the height of the cycle that we will experience the fullest expression of the energy of this year lord. We can expect that in around 182 days or so, 4 Kawok (21st August 2016).

Kinich Ahau, the solar deity, lord of space and time. We begin a new solar year, a new count of solar time. He is also representative of the number 4, which is the number carried by this new year. From the Dresden Codex.
4 N’oj (21st February 2016) is a day when we materialise our ideas into the physical world. We may have been sitting on them for some time, waiting for the right moment, and now is the time to ground them.

The last time we experienced a N’oj year was 2012, which was the year 13 N’oj. In some ways we could be looking at an interesting part of a cycle. The number 13 signifies the spirit world, so it is possible that the ideas we had in 2012 were directly linked with the spirit world. This could represent more than a hint of divine inspiration in 2012 to get creating. Four years on, N’oj is back again, this time with a very Earthly number of stability, the number 4, so it is possible that the ideas/intuitions that were being fed to us from the spirit world in 2012 are now materialised and stabilised into the Earthly plane.

On a grander scheme of things, the cycle of the year bearers repeats every 52 years. Of course, we do not relive exactly the same experiences, but we may see similarities with the last time this year bearer was in office. That was the year 1964, when Mam would have taken his seat on the Gregorian day 5th March. This gives us the opportunity to understand how to engage with the benefits of, and avoid the errors committed during, the previous incarnation of the Mam 4 N’oj.

Old Man Possum drew 4 streaks on the sky and is seen here delivering the new Mam, representing the new solar year. Accompanied by K'inich Ahau in the two frames below as teh benevolent solar deity. From the Dresden Codex.
Old Man Possum drew 4 streaks on the sky and is seen here delivering the new Mam, representing the new solar year. Accompanied by K’inich Ahau in the two frames below as the benevolent solar deity. From the Dresden Codex.

What is Mayan Astrology?

Nawales in a ringMayan astrology is system of interpretation based on the Mayan sacred calendar of 260 days. There are at least two different counts of sacred calendar in use; one used by the Maya people, particularly here in highland Guatemala, commonly called the Chol Q’ij or Quiche count; and one used primarily in the “New Age” community often called the Tzolkin.

The cycle of 260 days is a harmonious fragment, a fraction which correlates and interconnects many aspects of our lives and reality. In its expanded form within Mayan Astrology, it can be closely related with the gestation period of human beings. Mayan creation stories relate that humanity was created from maize dough and oil, the maize grown at this latitude also having a life cycle of 260 days between planting (conception) and harvest (birth).

Isn’t astrology connected to the heavens?

Whilst these aspects are obviously terrestrial, the sacred calendar also relates to movements of the planets, particularly Venus and Mars. Mars has a synodic period, the time required to return to the same or approximately the same position relative to the Sun as seen by an observer on the Earth, of 780 days, exactly 3 revolutions of the 260 day calendar. Venus has a 584 day synodic period. During this time venus will appear as a morning star for 236 days, disappear for 90 days, reappear as an evening star for 250 days and finally disappear for 8 days before reappearing as a morning star. When Venus reappears as the morning star, it is not quite in the same position in the sky as the previous cycles. This gives rise to a second part of the harmonic, where the 584 day cycle is actually part of a 2920 day cycle. Venus can be seen in one of five different places, and 2920 days later will be in exactly the same place in the sky. This motion of Venus is recorded in the Dresden Codex, a Maya document from the 11th or 12th century copied from an earlier document created around four centuries earlier. The Venus table as it is known shows the day of the sacred calendar on which Venus will appear or disappear in each of its phases. This table, produced perhaps 1400 years ago is still accurate today. I have been making observations and using the internet to track Venus. Venus appeared on 13th December 2014 as an evening star on the day 11 Iq’ within the Quiche count of the sacred calendar, disappeared on 20th August 2015 on the day 1 E’, and then reappeared as a morning star on the day 9 Ajpu, 28th August 2015, exactly as shown in the table.

In this way we see that even after 1400 years the Quiche sacred calendar is still tied in to the motions of at least two of the closest planets in our solar system, the gestation period of humans and the life cycle of maize. It acts as a bridge between the heart of the sky (movements of the planets) and the heart of the earth (roots of the maize). As such it can be used to determine the interaction of the divine with the earthly plane, or as it we could put it the earthly life path chosen by ones soul.

So how does it apply to people?

According to Mayan astrology, you are born on one of the 260 days of the sacred calendar. This is known as your awach q’ij (face of the sun). It consists of a number between 1 and 13 and one of twenty nawales. Both the numbers and the nawales all have different characteristics. The combination of the number and the nawal is thought to determine your personality, your strengths and your weaknesses.

Additionally, this is modified by the year in which you were born. The 260 day sacred calendar interacts with a 365 day solar calendar known as the Ha’ab. The first day of the Ha’ab is known as the arrival of the Mam, or old man, the carrier of time. This is also known as the day 0 Pop, and colloquially as Mayan new year. Currently this occurs on 21st February, although it moves back 1 day every four years due to the lack of a leap day in the Ha’ab. Due to the way that the calendars engage, somewhat like gears in a clock, the first day of the new solar year can occur on one of only four of the nawales, which are known as year bearers. As there are 4 year bearers and 13 numbers, this gives a 52 ha’ab year cycle which is seen as an important cycle of life. It is said that the 52 years represent the time at which one becomes an elder. We can certainly understand this from more traditional societies, where at 52 years one has accumulated a great deal of knowledge and is probably a grandparent by that age. Within Mayan astrology, when you have completed 52 revolutions of the sun, you have spent a year getting to know each of the year bearers, and hence you have gained knowledge and experience from each of them. This 52 Ha’ab years is equal to 18980 days, or exactly the half way point of the 13 synodic cycles of Venus. The year bearer of the year in which you are born also gives you certain strengths and weaknesses, and in some ways can be seen as giving you a certain potential to fulfil within life. In order to fulfil this potential you receive a skill set from your number and nawal combination, and so both the sacred calendar and the solar calendar are involved in Mayan astrology.

From this combination we can derive a reading, which can help to highlight what qualities you carry, we are able to look beneath the outward personality at your true drives and motivations, what will bring you joy and where your challenges lie. A simple combination of number and nawal can be expanded to give what is known as the Mayan cross, which introduces secondary numbers and nawales representing your past, future, intuitive and physical aspects. This can further be expanded into a nine sign constellation showing the past and future of both your intuitive and physical aspects.

Some nawales carry the energy of the arts, some of plants, some of prayer makers and some of law keepers. However, in our world the idea of working in harmony with that which comes naturally is sacrificed in favour of that which pays well. When your daily work is in harmony with the energy of your nawal, you will have a natural talent at what you do. Most people will find this pleasing as they will be able to enjoy what they do and be successful at it.  Mayan astrology can be helpful to people who have reached a crossroads in their life, have become dissatisfied with their profession and are wondering what to do next. It can also be very useful to determine the talents of a young child so that materials which will bring out their natural talents can be made freely available to them.

If you are interested to schedule a reading with me, I am available to make them over Skype. You can contact me here to give me your name and birth information. I charge US$55 for a reading, which I can accept through PayPal. I look forward to hearing from you.