The energy of the nawal Ix helps us to remember that we are all the children of the Earth. We are all connected to her energy whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Some of us live closer to her, some of us further away. Some are aware of the interactions we can have with her, others are not. Some show gratitude to her for what she provides, others do not even realise where their sustenance comes from, yet still she gives. When we enhance our connection with her, she rewards us. To strengthen our connection, we talk to her, we ask her for her help and we thank her for what she gives. This show us why Ix days are days of the altars and shrines, days to make our prayers, they are days where the Earth is waiting patiently to hear from her children.
Of course, like all mothers, she may become overburdened. If the flow is always one way, if we are always receiving and never giving, we may fall out of balance, out of favour and out of harmony with her energy. We all live within her energetic field and if our energy is out of sync with hers, we may fall sick. This can be an important signpost that we need to realign our energy towards a more natural state, possibly that we have forgotten our gratitude for what we have received.
The energy of the number 5 represents work, it also represents the sacred fire. This is where we speak our words, where we ask for the Earth to help us and where we show our gratitude. This can be an excellent day for making a thanksgiving fire at a natural shrine. It is a day to work on our gratitude in order to keep the flow of our sustenance steady.
We all have the ability to engage with the energy of the Earth, but, like any discipline, work is required to reap the benefits. This can be seen as a day to engage with that training, to practice your abilities and to strengthen the magic you carry.
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.
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.
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”.