12 Aj (7th November 2023) – Samhain

12 AjAn experienced pillar of the community could be represented by this day. The energy of the nawal Aj is associated with the home and leadership within the community. Today it  suggests leadership through life experience.

The nawal Aj is it a solid and dependable energy, helpful and supportive. As a representation of the spinal column, Aj is the one which holds everything in its rightful place. It holds us erect and connects us with the energies from above and below. We also use the the word “backbone” to represent honour, integrity and courage. All of these qualities can be seen in the energy of Aj.

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


Today marks the astronomical cross quarter day of Samhain. This point of the year is exactly midway between the Equinox and the Solstice. Samhain was considered the first day of winter in the Celtic calendar. It is seen as the death of the Sun god, the sun descending into the underworld, where it will remain until Imbolc (Feb 4th 2024). It is well known that the Maya were expert astronomers.  Much of their timekeeping was based on archeoastronomical alignments, so it would be unsurprising to find this day marked by their structures too.

Regardless of the hemisphere and whether it is seen as the beginning of winter or the beginning of summer, there is a particular alignment which is happening, which is said to be an opening of portals to the otherworld. Perhaps rather than just seeing it as where the sun shines on the Earth, we could think of it as how the sun interacts with our magnetosphere. This in turn could be the reason as to why the veil is seen as being so thin at this time.

As we see Samhain in combination with the day 12 Aj, it is certainly a day for remembrance of our ancestors. Perhaps today is not only a day to draw on your own life experience in order to lead. It could be also seen as a day to draw on the experience of ancestral leaders. Aj days can bring a sense of authority. It’s a good day to call on our leaders to use their experience to bring peace.

The Nawal Aj

The Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque
The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex. It shows both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is also 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 its head in the sky. 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.

Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

The Number 12

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.