All posts by Mark Elmy

3 Kame (18th August 2018)

3 KameProfound changes may be happening all around you, but the only way to truly embrace them is to allow for the change to happen within you. This is a day to allow the old self to leave peacefully and welcome the new.

That is not to say that it will be all sweetness and light. The number 3 is the number of challenges, at least where the external world is concerned and some of these transformations may be very difficult to go through. Even when you summon all the courage you have, you may still fear the consequences of defeat, and the changes it may bring. Trying to avoid the inevitable does nothing but prolong the process, which in itself can bring more difficulties and raise the bar even higher.

As we progress through the K’at trecena, the new planting has been energised by 2 Kan, the infusion energies of the masculine and feminine causing mitosis, and now on 3 Kame an internal transformation of spiritual significance occurs.

This is a day to listen within for the whispers of your ancestors to guide you through the challenges to your transformation. Do not allow fear or grief to hold you back. This could be seen as a day of creation through overcoming that which causes fright.

Death God

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.

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). Here we see the possibility of the number 3 being linked with creation.

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.

2 Kan (17th August 2018)

2 KanWith the nawal Kan representing power and wisdom, and the number 2 representing relationships we may be looking to our partners for the answers today. This may be a day of empowerment through love.

The power of the nawal Kan may be slightly muted by the rather low number 2 today. However, the number 2 represents duality, and here we might see both faces of the nawal Kan. One face is wise and noble, the other dark and manipulative. It is our choice which to embrace, each is equally available, but the consequences will be ours to deal with.

The energy of 2 Kan gives us the chance to gain wisdom from the duality of the world. It may be that the dark side of serpent energy has been employed to manipulate and seduce, its hypnotic ability pulling the unwary into its illusion. The number 2 makes it possible to see both sides, the truth and the falsehood, dispelling the illusion. It is time to see them for what they are and learn from them.

From the perspective of the K’at trecena, the newly planted seed is endowed with the spark of life from both the masculine and the feminine energies. This is the day to draw on both the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky to energise your new seeding.

The nawal Kan highlights the life force energy that flows through us, and here we see it in combination with the number of relationships. It suggests that the energy of today may help to bring our a deeper wisdom through sharing our life force energy with our partner.

Possibly the highest and most noble aspect which could be seen on this day is from the association of the number 2 with self-sacrifice, and the energy of the nawal Kan bringing wisdom and empowerment. The picture below shows a Maya royal, Lady Xoc, performing a rite of self sacrifice in order to receive wisdom from a vision serpent. This could be a day on which selfless giving of our life force energy may result in receipt of a worthwhile return of knowledge or wisdom.

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
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

Kan is one of the more powerful nawales and it represents just that – power. It is connected to serpents, and serpent symbolism is very strong in Maya mythology. In the past, lightning was referred to as sky serpents, and what is seen in the outer world is reflected by the inner world. The power of Kan comes from something which is referred to as itz or coyopa, the lightning in the blood. This is the power which may also be known as Ki, Chi, Prana, kundalini or “the force”. It is life force energy. Kundalini is a sanskrit word actually meaning coiled, like a snake. When working with any of these energies, training must be undertaken in order to understand how to use them. In its most positive aspect, the energy of Kan brings great wisdom; in its negative aspect, great destruction. A lack of understanding or control of this power can lead to undesirable consequences. The dark side of Kan can seduce with its power, and a very sexy power it is too, holding its prey in an almost hypnotic grip with its allure. It can become the ultimate ego trap.

However, it is also said that the feathered serpent Q’uq’umatz (also known as Kulkulkan or Quetzalcoatl) brought wisdom, through the sciences of astronomy and agriculture, to the ancient Maya. Here we see the positive aspect of Kan, where the ability to work with the body lightning brings great wisdom. People born on a Kan day can become some of the greatest healers or psychics, or they can become the darkest sorcerers and manipulators.

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 K’at (16th August 2018)

1 K'atWhilst K’at does represent the net which gathers the harvest, it also has an association with what it contains, the seeds. Here, on the day 1 K’at, we see the new seed planted for the next harvest.

In the cycle of re-creation, the soil of the field has been turned and the tilled, infused and fertilised by the wisdom of the ancients. The threads of creation are being gathered ready to join the new to the old on the day Wajxakib B’atz.

The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who, in the Popol Vuh, was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu.  Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.

In this story we see the relationship between Blood Moon and the nawal K’at, the creator of magical abundance and a bountiful harvest. This was the gathering, the bringing together of the family through this harvesting, we also see the seeding.

When combined with the number 1, new births and new beginnings are signified. This is the beginning of something new, new growth all around. The previous day, 13 Aq’ab’al, could be seen as a spiritual conception, and here the new process begins. This conception will be gestated through Wajxakib (8) B’atz, until finally the birth process assisted by 3 Kawok leads to 4 Ajpu, the new world, the resurrection of the maize, the birth of Junajpu.

The energy of 1 K’at can be seen as being about gathering together and embracing the new time. Life is a continual cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We have the possibility to reap an abundant harvest, but right now in order to do that we need unity. It is time to put aside differences and work together to plant the new field if we are to enjoy abundance on the future.

Avocado

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 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 Aq’ab’al (15th August 2018)

13 Aq'ab'alWe are already in the 20 day count down towards the day 8 B’atz, one of the most important days in the sacred calendar. 13 Aq’ab’al features very strongly in this period.

In the “Maya Cross” form of astrology, one of the positions represents conception. This is a day 8 days (or 268 days) before the birth date. Today, the day 13 Aq’ab’al represents the conception day of 8 B’atz, the reweaving of the world through the joining of the old fabric with the new.

Aq’ab’al represents conception in itself. It is a joyful day when new concepts are proposed for creation into the physical world. In this way, Aq’ab’al acts as a bridge between the dreaming potential of all that is, which we see in the nawal Imox, and the physical world. It has moved into our physical reality, but it is hidden within the mother. In some senses it is between the worlds, we cannot see it in its own right but we know it is there, we know the new life is on its way.

The number 13, of course, represents the world of the ancestors, the spirit world. When we combine this with the nawal Aq’ab’al we can begin to understand just how auspicious this day could be.

13 Aq’ab’al is the new conception into this world from the spirit world. It represents the passing of the wisdom and knowledge from the ancestors into our new world. It gives us the pattern for the joining of the old world with the new.  This is a potent day to revisit ancestral teachings and understandings, to bring their concepts into modern life.


In the Kiche language, the word aq’ab means night. The suffix -al changes the meaning slightly, to hint at change and alludes to the dawning of the day, the time between darkness and light, night and day. Just as birth is the beginning of the mortal journey, Aq’ab’al is the beginning of the day, although the detail of the day may still be obscured. Aq’ab’al is representative of new things, things which are not yet fully formed. While in Santiago Atitlan one day, a friend explained to me the different parts of a weaving in process on a backstrap loom. Aq’ab’al is the warp (the vertical threads), B’atz is the weft (the horizontal threads) which creates the whole cloth, and the newly woven cloth is Kawok. In order for the weaver to create, first she has an idea in her head or a dream. She sets out the dream on her loom by setting up the warp. Thus, the design has passed from being just an idea, to the beginnings of a woven reality, although it still requires creative input before it becomes whole. Aq’ab’al can also represent conception, the fertilised egg is far from ready to be born, but has passed from the dream or spirit world into the physical.

Aq’ab’al days are great days for the start of new things, particularly new relationships – Aq’ab’al has a strong affinity with marriage. It is also a perfect day for starting new projects, or at least bringing them into the world of light from the world of dreams and ideas.

The number 13 is the final number on the pyramid. 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 only carried out by the most experienced Aj Q’ij who understand how to work with that strength of energy.

12 Iq’ (14th August 2018)

12 Iq'A strong number and a strong nawal combine today to give the potential for great inspiration or great bluster. The decision on how to use your words may result in big consequences.

The nawal Iq’ has the power to inspire, after all, it is the breath of life itself, the divine breath, moving through us, animating us and bringing movement into the world. However, sometimes that movement is uncertain, it brings unexpected changes. Sometimes Iq’ brings destruction with its force.

Today it is married with the number 12, the highest of the even numbers. Whilst it is powerful, the fact that it is an even number usually gives the energy of 12 days a rather positive feel as they bring together previous experiences from our lives.

The energy of 12 Iq’ could be seen as providing an understanding of how to embrace a sudden change based on previous experiences. It could also be a day to use the experience your have gained through your life to motivate and inspire others through your words. However, it is also a day to be aware of your temper as the strength of your words today may cause far more damage than intended.

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 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 Imox (13th August 2018)

11 ImoxConfusion may reign today as the energy of the directionless, but powerful number 11 combines with Imox, the nawal of the collective consciousness.

Imox does have some positive qualities with regards to creation and nurture, but it is also associated with insanity. It can be seen as the eccentric artist able to beautifully interpret their dreams or sentiment of society through their preferred medium, but who find great challenge living in the physical world. This generally comes as a result of their level of receptivity, they feel everything the collective feels, the joy and the grief.

Imox days are intimately connected with the spirit of the times, but this can also break down to a herd mentality. The energy of Imox days may sometimes make it difficult to think clearly, especially when it comes to breaking free of the collective.

When combined with the powerful and directionless energy of the number 11, a very potent mix may arise. All that strength combined with so much creative potential could give rise to a work of genius, or it could give rise to an angry mob looking for direction to release the frustration of the collective.

Possibly the most effective use of this day would be as a creative retreat. Disconnect from the media, in particular, get out into nature and allow your creative side to be inspired. Choose wisely who you let into your consciousness today, you may not realise whose thoughts you are thinking.

Nawal Imox represents the collective consciousness, the great ocean. It is the moment before the “big bang”, when all that existed was the dream of the creator. It is everything and nothing in one place, the ovum from which reality was conceived. Imox is still very much in the other world, requiring another component to physically manifest the dream into reality.

Imox is considered to be a feminine nawal. Sometimes called water lily, sometimes crocodile, it is an embodiment of the primordial. It was from the great ocean that the four first men raised sky to create the world which we inhabit. Imox can also be seen as the Darwinian swamp from which all life emerged. It is fertile and creative, the mother that gave birth to our entire reality.

As the water lily, Imox is probably a representative of  Nymphaea ampla, the white water lily. It has been suggested that the white water lily was smoked by the ancient Maya in a similar way to the blue lotus was used by the Egyptians. It was a plant which allowed access to the otherworld, a plant from which visions came if used correctly.

Imox is our common origin, and as such links us all together. It is the place of dreams, the collective conscious we delve into on our nightly voyages. It may also relate to the place that certain plant medicines take us to in order to bring us wisdom. However, as the font of all of creation, Imox harbours the dark as well as the light. When faced with the entirety of creation, the line between sanity and madness may become blurred.

Imox is a day to celebrate the spirit of the times, to understand the collective mind, particularly of humanity. It is a day to dream your creations, your art, your music. It is a day when we may all feel connected, a day when the psychic field between us may be particularly strong. Discernment may be called for, to understand when to dissociate from the collective, to remember your individuality, and to pull yourself back out of the dream world.

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 Ajpu (12th August 2018)

10 AjpuThe nawal Ajpu encourages us to search for the holy and the number 10 represents society. Whilst we may see problems within our communities, the energy of Ajpu helps us look for the good side today.

Isolation may have its beneficial moments, for reflection and introspection, but for humans to flourish, being part of a bigger community usually benefits all within it. It often not a perfect solution for all within the community, nothing is one size fits all, and so there will always be a certain amount of discontent. It is easy to focus on problems, they tend to be the things which cause the immediate discomfort and so attract the most attention. They sometimes draw our focus so much that we lose sight of the original reasons for joining a community, the original dreams of being at peace with our neighbours, acting in unity and creating a more prosperous environment for our future generations.

The nawal Ajpu does represent the search for divinity, the highest form of good, however this search can begin just by remembering to see the everyday good in what is around us. With the number 10 bringing this focus onto community, today is a day which strongly suggests that we look at the positive elements of the community to which we belong. By extending our love and friendship into our communities, we have the possibility to create something greater than the sum of its parts and more divine than we can create alone.

Community working together. Tata Isaias, Nana Isabel, Nana Ingrid and me making fire ceremony at the Harvest Festival. Two women and two men combining Kaqchikel, Spanish and English in a ceremony to bridge the communities living together in San Marcos La Laguna. Picture by Tamila Timm
Community working together. Tata Isaias, Nana Isabel, Nana Ingrid and me making fire ceremony at the Harvest Festival. Two women and two men combining Kaqchikel, Spanish and English in a ceremony to bridge the communities living together in San Marcos La Laguna. Picture by Tamila Timm

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. 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 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 Kawok (11th August 2018)

9 KawokThe energy of 9 Kawok has a distinctively feminine tone as the nawal of midwives and female healers combines with the number of the divine feminine. It is the day to celebrate the healing abilities of the women in our lives.

Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex
Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex

This is an important day for any women engaged in forms of healing. It is a day which maximises and highlights these abilities, a wonderful day for women’s healing rituals. The number 9 is also a representative of life, so the energy of this day can really be seen about bringing new life to life, re-birthing with the assistance of the healing women.

The energy of 8 Tijax may have helped some rather drastic changes to happen, but it can also leave us feeling a little tender after the “surgery.” Now the most compassionate aspect of Kawok enters to help to soothe and comfort us as we move forward into our new being. Whilst this might sound rather weak, it should be remembered that Kawok has the power of the rainstorm behind her. She brings the new life, but she also has the power to wash away the old. She may do this in a compassionate way, and with the overall goal of bringing in the new, but nonetheless will do so with vigour.

This is a day to ask women for their assistance in your healing, but also in helping you to move forward. If something is restricting your progress, ask your female friends for their wisdom or guidance with regards to breaking through this blockage.


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, within the Maya world, 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 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.

8 Tijax (10th August 2018)

8 TijaxThis day is celebrated as the day of the healer, when ceremonies are held in gratitude for our ability to bring healing to our communities. It is a potent day to deal with any aspect of healing to restore balance.

Tijax can be a powerful nawal, the razor edged discernment crafting the mundane into the holy. Today it is empowered by the balanced wholeness of the number 8, the masculine and feminine aspects of the qualities of the four directions, steadying and guiding the cutting edge. It is a day to recognise what can be healed in life, and what must be cut away, to bring order through compassionate action.

All aspects of Tijax are embraced today. Within the Tijax ceremony, we give thanks for our ability to heal and those who bring healing to us in whatever form it might take. We ask for pardon for when we become over-enthusiastic in our quests and it drives us into belligerence. Lastly we ask for healing to come where it is needed, whether this is in our physical bodies or within our society.

As we travel through the B’atz trecena, we are weaving in the new reality, ready to mesh it with the old on 8 B’atz. Here on 8 Tijax, we are cutting away the superfluous, trimming away the parts of the old pattern which no longer serve and shaping the new cloth to weave it seamlessly into the old.  Tijax discerns and removes the false.

It is a day to heal divides, to ask for the restoration of unity and balance. This may come through analysing both sides of the disagreement and using the discernment Tijax brings to cut away the excesses of either, to cut through to the truth.

Sacrificial Death God 1

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 its 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.

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.