13 Aj (7th April 2018)

13 AjWhilst the nawal Kej is better known as that of the spiritual leader, the day 13 Aj may have some similar reflections. Today the benevolent leader, represented by Aj, is charged with the energy of the spirit world.

The nawal Aj is closely tied to home and the local community, representing a fatherly authority within both. Today it combines with the number 13 which can represent both the spirit world and the ancestors who dwell there.

While Aj is often translated as “cane”, “corn stalk” or “staff” (representing the staff of authority of the elders), it is also associated with the spinal column. We can imagine the spinal column being energised with the power of the ancestors today, the spirit world breathing its energy into the vertebrae. As we come to the final day of the Imox trecena, the energy of the ancestors animates the first human as it stands up to be counted.

This can be seen as bringing some positive connotations for this powerful day. Aj days are generally thought of as fairly easy going, pleasant days, days to bring harmony to home and family. Here that harmony has its roots in the other world. This could be seen as a day on which ancestral wisdom can be employed to bring the required balance to a domestic situation. It could also be seen as a very good day for divination on matters of home and how to create stability within the family or community. Today you might recognise the words of an ancestor speaking through the authority figure today.

May the Heart of the Sky be in My Heart

May My Heart be in the Heart of the Earth

May the Heart of the Earth be in My Heart

May My Heart be in the Heath of the Sky

Paclom Cross by Mark Elmy
The double armed cross at the top of Paclom. By Mark Elmy

The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes 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 its roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, 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.

Foliated crossThis is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Maya temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day. 

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 its people, that keeps everything in its 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 13 is the final number. 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 divinations, 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.