6 Ajpu (20th November 2018)

6 AjpuToday the nawal of the divine combines with the number representing stability and family values. It is a day of recognising the holiness in what is directly around you.

Both the number four and the number six are said to represent stability, but there is a different quality to each of them. The number four represents the four directions, as well as many other phenomenon such as the cycles of the Sun both in the daily (midnight, sunrise, midday and sunset) and annual (solstices and equinoxes). These things are what bring balance to our world, they keep the harmonious rhythm in the physical realm, and can be seen very much as representing physical stability. The number 6 carries those qualities, but has the addition of an extra axis. If we think of the number four representing the cardinal points, the number six adds a polar axis to these, bringing in up and down, the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. The number six has the stability of the number four embellished by an energetic connection to the masculine and feminine principals. It could almost be seen as the number four represents the physical world and the number 6 represents the physical world animated by the life force energy.

Today we see the number 6 connected with the nawal Ajpu, representing divinity and holiness. Ajpu reminds us of the beauty in our world, it shows us the hand of the divine in all things. Perhaps this might sound a little flaky, after all Ajpu energy can sometimes become too mystical for its own good and lose sight of the real world. However, the Ajpu energy gives us the ability to perceive things that cannot always be rationalised, it reminds us of what we are all part of, but cannot be defined. The energy of the number 6 would suggest that today the Ajpu energy might reveal to us the way that the energy flows from heaven and Earth into our physical reality. This may be experienced in a very practical and physical way without losing its divinity.

Thus, the day 6 Ajpu can bring stability to the divinity we experience in life. In particular it can be a day on which to appreciate the blessing of family. It is a day when you may experience the holiness of life in very stable and down to Earth ways, which remind you that there is  a little divinity everywhere. The stability and balance of the six should allow you to appreciate this without being overwhelmed by mysticality.

Kinich Ahau, the solar deity, lord of space and time. From the Dresden Codex.
Kinich Ahau, the solar deity, lord of space and time. From the Dresden Codex.

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 or in the your partner. 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 six is said to be the number of ultimate stability. It is the first of the three middle numbers of the cycle, the balance point neither too strong nor too weak. It is a day frequently used for ceremony thanks to its conducive energy. It represents the four directions with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. It also represents family, relating to the six qualities that nourish and hold families together – health, understanding, property, employment, friendship and actions.

The cross at the top of the central hill, Paclom, in Momostenango. Paclom is known as "the six place" and the two armed cross represents the four directions combining with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This picture was taken on Wajxakib B'atz, February 2010.
The cross at the top of the central hill, Paclom, in Momostenango. Paclom is known as “the six place” and the two armed cross represents the four directions combining with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This picture was taken on Wajxakib B’atz, February 2010.

0.0.6.0.0 6 Ajpu 13 Sej – A New Tun Begins (20th November 2018)

The Gregorian date of 21st December 2012 held great significance for many people. Here in the Maya lands, a great many people had gathered to participate in ceremonies marking the completion of a very long cycle of time and the beginning of a new baktun within the long count calendar.

The long count calendar was used to calculate much greater cycles of time than could be recorded by the Chol Q’ij (260 days), the solar calendar (365 days) or the calendar round (52 years less 13 days). Through extension it can be used through periods of time up to thousands, and even millions, of years. In general, long count dates are given using five numbers. These numbers represent periods known as baktun, katun, tun, uinal and kin. The smallest unit is kin, which represents 1 day. The next unit, which could in a way be seen as a month, is a uinal consisting of 20 days. Moving into a larger scale, the next number represents the tun. 1 tun is made up of 18 uinal, a period of 360 days, and so is seen as a vague year. From there, the long count moves on in factors of 20. 20 tuns (7200 days) are equal to a katun, which will be 20 Gregorian years less 100 days. Finally, the greatest unit here, a baktun, a period of 20 katuns (144000 days), or roughly 394 Gregorian years. Other units extended this by further factors of 20.

Stela C at Quirigua which shows a creation date of 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ajpu 8 Kumku. Photo by Mark Elmy

Reference is made to the beginning of an age, a time of creation approximately 5125 years before 2012. This is seen on Stela C at Quirigua, which shows a date of 13 baktun, 0 katun, 0 tun, 0 winal and 0 kin, often written 13.0.0.0.0, followed by the day 4 Ajpu (Ajaw) 8 Kumku. This correlates to a date of 13th August 3114BC, although another correlation is 11th August 3114BC. For one reason or another it became a belief that a great cycle of time consisted of 13 baktun, so the completion of a 13 baktun period was seen as having special significance. Regardless of theories or ideas with regards to that significance, the completion of a cycle such as a katun or baktun was seen as a time to be marked with ceremonies to welcome a new period. When the thirteenth baktun was completed in 2012, the corresponding long count date would have read 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ajpu 3 Kankin, although it is sometimes also represented as 0.0.0.0.0. One day later, 22nd December, would then be 0.0.0.0.1, twenty days later the first uinal is complete, giving 0.0.0.1.0 and then 360 days later, 16th December 2013, would mark the completion of the first tun, giving a long count date of 0.0.1.0.0

These periods have continued through the years in the following sequence:

21/12/2012: 0.0.0.0.0 4 Ajpu 3 Kankin

16/12/2013: 0.0.1.0.0 13 Ajpu 18 Mak

11/12/2014: 0.0.2.0.0 9 Ajpu 13 Mak

06/12/2015: 0.0.3.0.0 5 Ajpu 8 Mak

30/11/2016: 0.0.4.0.0 1 Ajpu 3 Mak

25/11/2017: 0.0.5.0.0 10 Ajpu 18 Sej

20/11/2018: 0.0.6.0.0 6 Ajpu 13 Sej

A new period begins today. We completed the sixth tun after the beginning of the new baktun, yesterday on 5 Kawok. The new tun will always begin on an Ajpu day, and today on 6 Ajpu we mark this new tun. The long count date will become 0.0.6.0.0 (6 Ajpu 13 Seh). Once again we see the turning over of a cycle, and should be seen as a great time for a renewal. Perhaps we can understand the theme of the next tun to be carried by the properties of 6 Ajpu, to create the divinity into the physical world through our connection with both the divine masculine and the divine feminine.

If a stela was carved for today, this would be how it would look. 0.0.6.0.0 6 Ajpu 13 Sej Image created using Bob Makransky’s Mayan Astrology Program

5 Kawok (19th November 2018)

5 KawokThe energy of days carrying the number 5 always suggests that hard work will be rewarded. This is a day to work on your renovation, the effort you invest clears your path to the new.

Kawok energy is known for its softness and compassion, even in its storm aspect, often the storms in its life are those of others around it. It is the guiding hand, keeping the boat steady as the storm rages all around it. It brings an energy of helping each other through the storms of life with compassion and love. Whilst Kawok has a connection to Chak, the rain god, it also has a connection to Ixchel, she of the rainbows. She is grandmother, and it is this caring energy of a grandmother which is manifested through Kawok. She is the goddess of medicine, and a midwife goddess, fulfilling the other aspects associated with Kawok.

Kawok helps us navigate through our problems by washing away the things we no longer need in our lives. Nothing can resist the strength of her current as it clears our path of debris. This can seem destructive, but it is purely to allow the new growth, the new birth to emerge.

The day 5 Kawok is a day to focus your energies on bringing new growth into your world. Whether it truly is bringing a new life into the world, or a project you have been working on, the energy of today is conducive with working to clear the way to allow its smooth passage from the darkness into the light. That is not to say that this process will be entirely free of resistance, some work may be required to ensure a safe arrival, but the results should be worth the effort.


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, 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 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”.

4 Tijax (18th November 2018)

4 TijaxThe combination of the number 4 with the the energy of the nawal Tijax brings about a steadiness to the tenacity that Tijax has. It can bring powerful, decisive healing into the physical realm.

The energy of Tijax can accentuate the drive on a quest. This may be the usual kind of Tijax quest, searching out the truth in matters, cutting away at falsehoods and perceived injustice or a pure drive for healing. It brings an essence of tenacity, cutting through that which stands between you and your goal, sometimes almost literally. Tijax can sometimes have a rather belligerent reputation, even if its desired achievement is noble. It can be seen as cutting away the “fluff” around words and conversations in order to get to the point, and in doing this may be rather short.

Today this energy is tempered by the stability afforded by the energy of the number 4. The energy of the 4 brings out the solid, grounded, physical aspects of what it is connected to. It is a day on which forms of healing should have  exactly the desired effect, with recipient put firmly on the road to recovery. It can also be a good day to sever any unnecessary ties gently, but with firmness and certainty. It is a day to apply your powers of discernment very much into the physical world, to understand where improvements, or cuts, may be made, with a steady hand on the knife.

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 it’s 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 4 is very important within Mayan mythology. Four represents the cardinal points, the four colours of maize, the four carriers of the year, the two equinoxes and two solstices, as well as midnight, sunrise, midday and sunset. The number four is representative of the four first men, who raised the sky from the sea to create the world we live on. In Mayan myth it is four pillars that support the sky from the Earth. As you can imagine, four is a number which represents stability, a solar number. Even though it is still low, it is thought of as a good number.

3 No’j (17th November 2018)

3 N'ojThe nawal of the brain, thought and inspiration combines with the number of external challenges. This is a day to focus on solving inner issues rather than looking for solutions outside.

The day 3 No’j can present challenges around the ability to think clearly. This may manifest as some kind of block, but also it might lead to inappropriate action. If a problem needs to be solved logically, it would be better to put it off to another day with a more conducive energy. This may be a day where the ideal tasks will be the more mundane ones which don’t require too much thought.

However, there is a positive side to the energy of the number three and this has to do with creation. It may give rise to a time to go inside, to focus the creative thought process within. Choosing to focus on problem solving around your home may be more conducive trying to solve problems in the outer world. Be gentle on those around you who seem to be acting thoughtlessly, you might be just as lost as them today.

A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N'oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.
A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N’oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.

 


The nawal No’j is the nawal of thought, of intelligence and intellect. Within the count of days, there are two geniuses. B’atz is the creative genius, No’j the intellectual one. No’j is an energy of masculine, logical thought. No’j is the problem solver, it gives ideas and solutions which work in the real world. No’j gives a different way to understand situations, and through this ability comes innovation. It is thought, but also understanding and, indeed, knowing. As such, No’j is also a day associated with divination.

This energy is not necessarily social, it can lead to becoming absorbed into one’s work, lost in one’s thoughts. The influence of No’j can create ideas which may be very much ahead of their time. Do not be surprised if ideas you have on this day take a little time to catch on, the people you express the ideas to may need a little time to process, to see the genius within the idea.
No’j is also one of the classic year bearers, or year lords. As a year bearer it is thought to be one of the more beneficial and benign energies. The last No’j year was 2012 (13 No’j) and the next one will be 2016 (4 No’j)

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)

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 Ajmak (16th November 2018)

2 AjmakThe day 2 Ajmak empowers both the ability to forgive and to be forgiven, particularly in connection with lovers or relationships. This is a day to heal any wounds and ask forgiveness.

Of course, we get these wounds by falling over, and Ajmak days do sometimes bring the opportunity for us to make mistakes. What seemed like a good idea at the time can often look very different with hindsight. The way we choose to deal with the mistakes we make is what is highlighted today. Sometimes we hide things, we protest our innocence, we try to get away with things and then we get caught. This can often end up with a greater grievance than the initial error would have cased. The number 2 also represents self sacrifice, which would suggest that today is a day on which to hold our hands up to our errors, acknowledge our failing and ask forgiveness. By choosing to act voluntarily we initiate the forgiveness process, which in itself can bring goodwill.

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you

I love you

It is a day on which to ask for forgiveness for our conduct within relationships should we need to. It is also a day on which to forgive not just current, but previous partners. It is a day to free yourself from the burden of what might have happened in the past and move forward. Whether you have something to ask forgiveness for or not, it is an excellent day to give flowers (or chocolate) to your lover and bring the sweetness of life into your relationship.


Ajmak is the nawal of pardon and forgiveness, the nawal of redemption. It is the energy of being human, of falling down and getting back up again, and giving those chances to others.

When the creators fashioned the four first men, the Bacab’ob, they created them as equals. These four first humans had superhuman abilities, including the ability to see through space and time. As equals were not desired, the gods smoked the mirror of perception, giving us our human set of senses. When we lost the ability to see through time, we lost the ability to see the true consequences of our actions and thus we needed to start asking for forgiveness. Sometimes even well meaning actions can cause problems at a later date. Ajmak represents this ability to forgive others, the ability to forgive ourselves and the ability to accept forgiveness.

Ajmak is a sensual energy, which creates some of the reasons for it’s needing to be forgiven. It is kind and very lovable, but irresponsible. It can be a very talented energy, with great ideas. However it can also be very easily distracted, especially by anything that makes it feel nice. This often leads Ajmak to failing to fulfil it’s true potential, although due to it’s lovable nature it is easy to forgive. One of the lessons with regards to the Ajmak energy is learning to forgive oneself.

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 Tz’ikin (15th November 2018)

1 Tz'ikinThe nawal of vision and prosperity combines with the number of novelty and birth to bring an auspicious day, and new trecena. This is a day of inspiration, a day to begin work on a new vision.

The nawal Tz’ikin is also a nawal of manifestation, and one way it does this is through the voice. The relatively low power of 1 Tz’ikin suggests that while this manifestation is possible, it is likely to need a little encouragement. You may need a little nudge to speak up for what you wish to bring into your life, but once you do so, the potential for it to manifest is strong.

If you are looking to start a new business venture, in particular, this is the day. However, you might find that it is not yet fully formed and input from your friends or advisors may help to define it further. Perhaps you are guided to start something new, perhaps today is the day on which to ask for a vision on how to proceed. Tz’ikin energy is seen as lively and sociable, occasionally to much so for its own good, but today this may be slightly muted and may be very useful. It is a perfect day to ask your associates to help you to clarify your vision. It may also be a time to bring several ideas together into one, clear unified image.

The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/
The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/

Nawal Tz’ikin is the nawal of prosperity, which sometimes seems odd to people seeking “higher knowledge”. It is not quite seen the same here. If your family is starving, you are more likely to fall off the good road, perhaps into dishonesty or criminal activity. By asking nawal Tz’ikin for prosperity in your life, you are more likely to be relaxed, to be able to help others and to be more constructive within your community. That is not to say that your own input of hard work will not be necessary, just that it is hard work that will pay off.

Tz’ikin has the ability to give visions, it helps people to see the bigger picture within life. It also helps people to focus on details. It has grand aspirations and helps people to rise to the top of their abilities, which of course brings them prosperity.

Just as Tz’ikin can focus, its broad vision can occasionally cause distraction. Sometimes, just when it is heading towards its goal it can be distracted by something “shiny.” This energy gives an ability to create great social networks, but sometimes spends too much time trying to maintain them.

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 Ix (14th November 2018)

13 I'xIf there was ever a day to expect magical things to happen, it would be 13 Ix. It is a day when the energy of the spirit world is listening, and so prayers made at natural shrines and altars may prove very fruitful.

The nawal Ix is particularly associated with shrines and altars, and with the energy of the number 13 associated with it suggests ancestral places. This suggests a focus on the ancient sacred places, and it is likely that words spoken at these places may have very strong effects. This day also finishes off the Iq’ trecena, this time of change and possible upheaval. However, Iq’ is also the nawal of communication, and we see here on the final day of the Iq’ trecena, the divine breath put into practice at the ancestral shrines as Ix, the prayer giver, makes the flower words. This is a day to call on the spirits of the ancestors to help  us better understand our relationship with Mother Earth.

It is a day to ask the spirit of Mother Earth for that which you require in your life path. Of course when she gives you exactly what you need, it is important to thank her, and this day is also an excellent day for demonstrating your gratitude to Mother Earth. This may be through some act of caring for your local area.  The manifestation energy today is very strong, it should be noted that the phrase “be careful what you wish for” is particularly applicable.

A dancing shaman transforms himself into a jaguar. From a late classic era vase found at Altar de Sacrificios. Source http://shortstreet.net/Maya/mayapaintedvases.htm
A dancing shaman transforms himself into a jaguar. From a late classic era vase found at Altar de Sacrificios. Source http://shortstreet.net/Maya/mayapaintedvases.htm

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.

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 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.

Whilst Ix has the power to engage with the magic of the Earth, it also has a tendency towards illness. This is particularly strong when the vain, ungrateful side of Ix emerges. The magic that runs through this nawal comes so easily, that sometimes it forgets that everything really comes from the Earth and it is to the Earth that we must show our gratitude. Ix is also the nawal of natural shrines and altars, the places where fire ceremonies are made to give thanks. A spirit of gratitude and humility keeps Ix healthy. Ix is of course deeply connected with the natural world and it is here that they find their wisdom, power and wealth. This is a day to give thanks, to remember gratitude, and a day to engage with your magic.

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 should only be carried out by the most experienced Aj Q’ij who understand how to work with that strength of energy.

12 Aj (13th November 2018)

12 AjThe energy of the nawal Aj is associated with the home and leadership within the community. Today it associates with the energy of the number 12, bringing your life experience to support those around you.

The nawal Aj brings with it a solid and dependable energy, it is helpful and supportive. As the nawal of the spinal column, it can be seen as the one which holds everything together, keeping everything in its rightful place. It holds the person straight and channels the energy of communication from above and below. We also use the the word backbone to represent honour, integrity and courage to do the right thing, all of which can be summed up in the energy of Aj.

The day 12 Aj can be seen as a day on which you draw on all of your life experience in order to nourish your community, your family and your home. Your past experiences can bring you strength and courage, and 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, and how to support those around you, bringing harmony into both home and community.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site 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 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 it’s roots in the Earth, and it’s 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 Mayan 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 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 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.