There are several days within the sacred count of days that we could term auspicious, then there are a few which represent very special themes. 8 Kej is one of them, perhaps second only to 8 B’atz.
During this trecena we have seen two days representing very specific characters within the Popol Vuj, Jun Ajpu and Wucub Kame. They play very special parts within the story, Jun Ajpu being one of the hero twins and representing “the birth of the sun”, “resurrection of the divine”, and could generally be assigned a title of Lord of Light. Wukub Kame is his polar opposite, “the ultimate death”, and we could see this character as the lord of darkness. In the last week we have experienced the energies of both of these archetypes and here in 8 Kej, it is as if they come together to bring wholeness to the strength. It is essential to be connected with the light, but in order to truly serve, the leader needs to have confronted and overcome the darkness within. Where Aj may represent the civic type of leader, the “Mayor”, Kej represents the spiritual leader or priest, making these experiences all the more important.
On the day 8 Kej the names of soon to be Aj Q’ijab, Maya spiritual guides, are presented to the patrilineage altars. It is also a day when high ranking Maya priests are initiated as Chuchq’ajawib, the so called mother-fathers. This role combines the strength of the father and the compassion of the mother. The masculine and feminine principles coming together to give the wholeness required of a true leader of their community. One of the key strengths of the nawal Kej is its grounded nature. It is related to the four pillars which bring stability to the world, and draws its strength from the natural world which exists in the space between Earth and Sky.
This is a day to embrace the strengths you draw from your existence in the natural world, particularly from the male and female essences of the properties of the four directions; vitality, spirit, wisdom and healing. It is an excellent day to be in nature, a day to make ceremonies to give thanks for, and receive, the strength and vital energy from the natural world.
In February 2018 we started the Mayan solar year on the day 6 Kej. It has been 340 days since the start of the year 6 Kej, and we are entering the eighteenth, and final full, 20 day period of the solar year, or Macewal Q’ij, on the day 8 Kej. Today is the first day of Uchum translated as the season of second sowing. In some fields, the new maize is already growing, and here is the time that the fields which have been burnt during Qib Ixik are sown. The seeds which are planted receive the final blessings of the old Mam 6 Kej, his last breath before his final appearance as 2 Kej, the herald of the Wayeb, the five directionless days at the end of the solar year.
Kej is possibly the strongest of the nawales, it is powerful, but in a different way to Kan. Kej is energetic, lively and determined. It is the nawal of nature, of the wilderness and it is this power that it draws on. The animal totem of Kej is the deer, but if you have fragile, new-born Bambi in mind, think again. This is the majestic stag, standing on the mountain surveying his domain. Whilst most nawales are not necessarily engendered, Kej is most definitely masculine. Both men and women that carry Kej as their nawal have great strength, although the men tend to hide their strength more. Kej women are particularly driven, resourceful and brave, sometimes to the point of being rather dominant. All radiate an aura of nobility, people tend to look to them to lead.
Kej is the nawal of the Mayan “religion”, a day of spiritual leaders, of shaman and of priests. It is these leaders who understand how to read the messages from the natural world, who help to keep our existence in balance with nature. It is a day to connect with the wilderness and draw the power of the natural world into you, to harmonise and replenish.
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.