2 Kej 0 Wayeb – The First Day of Wayeb

The posts that I am writing every day concern the days of the Chol Q’ij, the Mayan sacred or ritual calendar, which consists of 260 days. However, this is, of course, not the only calendar used by the Mayan people. One of the other calendars used is known as the Macewal Q’ij or Ordinary Days. This has been termed a civic or agricultural calendar, which may seem less grand than the sacred days, but without agriculture, the people would starve. There are ceremonies associated with certain days of the Macewal Q’ij, not least the arrival of the first day, the new Year Bearer. Kenneth Johnson wrote an excellent first hand account of his experience in Momostenango of the arrival of the new year bearer or Mam here

However, the new year is not here just yet, first we have to get through the Wayeb. These are the five days at the end of the 365 day count. They are thought of as a dangerous time, when the energy is confused to say the least. It is interesting to note that the final five days of the solar year are overseen by the previous incarnation of the same nawal. 2 Kej was the year bearer for 2014. If we imagine reality as a ship and the year bearer as the captain, it is as if the captain has died and been replaced by the ghost of the previous captain. Maybe this is why this time is thought of as being so unpredictable.

Wayeb is seen as a time of introspection, a time when we take stock of what has happened over the previous year. It is seen as a time when public ceremony is avoided, some people do not wash or comb their hair, they may not leave the house. It is a time when the days are unsupported and misfortune may occur.

The introspection of the  first day of Wayeb is used to review the previous year. Its combination here with the day 2 Kej suggests a review of the self-sacrifice and duality you may have experienced during the previous 360 days of the year 6 Kej.  This is a day to reflect on the year 6 Kej, a year which may have brought about a strengthening and stabilising of your connection with the natural world, as your ability as a spiritual leader.  In order to create this stability it may have been necessary to release old and deep seated patterns and beliefs, the strength of the Mam Kej forcing the issues. The deer (or horse) kicks away that the things which prevent you from stepping fully into your role, the things which cause instability. Of course these kicks may have been painful, and being forced to face things is not really the way we would usually choose to conduct our lives, but sometimes the things we need to face have to be brought to our attention. When there is no longer a way around it we have to confront it, but once we confront it we are able to move forward.

On this first day of Wayeb, we can reflect on what we have overcome in order to strengthen ourselves during the Mam 6 Kej.

Pawahtuun, also known as Mam and god N. Known as the god of the Wayeb and the number five. An old man that carries a conch shell, who was both a beloved creator and a trickster. From the Dresden Codex
Pawahtuun, also known as Mam and god N. Known as the god of the Wayeb and the number five. An old man that carries a conch shell, who was both a beloved creator and a trickster. From the Dresden Codex

2 Kej (15th February 2019)

2 KejThe energy of the nawal Kej is known for its strength and sometimes its stubbornness. However, its pairing with the number 2 may bring more gentleness to this day.

It is said that one of the qualities of the number 2 is to double the strength of whatever it comes into contact with. It enhances both aspects of the nawal. This may give the energy of Kej a softer edge than we might normally expect of a Kej day, as the energy of nawal Kej can be domineering and certainly determined. It is the nawal known to stand up first against what it perceives as injustice, and here we see it combined with the number which relates to self-sacrifice and relationships.

We could expect that today this energy may give rise to situations where we give our strength to causes dear to our hearts. It is a good day to bring new, fresh and vital energy into relationships through a connection with nature, allowing the raw beauty of the wilderness to inspire and revitalise. It is also a great day to put your energy into projects to protect the wilderness.

The nawal Kej is the representative of leadership, especially where it takes on a spiritual aspect. Perhaps it is an aspiration that may be held by some, to be a leader within the community. There is always a price to pay when in a position of leadership, and today this is exemplified through the energy of the number 2. It reminds us that true leadership begins with self sacrifice, the willingness to give freely of our time and energy on behalf of our communities. Today, this sacrifice may lead to strength and vitality coming to the people we care about.

Xbalamkiej, patron of the day Kej one of the hero twins from the Popol Vuh. From the Dresden Codex
Xbalamkiej, patron of the day Kej one of the hero twins from the Popol Vuh. From the Dresden Codex

As we move through the solar year, today we begin a new month, that of Nabey Pach. This is translated as the first season of the hatching of hens. We can see the energy of the year building up to the crescendo, the strength of the Mam 6 Kej is building towards its peak around the solstice. 


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 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.