The change of the year bearer, or arrival of the new Mam, represents the start of the new solar year, according to the classic highland Maya count. We are leaving behind us the year 6 Kej and moving into the year 7 E’, a year where we finish certain journeys and can see the new options available to us.
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The day 7 E’ gives us the opportunity to cross the finish line, to complete a journey and to see where the next path might take us. It is time to take the final steps, on whatever path we are walking, time to enjoy our accomplishment and to choose out our next journey.
When we have journeyed through life, there is no doubt we have accumulated knowledge, understanding and perhaps even wisdom through our experiences. The path never really ends, one journey will always lead to another. However, we may come to a point where a particular stage comes to a culmination. In the physical journey this is obvious, we reach our destination, possibly the top of the mountain. But when we get to the top of the mountain, what do we see? Possibilities of new journeys as we are able to see all the paths leading to other mountains. We might rest and enjoy the view for a while as we consider our options, but it is essential that that we move on. To do this we need to make a decision on our direction using the experience of the path we just completed to guide us. From the top of the mountain, the end of the (ascending) path, we can see everywhere we went, and everything we experienced, on our journey to get there. Our successes and failures, out defeats and our victories, our tears and our smiles. Today is a day of bringing closure to a part of our life, a journey that has been completed.
Nawal E’ represents the journey of discovery, the life path in both its physical and spiritual aspects. E’ is the explorer, it craves novelty. It inspires travel to understand different cultures and ways of life, it is a seeker of experience. It can be a thrill seeker, and sometimes will take risks to understand what it is examining. Whilst it gains experience and understanding through physical travel, E’ also drives us to explore our inner world, helping us to understand our own minds and hearts, and those of others. E’ sometimes creates a restlessness, the desire to find new things within the world means that E’ finds it difficult to sit still.
E’ can sometimes cause us to explore simply for the sake of exploration, we seek the new experience because it is there. This can give rise to a lack of direction, aimless wandering. However, even in its wanderings E’ is discovering. It may not know exactly where it is going, but it will when it gets there. In it’s best aspect, E’ seeks out knowledge and experience in order to form an understanding which brings wisdom. E’ enjoys sharing the wisdom gained with its peers, for the enrichment of the community.
E’ is another of the classic carriers of the year, or year lords. It is said that E’ years tend to be some of the more gentle and favourable years. E’ is seen as a good natured nawal. E’ days are considered to be good days on which to travel and explore, whether that be externally or internally. It is a day to find or remember your path, a day to ask for your path to be cleared of obstructions, and a day to ask for guidance and protection on your path.
If we imagine the numbers 1 through 13 as a pyramid, the number seven would be at the top. Seven is the number of balance, it gives the ability to weigh up situations and see all points of view. While this may be very noble, it may lead to indecision.
The number seven is the mid-point of the range of numbers, as we would see them, but it is also known as a number of death and endings. This which would seem strange as it is only half way through the journey. However, another representation of the change of state of the soul, showing half of the journey (1-7) in the mortal world and half (8-13) in the other world. 7 Is the final number that appears in the bottom row before we move to the top row, suggesting the transition between realms. The numbers 1 and 7 embrace all other numbers as they appear in the sequence of nawales, and thus give a suggestion of beginnings and endings.
The Seating of the New Mam is the moment that the Wayeb has ended, when the period of retreat has finished and we can emerge from our “cave” back into the real world. In some communities, this would be celebrated with feasting and drinking, welcoming in the new grandfather who will guide us through the next revolution of the sun.
This year is governed by the Mam 7 E’. In addition to 7 E’ carrying the energy of the day, it is also carrying the energy of this new year. The properties and benefits brought by the nawal 7 E’ are discussed in my post for the day of 7 E’ here. The energy of this day is a representative of the energy which we will be living with for the whole year. The general feeling of this year should be about the completion of a journey, and the choice of which direction to go next.
The new Mam may take a little while to settle in. This is usually the first 20 days. Whilst it is obvious that the “administration” has changed, it takes a little time for all the promises made in the campaign to be adhered to. Nothing in nature moves in a square wave, it is always a gentle transition more akin to a sine wave. This is the first light of dawn, the day is just beginning, but we are still experiencing a little of the cold of the night. It will not be until midday, the height of the cycle that we will experience the fullest expression of the energy of this year lord. We can expect that in around 182 days or so, 7 Ix (21st August 2019).
The last time we experienced an E’ year was 2015, which was the year 3 E’. E’ years are usually seen as being benevolent years. They the years when we might make new discoveries, journey to new places, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They bring an energy of curiosity, of change, and sometimes a boldness to step out into the unknown, as it is there where novelty awaits us.
Its combination here with the number 7 suggests endings. This year may very well represent the end of the road for some things. We have taken our learning process as far as we could, now we have reached our destination, the top of the pyramid. From that vantage point we can see the new opportunities for learning open to us. It will be up to us to choose which path we now wish to take. This may be a year when many options are laid out in front of us, and it will be essential that we make a choice. There is a danger that stagnation will arise from indecision, although with all the options available it may be difficult to select one path. This is a great year to finish the study of a subject and begin a new one. The journey of the heart through relationships may also find itself coming to some kind of conclusion. Life and time can be seen as a spiral, and here we have come to a point where we have completed a revolution of that spiral and it is time to begin a new one.
On a grander scheme of things, the cycle of the year bearers repeats every 52 years. Of course, we do not relive exactly the same experiences, but we may see similarities with the last time this year bearer was in office. That was the year 1967, when Mam would have taken his seat on the Gregorian day 5th March. This gives us the opportunity to understand how to engage with the benefits of, and avoid the errors committed during, the previous incarnation of the Mam 7 E’. For some ideas on major events of 1967, please click here.