Whilst K’at does represent the net which gathers the harvest, it also has an association with what it contains, the seeds. Here, on the day 1 K’at, we see the new seed planted for the next harvest.
In the cycle of re-creation, the soil of the field has been turned and the tilled, infused and fertilised by the wisdom of the ancients. The threads of creation are being gathered ready to join the new to the old on the day Wajxakib B’atz.
The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who, in the Popol Vuh, was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu. Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.
In this story we see the relationship between Blood Moon and the nawal K’at, the creator of magical abundance and a bountiful harvest. This was the gathering, the bringing together of the family through this harvesting, we also see the seeding.
When combined with the number 1, new births and new beginnings are signified. This is the beginning of something new, new growth all around. The previous day, 13 Aq’ab’al, could be seen as a spiritual conception, and here the new process begins. This conception will be gestated through Wajxakib (8) B’atz, until finally the birth process assisted by 3 Kawok leads to 4 Ajpu, the new world, the resurrection of the maize, the birth of Junajpu.
The energy of 1 K’at can be seen as being about gathering together and embracing the new time. Life is a continual cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We have the possibility to reap an abundant harvest, but right now in order to do that we need unity. It is time to put aside differences and work together to plant the new field if we are to enjoy abundance on the future.
Main photo credit: Marybel Iriondo
K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.
However, K’at also has its more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire, with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us. These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.
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.