The nawal Ajpu helps us to recognise the divinity in all that surrounds us, it sends us on our quest to understand the holiness of life. Today it shows us that we have to look in wholeness, in every aspect.
The nawal Ajpu is representative the heroes of the Popol Vuh, Junajpu, Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu. They were the ones who descended to the underworld to Xibalbans, the lords of the place of fright. Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu failed in their task and were killed, but Jun Junajpu’s severed head magically impregnated the maiden Blood Moon with his twin sons, Junajpu and Xbalamque. Where the father and uncle failed, the second generation were victorious and the Xibalbans were defeated, bringing peace to those who dwell in the earthly realm.
With Ajpu representing the sun we can see this interplay as representing the victory of light over darkness, a particularly interesting theme for today as we are very close to the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. The days numbered 8 are commonly used for ceremony, and today this ceremony is to celebrate and honour the heroes that bring the light into our lives, and the divinity that surrounds us in the world. However, without their opponents, heroes would not exist and neither would the legendary stories we celebrate whatever our tradition. The challenges we confront are what bring out the divinity within us, without them there would be no quests, no progress. It is a day to celebrate our failures as well as our victories, all the things which have made us who we are today.
It is easy to see the beauty in what we have been taught is divine, but can you see it within the mundane, or even in what is considered to be ugly? Can you find the divinity in what you judge to be a negative situation? It is a day to see that all has come from oneness, everything is part of the divine.
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 face of 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 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.