Central panel of the Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque. By Linda Schele

10 Aj (23rd March 2017)

10 AjThe strong and social energy of the number 10 combines with Aj, the nawal of authority and social leadership. This is a day to join hands with your community and bring harmony into your environment.

The nawal Aj is seen as a beneficial nawal, and whilst it is a leader, it is past the stages of control and manipulation. Aj is wise and noble, it is gentle and respected, primarily for the benefits it brings to the community. It represents the harmony within the home. This comes through the strength that Aj has, through its connections with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. It brings courage to do the right thing for the good of all, even when that may be a difficult decision.

Today we see the energy of nawal Aj combined with the energy of the number 10, representing society and community. It can be seen as the fingers of two sets of hands joining together. This can be seen in many ways – the shaking of hands representing agreement and friendship, one hand guiding and helping the other forward, one hand extending to help the bearer of the other up. It shows the benefit gained by all through co-operation and friendliness.

The day 10 Aj is a day to remember that your actions shape the community that you live within, and that community reflects the energy you put into it. Today is about remembering to be a member of the community you wish to create, to offer your hand or your assistance where it is required. This will bring benefits all around, to everyone involved, it brings harmony into your home. It is also a great day to petition for help from those around you.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, that which allows us to stand tall, proud and brave. As the cornstalk, it has its roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, if we wish to lead in a just manner, we should cultivate our connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

Foliated crossThis is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Mayan temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day. 

Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for its people, that keeps everything in its rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

The number 10 is another number which demonstrates the connection between the sacred calendar and the human body. As five represents one hand, ten represents two hands coming together. This can be seen as the shaking of hands creating agreement between people. Ten is seen as a good number, a number of community and the laws of society, of people acting in harmony with each other.

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