A celebration of gratitude for our home and family would be the theme of a ceremony made for today. A solid foundation gives us the strength to stand tall and a harmonious home and loving family give this foundation.
The energy of the nawal Aj is about doing the right thing. It is fair and just, and this is why is represents the true leader. The true leader might not even be recognised at first. They do not need to prove their authority to anyone, but they are the one that is sought, when problems arise, for their wise counsel. The true leader has compassion and love perfectly balanced with authority and strength. They carry a blend of what we would call yin (compassion) and yang (strength) energies which make them complete. Today we are able to draw on both the masculine and feminine aspects of the qualities of the four directions – vitality, wisdom, spirit and healing – creating a balance of energy and bringing it into our homes and communities. This is all in addition to the connection that Aj has to the Heart of the Earth and Heart of the Sky. Allow the wise counsel of the wholeness of the nawal Aj to arbitrate in disputes and seek resolution. This in turn will bring strength and harmony to all who are involved.
A true leader also has experience, and here we see the 8 incorporating the 1 and the 7, the birth and the death, the highs and the lows of life. We draw our wisdom and strength from both aspects, so that we can sustain others through their dark times. It is also a day on which we may ask Aj to bring this strength to us should we be in need of it at the moment.
As we continue to travel through the Kame trecena, this day highlights the physical requirements for a true spiritual transformation. The ability to work with the otherworld through meditation and ceremony is of course important, but transformation cannot take place if this is not grounded into the physical. The experiences in this world give us the backbone to undergo true transformation. Whilst the earlier days of the trecena may have been rather challenging, the latter days bring the reward for passing the challenges.
This is a day to enjoy with your family and your home. We sustain them and they sustain us. It is a day to bring harmony into your home, using your experiences from your past, but also your connection to the Heart of the Sky and Heart of the Earth, the wholeness of existence.
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.
This 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 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.