Our environment suffers a great deal just through our existence. While many of us care about the planet we live on, we also have to deal with the issues created by those who don’t. However, we are not powerless, especially when we join together.
Industrialised societies tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised societies see her as a living entity with whom we can interact, and she carries the nawal Ix. So, it is on Ix days that prayers are offered at her places, the shrines and altars, her ears, to ask for what we need in our world.
When we consider the spirit of Mother Earth, we realise that she just keeps on giving, keeping us alive. We throw trash, we live unsustainably, we keep taking. Ix days give us the opportunity to give back by showing that we care about her. Today in particular is a day to join forces with those close to you to make this happen, it’s a great day for a environmental community project. Perhaps you could show your gratitude by clearing up your village, by repairing some of the imbalances caused by humans.
The nawal Ix also helps us understand our potential – the “magic” that flows through us, our ability to engage with that higher side of existence. Showing gratitude to Mother Earth engages us with our true potential, and working with your community today may help remind you of the magical experiences that come through that channel. She will repay your efforts tenfold.
If you are interested in taking a new journey, both in the physical world, and within, you might like to check out our JunAjpu Retreat, starting at the end of February. 13 days of ceremony and sacred sites, with a six day jungle trek in northern Guatemala, following the steps of the hero’s journey. For more details, check out www.fourpillarsretreats.com
Ix is possibly the most feminine of the nawales. It represents the spirit of Mother Earth and could easily be seen as a Mayan representation of Gaia. Ix can be seen as a mothering energy, nurturing all things, but this should not be confused with weakness – the animal totem of Ix is the jaguar and it is as the jaguar that Ix is often known. The jaguar is, of course, powerful and stealthy. Ix also embodies these qualities. The jaguar is an animal of the night, slipping magically through the darkness, the spots of her back a representation of the milky way. She carries the sun on it’s nightly journey through the underworld.
The connection Ix has with the Earth gives it the ability to manifest material wealth. In the Mayan cross astrological configuration, Kame evolves to Ix. In the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, the Hero Twins sacrificed themselves in the underworld (Kame) and then were resurrected as a pair of catfish, later to become travelling magicians (Ix.) They cut the heads off animals, then resurrected them, they even cut off each others heads and brought each other back to life. In these scenes they are shown with patches of jaguar skin on their clothing, a symbolism denoting that the wearer is a shaman. Thus through the symbolic death or sacrifice, the shamanic power emerges.
Whilst Ix has the power to engage with the magic of the Earth, it also has a tendency towards illness. This is particularly strong when the vain, ungrateful side of Ix emerges. The magic that runs through this nawal comes so easily, that sometimes it forgets that everything really comes from the Earth and it is to the Earth that we must show our gratitude. Ix is also the nawal of natural shrines and altars, the places where fire ceremonies are made to give thanks. A spirit of gratitude and humility keeps Ix healthy. Ix is of course deeply connected with the natural world and it is here that they find their wisdom, power and wealth. This is a day to give thanks, to remember gratitude, and a day to engage with your magic.
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.