The posts that I am writing every day concern the days of the Chol Q’ij, the Mayan sacred or ritual calendar, which consists of 260 days. However, this is, of course, not the only calendar used by the Maya people. One of the other calendars used is known as the Macewal Q’ij or Ordinary Days. This has been termed a civic or agricultural calendar, which may seem less grand than the sacred days, but without agriculture, the people would starve. There are ceremonies associated with certain days of the Macewal Q’ij, not least the arrival of the first day, the new Year Bearer. Kenneth Johnson wrote an excellent first hand account of his experience in Momostenango of the arrival of the new year bearer or Mam here
However, the new year is not here just yet, first we have to get through the Tz’ipin Q’ij, the closing days, also known as Wayeb. These are the five days at the end of the 365 day count. They are thought of as a dangerous time, when the energy is confused to say the least. It is interesting to note that the final five days of the solar year are overseen by the previous incarnation of the same nawal. 6 Kej was the year bearer for 2018. If we imagine reality as a ship and the year bearer as the captain, it is as if the captain has died and been replaced by the ghost of the previous captain. Maybe this is why this time is thought of as being so unpredictable.
Wayeb is seen as a time of introspection, a time when we take stock of what has happened over the previous year. In some communities, it is seen as a time when public ceremony is avoided, some people do not wash or comb their hair, they may not leave the house. It is a time when the energies of the days are unsupported and misfortune may occur.
The introspection of the first day of Wayeb is used to review the previous year. Its combination here with the day 6 Kej suggests a review of the way you were able to bring stability to your connection with the natural world during the last 360 days, during the current year, 10 Kej, which began on 19th February 2022.
10 Kej could be seen as a year of integrating community with nature. Kej represents the wilderness, and is said to strengthen us when we connect with it. It can strengthen our determination, and through spending time in the natural world, the forests and the mountains, we can better understand the ways of nature. It can help us to overcome our stubbornness, which can also be a trait of Kej when it gecomes unbalanced. Kej can also be seen as the nawal of the spiritual leader, those who draw their strength from close observation of the natural world. On this day of introspection and evaluation, it may be interesting to meditate (in nature, if possible) on how you have used this solar year to connect with both nature and you community, how you might have used your time spent in nature to inspire agreement and cooperation to your community.