“To Err is Human; to Forgive, Divine” – Time to Wipe the Slate Clean

Phone Nov 2015 165I decided to write a special addendum to the energy of the day today, as it seems to fall in such an auspicious way.

Like many of my friends I make ceremonies to mark special points in time. As I follow the Chol Q’ij, the Mayan Sacred Calendar, I make ceremonies in particular on the 8th day of the trecena, the thirteen day period. I also mark the solstices and equinoxes with ceremonies. It is a way of following a natural rhythm of our planet and it’s cycles within our solar system. Whilst I choose to make long, somewhat elaborate Mayan Fire ceremonies, ceremony does not have to be like this. It can be as simple as lighting a candle and saying thank you. It can be writing down what you would like to bring into (or remove from) your life and putting the paper in a fire. It doesn’t have to take 2 hours!

My dilemma was on which day to mark the solstice, as the actual point of solstice is 10.48pm on 21st December here. I then wanted to look at the energy of both the 21st and the 22nd December. These were 7 Tz’ikin and 8 Ajmak, you can read all the detail about them by following the links.

Phone Nov 2015 164

I decided not to make my ceremony on the night of the 21st, but rather for the sunrise of the next day. The Mayan energy of the day starts to grow at sunset of the previous day. So here at about 6pm the energy starts to change to that of the following day, although in general the changeover does not fully happen until midnight. So, from 6pm, the energy of the day is still 7 Tz’ikin, but a growing amount of 8 Ajmak is present. As the solstice time is so close to midnight, the energy easily gives both options. Incidentally, this is also partially why I publish my daily energy readings here at sundown.

11751966_10152899558050653_3923868195060922920_nToday I read an article about a mistake someone had made. One of the comments on the article was “to err is human, to forgive, divine”. I realised that in that one phrase, the day Ajmak was perfectly summed up. I also realised the power of a winter solstice ceremony carried out on 8 Ajmak. Whereas much of the world will be celebrating “New Year’s Day” in about 10 days time, today, the first sunrise after the winter solstice, marks the first day of the new solar year. After six months of the days getting shorter, they will now begin to lengthen once again. The light has been reborn into the world, and the solar cycle of life starts again. As Ajmak represents forgiveness, and being forgiven, an 8 Ajmak ceremony seems like a particularly beautiful way to start the new solar year. 8 Ajmak is a day to wipe the slate clean; to release any guilt that holds you back by asking for forgiveness and to forgive those around you who you may be holding something against. In reality any grudges you hold have more effect on you than they do on the person you are holding them against.


I am sorry

Please forgive me

I love you

Thank you


Phone Nov 2015 166

8 Ajmak – 22nd December 2015

8 AjmakAjmak is the nawal of pardon and forgiveness, the nawal of redemption. It is the energy of being human, of falling down and getting back up again, and giving those chances to others.

When the creators fashioned the four first men, the Bacab’ob, they created them as equals. These four first humans had superhuman abilities, including the ability to see through space and time. As equals were not desired, the gods smoked the mirror of perception, giving us our human set of senses. When we lost the ability to see through time, we lost the ability to see the true consequences of our actions and thus we needed to start asking for forgiveness. Sometimes even well meaning actions can cause problems at a later date. Ajmak represents this ability to forgive others, the ability to forgive ourselves and the ability to accept forgiveness.

Ajmak is a sensual energy, which creates some of the reasons for it’s needing to be forgiven. It is kind and very lovable, but irresponsible. It can be a very talented energy, with great ideas. However it can also be very easily distracted, especially by anything that makes it feel nice. This often leads Ajmak to failing to fulfil it’s true potential, although due to it’s lovable nature it is easy to forgive. One of the lessons with regards to the Ajmak energy is learning to forgive oneself.

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.

The day 8 Ajmak represents a totality of forgiveness. It is a day to make a ceremony to release the unforgiven, and to ask for forgiveness from a higher source. It is the day to energetically wipe the slate clean, and move forward without guilt or resentment to hold you back. Embrace your creativity and allow yourself and others to be human.

 

7 Tz’ikin – 21st December 2015

7 Tz'ikinThe nawal Tz’ikin is a nawal of good fortune, almost literally. Tz’ikin is another manifestation and abundance day, a day of prosperity which comes through vision. The word Tz’ikin means bird, although many like to relate it to the Quetzal bird or Eagle. Where the nawal Ix is connected with the Heart of the Earth, Tz’ikin is connected with the Heart of the Sky. In the foliated cross representation of Aj, we saw the bird deity sitting atop the cross representing the Heart of the Sky. Whilst all is one in the general overview, we could see Ix as representing the female principle (Earth energy / yin) and Tz’ikin as representing the male principle (Sky energy / yang).


Quetzal

Quetzal bird by Thorn Jansen


Nawal Tz’ikin is the nawal of prosperity, which sometimes seems odd to people seeking “higher knowledge”. It is not quite seen the same here. If your family is starving, you are more likely to fall off the good road, perhaps into dishonesty or criminal activity. By asking nawal Tz’ikin for prosperity in your life, you are more likely to be relaxed, to be able to help others and to be more constructive within your community. That is not to say that your own input of hard work will not be necessary, just that it is hard work that will pay off.

Tz’ikin has the ability to give visions, it helps people to see the bigger picture within life. It also helps people to focus on details. It has grand aspirations and helps people to rise to the top of their abilities, which of course brings them prosperity.

Just as Tz’ikin can focus, it’s broad vision can occasionally cause distraction. Sometimes, just when it is heading towards it’s goal it can be distracted by something “shiny.” This energy gives an ability to create great social networks, but sometimes spends too much time trying to maintain them.

The number seven is the mid-point of the range of numbers. It is known as a number of death and endings, which would seem strange as it is only half way through. It is another representation of the change of state of the soul, showing half of the journey (1-6) in the mortal world and half (8-13) in the otherworld. If we imagine the numbers 1 through 13 as a pyramid, the number seven would be at the top. Seven is the number of balance, it gives the ability to weigh up situations and see all points of view. While this may be very noble, it may lead to indecision.

The day 7 Tz’ikin can encompass both focus and the ability to see the bigger picture. As the bird sitting atop the pyramid it has an enormous breadth of vision, which may lead it to become scattered. However, if this can be controlled, then Tz’ikin may bring focus with 7 representing the goal. It may then lead to the understanding of how to finalise an idea. It has the ability to see prosperity in all choices, and prosperity may come, as long as distractions can be avoided.

 

6 Ix – 20th December 2015

6 Ix

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 six is said to be the number of ultimate stability. It is the first of the three middle numbers of the cycle, the balance point neither too strong nor too weak. It is a day frequently used for ceremony thanks to it’s conducive energy. It represents the four directions with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. It also represents family, relating to the six qualities that nourish and hold families together – health, understanding, property, employment, friendship and actions.

The day 6 Ix is a day to give thanks for the wealth or abundance which nurtures your family. A day to stabilise your connection to mother nature and ask her for what you need in life. It is a day to understand how to use your own abilities to manifest.

5 Aj – 19th December 2015

5 AjThe 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 it’s roots in the Earth, and it’s 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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 Sacred Mayan calendar is often said to be a calendar of human life, and parts of it can be seen as a microcosm of the human body. The number five is one of these parts. It is representative of the hand with it’s five digits. It is with our hands that we work, and with what we earn for that work that we pay our debts. Five is also a number that relates to the sacred fire where we pay our debts with offerings and prayers. Five might be so busy working that it fails to remember what it is working for. It can also signify that what it is attached to becomes work, or is “hard work”.

The day 5 Aj is a great day to be doing some form of work on behalf of your community, your work and your input will bring great nourishment to those around you. It is a day for selfless work, a day with which we pay back for the support our families, friends and communities show to us.

4 E’ – 18th December 2015

4 ENawal E’ represents the journey of discovery, the life path in both its physical and spiritual aspects. E’ is the explorer, it craves novelty. It inspires travel to understand different cultures and ways of life, it is a seeker of experience. It can be a thrill seeker, and sometimes will take risks to understand what it is examining. Whilst it gains experience and understanding through physical travel, E’ also drives us to explore our inner world, helping us to understand our own minds and hearts, and those of others. E’ sometimes creates a restlessness, the desire to find new things within the world means that E’ finds it difficult to sit still.

E’ can sometimes cause us to explore simply for the sake of exploration, we seek the new experience because it is there. This can give rise to a lack of direction, aimless wandering. However, even in it’s wanderings E’ is discovering. It may not know exactly where it is going, but it will when it gets there. In it’s best aspect, E’ seeks out knowledge and experience in order to form an understanding which brings wisdom. E’ enjoys sharing the wisdom gained with it’s peers, for the enrichment of the community.

E’ is another of the classic  carriers of the year, or year lords. It is said that E’ years tend to be some of the more gentle and favourable years. E’  is seen as a good natured nawal. E’ days are considered to be good days on which to travel and explore, whether that be externally or internally. It is a day to find or remember your path, a day to ask for your path to be cleared of obstructions, and a day to ask for guidance and protection on your path.

The number 4 is very important within Mayan mythology. Four represents the cardinal points, the four colours of maize, the four carriers of the year, the two equinoxes and two solstices, as well as midnight, sunrise, midday and sunset. The number four is representative of the four first men, who raised the sky from the sea to create the world we live on. In Mayan myth it is four pillars that support the sky from the Earth. As you can imagine, four is a number which represents stability, a solar number. Even though it is still low, it is thought of as a good number.

The day 4 E’ is, therefore, a rather excellent day to bring stability to your path. This may be your career path or your spiritual path, decisions and actions you make today to walk these paths should be particularly helpful. Additionally, this is an excellent day to make a physical journey. Enjoy the ride!

The Original Superfood

Stock or bone broth play an important role in many cultures, yet has fallen out of favour in the modern world. Chicken stock is particularly famous as a key ingredient of “Jewish Penicillin” the miracle cure-all. I also heard from an Ecuadorian friend that women would be given chicken stock at least every day for the two weeks leading up to birth and two week afterwards, such are it’s strengthening abilities. Many times here in Guatemala, I have eaten beef caldo with families, a beef stew prepared with beef on the bone. Despite what we know about the levels of malnutrition here, perhaps it is the consumption of their traditional caldo that keeps the people here strong and more healthy than we might expect.

Lack of this incredibly nourishing food in our diets, amongst many other factors, may have given rise to the growth of incidences of diseases of the bones and connective tissues. As we are growing and using our bodies, we need to be taking in sufficient “building blocks” for the body to create or repair as necessary. When I used to train on my mountain bike a lot, I used to get the occasional knee pains. I spent my money on Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements, which seemed to help. Unfortunately at the time I did not know that I could have possibly eased my pains, and strengthened my joints and bones, with something as simple as bone stock. Properly made stock is rich in bone minerals (particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium), gelatin, collagen and components of cartilage. For more details on the diseases that components of stock may help with, please see Sally Fallon’s excellent book “Nourishing Traditions” (page 116)

Good stock is not just beneficial for your health, the taste is amazing. When you switch from using stock cubes to your own stock, your gravies, soups and sauces will become legendary. In fact the stock is so tasty, it hardly needs any embellishment with additions. 

The base ingredients for the stock are mostly offcuts – bone, cartilage, tendons and whatever bits of meat they are attached to. Feet are also good, and usually a few organs make their way in there too – think giblets! This means that it is generally relatively cheap to make, you are using the “waste” from the butchers shop. It is certainly a lot cheaper than supplements.

Whilst you can use a large stainless steel stock pot on the stove, I use a large slow cooker (crock pot) due to the long cooking time. Poor quality cookware especially aluminium or non-stick will contaminate your food. My slow cooker is somewhere around 7.5L (8 quart), although I don’t know for sure as I was given it by some dear friends – thank you Jesper and Danisa! I found a 6.5L one on Amazon for about £30, or about the cost of 2 bottles of glucosamine with chondroitin supplement.

Stock is very simple to prepare and whilst I will give some recipes later, it is very flexible. Sometimes I have all the ingredients, sometimes I might miss one of the flavourings and add something different. It always turns out good. My staples are beef and chicken, and turkey when it is available. I have yet to try pheasant, venison or lamb due to it’s availability here. Fish stock is said to be incredibly nutritious, but between the state of the oceans here and the level of hygiene, it is also something I am yet to try.

Stock takes the minimum amount of personal time to make, although it will be simmering for a long time. I generally aim for 72 hours (yes, 3 days!) for my beef stock, and at least 24 hours for my chicken stock. The biggest issue with making it is the smell. Sometimes it smells good, then it becomes overpowering. I put my slow cooker outside on the balcony, but I would imagine a garage or shed might work well too. I do not turn it off, but leave it going for the whole cook. I do occasionally add water to it, usually every 12 hours to keep the level topped up.

Nutritious Food Starts on the Farm

You of course will be wanting to get the best nutrients out of your stock, and as such will need to buy good quality meat. Your base ingredients should be  pasture fed and organic. Organic meat is even more important than organic vegetables. Most contaminants such as pesticides are fat soluble, and so have a greater tendency to accumulate in the fats of the animals who consume them. Whilst the fat of well raised and cared for animals may contain the richest sources of fat soluble vitamins and nutrients, the fat of factory farmed animals may contain a level of very undesirable contaminants. Whilst this is true in all cases, people in the USA in particular should be wary of any meat that is not pasture raised or wild. Factory farmed animals are the most compelling reason to turn vegetarian despite the long term health issues that a vegetarian diet may bring. If the meat is not organic, pasture fed or wild game, avoid it.

Beef Stock

  • 4 lbs beef marrow bones, such as knuckles and leg bones cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 lbs meaty beef bones such as ribs, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of peppercorns
  1. Put the ribs in a roasting pan in the oven and roast at 180C (350F) for about an hour until nicely browned.
  2. While the ribs are roasting, put the marrowbones in the slow cooker and cover with water. Add the vinegar and allow to stand for 1 hour.
  3. Chop the vegetables into large pieces and add to the slow cooker. Transfer the browned rib bones into the slow cooker, then deglaze the roasting pan on the hob with a little water. Add this to the slow cooker.
  4. Top the slow cooker up with water, allowing an inch or so for expansion when the liquid heats up. Set the slow cooker in its place and turn it on to high.
  5. When the stock begins to boil, skim any foam from the surface, then add the thyme.
  6. Allow the stock to simmer for at least 24 hours, but preferably up to 72 hours. Top up the liquid level at least every 12 hours.
  7. At the desired time, turn off the heat, and strain the stock into a large pot, removing the large solids. Immerse the pot in cold water to cool the stock as quickly as possible, then transfer the pot to the fridge to chill fully.
  8. Skim the solidified, floating fat from the stock and transfer into storage containers. I generally freeze my stock in ziplock bags, allowing 1 cup (250ml) per bag. To do this put the bags in old yoghurt pots during the freezing process to avoid spillage.

The frozen stock seems to last a long time, in our house it gets used very quickly. The fat is very useful for cooking, although it may need to be rendered. to do this, put it in a pan and heat it until it starts to spit – this is the water boiling out. When the fat has clarified and is no longer spitting, allow it to cool, transfer it to a glass jar and refrigerate. It is a wonderful and nutritious fat to cook with, particularly for making roast potatoes. Once you have tried roast potatoes made with beef fat, you will be making stock just to make sure you have enough fat available!

Our dogs love the bones and vegetables from the stock. Whilst roasted bones may be hard and splinter, the boiled bones are remarkably soft. Of course you will need to check this with what you produce to avoid harming your animals.

This same recipe can be used with lamb or venison.

Chicken Stock

  • 1 whole chicken of about 4-5 lbs
  • Gizzards (edible organs) of 1 chicken (optional, but advised)
  • Feet of the chicken (optional, but advised)
  • Head of the chicken (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Sticks of Celery
  • 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
  1. Cut the chicken into pieces. Remove the legs and wings, and chop through the bones exposing their interior. Cut the carcass into about 8 pieces, making sure you cut through the breast bone and spine. Cut the neck into several pieces.
  2. Put the chicken pieces into your slow cooker. Add the giblets, feet and head.
  3. Coarsely chop the vegetable and add them to the slow cooker.
  4. Cover with water and add the vinegar. Allow to stand for 1/2 hour.
  5. Add enough water to fill the slow cooker, allowing enough room for expansion of the liquid as it gets hot.
  6. Move the slow cooker to the place where you want to make the stock. Turn on the power and set to high. Bring the stock to a boil.
  7. Skim off any foam that rises, then add the thyme.
  8. Allow the stock to simmer for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours. Top up the liquid level as necessary.
  9. At the desired time, turn off the heat, and strain the stock into a large pot, removing the large solids. Immerse the pot in cold water to cool the stock as quickly as possible, then transfer the pot to the fridge to chill fully.
  10. Skim the solidified, floating fat from the stock and transfer into storage containers. I generally freeze my stock in ziplock bags, allowing 1 cup (250ml) per bag. To do this put the bags in old yoghurt pots during the freezing process to avoid spillage.

You will find that the meat from the chicken will be very easy to separate from the bones. This is ideal for making curries, stews or pies. It does not have a great deal of flavour, most of the flavour ended up in the stock, so it is not great for sandwiches.

I do not use the chicken fat recovered from the stock making, this goes to our dogs along with the bones and vegetables. Once again, the boiled bones are softened, and do not seem to cause a problem to our animals, but check this for yourself.

This recipe can also be used with turkey, pheasant, duck or goose. If you make duck or goose stock, be sure to save the fat from the process as it is highly prized!

 

 

 

 

3 B’atz – 17th December 2015

3 B'atzThere are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

The number 3 is still in the low end of the range of numbers. It does not have much energy yet, and it is also an odd number. It can represent the home, relating to the three hearthstones laid by the creators, and this is probably a good focus for a 3 day. However, it is possibly the most troublesome of the numbers to deal with, it lacks stability and represents challenges and obstructions.

The day 3 B’atz is a day on which you might find your creative potential a little blocked. Things might just now flow together the way you would hope they will. You may find that creating beauty around your home is an area where your energy is best directed today.

 

2 Tz’i – 16th December 2015

2 Tz'iTz’i is possibly the nawal with the most colourful reputation. Some describe it as the nawal of “sex, drugs and rock and roll” and it has the possibility to live up to that label. One of the functions an Aj Q’ij (Mayan spiritual guide) performs is divination, usually using red seeds called Tz’ite. If a question is asked about a relationship and Tz’i comes up in the reading, it is seen as a sign of  infidelity. Tz’i is instinctual, and closes its ears to reason when it gets an idea, particularly when it is hormonally driven. This is the worst possible aspect of Tz’i and when it falls down, it does so spectacularly, which is why it tends to be remembered for those events.

However, what is sometimes forgotten is the other side of Tz’i, which is the side more frequently displayed. Just as Tz’i can represent infidelity, it also represents faith and loyalty, and just as it can be the trouble maker, it also represents law. It is the nawal of police, lawyers and judges. Tz’i is unwavering faith, unconditional loyalty. The totem animal of Tz’i is the dog, and through the actions of dogs we can understand both the loyalty aspect, and the instinctual. Tz’i is also the guide and protector on life’s path, ensuring that it’s charge travels safely. It is a day when your faith or loyalty may be tested,  where your instincts are stimulated. The positive traits of this day give rise to to some of the greatest displays of friendship, but be aware that your loyalty may be tested by temptation.

The number 2 is representative of duality, of polarity. Although it is a low number it has surprising strength as it is said to be able to call upon both aspects or polarities of what it is attached to. It is said to be the number of lovers, it signifies relationships and self-sacrifice. Whilst it can lend itself to mediation, seeing both sides of the story, it also can be indecisive.

The day 2 Tz’i can be seen as a day which is very strongly linked to trust, fidelity and loyalty within relationships. Whilst it may be true that trust and fidelity issues may become apparent on this day, it may also bring out the best sides of these qualities. It is a day to sacrifice the needs of the self, a day to embrace your partner with unconditional love.

1 Toj – 15th December 2015

1 TojThe nawal Toj represents offerings and payment. It is part of the name Tojil, a Mayan god who gave fire to the people, although this was not a free gift. Tojil asked in return for sacrifice to be made. This is a day of payment and sacrifice, a day to resolve debts, both in the physical and spiritual realms. Toj is the nawal of the sacred fire, and it is to the fire that we make offerings in order to burn away what would commonly be known as karmic debts. In this way we restore balance, we bring our accounts back to zero.

Toj carries with it a form of divine protection, which is enhanced through selfless acts. These acts might involve a sacrifice of our time or energy in order to strengthen our community. We can choose to act or we can choose to ignore, but be aware – ignoring an opportunity to make a payment on a Toj day might bring a ill fortune, the removal of the protection. Payment should be made with an open heart, thanks might not be quickly forthcoming, and may not come at all. Your sacrifice could be  something as simple as picking up litter in your neighbourhood, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate.

The number 1 is representative of the seed, of unity. It represents birth and beginnings. It is a low and odd number, which usually represents something challenging. However, the seed can grow into a mighty tree, it is full of potential. It just needs the correct nutrients and conditions to germinate and develop, just as sometimes we need encouragement to develop our ideas.

The day 1 Toj is a day to begin to restore the balance in life. If there is a debt, either financial or moral, which has been weighing heavily for some time, today is a day to start to do something about it.