10 Iq’ (22nd December 2016)

10 Iq'The day 10 Iq’ can be seen as a very sociable day with an emphasis on communication within your community. With the strength of both the number and the nawal Iq’ this could lead to some inspired words and changes.

Whilst Iq’ is known for its blustery nature, there are some combinations which really have the ability to bring out the best in it. Its combination with the number 10 is one of these. If you were ever looking for a day to hold a community meeting this would be the prime candidate. The inspiring words conveyed through the divine breath come come into contact with the number which represents community and cooperation. We could expect our oratory skills to be enhanced today, especially when we are surrounded by our family and friends. It is a great day to make speeches, and to listen to them. Communication goes both ways, so make sure you listen to what your community is telling you today, there may be something divinely inspired in its words.

If you are seeking to make changes, something which is also highlighted by Iq’, today is a day to ask for the support of your community to make them. Whether this is emotional support, or physical, today is the day to rally around friends to support them through their processes.

Despite all the positive connotations of this day, bear in mind that the wind may change and Iq’ is also a nawal that governs the angry word. With the power of the number 10 behind it, be aware of the effect your words might have. If you feel anger rising within you, pause and take a breath before you allow your words to fly.

Wind God 1
The wind god, from the Dresden Codex

Nawal Iq’ is another strong nawal. It represents communication and particularly divine inspiration. It is the wind, the breath of life, that which brings the change in seasons.

The communication brought by Iq’ can be enlightening and inspiring. It is the breath of the divine which flows through us all, in fact the word for soul is Saq Iq’ – white breath. When our breath stops, our divine essence leaves our physical body. When we engage ourselves with the divine breath we are able to create, to manifest with our words, to inspire those around us. However, Iq’ also has a destructive side. It has the ability to blow like a hurricane and may level everything before it. It is the angry words which cut down everything in their path.

Hurricane is one of the few English words which is actually derived from a Mayan word- Junrakan, meaning “one footed”. Junrakan is another name for the Heart of the Sky, one of the creator deities. Once again it seems that certain patterns follow through the sequence of the nawales which are interrelated. Imox, the female creative principle, or egg, is fertilised be Iq’, the male principle. Their combination results in Aq’ab’al, the conception and a change in the state, bringing the dream into reality.

Iq’ is a day of communication, a day of inspiration. It can be a great day to express yourself through written or particularly verbal means. It is also a day on which changes happen. You can either embrace those changes or resist them, but be aware that the wind blows forcefully and resistance of change requires a great deal of energy. Embracing change helps you to learn to dance like a leaf in the wind.

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.

9 Imox (21st December 2016)

9 ImoxWhilst Imox has its reputation for getting lost in the dream world, it also represents the place from where all things come. When this is combined with the number of life and the divine feminine, we can expect great things.

In some ways there can be no purer expression of feminine potential than the day 9 Imox. Imox is the font of life, itself the feminine, possibly the egg, possibly the womb, depending on how you look at it. It is the creative potential waiting to be brought from the collective consciousness into the physical world. The 9 represents both the feminine and is seen as the number of life itself.

We can, therefore, see this as a day to breathe life into our dreams, although this is rather an understatement.  It is the creation and nurturing of life itself, brought through from the other world. It is a day to look to the feminine, to the women around us, to help us all to navigate the collective consciousness, without being pulled into its dreamy depths. If you have a life dream and you are wondering how to bring it into reality, today you might ask the advice of the women in your life how best to nurture it.

Rainbow over Lake Atitlan, December 2013 by Mark Elmy
Rainbow over Lake Atitlan, December 2013 by Mark Elmy

Nawal Imox represents the collective consciousness, the great ocean. It is the moment before the “big bang”, when all that existed was the dream of the creator. It is everything and nothing in one place, the ovum from which reality was conceived. Imox is still very much in the other world, requiring another component to physically manifest the dream into reality.

Imox is considered to be a feminine nawal. Sometimes called water lily, sometimes crocodile, it is an embodiment of the primordial. It was from the great ocean that the four first men raised sky to create the world which we inhabit. Imox can also be seen as the Darwinian swamp from which all life emerged. It is fertile and creative, the mother that gave birth to our entire reality.

As the water lily, Imox is probably a representative of  Nymphaea alba, the white water lily. It has been suggested that the white water lily was smoked by the ancient Maya in a similar way to the blue lotus was used by the Egyptians. It was a plant which allowed access to the otherworld, a plant from which visions came if used correctly.

Imox is our common origin, and as such links us all together. It is the place of dreams, the collective conscious we delve into on our nightly voyages. It may also relate to the place that certain plant medicines take us to in order to bring us wisdom. However, as the font of all of creation, Imox harbours the dark as well as the light. When faced with the entirety of creation, the line between sanity and madness may become blurred.

Imox is a day to celebrate the spirit of the times, to understand the collective mind, particularly of humanity. It is a day to dream your creations, your art, your music. It is a day when we may all feel connected, a day when the psychic field between us may be particularly strong. Discernment may be called for, to understand when to dissociate from the collective, to remember your individuality, and to pull yourself back out of the dream world.

The number nine is very special indeed. It is the number of lunations in the human gestation period and in the sacred calendar. The sacred calendar is known as a calendar of life, and it is women that give life. As such the number nine is seen as the number of life and the number of the divine feminine. It gives all that it is attached to a strong feminine presence and is a day on which women may wish to give thanks for their gifts.

8 Ajpu (20th December 2016)

8 AjpuThe nawal Ajpu helps us to recognise the divinity in all that surrounds us, it sends us on our quest to understand the holiness of life. Today it shows us that we have to look in wholeness, in every aspect.

The nawal Ajpu is representative the heroes of the Popol Vuh, Junajpu, Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu. They were the ones who descended to the underworld to Xibalbans, the lords of the place of fright. Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu failed in their task and were killed, but Jun Junajpu’s severed head magically impregnated the maiden Blood Moon with his twin sons, Junajpu and Xbalamque. Where the father and uncle failed, the second generation were victorious and the Xibalbans were defeated, bringing peace to those who dwell in the earthly realm.

With Ajpu representing the sun we can see this interplay as representing the victory of light over darkness, a particularly interesting theme for today as we are very close to the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. The days numbered 8 are commonly used for ceremony, and today this ceremony is to celebrate and honour the heroes that bring the light into our lives, and the divinity that surrounds us in the world. However, without their opponents, heroes would not exist and neither would the legendary stories we celebrate whatever our tradition. The challenges we confront are what bring out the divinity within us, without them there would be no quests, no progress. It is a day to celebrate our failures as well as our victories, all the things which have made us who we are today.

It is easy to see the beauty in what we have been taught is divine, but can you see it within the mundane, or even in what is considered to be ugly? Can you find the divinity in what you judge to be a negative situation? It is a day to see that all has come from oneness, everything is part of the divine.

Itzamna emerges from the mouth of the serpent, from the Dresden Codex
Itzamna emerges from the mouth of the serpent, from the Dresden Codex

Nawal Ajpu is once again a nawal with a multitude of meanings and translations. In the Yucatec language it is known as Ahau, in Kiche is is also known as Junajpu. These are in turn variously translated into English as lord, hunter, blow gunner, flower and sun. Each one of the translations has it’s merits, and represents an aspect of this auspicious nawal.

Within the ancient Mayan society, the royals were not just political leaders of their particular city-states, they were priest-kings and priest-queens. They served as the conduit to the divine, deriving their wisdom for guiding their people through their connection with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This wisdom enriched both the ruling dynasty and their people, as they would be working in harmony with the gods. Thus the ruler of the city was also the physical embodiment of the divine, and it is to this that Ajpu is so closely related. Likewise it represents our potential, the state of divinity to which we may aspire.

Ajpu represents the holiness in life, the divinity in the physical world, and our search for it. It is that moment when you look closely at a flower to see the beautiful detail, the moment when you see the magnificence of the landscape you live within, the beauty in your child’s eyes or in the face of your partner. It is the random act of kindness that restores our faith in humanity. It is the search for the underlying meaning in all situations, understanding that each person is a part of the whole. Whether we like it or not, and however we judge it, we are all a part of creation. Our every action, and every action of others gives us the opportunity to explore ourselves and our reaction, whether we are attracted or repelled by the action of others. However, sometimes Ajpu can lead us to become immersed in the other world, to lose sight of reality, it is important to remember to stay in touch with the Heart of the Earth as we reach to the Heart of the Sky.

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.

7 Kawok (19th December 2016)

7 KawokThe rain may fall but how it affects you is your choice. Will you choose to fall victim to the storm allowing the torrent to wash you away, or will you dance in the rain giving thanks for the gift of life? Today it is very much up to you.

Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex
Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex

Like all things, the nawal Kawok seems to have two faces, one benevolent and one malevolent. However, this is actually just our perception and our experience. If our house gets flooded in a great storm, we may feel like cursing the rain. If we live in a desert, the rain falling may seem like a miracle, new life falling from the sky. The rain would fall whether we were there or not, and if there was no rain, there would be no life. In reality, there is no polarity.

Just as in the natural world, the rain brings new life, sometimes the storms within our lives also bring the potential for new growth. Today, with nawal Kawok combining with the number 7, it is very much our choice as to how we deal with the storms we see going on around us.

Sometimes we have to endure storms within our lives, and sometimes we lend our umbrella to our families and friends as we help them to endure their own storms. Today we have the opportunity to finally heal and decisively wash away the obstacles to growth, to allow the flow to take us towards novelty within our lives. This could be seen with the finality of the number 7 representing one final push to bring the new energy into our lives. Of course we can resist it if we wish, but we might find that the current is too strong and that resistance only causes exhaustion, the new life is coming in on its own schedule. Allow the rain to heal you, to cleanse you and to soothe you, as you move forward into the novelty of life.


Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex
Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex

Nawal Kawok is in some ways a counterpart to the nawal Tijax. Where Tijax has masculine aspects of healing, Kawok has the feminine aspect. Kawok is sometimes referred to as rain or storm. It is this rain that washes away that which has been cut out by Tijax.

While most healing roles within the Maya world do not seem to be gender specific, one is. Both women and men may be healers, prayer makers, herbalists and diviners, only women will become midwives. Kawok is the energy of the midwife. Kawok helps to clear the obstructions from the birth process, in some ways it actually represents the birth process. Kawok brings the new into the world. In the Mayan cross, Kawok, the birth process finishes the sequence which starts with Aq’ab’al (conception) and moves through B’atz (gestation.) In the sequence of the calendar, Kawok precedes Ajpu. Ajpu represents the resurrection of the maize lord, also the creation of the world. Kawok creates the conditions for that to happen, the rain which brings forth the sprouting of the maize.

In its storm aspect, Kawok can be destructive, although it is a destruction which allows a new creation to happen. Kawok energy can give rise to some tempestuous situations, it can be a day which can give people a rough ride, although this may be for the eventual good. It is a day to ask for the gentle rain to bless your crops, and for the harsh rain to stop. It is a day which washes away the old and outworn in life, so that the new growth, life and divinity may emerge.

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 numbers of the days set out as a pyramid.
The numbers of the days as they appear through the trecena. Here they can also be set out as a pyramid, reaching the peak is also the end of a journey.

The number seven is the mid-point of the range of numbers, as we would see them,  but it is also known as a number of death and endings. This which would seem strange as it is only half way through the journey. However, another representation of the change of state of the soul, showing half of the journey (1-7) in the mortal world and half (8-13) in the other world. 7 Is the final number that appears in the bottom row before we move to the top row, suggesting the transition between realms. The numbers 1 and 7 embrace all other numbers as they appear in the sequence of nawales, and thus give a suggestion of beginnings and endings.

Number Sequence.jpg
The sequence of numbers as they appear with each appearance of a nawal. Here we see that the sequence begins with 1 and ends with 7, giving 7 as a number of finality.

 

6 Tijax (18th December 2016)

6 TijaxWhen you are using the razor edged obsidian blade, it is of the utmost importance to have a steady hand guiding it. Today is that day, the day when the sharp blade of discernment cuts with a stable certainty.

Whether it is a way of creating beauty, or bringing harmony into the world through decisive action, today is an excellent day to be wielding the blade. It has enough power behind it to complete the task with certainty, but not so much so as to cause collateral damage. It is a day which brings the ultimate stability of the number 6 together with the healing ability of Tijax to bring true resolution of duality.

The energy of the nawal Tijax can have a fanatical energy, rushing off on the next quest, determined to rid the world of evil. The energy of the number 6 turns the fanatical crusader into a wiser warrior, helping us to understand when to stop, and which causes are really worth fighting for. It gives us a high degree of discernment, it can guide you to make the right cuts in order to lighten your load. Tijax‘s eye for beauty can be trusted, it can be used to cut away the superfluous and bring out the true divinity. It is also a great day for choosing things which bring beauty to the world.

With the energy of the number 6 also representing family values, this can also be seen as a good day for bringing healing to certain areas of family life by cutting away anything which causes imbalance.

Today is a day of editing, a day to bring healing through precise cuts. It is a day to bring stability to your life by gently but firmly removing that which no longer serves you. After all, today the movement of the blade in the physical realm is guided through the connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

Sacrificial Death God 1

The nawal Tijax is often thought of as an obsidian blade or knife. How the blade is used depends on the intention of the person wielding it. It can be wielded by a warrior or by a surgeon. These would seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, but where Tijax is concerned the aim is the same – healing.

Tijax is the nawal of the holy warrior. In the Mayan book of creation , the Popol Vuh, the first act of the hero twins was a mission given to them by the Heart of the Sky to rid the world of the false gods Seven Macaw, Zipacna and Earthquake. This is their quest, their crusade, and is represented by Tijax. They then sacrifice themselves in the underworld (Kame) and are resurrected with magical abilities (Ix). By destroying the false gods, the twins brought balance to the world, and helped mankind, they brought healing to the world. They cut out that which caused disease, exactly as a surgeon would do.

Tijax is celebrated as a day of healers, particularly what could be seen as the masculine aspect of healing. It is a day of crusading, of standing up for what is right. It has a tenacity to it, it is sometimes belligerent, it will not be stopped in its quest. It is the healer who refuses to give up on finding a cure. Tijax gives powers of discernment and refinement. Just as the surgeons scalpel cuts away disease and the warriors blade dispatches the evil, the sculptors chisel creates beauty by remodelling the base material. It is a day of alchemy, both internal and external, turning the ordinary into the divine.

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 its 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.

5 N’oj (17th December 2016)

5 N'ojThe energy of the nawal N’oj brings us ideas, thoughts and solutions to our problems. Today it is combined with the number 5 suggesting the need to really put some energy behind our ideas to bring them to fruition.

The concept of a straightforward plan evolving without too much input from ourselves is particularly unrealistic today. The energy that the number 5 brings to the day suggests that a real push will be necessary, with some hard work involved, to get your ideas into motion. It is true that the day may bring some solutions that you had not thought of before, but these solutions may not be quick or easy to employ. In fact, the quick answer may actually cause a problem. One of the qualities associated with the energy of the number 5 is rushing into situations without really thinking them through. Today this could signify that something within your plan needs a little more thought. The consequence of trying to rush your work may result in an unexpected obstruction to the application of your idea.

This is certainly a day to work on solving problems, but the long route to the solution may be the most beneficial. Taking short cuts to save effort may result in challenges.

 

A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N'oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.
A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N’oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.

Within the Macewal Q’ij, today again marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Rukub Tumuxux translated as the second season of flying ants. Within this season is the winter solstice, the darkest day of the northern hemisphere, from this season, the days begin to lighten as we start to move towards the arrival of the new Mam.


Macewal Q'ij 2


The nawal N’oj is the nawal of thought, of intelligence and intellect. Within the count of days, there are two geniuses. B’atz is the creative genius, N’oj the intellectual one. N’oj is an energy of masculine, logical thought. N’oj is the problem solver, it gives ideas and solutions which work in the real world. N’oj gives a different way to understand situations, and through this ability comes innovation. It is thought, but also understanding and, indeed, knowing. As such, N’oj is also a day associated with divination.

This energy is not necessarily social, it can lead to becoming absorbed into one’s work, lost in one’s thoughts. The influence of N’oj can create ideas which may be very much ahead of their time. Do not be surprised if ideas you have on this day take a little time to catch on, the people you express the ideas to may need a little time to process, to see the genius within the idea.

N’oj is also one of the classic year bearers, or year lords. As a year bearer it is thought to be one of the more beneficial and benign energies. This year, 2016,  is the year 4 N’oj.

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”.

4 Ajmak (16th December 2016)

4 AjmakToday can be seen as a day to resolve any outstanding issues you may have been trying to ignore, the “elephants in the living room.” It is a good stable day to clear the air of anything which might have been interfering with your progress.

Any day is a good day to practice forgiveness, but Ajmak days bring a special power with them. It’s easy enough to forgive in words, but is it just lip service to the idea? When the situation arises, or you meet the “offender” again, what is your reaction? Likewise, if there is something you have asked to be forgiven, how do you feel when you meet that person you ask it of? Is there still an unspoken unresolved issue, an energy which needs to be addressed?

As we see Ajmak paired with the number 4, the task today is to bring that forgiveness into the physical, material realm. It is the time to ground it, to sit down with it and buy it a drink. Forgiving and being forgiven can release stagnant energy which may have been holding you back, but today is the day to prove that you are ready to move on. It is a day to rebuild bridges you may consider burnt through physical action, to prove that your forgiveness is more than just lip service to an idea. It is a day to truly bring sweetness into your world through your deeds as well as your words.

I am sorry

Please forgive me

I love you

Thank you

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 its 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 its true potential, although due to its lovable nature it is easy to forgive. One of the lessons with regards to the Ajmak energy is learning to forgive oneself.

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.

3 Tz’ikin (15th December 2016)

3 Tz'ikinSometimes a day which carries a usually fortunate nawal can be modified by a number to create a less conducive energy. The usual clarity of vision of Tz’ikin may be clouded by external circumstances, today you may need to rely on your inner vision.

Tz’ikin days are usually enjoyable. They are social, visionary and prosperous, but today it is possible that all of those qualities are obstructed as the influence of the number 3 comes into play. The energy of the number 3 brings doubts, instability and challenges. Whilst its combination with the highly positive energy of the nawal Tz’ikin may be cause its effect to be softened, it is unlikely that this Tz’ikin day will be as beneficial as other Tz’ikin days may be. It is implied that this could be a challenging day on which to do business, prosperity being blocked by a lack of vision or an inability to focus. An even bigger problem could be believing that you have a true and clear vision, only to find that it has been distorted, leading you to make potentially costly mistakes. It would be better to leave any important business deals for another day.

The most positive aspect of the 3 relates to the home, and perhaps this will be a more fortunate place to focus Tz’ikin‘s visionary aspects today. This is a day to work on your inner vision for the future, possibly to meditate on what your options to bring prosperity to your home. It is a day for quietly working on your inner vision.

The Resplendent Quetzal, national bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/
The Resplendent Quetzal, national bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/

The 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).

A nawal of prosperity, 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.

There are various myths about the creation which link with the number 3. One is that at the time of creation, three stone jumped out of the fireplace and formed the new world. These three stones are called the hearthstones, and are still seen in many Maya homes today, on the fire supporting the tortilla griddle. From an astronomical point of view, the stones are the stars Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel in the constellation we call Orion, and the Smoky Fireplace is the Great Orion Nebula (M42)

A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is "El Tigre" at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy
A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is “El Tigre” at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy

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 number three brings up internal/external dilemma. The lack of stability in the physical, external world that it brings suggests that the more appropriate action is to look to the internal world, both of the home and of yourself.

2 Ix (14th December 2016)

2 IxOur mothers nourish us and attend to our needs, just as our Mother Earth supports our very existence. Today is a day to remember that, and give something back, to make a little self sacrifice in gratitude to Mother Earth.

We forget that everything around us, all material goods, were once part of Mother Earth. Sometimes we forget that this is a gift and we take it for granted. We may think about the natural things, foodstuffs or wood, to begin with, but even the screen you are reading this on was made from materials which were on or in the Earth. We took the base material and transformed it, from being part of the body of our Mother Earth into something that fulfilled our temporary needs. We see these things as commodities, as our property,  we detach them from what they were, make them shiny and stick a label on them. But they are not forever transformed, like us they break, decay and once more return to the Earth over time.

One of the major lessons attached to the nawal Ix is gratitude. In the dazzling brilliance of our “magical” abilities to transform base materials, we lose our humility and we forget to say thank you. Without her we have no home, without her we have no life. Today is a day to not just say thank you, but to take action to show your gratitude. The number 2 is connected with self sacrifice, the gift of your energy and your time are the greatest sacrifice you can make to show your gratitude.

Take some time to show your gratitude to Mother Earth, help to undo some of the damage humans have caused. Perhaps pick up some litter, help to restore some beauty to the natural world around you, and while you do so, make a little prayer of gratitude for all that sustains your life.

A dancing shaman transforms himself into a jaguar. From a late classic era vase found at Altar de Sacrificios. Source http://shortstreet.net/Maya/mayapaintedvases.htm
A dancing shaman transforms himself into a jaguar. From a late classic era vase found at Altar de Sacrificios. Source http://shortstreet.net/Maya/mayapaintedvases.htm

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 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.

1 Aj (13th December 2016)

1 AjToday is the beginning of a new cycle. It is a new trecena, a new 13 day period, beginning with the highly fortunate and noble nawal Aj. It can be seen as a time to bring harmony to home and community through wise counsel.

After the potentially dizzying roller-coaster ride of the Ajpu trecena, we are entering into a time of grounded organisation. Starting today is a period of putting what we have learnt from the last trecena into practice on the physical level. The conquering of the fears on 7 Kame and initiation into leadership on 8 Kej have led us to this day.

It is the day when we have a potential to engage with our new found bravery, our renewed strength and courage, and the wisdom that facing these challenges has brought us. We are able to begin to lead by example, to recount our path to harmony on order to inspire others. However, it might take a few words of encouragement from those around us to help us to realise the abilities we now have.

It is time to begin to stand up and be counted, to allow your wisdom and experience to be heard and put to use. Stand proud, with a straight spine, and draw on the energies of the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth, to bring peace and prosperity to your home and the wider community. This day, 1 Aj,  is the beginning of the journey to leadership within your community, not through desire for elevation of status, but through the desire for a more cohesive world for all.

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 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 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.