8 B’atz (23rd August 2018)

8 B'atz

Wajxakib B’atz

Today is one of the most important days in the sacred calendar. It is the beginning of the new ceremonial cycle, the day of initiation of new day keepers, the day where the baton is passed from the old to the new. It is the day of celebration of the Chol Q’ij, the sacred calendar, which brings our ability to navigate through life using the cycles of sacred time.

The nawal B’atz represents the thread of time, and the sacred calendar is a representation of how that thread is woven to create reality. It is the nawal B’atz that brings the creativity to our world, re-creating and renewing all around us.

Both the number 8 and the nawal B’atz have a connection with gestation. It is said that the umbilical cord has 8 strands to it, and of course this brings the nourishment to the new life being brought into being. Here, within the Maya cross, we see 8 B’atz sitting between 13 Aq’ab’al (the conception from the ancestors) and 3 Kawok (the day of the midwife/birth process) preceding the day 4 Ajpu (the first day of the new world). It is on 8 B’atz that the new world receives its nourishment within the womb of creation, and this comes from the prayers and offerings made in the ceremonies. From the dawn of this day, the shrines and altars within the Maya lands will be packed with Aj Q’ijab making offerings and prayers on behalf of not just their communities, but the world as a whole. They are imparting the  love and wisdom of the old world into the new world which is being woven. This is the day where the seam is created joining the previous weaving of creation, completed on 7 B’atz (40 days ago), with the new weaving started in 1 B’atz (20 days ago). Here, the past and the future are joined.

We all have some talent to create, through words, music, food or images. We also have the ability to shape the world around us, our homes, our families, our communities. This is the day that we give thanks for our creative abilities, the day to gather inspiration from what you have created before and combine it with a new concept or method. Today we put all our love and energy into nurturing the new world soon to be birthed into being. It is the day where we embrace, and are empowered by, the wholeness of creation.

A dawn ceremony at the Nima Sabal altar in Momostenango on Wajxakib B'atz (11th July 2011)
A dawn ceremony at the Nima Sabal altar in Momostenango on Wajxakib B’atz (11th July 2011)

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the creative genius, the other N’oj, the intellectual genius. 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 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 Tz’i (22nd August 2018)

7 Tz'iToday we can see cycles coming to a conclusion. This is the last day before the beginning of a new ceremonial cycle and the nawal Tz’i has completed its task of lovingly guiding us through this time.

Today can be seen as a day to release one guide in order to allow another to come in. Here we see the nawal Tz’i on top of the pyramid, having accompanied us to our destination, the conclusion of our journey through the ceremonial cycle. The old guide now fades away to allow the new guide to step forward and accompany us through the next 260 days.

With the nawal Tz’i representing justice, this may be a day when legal matters come to a head. This may be related to social justice where the unethical are finally brought to task over their behaviour. Justice needs to be served to bring society into balance before the new ceremonies start. This is a day to petition the nawal Tz’i to help you finalise any outstanding legal matter should you have them. If you are in a drawn out legal process, today is the day to conclude matters.

Whilst this finality of justice will involve some ultimate judgement, it is important to remember that another property of the nawal Tz’i is unconditional love. Here we see this combined with the number that gives the ability to see in all directions, all points of view. This gives us the ability to make judgement not with a spirit of vengeance, but with the ability to view the differences unconditionally, bringing a particular fairness to the outcome.

Consequentially, we look to bring ourselves into balance today, and with the energy of Tz’i guiding us, our focus may be on bringing balance to the natural world through upholding the natural laws. It is a day to petition the nawal Tz’i for guidance in doing so.

The dog sits by the cauldron, from the Madrid Codex

Tz’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 its 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6 Toj (21st August 2018)

6 TojAs the nawal Toj represents offerings , it also represents debts. Here we see the two coming into balance. This is a day to bring stability by ensuring payments are made.

The number 6 is seen as representing the six values of the family. At least three of those can be directly related to finances – property, employment and actions. Issues with any of those may lead to incurring debts which put the family out of balance and cause disharmony in the home.

Today is a day to focus on familiar debts in particular, to bring harmony to the family by paying off anything which is outstanding. Additionally this is a potent day to make some forward payment, to get yourself in credit in preparation for future events. Whilst this is all phrased in a financial way, it is of course just an expression of what is happening on an energetic level.

When we make fire ceremonies, we do not offer money to the fire. We make offerings of flowers, incense and candles, but more importantly, we make offerings of our words and our time. These are the most valuable payments we can make, our life breath and our life energy. They are the most precious resources at your disposal to bring stability to your family. These resources can be used in a ceremonial way, or they can just be used within your family. This is the day to repay the goodwill shown within your family through your words and your deeds. This brings balance into your home, it keeps everything healthy on both the physical and energetic levels. After all, they will be empowered by the four directions, the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky.


The 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 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.

The cross at the top of the central hill, Paclom, in Momostenango. Paclom is known as "the six place" and the two armed cross represents the four directions combining with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This picture was taken on Wajxakib B'atz, February 2010.
The cross at the top of the central hill, Paclom, in Momostenango. Paclom is known as “the six place” and the two armed cross represents the four directions combining with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This picture was taken on Wajxakib B’atz, February 2010.

5 Q’anil (20th August 2018)

5 Q'anilThe energy of the day 5 Q’anil combines the number of work with the nawal of ripening and abundance. This combination gives an excellent day to put extra effort into your project, it will be rewarded.

There are some days where using additional energy results in exhaustion as the energy of the day is not conducive. It might just feel that you are pushing against a brick wall, wasting your time or energy on something of no benefit. Today has the exact opposite energy. Today the energy put into your work or your project will be magnified by the fruitful and productive nawal Q’anil,  bringing about the possibility of a great harvest in the future.

However, some reserve is required. Sometimes we become impatient with our process, impatient with our crops. This can lead us to taking our harvest before it is ready, losing out on our future abundance for a want or need of more immediate gratification. Be aware that the effort you put in to your work may not bring immediate results, you are setting a larger ripening process in motion. This is a day to enjoy the process, to look to the future abundance and allow nature to take its course. After all, the next appearance of the nawal Q’anil, in 20 days time, will be 12 Q’anil suggesting the gathering of the ripened crop.

From another point of view, Q’anil represents the bright shining light within the world, something often demonstrated by the people who carry this nawal. The day 5 Q’anil suggests that it may be a little challenging to be that light today, to be the light in the darkness. It is a day to work on brightening the world around you. Whilst your effort may not be immediately rewarded, it will be multiplied as time progresses.

20151108_092006_Richtone(HDR)
As beautiful as it is now, a little patience to allow the natural ripening to occur will bring out its true radiance.

Nawal Q’anil represents the ripening of the seed, the crop coming to maturity. The K’iché word Q’an means yellow, and the -il suffix is rather like the English -ing. Q’anil represents the golden head of maize at its perfection of ripeness, ready to be picked. In the Mayan creation story, humans were fashioned from maize dough, we are Ixim Achi, the people of the corn. The maize in this part of the world has a 260 day growth season between planting (conception) and harvest (birth.) This connects maize with both the sacred calendar and with the period of human gestation.

It is in the fields and gardens that Q’anil’s light shines particularly brightly, it is the nawal of farmers, gardeners and herbalists. But just as it is at home around plants, Q’anil has the possibility to shine anywhere. Q’anil has talent, its beautiful golden light illuminates that which it comes into contact with, Q’anil people light up the room with their presence. Q’anil is about achieving full potential, and this relates to all of our activities. It does have an affinity to the arts, but in general is a day of bounty for all life projects.

However, when an energy is so fertile and prosperous, life can become too easy. Q’anil also appreciates the rewards of its talent – sometimes a little too much. Q’anil is prone to overindulge in the sensual, in particular with regards to intoxication.

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 Kej (19th August 2018)

4 KejStrength that brings stability is especially highlighted today as both the nawal Kej and the number 4 combine their properties. Each can be seen as representations of the Four Pillars, keeping everything in its rightful place.

The nawal Kej is known for its strength, which sometimes can become a little domineering. It is not necessarily meant that way, after all it is a nawal of spiritual leadership and truly has the interests of its followers at heart.

Kej brings the strength to make the difference, but the number 4 tempers it to bring this strength in a carefully measured, balanced way. It is strength empowered by the qualities of the four directions – vitality, wisdom, spirit and healing – which brings the material world into being. This can very much be seen as the day which represents the four first men, the four first leaders, the Bacab’ob – Balam Kitze, Balam Acab, Majutujaj and Balam Ikim. These were the four first humans created and were seen as the spiritual leaders of the patrilineages, as well as the forefathers. As such they formed the base for all who followed on from them, and their stability allowed the human race to flourish.

Today the strength of Kej should be particularly useful. There could be no more significant day to represent a strong foundation, or an energy of bringing strength and stability to a situation. It is a day to step forward and take charge of matters if they need resolving.

Equally, the nawal Kej is the representative of the natural world and Kej days are excellent days to spend in the wilderness. If you are feeling a little weakened or out of balance, today is a powerful day to take a walk in the woods in order to re-energise yourself and bring yourself back into stability.

Xbalamkiej, patron of the day Kej one of the hero twins from the Popol Vuh. From the Dresden Codex
Xbalamkiej, patron of the day Kej one of the hero twins from the Popol Vuh. From the Dresden Codex

Within the Solar calendar, today marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Ib’ota or Botam translated as the season of various colours.  We have reached the half way point in the 365 day count, 180 days have passed since the new mam, 6 Kej, took his seat and so now his influence should be at its purest. The energy of the fields is further diminishing as the crop ceases to grow any higher and starts to move more rapidly into the ripening process. Additionally, this is the time of “canicular” when the rains may relinquish a little and the flowers of many colours adorn the lush green hills of highland Guatemala.


Kej is possibly the strongest of the nawales, it is powerful, but in a different way to Kan. Kej is energetic, lively and determined. It is the nawal of nature, of the wilderness and it is this power that it draws on. The animal totem of Kej is the deer, but if you have fragile, new-born Bambi in mind, think again. This is the majestic stag, standing on the mountain surveying his domain. Whilst most nawales are not necessarily engendered, Kej is most definitely masculine. Both men and women that carry Kej as their nawal have great strength, although the men tend to hide their strength more. Kej women are particularly driven, resourceful and brave, sometimes to the point of being rather dominant. All radiate an aura of nobility, people tend to look to them to lead.

Kej is the nawal of the Mayan “religion”, a day of spiritual leaders, of shaman and of priests. It is these leaders who understand how to read the messages from the natural world, who help to keep our existence in balance with nature. It is a day to connect with the wilderness and draw the power of the natural world into you, to harmonise and replenish.

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 beneficial number.

3 Kame (18th August 2018)

3 KameProfound changes may be happening all around you, but the only way to truly embrace them is to allow for the change to happen within you. This is a day to allow the old self to leave peacefully and welcome the new.

That is not to say that it will be all sweetness and light. The number 3 is the number of challenges, at least where the external world is concerned and some of these transformations may be very difficult to go through. Even when you summon all the courage you have, you may still fear the consequences of defeat, and the changes it may bring. Trying to avoid the inevitable does nothing but prolong the process, which in itself can bring more difficulties and raise the bar even higher.

As we progress through the K’at trecena, the new planting has been energised by 2 Kan, the infusion energies of the masculine and feminine causing mitosis, and now on 3 Kame an internal transformation of spiritual significance occurs.

This is a day to listen within for the whispers of your ancestors to guide you through the challenges to your transformation. Do not allow fear or grief to hold you back. This could be seen as a day of creation through overcoming that which causes fright.

Death God

Kame relates to death, which often makes people nervous. However, this nawal is seen as an extremely positive day. Birth is the gateway into the mortal life, death the gateway into the eternal. In many shamanistic traditions, the initiate goes through several death experiences during training. This can be through the use of particular herbs, or sometimes through accident or illness. In these experiences the density of the mortal realm falls away and the greater understanding emerges. It can often be described as a spiritual transformation. In the Popul Vuh, the Mayan book of creation, the Hero Twins descend to the underworld, Xibalba, to confront the Lords of Death. They pass the many challenges set for them, but eventually end up being tricked by the Lord of Death. Instead of giving in, the Hero Twins choose to sacrifice themselves. They give instructions to a pair of seers to convince the Lords of Death to grind the Twins’ bones to dust and throw the dust in the river. Everything went according to plan and five days later the twins appeared as catfish in the river, then transformed into vagabond “magicians”. In this way we see a literal transformation from the crusader (Tijax) through death (Kame) to the higher self (Ix). This is the potential of the Kame day, to face ones fears and attain a higher perspective, to advance the journey of your soul. This is also a day to remember your ancestors and friends that have passed into the other realm, to remember what they taught you, and to thank them for their wisdom that helped you to grow.

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). Here we see the possibility of the number 3 being linked with creation.

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 Kan (17th August 2018)

2 KanWith the nawal Kan representing power and wisdom, and the number 2 representing relationships we may be looking to our partners for the answers today. This may be a day of empowerment through love.

The power of the nawal Kan may be slightly muted by the rather low number 2 today. However, the number 2 represents duality, and here we might see both faces of the nawal Kan. One face is wise and noble, the other dark and manipulative. It is our choice which to embrace, each is equally available, but the consequences will be ours to deal with.

The energy of 2 Kan gives us the chance to gain wisdom from the duality of the world. It may be that the dark side of serpent energy has been employed to manipulate and seduce, its hypnotic ability pulling the unwary into its illusion. The number 2 makes it possible to see both sides, the truth and the falsehood, dispelling the illusion. It is time to see them for what they are and learn from them.

From the perspective of the K’at trecena, the newly planted seed is endowed with the spark of life from both the masculine and the feminine energies. This is the day to draw on both the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky to energise your new seeding.

The nawal Kan highlights the life force energy that flows through us, and here we see it in combination with the number of relationships. It suggests that the energy of today may help to bring our a deeper wisdom through sharing our life force energy with our partner.

Possibly the highest and most noble aspect which could be seen on this day is from the association of the number 2 with self-sacrifice, and the energy of the nawal Kan bringing wisdom and empowerment. The picture below shows a Maya royal, Lady Xoc, performing a rite of self sacrifice in order to receive wisdom from a vision serpent. This could be a day on which selfless giving of our life force energy may result in receipt of a worthwhile return of knowledge or wisdom.

Lady Xoc pierces her tongue and receives wisdom for her people from her ancestor emerging from the mouth of the vision serpent. From http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/maya-lintels.htm
Lady Xoc pierces her tongue and receives wisdom for her people from her ancestor emerging from the mouth of the vision serpent. From http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/maya-lintels.htm

Kan is one of the more powerful nawales and it represents just that – power. It is connected to serpents, and serpent symbolism is very strong in Maya mythology. In the past, lightning was referred to as sky serpents, and what is seen in the outer world is reflected by the inner world. The power of Kan comes from something which is referred to as itz or coyopa, the lightning in the blood. This is the power which may also be known as Ki, Chi, Prana, kundalini or “the force”. It is life force energy. Kundalini is a sanskrit word actually meaning coiled, like a snake. When working with any of these energies, training must be undertaken in order to understand how to use them. In its most positive aspect, the energy of Kan brings great wisdom; in its negative aspect, great destruction. A lack of understanding or control of this power can lead to undesirable consequences. The dark side of Kan can seduce with its power, and a very sexy power it is too, holding its prey in an almost hypnotic grip with its allure. It can become the ultimate ego trap.

However, it is also said that the feathered serpent Q’uq’umatz (also known as Kulkulkan or Quetzalcoatl) brought wisdom, through the sciences of astronomy and agriculture, to the ancient Maya. Here we see the positive aspect of Kan, where the ability to work with the body lightning brings great wisdom. People born on a Kan day can become some of the greatest healers or psychics, or they can become the darkest sorcerers and manipulators.

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 K’at (16th August 2018)

1 K'atWhilst K’at does represent the net which gathers the harvest, it also has an association with what it contains, the seeds. Here, on the day 1 K’at, we see the new seed planted for the next harvest.

In the cycle of re-creation, the soil of the field has been turned and the tilled, infused and fertilised by the wisdom of the ancients. The threads of creation are being gathered ready to join the new to the old on the day Wajxakib B’atz.

The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who, in the Popol Vuh, was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu.  Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.

In this story we see the relationship between Blood Moon and the nawal K’at, the creator of magical abundance and a bountiful harvest. This was the gathering, the bringing together of the family through this harvesting, we also see the seeding.

When combined with the number 1, new births and new beginnings are signified. This is the beginning of something new, new growth all around. The previous day, 13 Aq’ab’al, could be seen as a spiritual conception, and here the new process begins. This conception will be gestated through Wajxakib (8) B’atz, until finally the birth process assisted by 3 Kawok leads to 4 Ajpu, the new world, the resurrection of the maize, the birth of Junajpu.

The energy of 1 K’at can be seen as being about gathering together and embracing the new time. Life is a continual cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We have the possibility to reap an abundant harvest, but right now in order to do that we need unity. It is time to put aside differences and work together to plant the new field if we are to enjoy abundance on the future.

Avocado

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

However, K’at also has its more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire,  with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us.  These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

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.

13 Aq’ab’al (15th August 2018)

13 Aq'ab'alWe are already in the 20 day count down towards the day 8 B’atz, one of the most important days in the sacred calendar. 13 Aq’ab’al features very strongly in this period.

In the “Maya Cross” form of astrology, one of the positions represents conception. This is a day 8 days (or 268 days) before the birth date. Today, the day 13 Aq’ab’al represents the conception day of 8 B’atz, the reweaving of the world through the joining of the old fabric with the new.

Aq’ab’al represents conception in itself. It is a joyful day when new concepts are proposed for creation into the physical world. In this way, Aq’ab’al acts as a bridge between the dreaming potential of all that is, which we see in the nawal Imox, and the physical world. It has moved into our physical reality, but it is hidden within the mother. In some senses it is between the worlds, we cannot see it in its own right but we know it is there, we know the new life is on its way.

The number 13, of course, represents the world of the ancestors, the spirit world. When we combine this with the nawal Aq’ab’al we can begin to understand just how auspicious this day could be.

13 Aq’ab’al is the new conception into this world from the spirit world. It represents the passing of the wisdom and knowledge from the ancestors into our new world. It gives us the pattern for the joining of the old world with the new.  This is a potent day to revisit ancestral teachings and understandings, to bring their concepts into modern life.


In the Kiche language, the word aq’ab means night. The suffix -al changes the meaning slightly, to hint at change and alludes to the dawning of the day, the time between darkness and light, night and day. Just as birth is the beginning of the mortal journey, Aq’ab’al is the beginning of the day, although the detail of the day may still be obscured. Aq’ab’al is representative of new things, things which are not yet fully formed. While in Santiago Atitlan one day, a friend explained to me the different parts of a weaving in process on a backstrap loom. Aq’ab’al is the warp (the vertical threads), B’atz is the weft (the horizontal threads) which creates the whole cloth, and the newly woven cloth is Kawok. In order for the weaver to create, first she has an idea in her head or a dream. She sets out the dream on her loom by setting up the warp. Thus, the design has passed from being just an idea, to the beginnings of a woven reality, although it still requires creative input before it becomes whole. Aq’ab’al can also represent conception, the fertilised egg is far from ready to be born, but has passed from the dream or spirit world into the physical.

Aq’ab’al days are great days for the start of new things, particularly new relationships – Aq’ab’al has a strong affinity with marriage. It is also a perfect day for starting new projects, or at least bringing them into the world of light from the world of dreams and ideas.

The number 13 is the final number on the pyramid. It represents the spirit world. It is said that on Halloween, the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. However within the sacred calendar, this thinning happens every 13 days. This connection with the spirit world creates a powerful day, where both the positive and negative aspects of the nawal it is attached to come through strongly. It is a very good day for activities such as divination, however, ceremonies on 13 days are generally only carried out by the most experienced Aj Q’ij who understand how to work with that strength of energy.