With the nawal K’at representing the gathering of abundance and the number 5 representing work, we could understand that today would be a good day for bringing in your harvest, but the task might turn out to more challenging than it seemed.
However, that does not mean that the final outcome will be negative. There is a suggestion here that your hard work will be paid off, it’s just that on another day the abundance you receive might come to you more easily. This is a day to work on bring together all the threads, the ideas and plans into one place.
With the other aspect of K’at representing the burden or entrapment, today has the possibility of working on that which slows us down. Sometimes we can cut our ties in one go and release ourselves, other times it needs more effort. You might not release all of your burdens today, but putting your energy in to the process of releasing yourself from attachments will certainly help your progress.
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 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”.
After the possible turbulence of the day 3 Iq’, comes a day where is is really possible to bring things together. 4 Aq’ab’al is a wonderful day to start a new project, to ground a dream into physical reality.
Whilst the full light of the new day is still shrouded in darkness, the clarity of dawn has arrived. Of course, we don’t know yet exactly how the day will pan out, but we can see a clear sky and we have the potential for a beautiful day.
If there is something you have been dreaming of for a while, or something you are inspired to do, today is the day to start to create a concept from the dream. It may not necessarily be the emergence of the concept into the real world just yet, it still needs to gestate. It could be that you were dreaming about making a journey, if so, today is the day to book the tickets. In one sense, you have begun the journey, you have moved it into the physical, yet you have not taken a first step yet. Booking the tickets for the journey is one metaphor we can use to describe the essence of this day, but we can apply this idea in many ways. It is a day to make the preliminary sketches for your masterpiece, or to write up your business plan. Romantically, it is also a great day pluck up the courage to make that first date! It is a day where you can begin to bring stability to the new light you can bring to your life and to the world.
In the K’iche 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 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 strong and unpredictable nature of the nawal Iq’ is combined with the uncertain and unstable 3 today, which could cause some challenges today, particularly regarding communication and changes.
There are two ways of writing the numbers in ancient Maya glyphs. One is the dot and bar notation that you see above alongside the glyph for the nawal above. The other is the “god head” notation, where the numbers are denoted by the heads of various deities. Within this notation, the number 3 is denoted by the head of the wind god, and so we see that the day 3 Iq’ could be seen as double the potential of any other Iq’ day.
This extra power could again go either way, but whatever way it goes it is likely to be powerful. The obstructions often represented by the number 3 are connected with the nawal of communication making this a day with the potential for mixed messages to say the least. If you have anything important to communicate it would probably be best to wait for another day, as today your words may become jumbled. Whilst you might get your message across, the energy of today might even lead to your words being completely misinterpreted.
The most positive aspect would be that of divine inspiration, with words flowing like a river of flowers. You may be opening and closing your mouth, but the words may be from somewhere else. If you are looking for inspiring words today you may find that they come not from the outer world, but from your own inner voice.
It may be a day where you are inspired to make great changes, with the power of the wind god behind you. However, as the external application of the number 3 can be challenged, you may find the changes you wish to make in the world rather difficult to achieve today. Once again, the inner world is the place to make the changes, it is a day to make the changes within in order to affect external change. As the number 3 can represent the home, this would be a wonderful day to make these changes within your home. If there was ever a day for a “Spring clean”, this is it, allowing the breath of fresh air to cleanse the atmosphere of your home.
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.
Iq’ is the fourth of the classic Year Bearers, or Year Lords. It gives rise to unpredictable, strong years.
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)
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.
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 is possibly the most troublesome of the numbers to deal with, it lacks stability. 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.
One of the hazards of Imox days is the possibility to get pulled into the dreamlike depths of the collective consciousness, but today the duality of the dream and reality is apparent.
Imox is a fertile place to allow our minds to wander, however, it is easy to get stuck in this swamp of creation. What you can bring out of these depths can be something truly in harmony with the spirit of the times, that’s if you manage to extract yourself from the dream. Imox can be seen as the infinite possibilities, encountering Imox can be like staring into the abyss. It can inspire or terrify. The energy of Imox is not always the easiest to work with.
Today, the energy of the number 2 is coupled with Imox. This can be seen as being able to understand the duality, the 2 helping us to discern between the dream world and the real world. It is, perhaps, rather a useful combination, one which may help bring out the best from the “crazy” day. We could also see the number 2 as representing self sacrifice, and there is a possibility that today you might need to make a sacrifice of your energy in order to bring your dreams closer to the surface. Perhaps the most charming interpretation would be when we see the number 2 as the number of lovers, suggesting that today you are particularly able to form a collective consciousness with your partner. Today is a day of dreaming together.
White water lilies. There is some evidence that the flowers were used by the priest/kings to induce visions of the otherworld. Picture 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 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.
Whether you use the name Ajpu or Junajpu for this nawal, this combination gives the name Junajpu or Jun Junajpu, one of the legendary hero twins, or their father. This day could see the divine begin to return.
There is a huge amount of symbolism within this day, and the majority of it could be considered to be favourable. With the number 1 representing the new emergence, the birth and Ajpu representing divinity, we can understand that there is an opportunity to bring something new and meaningful into the world today. The “child” which emerges today was delivered by 13 Kawok, the spirit midwife. Ajpu is art, it is beauty, it is the re-emergence of the sun after the storm. It is the resurrection of the maize, the new life and light in the world.
Of course, the number 1 represents potential, and this is what we see today, this is the seed which is planted. It is the beginning of the process, the first light of the fire. The ceremonial midpoint of this trecena is 8 Kej, the alternative initiation day of the Aj Q’ij, and the destination is 13 E’ – the spiritual path. With these days falling in the next two weeks, if is no surprise that it might be a time of powerful changes. Today the fire needs kindling, it needs tending gently in order to grow into the great light it could become. You have the potential to bring out the divine in your world, to see the holiness in everything around you. You might just need to put in a little more effort to bring out the true light. It is there, waiting for you to notice.
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 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.
This is potentially one of the most turbulent days within the sacred count of days, but my own experience of these days has rarely seen that aspect. In fact, it has usually fully embraced the new birth aspect.
The day of the storm sent from the spirit world could be one interpretation of the combination of the nawal Kawok with the number 13. It certainly has the power to be intimidating. The ultimate day of the rain god where all might be washed away by the flood, where all is destroyed.
However, new creation can only happen where there is space for new growth, and if everything is covered with the outworn, the new growth cannot emerge. Here the spirit world lends a hand in the birth process, bringing its strength to the delivery. In fact we might consider that which comes in to the world today to have been birthed from spirit. As such we can see an auspicious nature of the energy of today. This does not necessarily mean it will be a gentle day. If there is anything hanging around that you should have cleaned up, you might find yourself pushed into confronting it for clearance today. The debris of many years may be washed away, and whilst the process may bring some fleeting pain, the end result will be worth it. If there is something blocking your new growth, today is the day to ask for the assistance of the spirit world to wash it away. It is a day when healing may come from another realm.
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 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.
The number 13 is the final number. 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 divinations, 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.
The next two days are considered by some to be two of the most turbulent days of the calendar. This certainly is a possibility as we head in the powerful days of 12 Tijax and 13 Kawok.
However, there is certainly another side that can be seen with both of these days and, of course, I will deal with 12 Tijax first. The energy of the nawal Tijax does have a reputation for its warlike nature, although I personally have rarely seen that expressed. What I have experienced, is a desire for refinement. Whilst there might be a degree of what some people might consider to be ruthlessness, Tijax just knows where and how to make cuts. It is not afraid to make the cut that which others shy away from, and does so to bring truth, beauty or harmony into the world.
The number 12 can represent all of our life experience. If we think about our experience being our autobiography, so we can understand that today can involve editing out the stories which are no longer relevant. It is a great day to release those experiences which hold you back from being your truest expression. It is a day to use all the experience you have gathered on your journey as a guide as to what to save and what to release. When you cut away the excess baggage you are able to move more freely on your journey. Experiences in our lives mould us into who we are, but we cannot move further if we don’t break free of the mould. We don’t have to regret our past, but we don’t have to live in it either. It is a day to heal these experiences, to cut ourselves free and allow the divine to emerge. This may, however, involve some rather deep cuts of the blade. This is a day to use your life experience to cut through injustice, lies and disharmony in order to bring healing to your world.
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 12 is the penultimate number. In some ways it can be seen as the last Earthly number, the number 13 representing the spirit world. We travelled through the mortal world with 1 through 6, then the other world with 7 through 12. In this way 12 can be seen as a point of bringing all of the experiences into one bundle for presentation to the spirit world as we step into 13. As such, the number 12 brings a wealth of experience into one place, it is rather like writing an autobiography. It is totality, all that is, brought together.
This is a day for “those free-thinking types.” It may be a day with a myriad of genius ideas, although finding a train of thought to follow may be challenging.
Most days which carry the number 11 can be a little confusing to say the least. The strong energy of the 11, combined with its lack of true direction, can lead to situations where you don’t really know where you are, or where you are going, although you are sure you are in the right place. The energy of the nawal No’j may bring some stability to this through its logic. It may be a day of many thoughts and ideas which seem to form some kind of cohesive structure from a certain point of view. You may need to patiently observe your thoughts until the end of the day in order to understand where the trail is leading. In fact it may be that today you are able to come up with the rather left field thoughts that were the missing pieces of your master plan.
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. Last year, 2016, was the year 4 N’oj.
The number 11 is a high and odd number. This gives it some rather challenging properties, although it can come good in the end. Imagine you visit Ireland and are transfixed by the green of the hills, then you go to Morocco and are awed by the red of the buildings, then you go to the Caribbean and are moved by the turquoise sea. You return home and paint a beautiful picture using those colours. When you were in Ireland you didn’t know you were going to paint that masterpiece, you may not have even known why you were there. This is how 11 works. You are sure you need to be doing something, but unsure why. You are collecting experience through many wanderings.
When we are calling the days during a fire ceremony, Ajmak is often referred to as the nawal of redemption, and I feel this is a key element to the energy of this particular day. It is a day to both redeem others and seek our redemption.
An interpretation of the number 10 is that of community. When we combine this with the energy of the nawal Ajmak, we can see two very important ideas emerging. One is asking forgiveness from your community. Occasionally we make a mistake which can impact on our community or our peer group. Our instinct may be to try to cover this up, to paper over the cracks without actually addressing the issue. However, at some level this issue may be still bubbling away beneath the surface, causing disharmony. Often the thought of addressing the issue, of bringing it up for resolution is more intimidating than the actual process itself. The energy of the day 10 Ajmak provides beneficial conditions for going through such a process of redemption within your community.
The other side of 10 Ajmak is about our own ability to forgive society. There is much discontent within society at this present time. Issues have divided communities and families, driving wedges between friends. The disharmony created by this is perceptible, even behind the smiles. This is the day to fix these situations within yourself and forgive your perceived failings of society. It is not possible to come to equilibrium through enmity, only side by side can we work together to resolve the situation for the good of all. To initiate this process, forgiveness must take place, and the energy of the day 10 Ajmak creates the perfect environment to do that. Only then will we truly bring the sweetness back into our society.
The number 10 gives us the sense of the two hands coming together, of co-operation and support. When we combine this with the energy of Ajmak, it could be seen as extending a hand to help those who have fallen get back up again. By choosing to take this action, we start to release our own karmic burden. It is a day of asking forgiveness from our community for the times when we might have acted with less integrity that we normally would. The action of assisting those in need may certainly help to restore our balance.
Therefore, today even more than others, if you get the opportunity to act selflessly to help others, grab it with both hands. You have been handed a gift, the key to your own redemption.
I am sorry
Please forgive me
I love 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 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.