The Arrival of the New Mam 7 E’ (20th February 2019)

The change of the year bearer, or arrival of the new Mam, represents the start of the new solar year, according to the classic highland Maya count. We are leaving behind us the year 6 Kej and moving into the year 7 E’, a year where we finish certain journeys and can see the new options available to us.

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7 E’ (20th February 2019)

7 E'

The day 7 E’ gives us the opportunity to cross the finish line, to complete a journey and to see where the next path might take us. It is time to take the final steps, on whatever path we are walking, time to enjoy our accomplishment and to choose out our next journey.

When we have journeyed through life, there is no doubt we have accumulated knowledge, understanding and perhaps even wisdom through our experiences. The path never really ends, one journey will always lead to another. However, we may come to a point where a particular stage comes to a culmination. In the physical journey this is obvious, we reach our destination, possibly the top of the mountain. But when we get to the top of the mountain, what do we see? Possibilities of new journeys as we are able to see all the paths leading to other mountains. We might rest and enjoy the view for a while as we consider our options, but it is essential that that we move on. To do this we need to make a decision on our direction using the experience of the path we just completed to guide us. From the top of the mountain, the end of the (ascending) path, we can see everywhere we went, and everything we experienced, on our journey to get there. Our successes and failures, out defeats and our victories, our tears and our smiles. Today is a day of bringing closure to a part of our life, a journey that has been completed.

The path that led to the top of the pyramid. Visiting La Danta at El Mirador had been a dream of mine for 22 years. Here I celebrate taking the final steps of a very long journey by sounding my conch. As I see all around I now look for a new adventure.
The path that led to the top of the pyramid. Climbing La Danta at El Mirador had been a dream of mine for 22 years. Here I celebrate taking the final steps of a very long journey by sounding my conch. As I can see all around I now look for a new adventure. From the top of La Danta, we could see the pyramids at El Tintal, where we had come from, and Nakbe, where we were going. Picture by Litmus A. Freeman

 

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

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

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


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

7 E’ 0 Nab’e Mam – The Seating of The New Mam

The Seating of the New Mam is the moment that the Wayeb has ended, when the period of retreat has finished and we can emerge from our “cave” back into the real world. In some communities, this would be celebrated with feasting and drinking, welcoming in the new grandfather who will guide us through the next revolution of the sun.

This year is governed by the Mam 7 E’. In addition to 7 E’ carrying the energy of the day, it is also carrying the energy of this new year. The properties and benefits brought by the nawal 7 E’ are discussed in my post for the day of 7 E’ here. The energy of this day is a representative of the energy which we will be living with for the whole year. The general feeling of this year should be about the completion of a journey, and the choice of which direction to go next.

The new Mam may take a little while to settle in. This is usually the first 20 days. Whilst it is obvious that the “administration” has changed, it takes a little time for all the promises made in the campaign to be adhered to. Nothing in nature moves in a square wave, it is always a gentle transition more akin to a sine wave. This is the first light of dawn, the day is just beginning, but we are still experiencing a little of the cold of the night. It will not be until midday, the height of the cycle that we will experience the fullest expression of the energy of this year lord. We can expect that in around 182 days or so, 7 Ix (21st August 2019).


The last time we experienced an E’ year was 2015, which was the year 3 E’. E’ years are usually seen as being benevolent years. They the years when we might make new discoveries, journey to new places, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They bring an energy of curiosity, of change, and sometimes a boldness to step out into the unknown, as it is there where novelty awaits us.

Its combination here with the number 7 suggests endings. This year may very well represent the end of the road for some things. We have taken our learning process as far as we could, now we have reached our destination, the top of the pyramid. From that vantage point we can see the new opportunities for learning open to us. It will be up to us to choose which path we now wish to take. This may be a year when many options are laid out in front of us, and it will be essential that we make a choice. There is a  danger that stagnation will arise from indecision, although with all the options available it may be difficult to select one path. This is a great year to finish the study of a subject and begin a new one. The journey of the heart through relationships may also find itself coming to some kind of conclusion. Life and time can be seen as a spiral, and here we have come to a point where we have completed a revolution of that spiral and it is time to begin a new one.

On a grander scheme of things, the cycle of the year bearers repeats every 52 years. Of course, we do not relive exactly the same experiences, but we may see similarities with the last time this year bearer was in office. That was the year 1967, when Mam would have taken his seat on the Gregorian day 5th March. This gives us the opportunity to understand how to engage with the benefits of, and avoid the errors committed during, the previous incarnation of the Mam 7 E’.  For some ideas on major events of 1967, please click here.

6 B’atz (19th February 2019)

6 B'atzThe energy of the combination of the nawal B’atz with the number 6 could give rise to a very auspicious day. It is a day to bring your creation together in the physical, while drawing on the forces of Earth and Sky.

B’atz days are nearly always considered to be fortunate, and B’atz is one of the most revered days within the sacred calendar. It should be no surprise that when this is combined with the stable number 6, a great opportunity arises. The four directions, Heart of the Earth and Heart of the Sky all join forces today to empower the creativity endowed by the nawal B’atz. This could be seen as the day on which masterpieces are created, with some divine assistance.

What kind of masterpiece you create will be up to you. B’atz gives the ability to turn your hand to anything from weaving or writing to singing and dancing. B’atz loves to entertain, it also love to joke around and play the fool, especially in the role of the fool that could get away with telling the truth to the king. It is important not to confuse the fun loving nature of B’atz with a lack of intelligence, B’atz is a holder of great wisdom.

It is not just the arts that B’atz assists with, it is the creation of reality itself. Today is a powerful day for stabilising the reality you choose for yourself. The B’atz energy is conducive to weaving your ideas into existence, and today especially bringing them into the physical.

So, go out and engage with your creative potential, play and have fun making your masterpiece.

Monkey god 1
The ancient Monkey god, one of the creator deities. The nawal B’atz is related to both the thread of time and the monkey artisan. From the Dresden Codex

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the other is N’oj. 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 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.

6 B’atz 4 Wayeb – The Fifth Day of Wayeb

The fifth day of Wayeb completes these days of introspection and retreat. In some ways, whilst this is the day when we can see the dawn of the new year coming, it may also be the most difficult day. It is the day when we start the process to emerge from the chrysalis.

There may be a crystallisation of the process which has been taking place though the days of Wayeb. Here, its combination with the day 6 B’atz, a highly fortunate and creative energy, it suggests that we are able to take the threads which we have received in the previous cycle, and weave then into something stable and divinely inspired to take forward into the next. While the Mam 6 Kej may have brought some harsh lessons, it has refined us and brought out the beauty. The reality we have woven has been inspired by Heaven and Earth, and now that the cycle has ended we can see the true beauty of the weaving we have created.

Pawahtuun, also known as Mam and god N. Known as the god of the Wayeb and the number five. An old man that carries a conch shell, who was both a beloved creator and a trickster. From the Dresden Codex

5 Tz’i 3 Wayeb – The Fourth Day of Wayeb

The fourth day of introspection during the Wayeb is associated with definition, and in this solar cycle it is combined with the energy of a day which would suggest the working on guidance, faith and loyalty.

We have passed through the three previous days and identified where we are. This time has you helped to identify your strengths and your weaknesses, and asked of you to accept all this as a part of who you are.  You may have found that you have been faced with temptations, things which your guidance suggested weren’t in your best interest, but you chose to succumb to anyway. Now with the experience, knowledge and understanding of yourself, it is time to start charting your course for the coming year of 7 E’. How does your faith in yourself and your path guide you towards your destiny? How does it support your journey? How can you better follow your guidance to avoid making the same mistakes again?

 

Another representation of Pawahtuun, the god of the Wayeb, this time from the Paris Codex. From http://digital.library.northwestern.edu/codex/page6.html
Another representation of Pawahtuun, the god of the Wayeb, this time from the Paris Codex. From http://digital.library.northwestern.edu/codex/page6.html

5 Tz’i (18th February 2019)

5 Tz'iBoth the nawal Tz’i and the number 5 have some pretty challenging aspects to them, so today might be a bit of a rough ride. However, of course, it might also give rise to some true understanding of unconditional love.

When the nawal which represents faith, loyalty and unconditional love is combined with the number which represents hard work, it is pretty obvious that this might prove to be  testing day. Yet again we see a day with a challenging energy appear in the trecena of Kame.

The energy of the number 5 can cause a drive to rush into things without thinking and the energy of the nawal Tz’i can be impulsive and hormonally driven. This can lead to the possibility of challenging situations arising, particularly within relationships. Sometimes those we love the dearest, those we would do anything for, do things that we just can’t understand. Sometimes they betray our trust and our faith in them. Tz’i gives us the understanding of how to continue to love unconditionally, no matter what. Today Tz’i is asking you, “can you really love unconditionally?”

This does not just apply to relationships, of course. Today may throw up some “development opportunities” within the areas of faith and loyalty in general. Remember, this trecena of Kame is all about a transformation of our spirit, and it is only through testing of our faith in our path and our lives that we can see if we are ready to embrace that transformation. Tz’i is here to guide us through the darkness, provided we are willing to put in the work required from us, this is a day where we have to work on trusting our guidance.

Nawal Tz’i is also the nawal of the law and justice. This is not just the federal or district law, these are the laws of society. It is true justice. Today it may feel like obtaining justice requires hard work and injustice in the world may be highlighted. While Tz’i days are normally good days for legal matters, today it might take extra effort to get the result you are looking for.

The dog sits by the cauldron, from the Madrid Codex
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.

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 Toj 2 Wayeb – The Third Day of Wayeb

The third day of Wayeb focuses on acceptance. When we combine this with the day 4 Toj, we can understand that it can be about the necessity for making a payment for what we have accepted during the reign of the Mam 6 Kej

All growth and change are powered by and energy of some kind, and that energy comes from somewhere. While it may have been convenient at the time, it is now the time to accept that we have may have created a debt through our process. Today is a day to repay anything which is outstanding in order to move into the new cycle of days free of burdens.

Pawahtuun2

4 Toj (17th February 2019)

4 TojThe nawal Toj brings with it the appropriate time to make a payment, but today this is very much something which should apply to the physical reality. It is a day to pay off your physical debts and allow others to pay theirs.

Our debts weigh heavily on our energy, whether they are big karmic debts or that £10 you forgot to give back to someone. It does’t matter if it is only a tiny debt, in fact those you forget are the ones which mount up. They connect both the debtor and the lender, nibbling away at their energy and causing both an imbalance and and unnecessary attachment. The theme of this trecena of Kame is spiritual transformation, and this is difficult to undergo when such physical attachments are present.

Big debts can be very detrimental to the health, but may also be difficult to clear. Small ones might be more manageable. Sometimes just an acknowledgement towards the person you owe may go a long way to creating harmony, just by showing you haven’t forgotten. Likewise, it is important to remind others of their debt towards you, even if you feel awkward doing this. The energy goes both ways and it is better to clear it. Of course it doesn’t have to be about money, it may be that you owe the most precious of commodities, time.

Today is a day to repay favours, if nothing is asked for then why not just do something nice for someone who has helped you out in the past. If you haven’t got anyone to repay, then this would be an excellent day for a random act of kindness towards a complete stranger.

Toj helps to bring health and well being when payments are made, and so making physical payments today can help to heal divides within your community and bring transformation.

Community working together. Tata Isaias, Nana Isabel, Nana Ingrid and me making fire ceremony at the Harvest Festival. Two women and two men combining Kaqchikel, Spanish and English in a ceremony to bridge the communities living together in San Marcos La Laguna. Picture by Tamila Timm
Community working together. Tata Isaias, Nana Isabel, Nana Ingrid and I making fire ceremony at the Harvest Festival. Two women and two men combining Kaqchikel, Spanish and English in a ceremony to bridge the communities living together in San Marcos La Laguna. Picture by Tamila Timm

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 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 Q’anil (16th February 2019)

3 Q'anilWith the nawal Q’anil representing the ripening, maturity, fertility and abundance, we usually expect beneficial Q’anil days. However,  with the number 3 representing possible obstructions, today could be slightly more challenging than most Q’anil days.

Q’anil days, much like the people who carry Q’anil as their nawal, very rarely fail to shine. They often feel like bright, happy-go-lucky kind of days, and with the properties of Q’anil, this is exactly what we would expect. However, today they might lose a little of their lustre. Growth and the passage towards ripeness may be a little obstructed, Q’anil may not be quite as prosperous as usual. Even the usual connection to the plant world may be obstructed today. The usual blessings of Q’anil enjoyed in the garden may not be quite as fruitful as normal. The harvest is on its way, but full abundance cannot be reaped at this time, full ripeness has not yet been reached.

As we age, Q’anil helps us to mature, we ripen from children into elders. Today might bring some setbacks with that process. It might give rise to a less than mature response from yourself or from those around you. This may lead to some frustration, it could lead to some lapses in responsibility. Q’anil may then even lead you into drunkenness.

We are passing further into the trecena of Kame, and once again we see a potential for challenges in the energy of today, although what we learn from these challenges may truly help our souls to ripen. The inner alchemical process we undergo during the trecena of Kame is highlighted as the light of Q’anil turns inwards bringing maturity to hidden depths of our creativity. Although this may not be easily expressed in the outer world, it is possible that the brightness of Q’anil illuminates something in ourselves which is normally unseen, a hidden talent.

However, it could also add some lightness to the day – Q’anil is a fun loving nawal after all. If we take into account the other aspect of the number 3, that of the home, this could be where the light of Q’anil truly comes out today. By bringing this lightness into your home, it could be an excellent day for a play day with your children, just don’t expect anyone to act too much like an adult!

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They are ripening, but are not yet displaying their full brightness. Picture by Mark Elmy

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.

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.