9 Kej (22nd November 2019)

9 KejThe combination of the the number of the divine feminine with Kej, the nawal of spiritual leadership, should give rise to an excellent day for the empowerment of women in particular.

There are some combinations where the properties of the nawal and the number reinforce each other, such as 4 Kej, 5 Toj or 12 K’at, where the meanings of the nawales and numbers are very much the same. The day 9 Kej is extremely interesting for the reason of the nawal and number carrying the energy of opposites. Kej can be seen as being one of the most masculine of the nawales, representing strength, vitality and determination, which are “traditionally” seen as masculine traits. Today this is combined with the number 9, the most feminine of numbers, creating a situation whereby those “masculine” traits may be especially prevalent in women. It can result in a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energies.

Today there is a possibly more familiar archetype which so accurately fits the energy of the day, it may give a further understanding of the feel of the energy, that of the Greek goddess Artemis. She is the strong, empowered, independent woman, the huntress deeply connected with the forest and, of course, divinely connected. Whilst she could be seen in general as the archetype aptly describing the energy of the number 9, today more than any other truly fits the bill, with the connection to the wilderness of Kej. This can also be seen as the day of the High Priestess, the female spiritual leader. With that in mind, it would be an excellent day to seek spiritual counsel from women in your life.

Today is a day to allow women to take the lead as this should be one of the most empowered days of the calendar for them. Be aware that the strength of Kej does sometimes create rather domineering situations, so you may not have much choice in the matter! This could potentially create some conflict within groups of women.

If you are woman looking for a empowerment, you might find this in the wilderness today. Take a walk in the forest and allow the inspiration of the natural world to remind you of your true strength and divinity. From the masculine side, this is also an empowering day where nature reminds you of the strength which can come through compassion. For everyone involved the energy of today brings a beautiful balance between the masculine and feminine energies, all can benefit from the union of the polarities.

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

 

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

8 Kame (21st November 2019)

8 KameThe number 8 can be seen to represent birth (1) and death (7) brought together. Combined here with Kame, the nawal of transformation, this day strongly represents the turning of the wheel of life and the growth it creates.

As the days go, there can hardly be a more representative energy of the cycle of life and possibly the cycle of the soul. Today is a day that ceremonies will be made to honour our ancestors, those who are walking their path in the other world. It is said that after death, the souls pass into the underworld where they pass through the houses of challenges. Upon completion of the challenges, they then climb the world tree to the heavens, from where they again incarnate. Today we remember our ancestors, their love and what they brought to us. We are here because of them, we carry their DNA forwards. They taught us things both through their actions and their words. It is for all of these things that we thank our ancestors, we show our love, we show that they are remembered. We hold them in our hearts, and in our memories they live on. This is a day to embrace joy and allow Kame to burn away our grief.

When we see Kame in combination with the 8, this really brings home the wholeness of the cycle of life. It is not just the physical death of the body, every change we go through is a death or end of something. Even birth is the end of a cycle of gestation, the beginning of parenthood, the beginning of a new life. This is a day to celebrate those changes. It is a day when we embrace the changes which happen through the emergence of the new (1) and the death of the old (7) all together in one place. In this Kawok trecena, as we go through our own rebirth process, today is the changing point where we become that which our process has brought us to, we step through the veil into our new self.

The day 8 Kame is also seen as the perfect day to get married. When a couple are married, their lineages become entwined, woven together. This is obvious as their offspring will carry the DNA of both bloodlines. However, it is also seen as having an effect of bringing together the ancestors. The wishes of the ancestors are considered in a great many things and a marriage on a day which honours them is thought to be highly beneficial. The reason why the 8 Kame is particularly seen as beneficial is that not only is it a day on which the ancestors are honoured, it is a day which takes into consideration the four first couples  – Balam Kitze and Kaja Paluna; Balam Aq’ab and Chomija; Majujkutaj and Tz’unun Ya; Balam Ikim and Kakixaja. According to the creation stories, they are the ancestors of us all, the guardians of each of the cardinal points. They bless the union of the couple with the masculine and feminine aspects of the properties of each of the directions – strength, wisdom, spirit and abundance.

Materials for a wedding ceremony. A corn cob each of red, white, black and yellow, together with a bowl of water for each direction, bring a physical representation of the properties of the four first couples to the bride and groom. Photo by Hana Wolf

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.

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 Kan (20th November 2019)

7 KanThe combination of the number representing endings and death, with the nawal Kan representing power and wisdom could signify coming to a conclusion about the wisdom that the correct application of power brings.

An ancestor brings wisdom through the vision serpent. Feathered Serpent Diety, detail of Classic Maya lintel at Yaxchilan, from ''A Study of Maya Art'' by Herbert Spinden, 1913 {{PD-US}}
An ancestor brings wisdom through the vision serpent. Feathered Serpent Diety, detail of Classic Maya lintel at Yaxchilan, from ”A Study of Maya Art” by Herbert Spinden, 1913 {{PD-US}}

The energy that flows through us brings us power. How we choose to use power is up to us, but the energy of today would suggest that whatever we have been using it for will finally reveal its wisdom to us. If we were using it to heal and connect our community, it may reveal one type of wisdom. If we have been using its power to manipulate and distract, it may reveal a different type of wisdom. Today we reach the pinnacle of our power, and learn whatever lesson our use of it has brought to us.

From our vantage point at the top of the pyramid, we are able to see in all directions.  This is a day which may bring the end to a certain illusion or manipulation, particularly by those who use their power to deceive, as we are able to see past what they are showing us.

With the number 7 being in the middle of the range we can also understand this day as being one on which power, together with its use and abuse, is very much held in equilibrium with the wisdom it brings. Maybe you have learned through experience, that there is a way you have been using your power that no longer serves you. Equally, it may be that you know if you choose to use your energy in a particular way, it brings peace to your family and community. Today you may have to make a choice between the dark, self-serving side of Kan, and the bright selfless side of Kan. You have the ability to tap into the wisdom you have gained from your experiences so far to guide your decision. In which way will you choose to engage your power?

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.

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

6 K’at (19th November 2019)

6 K'atThe energy of the nawal K’at helps us to gather what we require, leading to an abundant outcome. This is an inspired day to bring together that which creates stability in our lives and those of our families.

It is said that the nawal K’at has the ability to multiply all that it comes into contact with. This is probably a reference to its association with Ixkik (Lady Blood Moon) who magically filled her net (K’at) with corn from the rather bare milpa of Ixmucane, the grandmother of her unborn twins. Her ability to fill the net with corn planted by Jun Junajpu, the son of Ixmucane, proved Ixkik was carrying his children and she was accepted as part of the family. This day, 6 K’at, particularly emphasises that sort of experience, not just an abundance that appears from nowhere, but its ability to bring stability within your family.

All harvests take their time, we have to wait as the plants grow, flower and mature. Sometimes we forget about something we planted, or we thought it would come to nothing. Today is a day to check out for a possible harvest, you might find a surprise gift from the Heart of the Sky and Heart of the Earth manifested into your garden.

Of course, we don’t all plant food, but we do receive sustenance from the seeds of ideas or plans we plant. Today, check the progress of your plans. How are they coming along? Are they coming to fruition or do they need a stabilising influence? It is possible that if you are not actually taking the harvest today, energy put in today may bring stability to the abundance you gather at a later date. Will one of the properties of the four directions – strength, wisdom, spirit or healing – help to stabilise your plan, or will it take the inspiration from the Heart of the Sky or compassion from the Heart of the Earth? All are available to assist you and today you can gather all six qualities together and reap the benefits.

Today is the day to gather your abundance in a stable manner in preparation for the new journey ahead.

Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K'at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.
Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K’at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.

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

5 Aq’ab’al (18th November 2019)

5 Aq'ab'alA little hard work can really get things moving today. The energy of today suggests that putting some extra effort into a new project will pay off, but it might be a little more work than you expected.

When you dream of a new idea or a solution to a problem, you might dream of the final result or outcome rather than all the detailed steps. You wake with the idea in your head as to the direction to move in, but then you have to work out the preliminary moves. This is where Aq´ab´al comes in helping to turn the dream into a concept you can begin to ground into reality. Aq´ab´al gives you the light at the end of the tunnel, without all the steps in the tunnel. You know now that the dawn, the new light is definitely coming, you just have to figure out your way to get to it. Today, the light is not coming to you, if you want to experience it you have to put in the energy or work to get to it.

The energy of this day is the energy of the project initiator, pulling together all the essential elements into the right place, at the right time, to move towards the goal. It provides drive and determination to achieve the dream, although sometimes the work put in may be at the detriment of other relationships. Sometimes the concept looks straightforward, but when you start work you realise it will take more effort than you originally planned. You might find yourself so absorbed into a new project that you forget what else is going on around you, or end up working later than usual. That is not to say that the work will not be rewarding, just that imbalance may occur.

In the process of moving into the new life, your rebirth through the Kawok trecena, things are really moving now. Your passage towards the light is continuing, your emergence into your new world. Today we have the energy to push hard into the new concept of ourselves we wish to become.

Equally, with regards to relationships, which are also highlighted by Aq´ab´al, today might well be a day where some extra effort put into your relationship may really prove beneficial. If you are looking to initiate a relationship, today may prove conducive, although it might require more energy than you anticipated.

Dawn over Lake Atitlan, 21st February 2016, as seen from the garden of The Four Pillars, San Pablo La Laguna. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 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 Iq’ (17th November 2019)

4 Iq'The beneficial properties of the number 4 bring stability and a touch of gentleness to the strong and unpredictable energy of the nawal Iq´, so today might prove to be very suitable for implementing inspired changes.

Iq´ days can be difficult. Sudden changes challenge us, and blustery words can cause arguments. When we have high winds here, many people in the village get sick shortly afterwards, usually due to the extra dust in the atmosphere around them, so the wind is blamed as a bringer of sickness too. In general Iq´ days tend to have a bad reputation, although the without the wind there would be no change in seasons and therefore no life.

However, the energy of Iq’ today can really be rather different. When channelled correctly, the energy of the wind can be dynamic and productive, and the energy of the number 4 brings the degree of stability required to tame its erratic nature. Inspiration comes through on the divine breath supported by the qualities of the four directions – vitality, wisdom, spirit and healing.

If you have been waiting for inspiration to voice some ideas, which have been in the back of your mind for some time, today could be the day where you find sufficient energy to express them. The stability of the 4 also gives the ability to bring this inspiration into the physical world, to manifest your words into a solid reality. It is a day to get your ideas across to others, even if the ideas are rather far out, today they can be grounded and expressed easily. It is also a day to make changes, particularly in your physical world. The changing energy of the wind fills your sails and helps you move forward and the calm predictability of the number 4 puts you in control of your direction.

Wind God 1

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

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

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

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

The number 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 Imox (16th November 2019)

3 ImoxThe fertile nature of the energy of the nawal Imox gives rise to creation if it can separate from the inspirational dreams. Today the energy of the number 3 may assist with that separation, creating an internal focus.

Nawal Imox does represent the visionary world and without it there would be no creation. However, it also has some very challenging aspects, connecting us too strongly with the collective consciousness, bringing out the herd mentality. Today the potentially obstructive energy of the number 3 may block connection to the collective consciousness, helping the visionary energy of Imox to become more focused than usual.

Sometimes we like to be a part of a tribe, we like to belong. We understand the “rules” of what we grew up with, whilst we might rebel against them, there is sometimes a nostalgia around them for us. It fed us as a child and then we moved away from it. Sometimes we yearn for that nurture again. The energy today may highlight your separation from birth culture. In our birth process, as we progress through the trecena of Kawok, we can see this as separation from the collective consciousness, or separation from our mother culture. It allows our individuality to emerge.

The energy of the day 3 Imox has the potential to allow us to become independent, dreaming for ourselves, our own thoughts rather than cultural biases guiding us.  Today is a day to celebrate your individuality. It is a day to look inside yourself and truly identify your own dreams by detaching from society’s images or the spirit of the times.

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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.

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.

0.0.7.0.0 2 Ajpu 8 Sej – A New Tun Begins (15th November 2019)

The Gregorian date of 21st December 2012 held great significance for many people. Here in the Maya lands, a great many people had gathered to participate in ceremonies marking the completion of a very long cycle of time and the beginning of a new baktun within the long count calendar.

The long count calendar was used to calculate much greater cycles of time than could be recorded by the Chol Q’ij (260 days), the solar calendar (365 days) or the calendar round (52 years less 13 days). Through extension it can be used through periods of time up to thousands, and even millions, of years. In general, long count dates are given using five numbers. These numbers represent periods known as baktun, katun, tun, uinal and kin. The smallest unit is kin, which represents 1 day. The next unit, which could in a way be seen as a month, is a uinal consisting of 20 days. Moving into a larger scale, the next number represents the tun. 1 tun is made up of 18 uinal, a period of 360 days, and so is seen as a vague year. From there, the long count moves on in factors of 20. 20 tuns (7200 days) are equal to a katun, which will be 20 Gregorian years less 100 days. Finally, the greatest unit here, a baktun, a period of 20 katuns (144000 days), or roughly 394 Gregorian years. Other units extended this by further factors of 20.

Stela C at Quirigua which shows a creation date of 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ajpu 8 Kumku. Photo by Mark Elmy

Reference is made to the beginning of an age, a time of creation approximately 5125 years before 2012. This is seen on Stela C at Quirigua, which shows a date of 13 baktun, 0 katun, 0 tun, 0 winal and 0 kin, often written 13.0.0.0.0, followed by the day 4 Ajpu (Ajaw) 8 Kumku. This correlates to a date of 13th August 3114BC, although another correlation is 11th August 3114BC. For one reason or another it became a belief that a great cycle of time consisted of 13 baktun, so the completion of a 13 baktun period was seen as having special significance. Regardless of theories or ideas with regards to that significance, the completion of a cycle such as a katun or baktun was seen as a time to be marked with ceremonies to welcome a new period. When the thirteenth baktun was completed in 2012, the corresponding long count date would have read 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ajpu 3 Kankin, although it is sometimes also represented as 0.0.0.0.0. One day later, 22nd December, would then be 0.0.0.0.1, twenty days later the first uinal is complete, giving 0.0.0.1.0 and then 360 days later, 16th December 2013, would mark the completion of the first tun, giving a long count date of 0.0.1.0.0

These periods have continued through the years in the following sequence:

21/12/2012: 0.0.0.0.0 4 Ajpu 3 Kankin

16/12/2013: 0.0.1.0.0 13 Ajpu 18 Mak

11/12/2014: 0.0.2.0.0 9 Ajpu 13 Mak

06/12/2015: 0.0.3.0.0 5 Ajpu 8 Mak

30/11/2016: 0.0.4.0.0 1 Ajpu 3 Mak

25/11/2017: 0.0.5.0.0 10 Ajpu 18 Sej

20/11/2018: 0.0.6.0.0 6 Ajpu 13 Sej

15/11/2019: 0.0.7.0.0 2 Ajpu 8 Sej

A new period begins today. We completed the 7th tun after the beginning of the new baktun, yesterday on 1 Kawok. The new tun will always begin on an Ajpu day, and today on 2 Ajpu we mark this new tun. The long count date will become 0.0.6.0.0 (2 Ajpu 8 Sej). Once again we see the turning over of a cycle, and should be seen as a great time for a renewal. Perhaps we can understand the theme of the next tun to be carried by the properties of 2 Ajpu, to use our discernment to choose what we truly hold divine, and to make our sacrifices in order to hold a noble path. It is also a time of finding the divine essence in our relationships.

If a stela was carved for today, this would be how it would look. 0.0.7.0.0 2 Ajpu 8 Sej Image created using Bob Makransky’s Mayan Astrology Program

2 Ajpu (15th November 2019)

2 AjpuThe energy of the number two is said to represent relationships and lovers, and Ajpu represents the search for divinity, so there is a rather obvious area highlighted by the energy of this day. However, there is another aspect.

The number 2 also represents duality. We judge what is around us, we discern between what we consider to be “right” and what we consider to be “wrong”. However, all of creation came from unity, came from oneness. Sometimes it is very difficult to see the divine plan in all things. The energy of the combination 2 Ajpu helps us to understand the bigger plan, to see that behind our judgement a longer term plan is in motion. For example, certain situations can be so “wrong” in many peoples’ eyes, that they cause people to make a choice. Before that situation occurred, the people could not be bothered to make a choice, they sat idly around complaining. The situation pushed the boundaries and reached the limit of peoples’ tolerance so that they stood up and learned something about themselves. In this way duality helps to evolve our higher aspect, by bringing out the hero within us to confront the shadow.

This can also be seen as a day to find the divine within your relationship, to remember what it is in your partner that you love about them. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life we forget to look for this, we lose sight of who we really are, our own divine side, and as a consequence, that of our partner. The energy of the nawal Ajpu sends us on a quest for the divine in the physical world, it helps us to see the love put into the world. Here in the second aspect, it gazes back at us.

The trecena of Kawok is birthing us into our new world, and here we see with the wonder of a newborn, marvelling at the beauty of the world around us. This beauty may be enhanced by the choice of another soul to share that journey with us. We are choosing to see the divinity in duality, to embrace and celebrate our differences as part of the one.

The number two can also represent self sacrifice, putting the needs of your companion ahead of your own. Today, willingly sacrificing your time or needs on behalf of your partner may bring you especially close, it may bring a new radiance into your relationship. Whilst relationships are highlighted, freely giving your time or energy to someone today may help you to embrace your higher aspect.

The Queen of Spain, by Mark Elmy

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 those 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 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.