12 Ix (5th October 2018)

12 IxThe day 12 Ix can be seen as gathering together your life’s wisdom, wealth and experience. It is a day for giving thanks for all that you have received throughout your life.

As we travel through our lives, we are having a continuous and ongoing experience with the energy of Mother Earth. Many do not realise it, many choose to ignore it, but it is from the Earth than all material emerges.

Industrialised societies tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised societies see her as a living entity with whom we can interact, and she carries the nawal Ix. So, it is on Ix days that prayers are offered at her places, the shrines and altars, her ears, to ask for what we need in our world.

When we understand our relationship with Mother Earth, we enhance our abilities to interact with this world. This can be seen as wisdom, at least with regards to thriving in our Earthly world rather than just surviving. The further we move through life, the more we gather with regards to our experience, and today we celebrate what we have gathered through life about our understanding of the way the world works. This is a day when we can draw on our life experience of how to make things work, how to draw upon our “magic” or our knowing of how to ask Mother Earth for what we need. We also draw on our experience of gratitude, our understanding that this is the lubricant to keep the energy moving. This is a day to be grateful for all you have gathered from Mother Earth throughout your life.

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

Ix is possibly the most feminine of the nawales. It represents the spirit of Mother Earth and could easily be seen as a Mayan representation of Gaia. Ix can be seen as a mothering energy, nurturing all things, but this should not be confused with weakness – the animal totem of Ix is the jaguar and it is as the jaguar that Ix is often known. The jaguar is, of course, powerful and stealthy. Ix also embodies these qualities. The jaguar is an animal of the night, slipping magically through the darkness, the spots of her back a representation of the milky way. She carries the sun on it’s nightly journey through the underworld.

The connection Ix has with the Earth gives it the ability to manifest material wealth. In the Mayan cross astrological configuration, Kame evolves to Ix. In the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, the Hero Twins sacrificed themselves in the underworld (Kame) and then were resurrected as a pair of catfish, later to become travelling magicians (Ix.) They cut the heads off animals, then resurrected them, they even cut off each others heads and brought each other back to life. In these scenes they are shown with patches of jaguar skin on their clothing, a symbolism denoting that the wearer is a shaman. Thus through the symbolic death or sacrifice, the shamanic power emerges.

Whilst Ix has the power to engage with the magic of the Earth, it also has a tendency towards illness. This is particularly strong when the vain, ungrateful side of Ix emerges. The magic that runs through this nawal comes so easily, that sometimes it forgets that everything really comes from the Earth and it is to the Earth that we must show our gratitude. Ix is also the nawal of natural shrines and altars, the places where fire ceremonies are made to give thanks. A spirit of gratitude and humility keeps Ix healthy. Ix is of course deeply connected with the natural world and it is here that they find their wisdom, power and wealth. This is a day to give thanks, to remember gratitude, and a day to engage with your magic.

The number 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.

11 Aj (4th October 2018)

11 AjThe authoritative and just energy of nawal Aj combines with the directionless but powerful energy of the number 11. This may give an energy of leadership, with a focus in many different directions.

It is an interesting combination of energy with the mild mannered energy of the nawal Aj combining with the highly energetic, yet meandering qualities of the 11. Perhaps this is one of the few days that can actually ground the energy of the 11 and put it to good use within the home. You may be distracted when it comes to projects to nourish your community or family, starting many “important” jobs, yet not finishing them. Be assured you may be laying the ground work for an upcoming masterpiece to sustain all.


May the Heart of the Sky be in my heart,

May my heart be in the Heart of the Earth,

May the Heart of the Earth be in my heart,

May my heart be in the Heart of the Sky


The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, that which allows us to stand tall, proud and brave. As the cornstalk, it has it’s roots in the Earth, and it’s head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, if we wish to lead in a just manner, we should cultivate our connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

Foliated crossThis is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Mayan temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day. 

Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

The number 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.

10 E’ (3rd October 2018)

10 E'The nawal of discovery joins with the number of co-operation and community. This is the day of the joint venture, the communal exploration to new places and new concepts.

The day 10 E’ can be seen as a day to explore your role within your chosen community, to bring clarity and understanding to your life purpose. It can also be a day on which your community may wish to look at the direction it is heading. It should be a great day for an adventure with friends, where you can all expect to learn something profound.

When I call the day E’ in ceremony, I often talk about how our paths have woven themselves together, to bring each person in the ceremony to this point in space, at this point in time, in order to have this experience. The energy of the ceremony is created by the people who participate in it, it is a co-operative collaboration through which we discover something new. Of course this applies to far more than just ceremony, our paths connect and weave with the people around us in this present moment. It is a day to celebrate our path together, how we all co-operate to enrich each others lives through the experiences we provide for each other.

FootprintsNawal 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 it’s 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 it’s 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.

The number 10 is another number which demonstrates the connection between the sacred calendar and the human body. As five represents one hand, ten represents two hands coming together. This can be seen as the shaking of hands creating agreement between people. Ten is seen as a good number, a number of community and the laws of society, of people acting in harmony with each other.

9 B’atz (2nd October 2018)

9 B'atzThe day 9 B’atz is a very special day for women, as it is a celebration of their creativity and their ability to create life. This is the day of women, the day to honour them.

The nawal B’atz is the nawal of creativity and is seen very much as a representative of all the arts. In the Maya world this would include painting, sculpture, music, writing and importantly weaving. Weaving appears to be predominantly a female pastime, it is also seen as one of the most important. It is a physical representation of the creation of the world through bringing together the male warp and the female weft to create the fabric of reality. Women may choose to physically weave in the external world, yet they are also the weavers of life itself, as the gestation process which takes place within them is considered to be the weaving of a new human life. Here we see the specific reference to the number 9 – the number of life and the lunations of gestation – and B’atz – the process of gestation. This is, of course, the most sacred and essential of all of our activities, furthering our existence, and this is the realm of the women in our world.

This is a day for women to honour who they are, to embrace their femininity and creativity. It is a day of celebration of female Aj Q’ij, Maya day keepers. It is a day when men have the opportunity to honour the women, particularly their wives, mothers and daughters. Whilst this day may be a day of the women, it is also a day to embrace the feminine creativity, to allow the women in our lives to inspire our art.

Images of weaving using a backstrap loom, from the Madrid Codex

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