Tag Archives: Macewal Q’ij

7 N’oj (20th June 2016)

7 N'ojToday may see knowledge and theories from different sources coalescing to form one combined idea as the plan is finalised. This process is empowered first by the energy of the full moon and then by the solstice.

At the beginning of this solar year, we welcomed the nawal 4 N’oj as the year bearer. This gave the overall theme of the year of bringing plans into physical stability. Now on its 7th occurrence, we see the nawal N’oj combined with the number 7, the number of endings and finality. This suggests that now is the time to finalise plans. These plans may be coming from many directions, and it may lead to some confusion as to which ones to develop. This is the day to make the decision, you can see them all for what they are.

The energy of the full moon in Sagittarius sheds light on the darkness, on what is hidden from view, and brings out a desire to actively seek out the truth of matters. As this process continues, the peak solar energy of the solstice happens 11 hours later, strongly illuminating the resolution or aim. This could prove to be a very dynamic combination alone, but combined with the problem solving intellect of N’oj and the balance and finality of the number 7 should give rise to extremely practical solutions for conclusion.

Within the cycle of the year are many sub-cycles. I often mention the cycle of the trecenas, but here is another, the 20 day cycle. The theme of this 20 day cycle, from 7 N’oj to 1 N’oj, should be finishing off one plan or set of ideas so that the  new ides can be born in the future. So, not only should the energy of today highlight a drive to get things finished off, this should continue for the next 20 days.

This is also the start of the month Rukub’ Pach (the second hatching of hens), the seventh month of the year, the peak of the growth cycle. It is coinciding with the northern summer solstice, which occurs in the northern hemisphere on June 20th for everywhere west of eastern Europe (to the east of eastern Europe, solstice is occurring on the 21st June). If the cycle of the year were seen as the cycle of the day, the June solstice in the northern hemisphere could be seen as midday, the time when the sun is at its highest point, its most energetic and vital. If the cycle of the year were seen as the cycle of life, the summer solstice could be seen as the point in time when the growth of the child has finished, but the decay of old age is yet to set in, it is the peak of physical perfection. Today this energy is expressed through the nawal 7 N’oj, empowering and raising to a peak knowledge and intellect.

Macewal Q'ij 2The 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. This year, 2016,  is the year 4 N’oj.

Number Sequence.jpg
The sequence of numbers as they appear with each appearance of a nawal. Here we see that the sequence begins with 1 and ends with 7, giving 7 as a number of finality.

The number seven is the mid-point of the range of numbers. It is known as a number of death and endings, which would seem strange as it is only half way through. It is another representation of the change of state of the soul, showing half of the journey (1-6) in the mortal world and half (8-13) in the otherworld.

The numbers of the days set out as a pyramid.
The numbers of the days as they appear through the trecena. Here they can also be set out as a pyramid, reaching the peak is also the end of a journey.

If we imagine the numbers 1 through 13 as a pyramid, the number seven would be at the top. Seven is the number of balance, it gives the ability to weigh up situations and see all points of view. While this may be very noble, it may lead to indecision.

5 N’oj – 1st April 2016

5 N'ojIt has now been 40 days since the beginning of the new Mayan solar year, so hopefully you are beginning to get your ideas into action. Today is a day to put your energy into developing  these plans and ideas.

It is said that maize planted in the first two months of the solar year Nab’e Mam or Rukub Mam will not grow tall, it reaches old age prematurely and does not bear a particularly good harvest. Today we begin the month Likin Ka, the time of the soft earth, when the first rains are due to come, and the time to plant the new crop has arrived. With the correct timing we can be sure that our crop will grow well, it will be strong and vital.

We can see this in combination with the nawal N’oj, only rather than the kernels of the maize, we are talking about our ideas and plans. Where 5 N’oj is concerned, with the 5 representing work (our energy, our effort), it is now time to start putting our effort into our plans. Yes, of course things should always flow with grace and ease, but even a perpetual motion machine needs a little push to set it going. If the 5 was to suggest “hard work” or obstructions it could be seen in combination with N’oj about overcoming obstructions through logical thought, although this may again take effort.

With all the positive signs of the energy of today, it is time to set your plans in motion, to put in that little extra effort. Your hard work should be rewarded as your plans come to a full and fruitful harvest later in the year.

A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N'oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.
A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N’oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.

An additional mention should be made today of the start of the Archaeological new solar year, the Ha’ab. Today is the day 0 Pop in the Ha’ab count which is also used in Mexico by those who follow Mayan calendar systems. It is exactly 40 day behind the Macewal Q’ij used here in most of the Guatemalan highlands. So, I would like to wish our Mexican and archaeologist friends a prosperous new solar year, 5 N’oj.

Old Man Possum draws four streaks in the sky - this relates to the old man (Mam) that brings one of four nawales to carry the year - Kej, E', N'oj or Iq'. Significant of the time of the coming sun, the new day, the new solar year.
Old Man Possum draws four streaks in the sky – this relates to the old man (Mam) that brings one of four nawales to carry the year – Kej, E’, N’oj or Iq’. Significant of the time of the coming sun, the new day, the new solar year.

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. This year, 2016,  is the year 4 N’oj.

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”.

11 N’oj

11 N'ojThis is a day for “those free-thinking types.” It is 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 desire to wander randomly 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 N’oj may bring some stability to this through its logical and pragmatic energy. 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.

Earth Lord
A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N’oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.

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. This year, 2016,  is 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.

 

4 N’oj 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 4 N’oj. In addition to 4 N’oj carrying the energy of the day, it is also carrying the energy of this new year. This is likely to be a welcome relief after the difficulties and challenges brought to many by the year 3 E’. The properties and benefits brought by the nawal 4 N’oj are discussed in my post for the day of 4 N’oj here. This is a year to bring your new ideas into the physical world, a year of stable solutions to problems.

Whilst things should become easier, it may not happen overnight. The new Mam may also 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, 4 Kawok (21st August 2016).

Kinich Ahau, the solar deity, lord of space and time. We begin a new solar year, a new count of solar time. He is also representative of the number 4, which is the number carried by this new year. From the Dresden Codex.
4 N’oj (21st February 2016) is a day when we materialise our ideas into the physical world. We may have been sitting on them for some time, waiting for the right moment, and now is the time to ground them.

The last time we experienced a N’oj year was 2012, which was the year 13 N’oj. In some ways we could be looking at an interesting part of a cycle. The number 13 signifies the spirit world, so it is possible that the ideas we had in 2012 were directly linked with the spirit world. This could represent more than a hint of divine inspiration in 2012 to get creating. Four years on, N’oj is back again, this time with a very Earthly number of stability, the number 4, so it is possible that the ideas/intuitions that were being fed to us from the spirit world in 2012 are now materialised and stabilised into the Earthly plane.

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 1964, 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 4 N’oj.

Old Man Possum drew 4 streaks on the sky and is seen here delivering the new Mam, representing the new solar year. Accompanied by K'inich Ahau in the two frames below as teh benevolent solar deity. From the Dresden Codex.
Old Man Possum drew 4 streaks on the sky and is seen here delivering the new Mam, representing the new solar year. Accompanied by K’inich Ahau in the two frames below as the benevolent solar deity. From the Dresden Codex.

2 Tz’ikin 3 Wayeb – The Fourth Day of Wayeb

2 Tz'ikin 3 Wayeb

The fourth day of introspection during the Wayeb is associated with definition, and what better nawal than Tz’ikin, the nawal of vision, could be associated with focussing on this task. 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. Now with this knowledge and understanding of yourself, it is time to start charting your course for the coming year of 4 N’oj. How do your strengths and talents guide you towards your destiny? How can they support your journey? How can you avoid making the same mistakes again? With ability of the nawal Tz’ikin to see the bigger picture, yet focus on the detail where required, this day may bring you your vision of the future, the map for your onward journey.

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

1 Ix 2 Wayeb – The Third Day of Wayeb

1 Ix 2 Wayeb

The third day of Wayeb focusses on acceptance. When we combine this with the day 1 Ix, we can understand that it can be about our acceptance of our place as the children of Mother Earth. We are here to care for her. She will provide, but we are not here to plunder her resources. You may have done so in the past, but today gives the opportunity for a fresh start.

We all have a past, and we all have made mistakes. Today is the day to make peace with those mistakes, to accept that they are part of what has created you, now. When you embrace mistakes, you accept yourself, warts and all, and 1 Ix helps you to begin to truly realise your own magical self.  Ix also highlights gratitude, and the occasional lack of it. Today is a day to accept that sometimes you may have forgotten to say thank you, but to resolve to embrace a spirit of gratitude in the future, particularly towards the natural world.

Pawahtuun2
Another portrayal of 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

13 Aj 1 Wayeb – The Second Day of Wayeb

13 Aj 1 Wayeb

The second day of the Wayeb is said to represent recognition of yourself, during your introspective period. Could we possibly have a more auspicious day for this? 13 Aj brings out the leader of people within you, empowered by the spirit world. It shows you your true strengths, how you are able to stand up for and sustain your community. Search inside yourself for what you bring to the world, and how you can create a more harmonious environment for your family and community.

The high energy of the 13th day also illuminates the dark corners. How can the energy of this day help you to overcome what you perceive as your failings or your weaknesses? Allow the energy to bring you strength, the backbone, if you wish to overcome these in the new solar year.

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
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

12 E’ 0 Wayeb – The First Day of Wayeb

12 E' 0 Wayeb

The posts that I am writing every day concern the days of the Chol Q’ij, the Mayan sacred or ritual calendar, which consists of 260 days. However, this is, of course, not the only calendar used by the Mayan people. One of the other calendars used is known as the Macewal Q’ij or Ordinary Days. This has been termed a civic or agricultural calendar, which may seem less grand than the sacred days, but without agriculture, the people would starve. There are ceremonies associated with certain days of the Macewal Q’ij, not least the arrival of the first day, the new Year Bearer. Kenneth Johnson wrote an excellent first hand account of his experience in Momostenango of the arrival of the new year bearer or Mam here

However, the new year is not here just yet, first we have to get through the Wayeb. These are the five days at the end of the 365 day count. They are thought of as a dangerous time, when the energy is confused to say the least. It is interesting to note that the final five days of the solar year are overseen by the previous incarnation of the same nawal. 12 E’ was the year bearer for 2011/2012. If we imagine reality as a ship and the year bearer as the captain, it is as if the captain has died and been replaced by the ghost of the previous captain. Maybe this is why this time is thought of as being so unpredictable.

Wayeb is seen as a time of introspection, a time when we take stock of what has happened over the previous year. It is seen as a time when public ceremony is avoided, some people do not wash or comb their hair, they may not leave the house. It is a time when the days are unsupported and misfortune may occur.

The introspection of the Wayeb and the overall energy of the day 12 E’ can result in a day when it is good to sit in silence and review all that your journey has brought you in the past year. What have you learnt, what have you discovered? What would you do again,  and what would you avoid if you could? How can you bring the lessons together into your personal story to take forward into the new solar year?

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
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

The Chol Q’ij and the Macewal Q’ij

As the Mayan new solar year approaches I have been thinking about the relationship between the Chol Q’ij, the 260 day Mayan sacred calendar, and the Macewal Q’ij, the 365 day Mayan solar calendar, or ordinary days. In the Macewal Q’ij, “new year” will occur on February 21st in 2016, and because of the lack of an intercalary day, February 20th from 2017 to 2020. The Macewal Q’ij consists of 18 months of 20 days, which are then followed by a period of 5 days known as Wayeb.

Each new solar year, a new year bearer (also known as Mam, grandfather, cargador or Year Lord) takes his seat. There are four year bearers in use here in Guatemala, these are Kej, E’, N’oj and Iq’. They cycle much as the days cycle; 2012 was 13 N’oj, 2013 was 1 Iq’, 2014 was 2 Kej, 2015 was 3 E’ and 2016 will be 4 N’oj. In 2017 the solar year will begin on the day 5 Iq’, so we see the same sequence of year bearers with the number increasing by 1 each time. These are the year bearers currently used by the K’iche’ people of Guatemala. Archaeologists give a slightly different count as they start their count, the Ha’ab, 40 days later. The year bearers are the same, but the number is increased by 1, making 2016 the year 5 N’oj. There is also another count which starts 13 days later, due to an extra 13 days being added in February of 2013, which changed the year bearers. This was known as the “Gran Wayeb” and while this has many logical reasons and has been adopted in some areas, I do not know many indigenous day keepers who have adopted it yet.

The Chol Q’ij consists of 260 days and is commonly seen as 20 periods of 13 days, which are sometimes referred to as trecenas. Each trecena has a different attribute depending on the days involved and their strengths. However, there is another way of counting the Chol Q’ij which co-ordinates it’s movements with that of the Macewal Q’ij; that is by counting 20 day periods. Each month of the solar year begins with a seating day, which is usually given a value of 0, and ends on a day numbered 19. Therefore, the first day of the solar year, consists of two components, and in 2016 will be 4 N’oj 0 Nab’e Mam. After 20 day have elapsed, the solar month will change and the month of Rukub Mam will start on the next N’oj day, the date 12 N’oj 0 Rukub Mam. I have compiled the dates into the table below to show the entire year.

What this table shows is that the bearer of the year presides over each of the Macewal Q’ij months, moving through each of his variations. He moves through the solar year twice, once thirteen times, then the second time five times (marked with a *), then through the Wayeb. The ** on the Wayeb marks that the year bearer only takes his seat for five days, and that it is the year bearer which governed for the previous appearance of this year bearer. For example, 13 N’oj was the year bearer of the year 2012, and 1 Iq’ was the year bearer on 2013. This seems hardly a coincidence and probably relates to the “Ghost” of the previous Mam taking responsibility after the current year bearer has “died”. The Wayeb is known as a time when public ceremony should be avoided, some people do not wash or comb their hair, they may not leave the house. It is a time when the days are unsupported and misfortune may occur.

Macewal Q'ij 2

When these cycles are compared with the life cycle of the maize, possible clarity occurs. The life cycle of the maize, the sustenance and substance of the people is 260 days. If Maize was planted on 21st February, it would be harvested on 7th November, which incidentally also around when rainy season usually ends. The maize grows and ripens, then the plant dies and is doubled over so that it dries out. In this way we see the 260 days as a cycle of life. From the 7th November through to 16th February there is no rain, so new life, the new sprouting of the maize, cannot occur. This is the second period of the year bearer, the 100 days, which could be seen as a journey through the otherworld, the world of the dead. We then have the 5 days of mourning, before the new year bearer takes his seat and the cycle of life begins again.