Tag Archives: Ceremony

8 Ix (24th November 2016)

8 IxThe nawal of the spirit of Mother Earth combines with the number of wholeness on this day of gratitude, when we give thanks for everything we receive from her.

Seven days ago, we started the trecena of Kej, giving us the possibility of drawing our strength from nature. Today we feel what that brings us – the wholeness of connection with the spirit of Mother Earth. This is a day of celebration, a day when we give thanks to Mother Earth and all she provides for us. It is a day when we recognise the “magic” in our lives, our ability to work in harmony with Mother Earth to sustain ourselves, our families and our communities with what she provides.

Ix is also the nawal of the natural shrines  and altars, the “ears” through which Mother Earth hears our prayers. We often make ourselves heard, asking for what we need in our lives, and today gives us an opportunity to give back. Whether you have a natural altar near you or not, today brings an opportunity to show her your gratitude by making an offering. This could be using your time to help clear up a local natural environment of the debris left behind by her ungrateful human offspring. Bring a little of your magic to her and she will return it to you magnified.

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 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.

9 Toj (30th October 2016)

9 TojThis is a day on which women make offerings for the gift of their children, and where men make offerings for the women. It is a day to acknowledge the sacrifices made by the women in your life.

The combination of the number 9 with the nawal of payment gives rise to two important aspects of today. Firstly, the number 9 represents life itself, and our ability to reproduce. Toj days are days on which we make ceremonies, offerings or payments and, as such, today is a day on which offerings are made for fertility, for the ability to reproduce. In particular this aspect is pertinent to women, it is a day of women’s ceremonies, a day of thanksgiving for the divine feminine essence that all carry. The second aspect could be seen more from a male perspective, although not exclusively. This is a day to make offerings to the women in your life for the sacrifices they have made in order to sustain life. Again, it is a thanksgiving for all that the divine feminine, and those who embody it, bring into our lives.

The energy of 9 Toj may also represent what you might consider to be a life debt. Whilst the payment may involve the use of your energy, the results of making a payment today may be very powerful. When life debts are resolved, the momentum to move forward increases. Today is a day when the “karmic cashiers” are open to receiving the payment, and that payment will be accepted on your behalf.

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
The woman makes a sacrifice. Lady Xoc pierces her tongue and receives wisdom for her people from her ancestor emerging from the mouth of the vision serpent. The original lintel can be seen in the British Museum in London. This beautiful drawing is from http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/maya-lintels.htm

 

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 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.