Tag Archives: Women

8 Kawok (28th January 2017)

8 KawokThe eighth day of the trecena is traditionally the day most celebrated through ceremony and today we see it in conjunction with the nawal of the midwife and the birth process. It is a day to honour the female healers in life.

Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex
Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex

When we look at the calendar through the perspective of the Mayan cross, we see cycles of conception and birth. What we call the past sign is seen as the day of conception, 8 days (or rather 268 days) before the birth day. When we apply this to the cycles of the calendar, we can see that the eighth day of the trecena was conceived on the thirteenth day of the trecena before. We could consider this to represent a conception from the spirit world, or a conception of the ancestors. Today, we see the number 8 connected with Kawok, and so the conception of this day falls on 13 B’atz. Today we are experiencing a day of birth which was woven by the ancestors, which lead to some rather auspicious properties.

Kawok days are sometimes given a difficult reputation from their storm aspect. We can think of this as very much like the midwife and the birth process, it is not the midwife who is experiencing the turmoil, but she is overseeing and assisting with it. Kawok is very much like this, a helpful energy that clears the way for the new birth. However, once in a while more action if called for and Kawok employs its more forceful side to wash away obstacles to new birth. This can involve a degree of destruction in order to clear the way for the advancement.

8 Kawok embraces both of these aspects. It gives a balanced energy which can help to bring the new into the world using a combination of the two. Today is the day to ask for the compassion and understanding of Kawok to combine with the sufficient force required to birth our new projects into being. It is particularly the day to make thanksgiving ceremonies for the work of the midwives and female healers, for the safe arrival of the newborn children and the protection of their mothers during birth.


Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex
Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex

Nawal Kawok is in some ways a counterpart to the nawal Tijax. Where Tijax has masculine aspects of healing, Kawok has the feminine aspect. Kawok is sometimes referred to as rain or storm. It is this rain that washes away that which has been cut out by Tijax.

While most healing roles within the Maya world do not seem to be gender specific, one is. Both women and men may be healers, prayer makers, herbalists and diviners, only women will become midwives. Kawok is the energy of the midwife. Kawok helps to clear the obstructions from the birth process, in some ways it actually represents the birth process. Kawok brings the new into the world. In the Mayan cross, Kawok, the birth process finishes the sequence which starts with Aq’ab’al (conception) and moves through B’atz (gestation.) In the sequence of the calendar, Kawok precedes Ajpu. Ajpu represents the resurrection of the maize lord, also the creation of the world. Kawok creates the conditions for that to happen, the rain which brings forth the sprouting of the maize.

In its storm aspect, Kawok can be destructive, although it is a destruction which allows a new creation to happen. Kawok energy can give rise to some tempestuous situations, it can be a day which can give people a rough ride, although this may be for the eventual good. It is a day to ask for the gentle rain to bless your crops, and for the harsh rain to stop. It is a day which washes away the old and outworn in life, so that the new growth, life and divinity may emerge.

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.