Tag Archives: Aj

12 Aj (13th November 2018)

12 AjThe energy of the nawal Aj is associated with the home and leadership within the community. Today it associates with the energy of the number 12, bringing your life experience to support those around you.

The nawal Aj brings with it a solid and dependable energy, it is helpful and supportive. As the nawal of the spinal column, it can be seen as the one which holds everything together, keeping everything in its rightful place. It holds the person straight and channels the energy of communication from above and below. We also use the the word backbone to represent honour, integrity and courage to do the right thing, all of which can be summed up in the energy of Aj.

The day 12 Aj can be seen as a day on which you draw on all of your life experience in order to nourish your community, your family and your home. Your past experiences can bring you strength and courage, and help you to stand up for what is right should you need to. They also provide examples that you can pass on to others within your community to help them to grow. This is a day where your life experience clearly shows you how to do the right thing, and how to support those around you, bringing harmony into both home and community.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 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.

5 Aj (24th October 2018)

5 AjPutting energy into the sustenance of our home or community benefits both ourselves and those around us. The day 5 Aj brings together these aspects to give a day where this type of work flourishes.

The nawal Aj is related to the spinal column. It holds us upright, brings us the strength and courage to do the right thing. It holds everything in its rightful place. However, it may not have always been like that. It gains strength as it is used, the wisdom it holds comes through experience. Whilst Aj is very much a leadership nawal, it is almost reluctant in stepping forward, preferring to guide gently rather than exercise the authority it also carries. These qualities of Aj are a blessing for all and are achieved through the experience of the work of life.

The day 5 Aj is a great day to be doing some form of work on behalf of your community, your work and your input will bring great nourishment to those around you. It is a day for selfless work, a day within the Toj trecena, where we have the opportunity to pay back the support our families, friends and communities show to us. However, it may also be a day when efforts to guide or lead may be rather more challenging than expected, especially if you feel yourself rushing into things.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 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 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.

4 Aj (14th September 2018)

4 AjThe combination of the noble authority of the nawal Aj and the stability of the number 4 should give rise to dependable and solid day. This is a day of support and courage, particularly for those who take the lead.

There is possibly no greater steadying influence greater than that of the nawal Aj. Aj is the one who keeps order, the pillar which both supports and sustains. It keeps everything in its rightful place in order to bring harmony and growth to the community it supports. It brings leadership qualities of the most altruistic kind. It provides an energy which organises to ensure that the community is cared for.

Today it is combined with the number 4. This brings with it an essence of stability, particularly in the Earthly plane. This represents the most basic level of the material existence. This could be seen as the arrival of of a stable leader who will work to ensure that the most basic of material needs are fulfilled. It does not necessarily take into account any other planes of existence, the focus is purely in our world.

This is a day to put your energy into ensuring that the basic needs of your family and community are met. It is a day to focus on supporting people through real world issues, rather than existential dilemmas.

Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 its roots in the Earth, and its 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 its people, that keeps everything in its 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 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 beneficial number.

10 Aj (25th August 2018)

10 AjThe strong and social energy of the number 10 combines with Aj, the nawal of authority and social leadership. This is a day to join hands with your community and bring harmony into your environment.

The nawal Aj is seen as a beneficial nawal, and whilst it is a leader, it is past the stages of control and manipulation. Aj is wise and noble, it is gentle and respected, primarily for the benefits it brings to the community. It represents the harmony within the home. This comes through the strength that Aj has, through its connections with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. It brings courage to do the right thing for the good of all, even when that may be a difficult decision.

Today we see the energy of nawal Aj combined with the energy of the number 10, representing society and community. It can be seen as the fingers of two sets of hands joining together. This can be seen in many ways – the shaking of hands representing agreement and friendship, one hand guiding and helping the other forward, one hand extending to help the bearer of the other up. It shows the benefit gained by all through co-operation and friendliness.

The day 10 Aj is a day to remember that your actions shape the community that you live within, and that community reflects the energy you put into it. Today is about actively being a member of the community you wish to create, to offer your hand or your assistance where it is required. This will bring benefits all around, to everyone involved, it brings harmony into your home. It is also a great day to petition for help from those around you.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 its roots in the Earth, and its 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 its people, that keeps everything in its 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 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.

3 Aj (5th August 2018)

3 AjWhile the nawal Aj is the quintessential energy of stability, its combination with the number three may see it knocked off its usual balance today. This day may bring challenges to leadership in particular.

The staff tipped with silver carried by Maya elders in their villages is a mark of authority. It is Aj, and both their authority and their leadership spring from many sources. It is not necessarily a political position, although in the modern world it may have become more so. It is a position of respect, achieved through wisdom and dedication to the ongoing life and prosperity of the community. This is the essence of the energy of Aj, leadership through quiet devotion to the people rather than self serving power.

However, the energy of the number 3 brings a challenge to that. It brings a day when even the altruistic efforts of leadership may be challenged, certainly if they are applied externally. The energy of the three brings the focus back to the home and the internal process. As a number of creation, it could be suggested that today is a good day to employ the newfound creativity felt in the B’atz trecena within the home, bringing the harmony as you do so.

Aj is also seen as the nawal of harmony in the home and, together with the number 3, as such this could be seen as  very potent place to focus your wisdom and strength today.  On a day where the external values of leaders are challenged more than ever, looking inside yourself for the courage to stand up and wisdom to do the right thing is the most beneficial course of action.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 its roots in the Earth, and its 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 its people, that keeps everything in its 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.

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.

2 Aj (26th June 2018)

2 AjToday the nawal Aj brings harmony to our home, our relationship or our community. However, the number 2 highlights duality suggesting we may need to make a choice about something which challenges this.

The nawal Aj represents the cornstalk which joins the Heart of the Sky to the Heart of the Earth. It is this connection which helps Aj to sustain the home and community through its masculine aspect of authority and feminine aspect of compassion. Today it is combined with the number 2, enhancing this ability to draw on both sides of the polarity and strengthening this connection. It connects the mother with the father to bring harmony into the home.

Aj is also known for its fairness. Traditional leaders of the community are valued for their ability to make wise decisions. Before politics, village elders would be sought after to sort out disputes, their experience, authority and compassion guiding them. In this they would have to make a choice, a judgement between two sides. This is also something we can see in the energy of today. This is a good day for decision making as both aspects of a situation may be highlighted. The fairness and honesty of Aj may help you to make a decision which will help to bring harmony into your life, and the life of those around you. With the nawal Aj representing physical (rather than spiritual) leadership, this may be a good day to assess the pros and cons of leaders. Is there a way to bring harmony by embracing both sides or points of view? The wise leader would find it and use it to strengthen the community as a whole.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 its roots in the Earth, and its 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 its people, that keeps everything in its 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 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.

8 Aj (6th June 2018)

8 AjA celebration of gratitude for our home and family would be the theme of a ceremony made for today. A solid foundation gives us the strength to stand tall and a harmonious home and loving family give this foundation.

The energy of the nawal Aj is about doing the right thing. It is fair and just, and this is why is represents the true leader. The true leader might not even be recognised at first. They do not need to prove their authority to anyone, but they are the one that is sought, when problems arise, for their wise counsel. The true leader has compassion and love perfectly balanced with authority and strength. They carry a blend of what we would call yin (compassion) and yang (strength) energies which make them complete. Today we are able to draw on both the masculine and feminine aspects of the qualities of the four directions – vitality, wisdom, spirit and healing – creating a balance of yin and yang energies and bringing it into our homes and communities. This is all in addition to the connection that Aj has to the Heart of the Earth and Heart of the Sky. Allow the wise counsel of the wholeness of the nawal Aj to arbitrate in disputes and seek resolution. This in turn will bring strength and harmony to all who are involved.

A true leader also has experience, and here we see the 8 incorporating the 1 and the 7, the birth and the death, the highs and the lows of life. We draw our wisdom and strength from both aspects, so that we can sustain others through their dark times. It is also a day on which we may ask Aj to bring this strength to us should we be in need of it at the moment.

As we continue to travel through the Kame trecena, this day highlights the physical requirements for a true spiritual transformation. The ability to work with the otherworld through meditation and ceremony is of course important, but transformation cannot take place if this is not grounded into the physical. The experiences in this world give us the backbone to undergo true transformation. Whilst the earlier days of the trecena may have been rather challenging, the latter days bring the reward for passing the challenges.

This is a day to enjoy with your family and your home. We sustain them and they sustain us. It is a day to bring harmony into your home, using your experiences from your past, but also your connection to the Heart of the Sky and Heart of the Earth, the wholeness of existence.

This 8 Aj ceremony was held on 24th April 2011 to introduce ourselves to the spirits of the land here before we started to build. It was a way to start with the energetic level, the unseen world before moving in to the physical.
This 8 Aj ceremony was held on 24th April 2011 to introduce ourselves to the spirits of the land here before we started to build. It was a way to start with the energetic level, the unseen world, before moving in to the physical. Picture credit: Unknown
The very first fire ceremony we made on our land here, 8 Aj in the year 12 E' (24th April 2011). Picture credit
The very first fire ceremony we made on our land here, 8 Aj in the year 12 E’ (24th April 2011). This is the same circle that we use for ceremony to this day. Picture credit: Unknown

 

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 its roots in the Earth, and its 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 its people, that keeps everything in its 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 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.

1 Aj (17th May 2018)

1 AjToday is the beginning of a new cycle. It is a new trecena, a new 13 day period, beginning with the highly fortunate and noble nawal Aj. It can be seen as a time to bring harmony to home and community through wise counsel.

After the potentially dizzying roller-coaster ride of the Ajpu trecena, we are entering into a time of grounded organisation. Starting today is a period of putting what we have learnt from the last trecena into practice on the physical level. The conquering of the fears on 7 Kame and initiation into leadership on 8 Kej have led us to this day.

It is the day when we have a potential to engage with our new found bravery, our renewed strength and courage, and the wisdom that facing these challenges has brought us. We are able to begin to lead by example, to recount our path to harmony on order to inspire others. However, it might take a few words of encouragement from those around us to help us to realise the abilities we now have.

It is time to begin to stand up and be counted, to allow your wisdom and experience to be heard and put to use. Stand proud, with a straight spine, and draw on the energies of the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth, to bring peace and prosperity to your home and the wider community. This day, 1 Aj,  is the beginning of the journey to leadership within your community, not through desire for elevation of status, but through the desire for a more cohesive world for all.

The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small and unassuming temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross, the featured image of this article. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex, showing both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart of the beautiful site of Palenque. Picture by Mark Elmy

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 its roots in the Earth, and its 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 its people, that keeps everything in its 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 1 is representative of the seed, of unity. It represents birth and beginnings. It is a low and odd number, which usually represents something challenging. However, the seed can grow into a mighty tree, it is full of potential. It just needs the correct nutrients and conditions to germinate and develop, just as sometimes we need encouragement to develop our ideas.