Tag Archives: Community

10 Kej (12th November 2017)

10 KejToday, the strength and determination afforded by the nawal Kej are combined with the number representing the joining of hands. It is a day to play an active role in strengthening your community.

Kej is known as the strongest of the nawales, this is part of what gives it the energy to lead. Whilst the energy of Kej can be quite domineering, leaders can only retain their position if people follow them, and people will only follow them if there are some benefits to it. So whilst Kej gives a very driven energy, it does tend to be moving in a beneficial direction.

With regards to the wilderness aspect of Kej, today would be an excellent day for a journey into nature with members of your community. Any kind of communal work (or play) in nature would be likely to bring strength to the group. It would be a very favourable day to organise an environmental project within your village, which would benefit both the local wildlife, and the community.

The number 10 represents community and cooperation, two hands coming together. In true community this should give rise to both giving and receiving equally amongst members of the community. Sometimes we have excess and sometimes we are deficient, our abilities and actions depend on which state we are in. The energy of 10 Kej brings a day where the assistance we provide through stretching out our hands to offer our strength to our community will be greatly enhanced. Equally, if you are in need of assistance, this is a great day to seek that from your community.

Xbalamkiej, patron of the day Kej one of the hero twins from the Popol Vuh. From the Dresden Codex
Xbalamkiej, patron of the day Kej one of the hero twins from the Popol Vuh. From the Dresden Codex

Kej is possibly the strongest of the nawales, it is powerful, but in a different way to Kan. Kej is energetic, lively and determined. It is the nawal of nature, of the wilderness and it is this power that it draws on. The animal totem of Kej is the deer, but if you have fragile, new-born Bambi in mind, think again. This is the majestic stag, standing on the mountain surveying his domain. Whilst most nawales are not necessarily engendered, Kej is most definitely masculine. Both men and women that carry Kej as their nawal have great strength, although the men tend to hide their strength more. Kej women are particularly driven, resourceful and brave, sometimes to the point of being rather dominant. All radiate an aura of nobility, people tend to look to them to lead.

Kej is the nawal of the Mayan “religion”, a day of spiritual leaders, of shaman and of priests. It is these leaders who understand how to read the messages from the natural world, who help to keep our existence in balance with nature. It is a day to connect with the wilderness and draw the power of the natural world into you, to harmonise and replenish.

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.

10 Ix (30th October 2017)

10 IxToday sees the nawal representing the Mother Earth combining with the number representing community and co-operation, this is a day to join hands with those around you and show your gratitude to her.

Our environment suffers a great deal just through our existence. While many of us care about the planet we live on, we also have to deal with the issues created by those who don’t. However, we are not powerless, especially when we join together.

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 consider the spirit of Mother Earth, we realise that she just keeps on giving, keeping us alive. We throw trash, we live unsustainably, we keep taking. Ix days give us the opportunity to give back by showing that we care about her. Today in particular is a day to join forces with those close to you to make this happen, it’s a great day for a environmental community project. Perhaps you could show your gratitude by clearing up your village, by repairing some of the imbalances caused by humans.

The nawal Ix also helps us understand our potential – the “magic” that flows through us, our ability to engage with that higher side of existence. Showing gratitude to Mother Earth engages us with our true potential, and working with your community today may help remind you of the magical experiences that come through that channel. She will repay your efforts tenfold.

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 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.

10 Imox (17th October 2017)

10 ImoxThe nawal Imox is already well connected with the collective consciousness and its combination with the number 10 today only serves to make that connection stronger.

Being connected with the psyche of your community can sound like a good thing. In its best aspect we can see this as a community all creating and dreaming together. The energy of Imox can be used to really understand, on a level beyond words, the drives which motivate those around you.

However, there is another side of this as the energy of the nawal Imox does not always give the ability to filter the connection. Today the connection to the group consciousness is wide open, and may not only be connected to the community you choose to be part of. Be aware of what you connect with, this is a day when you might particularly distance yourself from the media or from social media networks.  The power of the the herd mentality may drive you crazy today, it is a day to fully engage your discernment filters.

The strength of the energy of the day would also suggest that anything which helps to access the unseen realms would be unnecessary today. It is possible to dive into your dream world and, without too much effort, get lost there for a while.

In its most positive aspect, it can be a great day to organise an event with close friends with a similar mindset. If you have the opportunity to spend time together by a large body of water, so much the better. The day 10 Imox may also be an excellent day for community water projects, for care of natural water sources, the lakes and oceans. Together you have a possibility to create and nurture collective dreams into this world.

White water lilies. There is some evidence that the flowers were used by the priest/kings to induce visions of the otherworld. Picture by Elise Lutz
White water lilies. There is some evidence that the flowers were used by the priest/kings to induce visions of the otherworld. Picture by Elise Lutz

Nawal Imox represents the collective consciousness, the great ocean. It is the moment before the “big bang”, when all that existed was the dream of the creator. It is everything and nothing in one place, the ovum from which reality was conceived. Imox is still very much in the other world, requiring another component to physically manifest the dream into reality.

Imox is considered to be a feminine nawal. Sometimes called water lily, sometimes crocodile, it is an embodiment of the primordial. It was from the great ocean that the four first men raised sky to create the world which we inhabit. Imox can also be seen as the Darwinian swamp from which all life emerged. It is fertile and creative, the mother that gave birth to our entire reality.

As the water lily, Imox is probably a representative of  Nymphaea alba, the white water lily. It has been suggested that the white water lily was smoked by the ancient Maya in a similar way to the blue lotus was used by the Egyptians. It was a plant which allowed access to the otherworld, a plant from which visions came if used correctly.

Imox is our common origin, and as such links us all together. It is the place of dreams, the collective conscious we delve into on our nightly voyages. It may also relate to the place that certain plant medicines take us to in order to bring us wisdom. However, as the font of all of creation, Imox harbours the dark as well as the light. When faced with the entirety of creation, the line between sanity and madness may become blurred.

Imox is a day to celebrate the spirit of the times, to understand the collective mind, particularly of humanity. It is a day to dream your creations, your art, your music. It is a day when we may all feel connected, a day when the psychic field between us may be particularly strong. Discernment may be called for, to understand when to dissociate from the collective, to remember your individuality, and to pull yourself back out of the dream world.

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.

2 Aj (9th October 2017)

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 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.

10 Q’anil (4th October 2017)

10 Q'anilGetting some help from the people around you today may bring your plans to fruition, as Q’anil, the nawal of ripening combines with the number 10 representing cooperation and community.

The energy of 10 Q’anil is a beautifully powerful combination. Q’anil is strongly associated with abundance, it bestows a talent with the plant kingdom whether it is associated with food crops or with medicinal herbs. A way with plants is not the only benefit though, Q’anil has much more to offer. Outside of an agrarian society, our abundance comes from our ideas and plans and Q’anil brings these to maturity too.

Abundance brings a lightness to our lives, it helps us to relax as our day-to-day needs are satisfied. When we are relaxed our mood and spirit is lifted and this is certainly something we see with Q’anil, it is a day of joy and pleasure. Today that could be particularly enhanced through interaction with your community. It is possible that working together not only increases the speed your project comes to readiness, it may also enhance the yield you receive. When a community comes together to work, this also helps to ripen the community itself, it brings out the best in people and reminds us of what we are capable of when we co-operate. It reminds us of how much we all benefit from each others light.

With so much abundance available, and the community gathered around, you may find the desire to celebrate equally strong. Whilst celebrating achievements and bonding with your community is always a great idea, be aware of Q’anil‘s love of intoxication. It might be all to easy to get really carried away if alcohol is involved, the energy of the following day 11 Toj might see you paying for the consequences.

An offering of flowers at perfect ripeness - by Tamila Timm
An offering of flowers at perfect ripeness – by Tamila Timm

Nawal Q’anil represents the ripening of the seed, the crop coming to maturity. The K’iché word Q’an means yellow, and the -il suffix is rather like the English -ing. Q’anil represents the golden head of maize at its perfection of ripeness, ready to be picked. In the Mayan creation story, humans were fashioned from maize dough, we are Ixim Achi, the people of the corn. The maize in this part of the world has a 260 day growth season between planting (conception) and harvest (birth.) This connects maize with both the sacred calendar and with the period of human gestation.

It is in the fields and gardens that Q’anil’s light shines particularly brightly, it is the nawal of farmers, gardeners and herbalists. But just as it is at home around plants, Q’anil has the possibility to shine anywhere. Q’anil has talent, its beautiful golden light illuminates that which it comes into contact with, Q’anil people light up the room with their presence. Q’anil is about achieving full potential, and this relates to all of our activities. It does have an affinity to the arts, but in general is a day of bounty for all life projects.

However, when an energy is so fertile and prosperous, life can become too easy. Q’anil also appreciates the rewards of its talent – sometimes a little too much. Q’anil is prone to overindulge in the sensual, in particular with regards to intoxication.

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.

10 Tz’ikin (21st September 2017)

10 Tz'ikinToday we see the prosperous nawal Tz’ikin, paired with the cooperative and community minded energy of the number 10 giving rise to a day of sharing visions for prosperity within your community.

Communities prosper when each member of that community is strong and healthy. Should one member have a problem, a strong community will rally round and ensure that the individual is supported.  Each member of the community brings their own wisdom and energy and is valued for their input. The ability to freely give that support, and accept it when it is offered is what truly benefits the community and everyone in it.

Change is not always easy, and as we go further through this trecena of Kame, we may need some assistance to achieve our completed vision of transformation. Tz’ikin is the day of visions and these visions are known to bring prosperity, both to yourself and your community. This prosperity may be financial, but it may also be greater wisdom or understanding. Sometimes these visions may be grand and may require skills or knowledge that you don’t possess in order to achieve them. Today is a day when we can share our visions with our community, and when we can ask for a helping hand to manifest these visions into the physical world. As always, this energy works both ways. A member of your community may be looking for your advice to help them see what they are missing in their plan, or to help them see things from a different perspective. Your willingness to share your vision with them may bring prosperity into both of your lives.

The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/
The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/

The nawal Tz’ikin is a nawal of good fortune, almost literally. Tz’ikin is another manifestation and abundance day, a day of prosperity which comes through vision. The word Tz’ikin means bird, although many like to relate it to the Quetzal bird or Eagle. Where the nawal Ix is connected with the Heart of the Earth, Tz’ikin is connected with the Heart of the Sky. In the foliated cross representation of Aj, we saw the bird deity sitting atop the cross representing the Heart of the Sky. Whilst all is one in the general overview, we could see Ix as representing the female principle (Earth energy / yin) and Tz’ikin as representing the male principle (Sky energy / yang).

A nawal of prosperity, sometimes seems odd to people seeking “higher knowledge”. It is not quite seen the same here. If your family is starving, you are more likely to fall off the good road, perhaps into dishonesty or criminal activity. By asking nawal Tz’ikin for prosperity in your life, you are more likely to be relaxed, to be able to help others and to be more constructive within your community. That is not to say that your own input of hard work will not be necessary, just that it is hard work that will pay off.

Tz’ikin has the ability to give visions, it helps people to see the bigger picture within life. It also helps people to focus on details. It has grand aspirations and helps people to rise to the top of their abilities, which of course brings them prosperity.

Just as Tz’ikin can focus, it’s broad vision can occasionally cause distraction. Sometimes, just when it is heading towards it’s goal it can be distracted by something “shiny.” This energy gives an ability to create great social networks, but sometimes spends too much time trying to maintain them.

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.

10 Iq’ (8th September 2017)

10 Iq'The day 10 Iq’ can be seen as a very sociable day with an emphasis on communication within your community. With the strength of both the number and the nawal Iq’ this could lead to some inspired words and changes.

Whilst Iq’ is known for its blustery nature, there are some combinations which really have the ability to bring out the best in it. Its combination with the number 10 is one of these. If you were ever looking for a day to hold a community meeting this would be the prime candidate. The inspiring words conveyed through the divine breath come come into contact with the number which represents community and cooperation. We could expect our oratory skills to be enhanced today, especially when we are surrounded by our family and friends. It is a great day to make speeches, and to listen to them. Communication goes both ways, so make sure you listen to what your community is telling you today, there may be something divinely inspired in its words.

If you are seeking to make changes, something which is also highlighted by Iq’, today is a day to ask for the support of your community to make them. Whether this is emotional support, or physical, today is the day to rally around friends to support them through their processes.

Despite all the positive connotations of this day, bear in mind that the wind may change and Iq’ is also a nawal that governs the angry word. With the power of the number 10 behind it, be aware of the effect your words might have. If you feel anger rising within you, pause and take a breath before you allow your words to fly.

Wind God 1
The wind god, from the Dresden Codex

Within the Solar year, today marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Q’atik translated as the season of passing.

 

Nawal Iq’ is another strong nawal. It represents communication and particularly divine inspiration. It is the wind, the breath of life, that which brings the change in seasons.

The communication brought by Iq’ can be enlightening and inspiring. It is the breath of the divine which flows through us all, in fact the word for soul is Saq Iq’ – white breath. When our breath stops, our divine essence leaves our physical body. When we engage ourselves with the divine breath we are able to create, to manifest with our words, to inspire those around us. However, Iq’ also has a destructive side. It has the ability to blow like a hurricane and may level everything before it. It is the angry words which cut down everything in their path.

Hurricane is one of the few English words which is actually derived from a Mayan word- Junrakan, meaning “one footed”. Junrakan is another name for the Heart of the Sky, one of the creator deities. Once again it seems that certain patterns follow through the sequence of the nawales which are interrelated. Imox, the female creative principle, or egg, is fertilised be Iq’, the male principle. Their combination results in Aq’ab’al, the conception and a change in the state, bringing the dream into reality.

Iq’ is a day of communication, a day of inspiration. It can be a great day to express yourself through written or particularly verbal means. It is also a day on which changes happen. You can either embrace those changes or resist them, but be aware that the wind blows forcefully and resistance of change requires a great deal of energy. Embracing change helps you to learn to dance like a leaf in the wind.

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.

10 Toj (26th August 2017)

10 TojThis is a day of service to your community. It is the payment that you make to keep your place in harmony, to keep your place in balance, which in turn keeps you nourished and healthy.

Whether you pay your energy through making ceremonies for your community or through physical work within the community, today is a day when gathering people together may help to really get things done. If you are able to co-ordinate a community spring clean, litter pick, or general tidy up of your neighbourhood, you could not find a better day for it. Many hands will certainly make light work today, in both the physical and the more esoteric sense. Hand in hand it is possible to make a huge difference to the world, and when we care for our community and surroundings, we can bring peace and healing to it. This in turn enriches our own lives.

Today is a day to show that we care for those around us, to give freely of our time and energy in gratitude to the community that sustains us. In turn this burns away any debts we have in this realm or another.

Community working together. Tata Isaias, Nana Isabel, Nana Ingrid and me making fire ceremony at the Harvest Festival. Two women and two men combining Kaqchikel, Spanish and English in a ceremony to bridge the communities living together in San Marcos La Laguna. Picture by Tamila Timm
Community working together. Tata Isaias, Nana Isabel, Nana Ingrid and me making fire ceremony at the Harvest Festival. Two women and two men combining Kaqchikel, Spanish and English in a ceremony to bridge the communities living together in San Marcos La Laguna. Picture by Tamila Timm

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 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.

10 Aq’ab’al (31st July 2017)

10-aqabalThe combination of the energy of the nawal of new concepts with the number of community brings about the possibility of bringing our communal dream, the new light, to the world through cooperation.

Whilst our individuality certainly serves a purpose, we can usually achieve bigger and more complicated tasks when we work as a group. The energy of today, 10 Aq’ab’al, brings a great opportunity to do just that. There may be something that you have been dreaming, something that you are trying to bring into the physical world. Today is the day to seek the assistance of the people within your community to make it happen. Both Aq’ab’al and the energy of the number 10 are seen as rather positive energies, as one would expect from the number of cooperation and the nawal of conception. It is the day to join with your community and bring your communal idea into physical reality.

If there were any cautions to go with the energy of 10 Aq’ab’al, it would only be that Aq’ab’al can sometimes become a little stuck in its ways. One meaning of Aq’ab’al is house (from the house of darkness in the Popol Vuh) and one of the essences of Aq’ab’al can be the stability given by fixed shelter. Additionally, the energy of the number 10 can also be seen as representing the laws of society.

Today, you may need to look past your set views within society, or perhaps beyond socially accepted norms, in order to bring your new concepts into the world. Novelty can not be achieved by repeating the same patterns over and over again, and sometimes to change the pattern, you have to push the boundaries. Today is a day when this might be required, and it is possible that you may need the help of others to achieve it.

Harmony in the community. Tata Isaias, Tata Michel and I lighting a ceremonial fire together for the closing ceremony of the Festival of Consciousness, San Marcos La Laguna, March 21st 2016. Picture by ‎Tuolovme Levenstein
Cooperation in the community bringing the new light . Tata Isaias, Tata Michel and I lighting a ceremonial fire together. Picture by ‎Tuolovme Levenstein

In the K’iche language, the word aq’ab means night. The suffix -al changes the meaning slightly, to hint at change and alludes to the dawning of the day, the time between darkness and light, night and day. Just as birth is the beginning of the mortal journey, Aq’ab’al is the beginning of the day, although the detail of the day may still be obscured. Aq’ab’al is representative of new things, things which are not yet fully formed. While in Santiago Atitlan one day, a friend explained to me the different parts of a weaving in process on a backstrap loom. Aq’ab’al is the warp (the vertical threads), B’atz is the weft (the horizontal threads) which creates the whole cloth, and the newly woven cloth is Kawok. In order for the weaver to create, first she has an idea in her head or a dream. She sets out the dream on her loom by setting up the warp. Thus, the design has passed from being just an idea, to the beginnings of a woven reality, although it still requires creative input before it becomes whole. Aq’ab’al can also represent conception, the fertilised egg is far from ready to be born, but has passed from the dream or spirit world into the physical.

Aq’ab’al days are great days for the start of new things, particularly new relationships – Aq’ab’al has a strong affinity with marriage. It is also a perfect day for starting new projects, or at least bringing them into the world of light from the world of dreams and ideas.

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.

10 Tz’i (18th July 2017)

10 Tz'iToday is a day to give of yourself unconditionally, to bring harmony to the community you live in. It is a day to restore and strengthen faith in the idea of community, to look out for each other.

There are some combinations of nawal and number which are meant to go together, where both reflect each other beautifully. 10 Tz’i is one of these combinations. Whilst much is said about the wild side of Tz’i, it is also about unconditional love and unquestioning faith. Tz’i is the most loyal companion, at your side through thick and thin. It brings justice to the world, and is heavily invested in keeping the world in order through upholding the laws of society. It is here that we see its reflection in the number 10, the two hands coming together. This is the co-operation we see in society in order to bring justice, the bringing together of peoples in order to ensure that the fabric of true society is held together. It is friendship and loyalty, particularly towards your community, and the unconditional love which sustains the community spirit.

The dog sits by the cauldron, from the Madrid Codex

Tz’i is possibly the nawal with the most colourful reputation. Some describe it as the nawal of “sex, drugs and rock and roll” and it has the possibility to live up to that label. One of the functions an Aj Q’ij (Mayan spiritual guide) performs is divination, usually using red seeds called Tz’ite. If a question is asked about a relationship and Tz’i comes up in the reading, it is seen as a sign of  infidelity. Tz’i is instinctual, and closes its ears to reason when it gets an idea, particularly when it is hormonally driven. This is the worst possible aspect of Tz’i and when it falls down, it does so spectacularly, which is why it tends to be remembered for those events.

However, what is sometimes forgotten is the other side of Tz’i, which is the side more frequently displayed. Just as Tz’i can represent infidelity, it also represents faith and loyalty, and just as it can be the trouble maker, it also represents law. It is the nawal of police, lawyers and judges. Tz’i is unwavering faith, unconditional loyalty. The totem animal of Tz’i is the dog, and through the actions of dogs we can understand both the loyalty aspect, and the instinctual. Tz’i is also the guide and protector on life’s path, ensuring that its charge travels safely. It is a day when your faith or loyalty may be tested,  where your instincts are stimulated. The positive traits of this day give rise to to some of the greatest displays of friendship, but be aware that your loyalty may be tested by temptation.

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.