Tag Archives: Creativity

1 B’atz (16th November 2017)

1 B'atzThe new trecena starts today, a new cycle of 13 days with the nawal B’atz putting its emphasis on creation. This is the day of the creative spark, time to start weaving.

There are two aspects significant to B’atz, one is creation and the other gestation. In the form of gestation we can imagine different layers of the human being woven, tissues being created during the time within the creation place, the womb. This process has to begin at some point, the first thread begins to consolidate the pattern. The day 1 B’atz is “conceived” on the day 6 Aq’ab’al, the day when the new concept is brought into the physical. In this we can imagine that the warp was set on the loom on 6 Aq’ab’al, and the finishing touches to the idea consolidated through the end of the Tijax trecena. Now comes the first passing of the weft and the new cloth begins to form.

On 7 B’atz we experienced the end of the old creation, now 1 B’atz is the beginning of the new creation. The next occurrence, 8 B’atz, can be seen as the joining of the old weaving with the new. We are entering the overlap, almost like a seam between the two cloths, recreating and weaving the new world continuing from the old.

Today is a potent day to begin any creative project. Nawal B’atz gives the touch of creative flair required to bring out the true beauty of that which it is applied to. The number 1 is, of course, representative of the new birth, the beginning, but it is the newborn which needs the most nurturing. It may be that you need a little encouragement to begin work on your masterpiece. Perhaps others around you see the true potential of your creativity more than you do. This is a day to accept their support to get your new creation started.

Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy
Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the creative genius, the other N’oj, the intellectual genius. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

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.

7 B’atz (27th October 2017)

7 B'atzThe finality represented by the number 7 is combined with the nawal representing creativity and gestation. Today is a day to put the finishing touches to your “weaving.”

The energy of the nawal B’atz bestows so much creative energy, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. It brings the ability to weave concepts together, and when combined with the number 7 these concepts could be from many different sources. It is as if the whole spectrum of colourful threads is at your disposal and you can see the beauty of each colour. The question will be which colour to choose. With B’atz representing the master artisan, it is unlikely that you would make the wrong choice. B’atz will help you to bring our the exquisite in your work, so it is time to choose which of these colours or concepts you will use to finish your creation.

Whether you are literally creating art, or apply the idea of weaving as a metaphor for life, today would seem to be a day to make some final choices about what you wish to weave into your creation. The day 7 B’atz is a great day to complete creative projects.

Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy
Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy

B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

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.

13 B’atz (7th October 2017)

13 B'atzThe energy of the nawal of creativity combines with the influence of the ancestors to bring forth a powerful day for creative activities, especially when they bring in elements from the past.

We all draw our inspiration from somewhere as we create our beauty into the world. Today very much highlights communication with our ancestors, or receiving inspiration from them that you weave into your creation. It may be the words or ideas of our grandparents, or even further back in time that we hear today, which bring the final touches to our masterpiece.

We often have the idea that the new ideas are the most important, but each idea and each new thing is built on the foundation of the old. When we make ceremony, we call in all the altars and shrines we have worked at before, each ceremony builds on the energy of the previous ones. Each ceremony is different, but they share the same foundation.

Of course the creation of beautiful art or your reality can be seen as a serious business, but the energy of nawal B’atz can often make light of it. The creative energy flows so easily that it is a happy and fun experience,  you might find yourself remembering granddad’s jokes or grandma’s laugh as you work on what you are creating.

Today you may gain inspiration from the ancestral creations of your region. Your distant ancestors may communicate something vital to incorporate into your new weaving through their ancient patterns. This is not just a day about creating art, B’atz represents the weaving of  time to create the sacred calendar. This was the legacy of the ancestors here in Central America, and we may expect some intuition to pass from them through their work, through their creation, to illuminate our understanding of the movement of time itself.cropped-Nawales-in-a-ring.png

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

The number 13 is the final number. It represents the spirit world. It is said that on Halloween, the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. However within the sacred calendar, this thinning happens every 13 days. This connection with the spirit world creates a powerful day, where both the positive and negative aspects of the nawal it is attached to come through strongly. It is a very good day for activities such as divinations, however, ceremonies on 13 days are generally only carried out by the most experienced Aj Q’ij who understand how to work with that strength of energy.

3 Imox (27th September 2017)

3 ImoxThe fertile nature of the energy of the nawal Imox gives rise to creation if it can separate from the inspirational dreams. Today the energy of the number 3 may assist with that separation, creating an internal focus.

Nawal Imox does represent the visionary world and without it there would be no creation. However, it also has some very challenging aspects, connecting us too strongly with the collective consciousness, bringing out the herd mentality. Today the potentially obstructive energy of the number 3 may block connection to the collective consciousness, helping the visionary energy of Imox to become more focused than usual.

Sometimes we like to be a part of a tribe, we like to belong. We understand the “rules” of what we grew up with, whilst we might rebel against them, there is sometimes a nostalgia around them for us. It fed us as a child and then we moved away from it. Sometimes we yearn for that nurture again. The energy today may highlight your separation from birth culture. In our birth process, as we progress through the trecena of Kawok, we can see this as separation from the collective consciousness, or separation from our mother culture. It allows our individuality to emerge.

The energy of the day 3 Imox has the potential to allow us to become independent, dreaming for ourselves, our own thoughts rather than cultural biases guiding us.  Today is a day to celebrate your individuality. It is a day to look inside yourself and truly identify your own dreams by detaching from society’s images or the spirit of the times.

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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.

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.

6 B’atz (17th September 2017)

6 B'atzThe energy of the combination of the nawal B’atz with the number 6 could give rise to a very auspicious day. It is a day to bring your creation together in the physical, while drawing on the forces of Earth and Sky.

B’atz days are nearly always considered to be fortunate, and B’atz is one of the most revered days within the sacred calendar. It should be no surprise that when this is combined with the stable number 6, a great opportunity arises. The four directions, Heart of the Earth and Heart of the Sky all join forces today to empower the creativity endowed by the nawal B’atz. This could be seen as the day on which masterpieces are created, with some divine assistance.

What kind of masterpiece you create will be up to you. B’atz gives the ability to turn your hand to anything from weaving or writing to singing and dancing. B’atz loves to entertain, it also love to joke around and play the fool, especially in the role of the fool that could get away with telling the truth to the king. It is important not to confuse the fun loving nature of B’atz with a lack of intelligence, B’atz is a holder of great wisdom.

It is not just the arts that B’atz assists with, it is the creation of reality itself. Today is a powerful day for stabilising the reality you choose for yourself. The B’atz energy is conducive to weaving your ideas into existence, and today especially bringing them into the physical.

So, go out and engage with your creative potential, play and have fun making your masterpiece.

Monkey god 1
The ancient Monkey god, one of the creator deities. The nawal B’atz is related to both the thread of time and the monkey artisan. From the Dresden Codex

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the other is N’oj. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

The number six is said to be the number of ultimate stability. It is the first of the three middle numbers of the cycle, the balance point neither too strong nor too weak. It is a day frequently used for ceremony thanks to its conducive energy. It represents the four directions with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. It also represents family, relating to the six qualities that nourish and hold families together – health, understanding, property, employment, friendship and actions.

3 Q’anil (14th September 2017)

3 Q'anilWith the nawal Q’anil representing the ripening, maturity, fertility and abundance, we usually expect beneficial Q’anil days. However,  with the number 3 representing possible obstructions, today could be slightly more challenging than most Q’anil days.

Q’anil days, much like the people who carry Q’anil as their nawal, very rarely fail to shine. They often feel like bright, happy-go-lucky kind of days, and with the properties of Q’anil, this is exactly what we would expect. However, today they might lose a little of their lustre. Growth and the passage towards ripeness may be a little obstructed, Q’anil may not be quite as prosperous as usual. Even the usual connection to the plant world may be obstructed today. The usual blessings of Q’anil enjoyed in the garden may not be quite as fruitful as normal. The harvest is on its way, but full abundance cannot be reaped at this time, full ripeness has not yet been reached.

As we age, Q’anil helps us to mature, we ripen from children into elders. Today might bring some setbacks with that process. It might give rise to a less than mature response from yourself or from those around you. This may lead to some frustration, it could lead to some lapses in responsibility. Q’anil may then even lead you into drunkenness.

We are passing further into the trecena of Kame, and once again we see a potential for challenges in the energy of today, although what we learn from these challenges may truly help our souls to ripen. The inner alchemical process we undergo during the trecena of Kame is highlighted as the light of Q’anil turns inwards bringing maturity to hidden depths of our creativity. Although this may not be easily expressed in the outer world, it is possible that the brightness of Q’anil illuminates something in ourselves which is normally unseen, a hidden talent.

However, it could also add some lightness to the day – Q’anil is a fun loving nawal after all. If we take into account the other aspect of the number 3, that of the home, this could be where the light of Q’anil truly comes out today. By bringing this lightness into your home, it could be an excellent day for a play day with your children, just don’t expect anyone to act too much like an adult!

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They are ripening, but are not yet displaying their full brightness. Picture by Mark Elmy

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.

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.

12 B’atz (28th August 2017)

12 B'atzEverything we do can be seen as weaving. Our art, our reproduction, it all comes down to the same thing – combining threads, strands and essences in order to create. Today these threads come from our life experiences.

The energy of the nawal B’atz brings a highly creative day, the day of the arts and performances. The number twelve carried by this day is significant of wrapping things up, bringing things together and creating a bundle. Usually these are life’s experiences, and here we can see them as the flavours and colours you may have experienced in your life. However, this time around, instead of just creating a bundle, we are weaving these things together. You are able to bring inspiration from your past into your new pattern and create something truly beautiful from it.

It is an excellent day to weave your stories, to entertain through tales of your past. It is a day to use your life experience to create an exquisite tapestry, whether it is of words, colours, threads or other materials. Allow your creative expression to flow, empowered by the inspiration of your experiences.

Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy
Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the other is N’oj. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

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 B’atz (8th August 2017)

5 B'atzThe energy of B’atz days is thought of as being very favourable, especially for the arts – after all they are always full of creative potential. Even when coupled with the energy of a more challenging number such as 5, they can still be beneficial.

If you really need to get working on a creative project, today will prove very useful. The energy of B’atz is interwoven with the number 5, bringing an industrious impulse to the day, although that does not have to take away from the artistic feeling. On some days it is difficult to get started, and yet other days the creation flows from you. In fact the only way you could be more productive would be if there were more hours in the day.

However, the energy of the number 5 can occasionally throw up an obstruction, and you might still find parts of your creative experience hard work. Perhaps a touch of writer’s block, a power failure on the stage, or an unexpected interruption to the creative process.

All the same, today is a day when you really might achieve a great deal more in your project than you expected. The hard work you put into your creation pays off as you beautify the world around you. Get weaving!

Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy
Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the other is N’oj. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

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 B’atz (19th July 2017)

11 B'atzSo many ideas and so little time! This might be the feeling of the day, as the creative potential of B’atz merges with the highly charged, but meandering energy of 11.

As we progress through the trecena of Imox, the time of first creation, this essence is reflected in each step. Here, the limitless potential of the nawal Imox is reflected within the capacity to create of the nawal B’atz.

You may feel overwhelmed by the strength of your desire to create beauty around you today. Whether it is a physical creation that you are weaving, performance of some kind or even a seemingly mundane presentation, the energy of B’atz brings a sparkle of creativity that helps you to shine. It brings a confidence in your work and in your delivery of your words. However, you may find that your creative passion gets the better of you, and it may be difficult to stick to tasks assigned to you without getting sidetracked. If you have the latitude to create freely, this can be a very productive day. If you have a schedule to follow, you might find yourself testing its boundaries.

Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy
Raquel, a young weaver, with her backstrap loom in San Juan La Laguna. By Mark Elmy

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the other N’oj. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

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.

3 Aq’ab’al (11th July 2017)

3 Aq'ab'alWhilst Aq’ab’al days are often great days to start new projects, the energy of the 3 may make this one rather more challenging. Today, the dawning may be more of an internal realisation than external process.

When a newborn enters the world, the first few days must be rather confusing. As I have mentioned before, it could be said that we have just entered a new cycle of the Mayan Sacred Calendar, the Chol Q’ij. Whether we take this to be the full new 260 day count, or solely the new 13 day count (trecena) is unimportant, the outcome is more or less the same. With 1 Imox, we had the jumbled fragments of the big dream, full of potential, but uncertain due to its novelty. 2 Iq’ brought us an as yet uncertain message that could go either way, the wind that breathes life into the potential. In 3 Aq’ab’al, we see the first results of the energies of the previous two days. This could be a new conception, or something that fails to take root. There are too many uncertainties to be sure of the outcome.

Whilst Aq’ab’al is usually considered a “good” day, a day of new starts, of conception, the number 3 rather mutes these qualities. A possible phrase to associate with this day could be “false dawn”. You may think you can see the first light of the sun, but it may turn out to be a mirage, or just the light of Venus. This is a day when things might not quite be what they seem. If you are waiting to start something, it is not quite the time. You might be all ready and raring to go, only to be confronted by an unexpected challenge. Proceed with caution, or wait for a more conducive day.

On a more positive note, the 3 could represent the home. In order to direct your energy in a more constructive way, planning a new project around your home may be the most beneficial way to spend the day. Look for the new light inside of yourself. This is, after all, what could be considered to be the dawn of creation.

A False Dawn? Moonrise over Lake Atitlan, March 2013 - by Mark Elmy
A False Dawn? Moonrise over Lake Atitlan, March 2013 – by Mark Elmy

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.

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.