It could be said that both the number 1 and the nawal Q’anil have some very strong links to seeds. The glyph for the nawal Q’anil is often drawn in sugar on the ceremonial fireplace, regardless of the day, as the foundation for the sacred fire. It is the seed that we put onto the Earth. The seed represents both the beginning and the end, it is from which the plant grows, and what the plant ultimately leaves behind. It represents the whole cycle of life, from birth to death, and what happens in between, day by day, is maturing. The seed is the ultimate goal of the ripening process, passing on the spark of life to the next generation. Of course, days carrying the number 1 are often the beginning of a process, and here that process is the payback for the hard work, the maturing process bringing with it the abundance reaped from the harvest. This is the beginning of the multiplication of the seed, where one planted seed becomes many offspring.
This is the day to begin to bring things to their final state. If there are projects that just need a little more input to finish, this is certainly a day to make them, although the following 12 days may also carry a similar energy. It can also be seen as planting the new seed to be harvested in the future, or even preparing the ground for a future project.
Another way to look at this cycle is through the cycle of ceremonies. Ceremonies are often performed on the “1” day, the first day of the trecena. They are also often performed 20 days later on the “8” day of the same nawal. The day 1 Q’anil sets up a 20 day path to the day 8 Q’anil, the day where we give thanks for our ripening, for our crops and our abundant harvest. During ceremonies, I am often calling on the energy of each of the other 19 nawales to bring its properties to the process which is associated with the nawal of the “1” day. For example, the 20 day period which begins 1 Q’anil will end on the day 7 Kej. So I might ask that nawal Toj blesses the maturing crop with good health in return for an offering, or that the nawal B’atz brings its creative genius to the ripening process, and so on until I have invoked all 19 of the other nawales, and reached the nawal Kej. This is like energetically weaving a path, and asking for the support of each of the nawales along that path. Of course, during this time another path will start, the trecena of 1 Imox will start during the 20 day period between 1 Q’anil and 8 Q’anil. There is always more than one path occurring at any time. The 20 days from 8 Q’anil (celebration of ripening) will take us to 1 Kej (new connection to the natural world), again laying an energetic path to take us to next line of the weaving we are creating.
Therefore, the day 1 Q’anil can be seen as the beginning of the finalisation of our projects, a time when that which we have been patiently tending is getting close to the point where we can reap our abundance from it. It can also be seen as the day on which we plant the new seeds that we wish to bring to maturity, as a time when you may introduce a new brilliance into your life, the seed of an idea that allows you to truly shine.
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 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.