Tag Archives: Harvest

8 Q’anil (4th September 2019)

8 Q'anilThe nawal of ripening combines with the number of wholeness today to bring the possibility of a day of true brilliance. This is a day of celebration of the abundant harvest, both from our fields and our projects.

Today is a balanced day, a great day to work with plants. The energy is neither too strong, nor too weak and it is particularly conducive for most horticultural and agricultural activities. If you have the opportunity to get your hands into the Earth today, take it. You should find that your effort will be abundantly rewarded.

On 7 Q’anil, the ripening process of last season’s crop completed, on 1 Q’anil, the new crop was sown. Today brings both of these together in wholeness, the cycle of life and death together in one place. It is a day of celebration, a day when we give thanks for the ripening of our harvests, and make our offerings to invite blessings for abundance from the crop we have just planted. Of course we don’t all grow our abundance in fields anymore, we gain our abundance from our projects and from our work. Today is a day to pour your brilliance into that which sustains you, and to give thanks for the abundance you receive.

Q’anil days are also rather renowned for their carefree and fun feeling, after all, such blessings of abundance should give rise to feelings of contentment and happiness. However, sometimes this urge for merriment  might get taken too far and may lead to intoxication. Possibly the energy of the 8 brings balance to this, suggesting a celebration which should be thoroughly enjoyable, whilst staying within reasonable limits.


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 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 Q’anil (15th August 2019)

1 Q'anilThe nawal of ripening combines with the number of novelty to begin a new trecena today. This brings a window of opportunity to ripen your crops and projects, to bring them to abundant brilliance.

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.

The day 1 Q’anil can, therefore, 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.

The beginning of the ripening, the true beauty is coming - by Mark Elmy
The beginning of the ripening, the true beauty is coming – 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.

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.

10 K’at (11th August 2019)

10 K'atThe day 10 K’at can be seen as an excellent day to gather your community together. Whether it is a town meeting or a social event this would be a perfect day for it, which could result in abundance for all.

There is a certain image that comes with this combination of number and nawal for me, and that is a community coming together to bring in the harvest. The time to gather is here and leaving the crop in the field could cause some of it to be lost. Bringing together a task force of your nearest and dearest to help you complete this work brings benefit to all. This is a day to ask for help from those around you to finish a project. Equally, lending a hand to help friends and family complete a task may well bring you an unexpected bonus. This is a day to fulfil your commitments to your community.

However, it is important to know when to break away too, before it holds you back from progress. K’at is the nawal of the burden, and here we can see it in combination with the number which represents society. Whilst living up to the commitments you have made to your community, you may find yourself over burdened. It is important to pace yourself today as you might become over-committed, leaving little time or energy to take care of your own or your family’s needs.

This could also be a day to take a look at where you have become trapped by the expectations of the society around you. Are there certain parts of your social network that hold you back from achieving what you could? K’at helps to highlight these issues, it shows us where the net which entangles us is, and helps us to break free of it if we choose. This is the day to ask for help to be released from that within society which holds you back from fulfilling your true potential.

Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K'at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.
Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K’at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu.  Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.

However, K’at also has it’s more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire,  with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us.  These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

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.

7 Q’anil (26th July 2019)

7 Q'anilThe day 7 Q’anil can be seen as an excellent day to bring a project to completion. It is the perfection of ripeness at the point of balance, the point of transition. Creativity has reached a pinnacle and has presented an opportunity to reap abundance.

There may be a hint of indecision over whether the time is right or not, whether a little more time may lead to greater abundance. In this case it is likely that the peak has been reached and the final ripening has happened. If Q’anil is the bright light, it has reached the highest point in the sky and now may begin to recede. Indecision should be avoided if possible.

Whether you choose to work in the garden, or on a creative project, the energy of 7 Q’anil may help you to finish perfectly. However, as the creative energy flows, try to keep focused on one thing at a time.

Q’anil represents the ripening of the seed, the crop coming to maturity. The Kiché word Q’an means yellow, and the -il suffix is rather like the English -ing. Q’anil represents the golden head of maize at it’s 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, it’s 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 it’s talent – sometimes a little too much. Q’anil is prone to overindulge in the sensual, in particular with regards to intoxication.

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.

3 K’at (22nd July 2019)

3 K'atThe energy of the nawal of gathering, abundance and ensnarement combines with the number of external challenges. This may be a day when what you try to catch slips through your net.

The day 3 K’at might be a rather difficult day on which to get things together, in whatever form. It could be seen as a day on which your burdens may really slow you down. The number 3 can represent obstructions and blockages in the outer world and, when combined with the challenging side of the nawal K’at, could lead to some potential stumbling blocks in life, particularly when it comes to collecting things together. The harvest is not yet ready, and you may find that your effort reaps little reward.

Perhaps a better use of energy would be to focus on what is holding you back internally. This could be an excellent day for an introspective analysis of the beliefs and concepts which no longer serve a purpose. It is a day to look inside for the bounty, for the true abundance which resides within you. Allow your net to gently release that which no longer serves you, so that changes, new life and new creation may emerge.

Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K'at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.
Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K’at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu. Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.

However, K’at also has it’s more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire, with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us. These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

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
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.

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 is possibly the most troublesome of the numbers to deal with, it lacks stability. 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.

9 K’at (2nd July 2019)

9 K'atToday we experience the energy of the nawal of gathering together with the number of the divine feminine and life. This is a potent day for bringing together life’s abundance.

This is another harvest day, a day on which we can collect that which we have been propagating through life. This may be our physical harvest, from our fields and gardens, or the bounty which comes from our ideas. Whilst this might be true of any K’at day, today the number of life is highlighted, which could give a suggestion that what is gathered today is the harvest from your life’s work. This is bigger than just one growing season.

The nawal K’at also represents merchants – those who understand what is of value and what to release from our nets. This could be a great day to liberate yourself from the things which are stopping you from really living, the things which are filling your net and stifling the entry of new abundance. It’s a great day to release yourself from attachments that life may have brought you at some point, yet are no longer relevant.

With the 9  representing the feminine, and the women in our lives, it is particularly a day on which to appreciate the bounty brought to us by the women around us. This should be a great day for gatherings of women, abundance may come from a collaboration of female energy.

Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K'at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.
Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K’at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu.  Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.

However, K’at also has it’s more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire,  with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us.  These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

The number nine is very special indeed. It is the number of lunations in the human gestation period and in the sacred calendar. The sacred calendar is known as a calendar of life, and it is women that give life. As such the number nine is seen as the number of life and the number of the divine feminine. It gives all that it is attached to a strong feminine presence and is a day on which women may wish to give thanks for their gifts.

6 Q’anil (16th June 2019)

6 Q'anilWith the prosperity and brilliance of Q’anil, and the stability of the number 6, this day has the potential to be an excellent day which  brings your crops, plans and projects to full stable maturity.

The energy of the nawal Q’anil is that of ripening. Just as our crops ripen, so do we, as our souls become brighter the more they are polished through our experiences and transformations. Today, the ripening process is blessed by the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth, bringing extra inspiration to the process. It could be seen almost as some kind of divine intervention or assistance to stabilise the physical journey to maturity. This is a day which brings stability to your abundance, for yourself and the benefit of your family. If you have an opportunity to get your hands dirty, work around plants should prove highly beneficial.

This can be a very lighthearted day of good humour and fun. Let your light shine and embrace your talents, it is time to demonstrate them to the physical world. Today they are enhanced with a little more guidance than usual. Just remember not to party too hard to celebrate!

The Queen of Spain, by Mark Elmy


Q’anil represents the ripening of the seed, the crop coming to maturity. The Kiché word Q’an means yellow, and the -il suffix is rather like the English -ing. Q’anil represents the golden head of maize at it’s 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, it’s 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 it’s talent – sometimes a little too much. Q’anil is prone to overindulge in the sensual, in particular with regards to intoxication.

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.

The cross at the top of the central hill, Paclom, in Momostenango. Paclom is known as "the six place" and the two armed cross represents the four directions combining with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This picture was taken on Wajxakib B'atz, February 2010.

2 K’at (12th June 2019)

2 KatWith the nawal K’at representing both abundance and burdens and the energy of the number two representing duality, today could be a day to make decisions about what to embrace and what to release.

The energy of the nawal K’at is usually seen as rather favourable, particularly when it comes to collecting things. When these are the things that sustain us, this is of course highly beneficial. However, it is bundling, bringing things together and holding them tightly in one place. For this reason it is also the nawal of prisons, burdens and ensnarement, where we become ensnared in the nets of others. Whilst all the energies of the days have both beneficial and challenging aspects, K’at can be particularly extreme.

The number 2 is said to represent duality and polarity, and here we see it combined with those aspects of K’at. The number 2 is also said to represent lovers, relationships and self sacrifice, and it is those areas that the energy of K’at which may be highlighted today. This may be a day to look at the sacrifices you make in life and what they represent to you. Are you viewing something which brings you abundance as a burden? Is it time to cut the net and release it?

With the dualistic aspects of the energy of the number 2, we also get to see from opposing points of view. The nawal K’at helps us to gather these different points of view, which can give a more rounded idea of situations, which may in turn result in abundance and sustenance for all involved.

As we move through the trecena of Aq’ab’al, which does have its romantic aspects, this could be a day to focus on your lover and to truly hold them close. Alternatively, if you are looking for a new love, this might be a good day to see who you are drawn to and who is drawn to you.

Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K'at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.
Blood Moon, mother of the Hero Twins being sent away from Xibalba after becoming pregnant. She goes to see Ixmucane, Mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu and is set a challenge to fill a net with corn. which she achieves and is taken in as family. She is seen here holding the K’at glyph in her hands. From The Dresden Codex.

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu.  Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.

However, K’at also has it’s more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire,  with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us.  These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

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.

12 Q’anil (27th May 2019)

12 Q'anilThe day 12 Q’anil may prove to be a day of great abundance as the “crop” you have been ripening over time finally is gathered. The completed project bears fruit.

Q’anil days are nearly always favourable, they often carry a light and happy energy, and quite rightly so. They represent the ripening, the point where all the hard work comes to fruition. They are days of abundance, of light and eventually celebration too. Today Q’anil is combined with the number 12, the energy of bundling, of gathering things together. The energy of the 12 can represent the entirety of life, so it may not just be a recent project or one that has been happening in the last 260 day that is coming to ripeness.  Today things which may almost have been long forgotten may finally come to light.

This is certainly a day to complete any outstanding business, even if it has been waiting a long time, as it should produce beneficial and abundant results. It is important to celebrate these achievements, however, be careful not to overdo it. The number 12 does carry a very strong energy and when combined with the energy of Q’anil may lead to over-celebration, especially if intoxicants are involved.

Bird of paradise flower, open and shining after it's long ripening period - by Mark Elmy
Bird of paradise flower, open and shining after it’s long ripening period – 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.

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.

8 K’at (23rd May 2019)

8 K'atThe eighth day of the trecena is the most prevalent day for ceremony, and today it is combined with the net that gathers the harvest. It is a day to be grateful for your abundance, and for your liberty.

With the bundling energy of the nawal K’at, this can be a day to draw things together. Its combination with the number 8 brings the sense of wholeness to this, it can be seen as a day on which to bring things together with the support of the masculine and feminine aspects of the qualities of the four directions. If we see the 8 as representing the 1 of beginnings and the 7 of endings, they are not only combined in the number 8, but then fully embraced by the nawal K’at. It is a day of gathering, of seeds, of people, of ideas, and celebrating the abundance that these things bring to your life.

The nawal K’at also represents capture, whilst the positive aspect represents harvest and abundance, the darker side represents entanglement and prisons. This is not just those outside of ourselves, but our ability to get caught in our own nets. This is a representation of our own attachment to the physical things which sustain us within our physical body. Whilst this abundance might serve us well, over attachment to physical goods may distract us from our true life path. The same may be true for situations or people, it does not just have to be physical objects that create the net which holds us back. K’at days give us an excellent opportunity to understand what is stopping us from achieving our dreams, and setting ourselves free of it.

Every day is a good day to be grateful for the abundance you receive in life, but today is of greater importance. It is a day on which ceremonies will be made to celebrate harvest and all that comes from it, to give thanks for the ability this gives us to fill the bellies of our families. It is also a day to give thanks for your freedom and to release anything which is holding you back.

Wholly embrace it or set it free.

The goddess and the yellows. Here she sits with the glyphs representing (from top to bottom) E’, K’at, Ajmak, Q’anil and Ajpu. This is the progression in which they appear when arranged in the “Maya Cross” form of divination. From the Dresden Codex

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

However, K’at also has its more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire,  with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us.  These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

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.