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3 Aj (18th November 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, that which allows us to stand tall, proud and brave. As the cornstalk, it has its roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, if we wish to lead in a just manner, we should cultivate our connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

Foliated crossThis is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Mayan temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day. 

Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for its people, that keeps everything in its rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

There are various myths about the creation which link with the number 3. One is that at the time of creation, three stone jumped out of the fireplace and formed the new world. These three stones are called the hearthstones, and are still seen in many Maya homes today, on the fire supporting the tortilla griddle. From an astronomical point of view, the stones are the stars Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel in the constellation we call Orion, and the Smoky Fireplace is the Great Orion Nebula (M42)

A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is "El Tigre" at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy
A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is “El Tigre” at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy

The number 3 is still in the low end of the range of numbers. It does not have much energy yet, and it is also an odd number. It can represent the home, relating to the three hearthstones laid by the creators, and this is probably a good focus for a 3 day. However, it is possibly the most troublesome of the numbers to deal with, it lacks stability and represents challenges and obstructions. The number three brings up internal/external dilemma. The lack of stability in the physical, external world that it brings suggests that the more appropriate action is to look to the internal world, both of the home and of yourself.

9 Aj (29th October 2017)

9 AjToday we see a combination of masculine energy of Aj with the feminine energy of the number 9 bringing forward some very interesting and beneficial properties.

Aj represents a number of properties associated with the masculine energy within traditional societies. These include leadership, strength and courage, the typical qualities of the wise old grandfather. Today these qualities are combined with the number of the divine feminine, and of life itself. The energy of nawal Aj is seen as a benevolent and helpful energy, after all it represents the sustenance of society. When we take that energy in combination with the more feminine compassion and nurture from the number 9, it can be seen that this day has a very pleasant potential.

The number 9 also brings an independent streak. It represents the divine feminine and this energy is also strong, after all it is the representation of life itself. With this strength and independence combining with the nawal of the spinal column, this can be seen as a day where the energy supports you to stand up for yourself. The additional feminine properties of the nine soften this beautifully to give a compassionate, yet self assured energy. It is a day to nurture the leader within.

This is a day to look to the female leaders within your community, the mothers and the grandmothers, for their support and guidance. It is a day to engage both compassion and authority in leadership.

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 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.

3 Ix (10th October 2017)

3 IxThe external challenges signified by the energy of the number 3 suggest that today is a more appropriate day to look within to find your connection to Mother Earth. It is a day to find the shrine within yourself.

Mother Earth gives us everything, we live on her skin, build our houses from her body, and consume what emerges from her. She is responsible for our ability to live, our entire existence. Industrialised people tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised people 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. It is very much like asking any of our family for what we need to sustain us. Mostly, our families are delighted to help where they can, just as Mother Earth will if we realise that we can ask her. All she asks in return is a little care and attention, a little show of gratitude.

However, today this connection in the external world may feel unstable. This is not the day to go ask for the material, the energy just is not flowing in that direction, although gratitude is always accepted.

The number 3 representing the hearthstones could suggest that home would be the favourable place to focus your energies, a day to work on your internal connections, tending to the spirit of the Mother within your own home, and within your heart. Showing gratitude to her for all that she gives, and giving back are a better exercise for today. This is a day to connect your pulse to the heart of the Mother and find the magic within.

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
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.

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.

8 Aj (19th September 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, that which allows us to stand tall, proud and brave. As the cornstalk, it has its roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, if we wish to lead in a just manner, we should cultivate our connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

Foliated crossThis is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Mayan temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day. 

Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for its people, that keeps everything in its rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

The number 8 is considered to be a number of wholeness. It can be seen as birth (1) and death (7) combined to represent the whole cycle of the soul. It can also be seen as the point where the four first men who raised the sky from the sea were joined by their wives and the world become whole. It is the most common day for ceremonies to be made, it is still in the balanced range of numbers and is an even number, which is also considered fortunate. As this wholeness represents every aspect of the energy of the day with which it is coupled, it is the wholeness of the nawal that is addressed in ceremony.

3 Tz’i (28th June 2017)

3 Tz'iThe day 3 Tz’i could be really rather difficult. It may be a day where your faith in the world may be challenged and your loyalty tested by circumstances. Finding the faith within you is the key.

The energy of the nawal Tz’i does have its polarities, it often brings days which remind us of the unconditional love that can be displayed, faith in the world and in humanity, and the justice which comes to those who deserve it. However, today the opposite polarity may be more apparent, at least in the external world. The energy of the number 3 brings challenges to these values, and possibly brings out the more difficult side of Tz’i. This could be a day when the unjust appear to get away with their deeds, when your faith in the universal laws may be shaken. The energy of the day may influence to the extent that you may find yourself let down or betrayed by those you trust, equally you may find yourself acting disloyally.

It is a day when authority, represented by Tz’i, may be challenged. This can be a double edged sword depending on whether you are the challenger or the authority. Whilst these challenges may be hard, the true power of Tz’i is the connection with unconditional love. This may be a day where you have to grit your teeth and have faith to continue, but it may also be a day when the true solution is to approach the challenge with an open heart and mind.

If those around you act without integrity, giving as good as you get only draws you into that energy. When the external world begins to fall apart, there is only one constant to which you can turn and that is the one within you. Focus on the unconditional love that you hold, on your faith in humanity, and extend this into your home.


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 it’s 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.

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.

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.

3 N’oj (15th June 2017)

3 N'ojThe nawal of the brain, thought and inspiration combines with the number of external challenges. This is a day to focus on solving inner issues rather than applying the knowledge outside.

The day 3 N’oj can present challenges around the ability to think clearly. This may manifest as some kind of block, but also it might lead to inappropriate action. If a problem needs to be solved logically, it would be better to put it off to another day with a more conducive energy. This may be a day where the ideal tasks will be the more mundane ones which don’t require too much thought.

However, there is a positive side to the energy of the number three and this has to do with creation. It may give rise to a time to go inside, to focus the creative thought process within. Choosing to focus on problem solving around your home may be more conducive trying to solve problems in the outer world. Be gentle on those around you who seem to be acting thoughtlessly, you might be just as lost as them today.

A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N'oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.
A depiction of the Earth Lord, the patron of the day Caban (N’oj). He makes a sacrifice of his own blood so that the maize, sustenance of the people, will sprout. Representative of fertility and abundance through the cycle of life, death and resurrection. From the Dresden Codex.

 


The nawal N’oj is the nawal of thought, of intelligence and intellect. Within the count of days, there are two geniuses. B’atz is the creative genius, N’oj the intellectual one. N’oj is an energy of masculine, logical thought. N’oj is the problem solver, it gives ideas and solutions which work in the real world. N’oj gives a different way to understand situations, and through this ability comes innovation. It is thought, but also understanding and, indeed, knowing. As such, N’oj is also a day associated with divination.

This energy is not necessarily social, it can lead to becoming absorbed into one’s work, lost in one’s thoughts. The influence of N’oj can create ideas which may be very much ahead of their time. Do not be surprised if ideas you have on this day take a little time to catch on, the people you express the ideas to may need a little time to process, to see the genius within the idea.

N’oj is also one of the classic year bearers, or year lords. As a year bearer it is thought to be one of the more beneficial and benign energies. The last N’oj year was 2012 (13 N’oj) and the next one will be 2016 (4 N’oj)

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.

 

10 Aj (23rd March 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, that which allows us to stand tall, proud and brave. As the cornstalk, it has its roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, if we wish to lead in a just manner, we should cultivate our connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

Foliated crossThis is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Mayan temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day. 

Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for its people, that keeps everything in its rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

The number 10 is another number which demonstrates the connection between the sacred calendar and the human body. As five represents one hand, ten represents two hands coming together. This can be seen as the shaking of hands creating agreement between people. Ten is seen as a good number, a number of community and the laws of society, of people acting in harmony with each other.

3 Aj (3rd March 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

The nawal Aj is related to many things which generally revolve around leadership on an earthly level. It is sometimes known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, that which allows us to stand tall, proud and brave. As the cornstalk, it has its roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. As we are the people of maize, if we wish to lead in a just manner, we should cultivate our connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

Foliated crossThis is a picture of the carving at the top of one of my favourite Mayan temples, the Temple of the Foliated Cross on the site of Palenque (Bàakʼ) in Chiapas, Mexico. At the top of the tablet you see a bird, which represents the Heart of the Sky, the face with the large rectangular (crossed) eyes at the base of the cross represents the Heart of the Earth. The foliated cross is a stylised maize plant with the heads of humans emerging. This is Aj bringing life to the world. It is the central pillar, that which supports life. It is represented by the staffs carried by the elders of Mayan communities to this day. 

Aj is an authority, it is gentle, yet noble. It works quietly for the community it leads. It does not seek the limelight. This is a day that seeks sustenance for its people, that keeps everything in its rightful place. It is a day where we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

There are various myths about the creation which link with the number 3. One is that at the time of creation, three stone jumped out of the fireplace and formed the new world. These three stones are called the hearthstones, and are still seen in many Maya homes today, on the fire supporting the tortilla griddle. From an astronomical point of view, the stones are the stars Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel in the constellation we call Orion, and the Smoky Fireplace is the Great Orion Nebula (M42)

A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is "El Tigre" at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy
A (slightly crude) montage showing a proposed correlation between the constellation of Orion and the triadic structure of Maya pyramids. This one is “El Tigre” at the El Mirador site. Photo and montage by Mark Elmy

The number 3 is still in the low end of the range of numbers. It does not have much energy yet, and it is also an odd number. It can represent the home, relating to the three hearthstones laid by the creators, and this is probably a good focus for a 3 day. However, it is possibly the most troublesome of the numbers to deal with, it lacks stability and represents challenges and obstructions. The number three brings up internal/external dilemma. The lack of stability in the physical, external world that it brings suggests that the more appropriate action is to look to the internal world, both of the home and of yourself.

9 Aj (11th February 2017)

9 AjToday we see a combination of masculine energy of Aj with the feminine energy of the number 9 bringing forward some very interesting and beneficial properties.

Aj represents a number of properties associated with the masculine energy within traditional societies. These include leadership, strength and courage, the typical qualities of the wise old grandfather. Today these qualities are combined with the number of the divine feminine, and of life itself. The energy of nawal Aj is seen as a benevolent and helpful energy, after all it represents the sustenance of society. When we take that energy in combination with the more feminine compassion and nurture from the number 9, it can be seen that this day has a very pleasant potential.

The number 9 also brings an independent streak. It represents the divine feminine and this energy is also strong, after all it is the representation of life itself. With this strength and independence combining with the nawal of the spinal column, this can be seen as a day where the energy supports you to stand up for yourself. The additional feminine properties of the nine soften this beautifully to give a compassionate, yet self assured energy. It is a day to nurture the leader within.

This is a day to look to the female leaders within your community, the mothers and the grandmothers, for their support and guidance. It is a day to engage both compassion and authority in leadership.

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 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.

3 Ix (23rd January 2017)

3 IxThe external challenges signified by the energy of the number 3 suggest that today is a more appropriate day to look within to find your connection to Mother Earth. It is a day to find the shrine within yourself.

Mother Earth gives us everything, we live on her skin, build our houses from her body, and consume what emerges from her. She is responsible for our ability to live, our entire existence. Industrialised people tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised people 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. It is very much like asking any of our family for what we need to sustain us. Mostly, our families are delighted to help where they can, just as Mother Earth will if we realise that we can ask her. All she asks in return is a little care and attention, a little show of gratitude.

However, today this connection in the external world may feel unstable. This is not the day to go ask for the material, the energy just is not flowing in that direction, although gratitude is always accepted.

The number 3 representing the hearthstones could suggest that home would be the favourable place to focus your energies, a day to work on your internal connections. Tending to the spirit of the Mother within your own home, and within your heart. Showing gratitude to her for all that she gives, and giving back are a better exercise for today. This is a day to connect your pulse to the heart of the Mother and find the magic within.

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
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.

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.