Tag Archives: Leadership

7 Aj (12th January 2019)

7 AjThe upstanding nature of the nawal Aj and the balance of the number 7, should create a good day to tackle issues in your home or community through firm and decisive leadership.

The nawal Aj has the energy of benevolent  authority, which seeks to provide guidance and direction, or leadership, in order to ensure harmony within the home and community. Aj relates to the cane, or baston, of authority carried by the elders within the village. It is their job to guide the community in the correct direction through their wise counsel, although sometimes it is possible that they will need to exert their authority and use the stick, rather than the carrot, to achieve this. When respect is paid to Aj, and its guidance is adhered to, no further action is necessary.

The energy of the number 7 gives the ability to see all points of view, and Aj gives the gentle, but firm, guidance. It is a day to calmly seek the resolution of disputes, particularly within the home, by seeing all sides of the debate. The point to this is to bring peace and prosperity back to the community or home, the ultimate goal of Aj. If there is any conflict around you or in your life, today is a good day to seek mediation through an authority in order to reach a final resolution.

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 Maya 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.

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.

1 Kej (6th January 2019)

1 KejThis day brings a new beginning, a new thirteen day cycle, one which is empowered through nature, one full of vitality. It is a time to be be guided and inspired by the power of the wilderness.

With the potential represented by the number 1 and the power of the natural world represented by Kej, this should prove to be a very interesting day. Nature does not have polarities, it just is. Our judgement creates these polarities. We may judge nature as harsh and unforgiving, or inspiring and beautiful. Much will depend on our experience and the depth of our connection with nature. The wilderness can tell us many things, but we have to connect with it to understand them. Here we have the potential to draw strength from the natural world should we choose to. If you have the opportunity, take a walk in the wild woods, embrace the elements and feel the power of nature. Always remember this is a two way street. Just as the wilderness can empower you, it needs your love and protection too. 1 Kej may be an excellent day to start a conservation or protection program for your local environment. Look after her and she will look after you.

Whilst Kej is known for its strength and vitality, the 1 suggests that we need to nurture this. It is a day where encouragement from others can bring great strength and determination. This applies to your actions too, it is a great day to share a few words to empower others.


Within the Macewal Q’ij, today again marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Q’ib Ixik translated as the season of smoke, of burning brushwood. Many people here in highland Guatemala burn the remains of the old corn plants and weeds on their milpa (corn field) before planting the new crop. The hills are starting to show this smoke appearing now as preparation for the new growth starts. Whilst the Gregorian year may have turned already, we still have 45 days left of the year 6 Kej. The year bearer is getting towards the end of his period of stewardship, his energy is nearly worn out. The remains are burned and turned into the soil enriching it with the ashes of experience for the next crop.

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

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

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

The number 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.

6 Aj (3rd December 2018)

6 AjToday, the stability of the number 6 combines with the benevolent energy of the nawal Aj. This is a day to create harmony and stability in our homes, families and communities.

At the top of the sacred hill Paclom, in the centre of Momostenango, is a cross. Unlike many of the crosses you might see here, it has two cross pieces. I was told that reason for the  second bar was that it creates a two dimensional representation of the four directions. As such this cross represents the number 6, which is the other name for Paclom, the six place. For me this especially represents the power of the number six. It has the horizontal Earthly stability of the four cardinal points, yet is also vertically connected with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. Today on the day 6 Aj, we see that stability amplified. It is as if the vertical post, or spinal column, that would normally be found with any six day, is energised by the connection of Aj between the Sky and the Earth, the divine masculine and divine feminine essences.

So, what is the point of this energisation? To bring this stability and blessing from the Celestial and Earthly realms into our world, our community and our homes. This is a day on which to ask for, and give thanks for, stability in our homes and communities. It is a particular day on which we can call upon the “greater powers” to energise us, to give us strength, so that we may sustain those around us. If there was a day for a global meditation to bring peace and stability to the world, 6 Aj would make a prime candidate.

May the Heart of the Sky be in My Heart

May My Heart be in the Heart of the Earth

May the Heart of the Earth be in My Heart

May My Heart be in the Heath of the Sky

Paclom Cross by Mark Elmy
The double armed cross at the top of Paclom. 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 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.

13 Kej (27th November 2018)

13 KejThe combination of the nawal Kej representing strength with the number 13 can bring about an extremely powerful day. This is a day of strengthening from the spirit of the natural world.

Kej can have the tendency to ride roughshod over anything or anyone that stands in its way, and today it has the power of the spirit world behind it. It can be a great day for achieving your goals, although remember to exercise temperance when dealing with those who you may perceive as obstructing your path. A little force goes a long way today.

That said the other aspect of this day can be truly enlightening. The connection of Kej to the wilderness and the strength of spirit in 13 could give rise to an epiphany should you choose to connect with nature today. It is a day to find enlightenment during a walk in the woods, to energise yourself in the life force of the natural world, as the otherworld provides a bridge through the wilderness.

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

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

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

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

12 Aj (13th November 2018)

12 AjThe energy of the nawal Aj is associated with the home and leadership within the community. Today it associates with the energy of the number 12, bringing your life experience to support those around you.

The nawal Aj brings with it a solid and dependable energy, it is helpful and supportive. As the nawal of the spinal column, it can be seen as the one which holds everything together, keeping everything in its rightful place. It holds the person straight and channels the energy of communication from above and below. We also use the the word backbone to represent honour, integrity and courage to do the right thing, all of which can be summed up in the energy of Aj.

The day 12 Aj can be seen as a day on which you draw on all of your life experience in order to nourish your community, your family and your home. Your past experiences can bring you strength and courage, and help you to stand up for what is right should you need to. They also provide examples that you can pass on to others within your community to help them to grow. This is a day where your life experience clearly shows you how to do the right thing, and how to support those around you, bringing harmony into both home and community.

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 it’s roots in the Earth, and it’s 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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 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.

6 Kej (7th November 2018) – The Return of the Year Lord

6 KejToday, the energy of the nawal of strength and determination combines with the energy of balance and stability. This can provide an excellent opportunity to harness this lively and vital energy of the wilderness.

It is an interesting experience to observe the qualities of each trecena through its individual components. The trecena of Iq’ proves to live up to its unpredictable nature once again today. Whilst we might have just been through the potentially challenging days of 3 K’at and 5 Kame, favourable days with challenging numbers, the high energy nawales of Kan and Kej combine with very favourable numbers to bring them under control. Just as 4 Kan brings the wisdom down to Earth, 6 Kej stabilises strength.

Kej may often be referred to as “deer”, but in the K’ichean dictionary I have it is translated as horse. The energy of Kej certainly has similarities with that of the horse, both through its capacity to carry or work and its stubbornness should the situation dictate. It has a noble freedom about it and may be difficult to control, giving those who try to do so a wild ride. However, today is different. Today it is possible to bring that strength and determination into clear focus, using that energy to lead if necessary, especially in matters of family. Of course, the place where this is felt the most is in the wilderness, where this energy is the greatest.

The day 6 Kej is a day to draw on the power of the natural world to bring stability to your life and vitality to your family. As such it could be a great day to take a walk in the woods with your loved ones, you should all feel the benefit. 

Within the solar calendar, today marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Takaxepual translated as the season of first sowing. This should mark the point in time where that first sowing of maize, which took place 260 days ago, is ripened and ready, marking the beginning of the maize harvesting season.  It should also mark the point in the year where the rain ceases to fall and we move into the dry months before the new Year Lord takes his seat in 105 days time.

It is particularly interesting that this takes place on the day of Samhain as the Celtic calendars would refer to it. This point of the year is exactly midway between the Equinox and the Solstice, and was considered the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere. It is seen as the sun descending into the underworld, where it will remain until the new year until Imbolc (Feb 3rd 2019). Regardless of the hemisphere and whether it is seen as the beginning of winter or the beginning of summer, there is a particular alignment which is happening, which is said to be an opening of portals to the otherworld. Perhaps rather than just seeing it as where the sun shines on the Earth, we could think of it as how the sun interacts with our magnetosphere.

This could suggest that the power of the year lord will go through a change at this point of the year, the original strength diminished after being used throughout the growing season. The year lord could be seen as having done his work and now enters a period of retirement, so perhaps the intensity this year lord has been demonstrating may be softened.

It is interesting also to note that this event takes place on a new moon. It would seem that a time of great change is upon us, something we may not have seen in 8 years, and possibly not for 24 years.

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

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

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

The number 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 it’s 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.
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.

5 Aj (24th October 2018)

5 AjPutting energy into the sustenance of our home or community benefits both ourselves and those around us. The day 5 Aj brings together these aspects to give a day where this type of work flourishes.

The nawal Aj is related to the spinal column. It holds us upright, brings us the strength and courage to do the right thing. It holds everything in its rightful place. However, it may not have always been like that. It gains strength as it is used, the wisdom it holds comes through experience. Whilst Aj is very much a leadership nawal, it is almost reluctant in stepping forward, preferring to guide gently rather than exercise the authority it also carries. These qualities of Aj are a blessing for all and are achieved through the experience of the work of life.

The day 5 Aj is a great day to be doing some form of work on behalf of your community, your work and your input will bring great nourishment to those around you. It is a day for selfless work, a day within the Toj trecena, where we have the opportunity to pay back the support our families, friends and communities show to us. However, it may also be a day when efforts to guide or lead may be rather more challenging than expected, especially if you feel yourself rushing into things.

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 it’s roots in the Earth, and it’s 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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 Sacred Mayan calendar is often said to be a calendar of human life, and parts of it can be seen as a microcosm of the human body. The number five is one of these parts. It is representative of the hand with it’s five digits. It is with our hands that we work, and with what we earn for that work that we pay our debts. Five is also a number that relates to the sacred fire where we pay our debts with offerings and prayers. Five might be so busy working that it fails to remember what it is working for. It can also signify that what it is attached to becomes work, or is “hard work”.

12 Kej (18th October 2018)

12 KejThe day 12 Kej has a very strong energy, both with regards to the nawal and the number. This energy may bring you determination, but be aware of where determination becomes stubbornness.

This is a day on which you can draw on your life experience in order to enhance your leadership or resolve issues. However, it may be important to understand where those experiences are useful and where they are not. The determination associated with the nawal Kej may lead to a degree of inflexibility when it comes to attachment to “the way it has always been done.” While strength may be built on experience, understanding how to adapt those experiences to become relevant as society evolves is the real goal.

It is also a day when you may find that a walk in the wilderness, or other connection with nature, acts as a very positive recharge for your energy. Connecting with nature may help you to balance the strength of this day and assist with decision making, possibly giving some perspective to the more determined ideas.

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

Within the Solar calendar, today marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Pariche translated as the season of blankets. The rainy season is coming to an end and the nights begin to grow colder as the ripened corn begins to die back. The next time that the nawal Kej will appear will be as 6 Kej the second appearance of the bearer of this year, the Mam, in the traditional societies of highland Guatemala. We have been under the influence of the Mam 6 Kej for 240 days (since 20th February 2018). Has this been a year of strong and unexpected experiences? Of strengthening? These qualities are all associated with the Mam Kej.

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

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

The number 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.

11 Aj (4th October 2018)

11 AjThe authoritative and just energy of nawal Aj combines with the directionless but powerful energy of the number 11. This may give an energy of leadership, with a focus in many different directions.

It is an interesting combination of energy with the mild mannered energy of the nawal Aj combining with the highly energetic, yet meandering qualities of the 11. Perhaps this is one of the few days that can actually ground the energy of the 11 and put it to good use within the home. You may be distracted when it comes to projects to nourish your community or family, starting many “important” jobs, yet not finishing them. Be assured you may be laying the ground work for an upcoming masterpiece to sustain all.


May the Heart of the Sky be in my heart,

May my heart be in the Heart of the Earth,

May the Heart of the Earth be in my heart,

May my heart be in the Heart of the Sky


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 it’s roots in the Earth, and it’s 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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 11 is a high and odd number. This gives it some rather challenging properties, although it can come good in the end. Imagine you visit Ireland and are transfixed by the green of the hills, then you go to Morocco and are awed by the red of the buildings, then you go to the Caribbean and are moved by the turquoise sea. You return home and paint a beautiful picture using those colours. When you were in Ireland you didn’t know you were going to paint that masterpiece, you may not have even known why you were there.  This is how 11 works. You are sure you need to be doing something, but unsure why. You are collecting experience through many wanderings.

5 Kej (28th September 2018)

5 Kej5 Kej is a great day to get the hard work done. You have the strength and determination of Kej attached to that which you work for. However, make sure you remember to make time to recharge with a connection to nature.

The nawal Kej brings strength and vitality which it helps us to draw from the wilderness. It brings out our leadership from within us, helping to assure us of our decisions. It acts as a spiritual leader charging forward on behalf of its people, determined to bring out the best of the world for them, whether real or perceived. Kej represents the priest, with concern for more than just the physical well being of the people it leads. It does what it does with a divine conviction, which leads can lead it to be a little overbearing.

Here we see it connected with the number 5 which is representative of work. As a consequence, this can be an exceptionally empowered work day as Kej comes through to bring you determination in whatever your chosen work is. However, this determination can lead to trampling over others in the drive to achieve a goal, which should be avoided. It may require a little reigning in of the pushy energy in order to avoid possible confrontation.

One way to balance the strength is through connection to the wilderness. This is a great day for working in the natural environment, the work will be blessed by Kej, helping you to tune in to what you are doing. It is likely that environmental work may take some effort to get going, but once it does you may be well rewarded. This may take some form of insight as the essence of the spiritual leader within is empowered through the natural world.


Within the solar calendar, today marks the beginning of a new month as we travel through the solar year. Today is the first day of Iskal translated as the season of sprouts and shoots. New growth may be occurring, but the main harvest is approaching with only 40 days now left until the the repeat of the day 6 Kej, the second appearance of the current year lord.

 


 

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

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

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

The Sacred Mayan calendar is often said to be a calendar of human life, and parts of it can be seen as a microcosm of the human body. The number five is one of these parts. It is representative of the hand with it’s five digits. It is with our hands that we work, and with what we earn for that work that we pay our debts. Five is also a number that relates to the sacred fire where we pay our debts with offerings and prayers. Five might be so busy working that it fails to remember what it is working for. It can also signify that what it is attached to becomes work, or is “hard work”.