Tag Archives: Mayan Astrology

3 Iq’ (21st January 2019)

3 Iq'The strong and unpredictable nature of the nawal Iq’ is combined with the uncertain and unstable 3 today, which could cause some challenges today, particularly regarding communication and changes.

3 Wind HeadThere are two ways of writing the numbers in ancient Maya glyphs. One is the dot and bar notation that you see above alongside the glyph for the nawal above. The other is the “god head” notation, where the numbers are denoted by the heads of various deities. Within this notation, the number 3 is denoted by the head of the wind god, and so we see that the day 3 Iq’ could be seen as double the potential of any other Iq’ day.

This extra power could again go either way, but whatever way it goes it is likely to be powerful. The obstructions often represented by the number 3 are connected with the nawal of communication making this a day with the potential for mixed messages to say the least. If you have anything important to communicate it would probably be best to wait for another day, as today your words may become jumbled. Whilst you might get your message across, the energy of today might even lead to your words being completely misinterpreted.

The most positive aspect would be that of divine inspiration, with words flowing like a river of flowers. You may be opening and closing your mouth, but the words may be from somewhere else. If you are looking for inspiring words today you may find that they come not from the outer world, but from your own inner voice.

It may be a day where you are inspired to make great changes, with the power of the wind god behind you. However, as the external application of the number 3 can be challenged, you may find the changes you wish to make in the world rather difficult to achieve today. Once again, the inner world is the place to make the changes, it is a day to make the changes within in order to affect external change. As the number 3 can represent the home, this would be a wonderful day to make these changes within your home. If there was ever a day for a “Spring clean”, this is it, allowing the breath of fresh air to cleanse the atmosphere of your home.

wind-god-2

Nawal Iq’ is another strong nawal. It represents communication and particularly divine inspiration. It is the wind, the breath of life, that which brings the change in seasons.

The communication brought by Iq’ can be enlightening and inspiring. It is the breath of the divine which flows through us all, in fact the word for soul is Saq Iq’ – white breath. When our breath stops, our divine essence leaves our physical body. When we engage ourselves with the divine breath we are able to create, to manifest with our words, to inspire those around us. However, Iq’ also has a destructive side. It has the ability to blow like a hurricane and may level everything before it. It is the angry words which cut down everything in their path.

Hurricane is one of the few English words which is actually derived from a Mayan word- Junrakan, meaning “one footed”. Junrakan is another name for the Heart of the Sky, one of the creator deities. Once again it seems that certain patterns follow through the sequence of the nawales which are interrelated. Imox, the female creative principle, or egg, is fertilised be Iq’, the male principle. Their combination results in Aq’ab’al, the conception and a change in the state, bringing the dream into reality.

Iq’ is a day of communication, a day of inspiration. It can be a great day to express yourself through written or particularly verbal means. It is also a day on which changes happen. You can either embrace those changes or resist them, but be aware that the wind blows forcefully and resistance of change requires a great deal of energy. Embracing change helps you to learn to dance like a leaf in the wind.

Iq’ is the fourth of the classic Year Bearers, or Year Lords. It gives rise to unpredictable, strong years.

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.

2 Imox (20th January 2019)

2 ImoxOne of the hazards of Imox days is the possibility to get pulled into the dreamlike depths of the collective consciousness, but today the duality of the dream and reality is apparent.

Imox is a fertile place to allow our minds to wander, however, it is easy to get stuck in this swamp of creation. What you can bring out of these depths can be something truly in harmony with the spirit of the times, that’s if you manage to extract yourself from the dream. Imox can be seen as the infinite possibilities, encountering Imox can be like staring into the abyss. It can inspire or terrify. The energy of Imox is not always the easiest to work with.

Today, the energy of the number 2 is coupled with Imox. This can be seen as being able to understand the duality, the 2 helping us to discern between the dream world and the real world. It is, perhaps, rather a useful combination, one which may help bring out the best from the “crazy” day. We could also see the number 2 as representing self sacrifice, and there is a possibility that today you might need to make a sacrifice of your energy in order to bring your dreams closer to the surface. Perhaps the most charming interpretation would be when we see the number 2 as the number of lovers, suggesting that today you are particularly able to form a collective consciousness with your partner. Today is a day of dreaming together.

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White water lilies. There is some evidence that the flowers were used by the priest/kings to induce visions of the otherworld. Picture by Mark Elmy


Nawal Imox represents the collective consciousness, the great ocean. It is the moment before the “big bang”, when all that existed was the dream of the creator. It is everything and nothing in one place, the ovum from which reality was conceived. Imox is still very much in the other world, requiring another component to physically manifest the dream into reality.

Imox is considered to be a feminine nawal. Sometimes called water lily, sometimes crocodile, it is an embodiment of the primordial. It was from the great ocean that the four first men raised sky to create the world which we inhabit. Imox can also be seen as the Darwinian swamp from which all life emerged. It is fertile and creative, the mother that gave birth to our entire reality.

As the water lily, Imox is probably a representative of  Nymphaea alba, the white water lily. It has been suggested that the white water lily was smoked by the ancient Maya in a similar way to the blue lotus was used by the Egyptians. It was a plant which allowed access to the otherworld, a plant from which visions came if used correctly.

Imox is our common origin, and as such links us all together. It is the place of dreams, the collective conscious we delve into on our nightly voyages. It may also relate to the place that certain plant medicines take us to in order to bring us wisdom. However, as the font of all of creation, Imox harbours the dark as well as the light. When faced with the entirety of creation, the line between sanity and madness may become blurred.

Imox is a day to celebrate the spirit of the times, to understand the collective mind, particularly of humanity. It is a day to dream your creations, your art, your music. It is a day when we may all feel connected, a day when the psychic field between us may be particularly strong. Discernment may be called for, to understand when to dissociate from the collective, to remember your individuality, and to pull yourself back out of the dream world.

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.

1 Ajpu (19th January 2019)

1 AjpuWhether you use the name Ajpu or Junajpu for this nawal, this combination gives the name Junajpu or Jun Junajpu, one of the legendary hero twins, or their father. This day could see the divine begin to return.

There is a huge amount of symbolism within this day, and the majority of it could be considered to be favourable. With the number 1 representing the new emergence, the birth and Ajpu representing divinity, we can understand that there is an opportunity to bring something new and meaningful into the world today. The “child” which emerges today was delivered by 13 Kawok, the spirit midwife. Ajpu is art, it is beauty, it is the re-emergence of the sun after the storm. It is the resurrection of the maize, the new life and light in the world.

Of course, the number 1 represents potential, and this is what we see today, this is the seed which is planted. It is the beginning of the process, the first light of the fire. The ceremonial midpoint of this trecena is 8 Kej, the alternative initiation day of the Aj Q’ij, and the destination is 13 E’ – the spiritual path. With these days falling in the next two weeks, if is no surprise that it might be a time of powerful changes. Today the fire needs kindling, it needs tending gently in order to grow into the great light it could become. You have the potential to bring out the divine in your world, to see the holiness in everything around you. You might just need to put in a little more effort to bring out the true light. It is there, waiting for you to notice.

Itzamna emerges from the mouth of the serpent, from the Dresden Codex
Itzamna, patron of the day Ajpu, emerges from the mouth of the serpent, from the Dresden Codex

Nawal Ajpu is once again a nawal with a multitude of meanings and translations. In the Yucatec language it is known as Ahau, in Kiche is is also known as Junajpu. These are in turn variously translated into English as lord, hunter, blow gunner, flower and sun. Each one of the translations has it’s merits, and represents an aspect of this auspicious nawal.

Within the ancient Mayan society, the royals were not just political leaders of their particular city-states, they were priest-kings and priest-queens. They served as the conduit to the divine, deriving their wisdom for guiding their people through their connection with the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. This wisdom enriched both the ruling dynasty and their people, as they would be working in harmony with the gods. Thus the ruler of the city was also the physical embodiment of the divine, and it is to this that Ajpu is so closely related. Likewise it represents our potential, the state of divinity to which we may aspire.

Ajpu represents the holiness in life, the divinity in the physical world, and our search for it. It is that moment when you look closely at a flower to see the beautiful detail, the moment when you see the magnificence of the landscape you live within, the beauty in your child’s eyes or in the face of your partner. It is the random act of kindness that restores our faith in humanity. It is the search for the underlying meaning in all situations, understanding that each person is a part of the whole. Whether we like it or not, and however we judge it, we are all a part of creation. Our every action, and every action of others gives us the opportunity to explore ourselves and our reaction, whether we are attracted or repelled by the action of others. However, sometimes Ajpu can lead us to become immersed in the other world, to lose sight of reality, it is important to remember to stay in touch with the Heart of the Earth as we reach to the Heart of the Sky.

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.

13 Kawok (18th January 2019)

13 KawokThis is potentially one of the most turbulent days within the sacred count of days, but my own experience of these days has rarely seen that aspect. In fact, it has usually fully embraced the new birth aspect.

Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex
Chak sends the fire serpent (lightning) from the sky, from the Dresden Codex

The day of the storm sent from the spirit world could be one interpretation of the combination of the nawal Kawok with the number 13. It certainly has the power to be intimidating. The ultimate day of the rain god where all might be washed away by the flood, where all is destroyed.

However, new creation can only happen where there is space for new growth, and if everything is covered with the outworn, the new growth cannot emerge. Here the spirit world lends a hand in the birth process, bringing its strength to the delivery. In fact we might consider that which comes in to the world today to have been birthed from spirit. As such we can see an auspicious nature of the energy of today. This does not necessarily mean it will be a gentle day. If there is anything hanging around that you should have cleaned up, you might find yourself pushed into confronting it for clearance today. The debris of many years may be washed away, and whilst the process may bring some fleeting pain, the end result will be worth it. If there is something blocking your new growth, today is the day to ask for the assistance of the spirit world to wash it away. It is a day when healing may come from another realm.


Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex
Ixchel empties the water jar, washing away the old world in order to bring in the new. From the Dresden Codex

Nawal Kawok is in some ways a counterpart to the nawal Tijax. Where Tijax has masculine aspects of healing, Kawok has the feminine aspect. Kawok is sometimes referred to as rain or storm. It is this rain that washes away that which has been cut out by Tijax.

While most healing roles do not seem to be gender specific, one is. Both women and men may be healers, prayer makers, herbalists and diviners, only women will become midwives. Kawok is the energy of the midwife. Kawok helps to clear the obstructions from the birth process, in some ways it actually represents the birth process. Kawok brings the new into the world. In the Mayan cross, Kawok, the birth process finishes the sequence which starts with Aq’ab’al (conception) and moves through B’atz (gestation.) In the sequence of the calendar, Kawok precedes Ajpu. Ajpu represents the resurrection of the maize lord, also the creation of the world. Kawok creates the conditions for that to happen, the rain which brings forth the sprouting of the maize.

In its storm aspect, Kawok can be destructive, although it is a destruction which allows a new creation to happen. Kawok energy can give rise to some tempestuous situations, it can be a day which can give people a rough ride, although this may be for the eventual good. It is a day to ask for the gentle rain to bless your crops, and for the harsh rain to stop. It is a day which washes away the old and outworn in life, so that the new growth, life and divinity may emerge.

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

12 Tijax (17th January 2019)

12 TijaxThe next two days are considered by some to be two of the most turbulent days of the calendar. This certainly is a possibility as we head in the powerful days of 12 Tijax and 13 Kawok.

However, there is certainly another side that can be seen with both of these days and, of course, I will deal with 12 Tijax first. The energy of the nawal Tijax does have a reputation for its warlike nature, although I personally have rarely seen that expressed. What I have experienced, is a desire for refinement. Whilst there might be a degree of what some people might consider to be ruthlessness, Tijax just knows where and how to make cuts. It is not afraid to make the cut that which others shy away from, and does so to bring truth, beauty or harmony into the world.

The number 12 can represent all of our life experience. If we think about our experience being our autobiography, so we can understand that today can involve editing out the stories which are no longer relevant. It is a great day to release those experiences which hold you back from being your truest expression. It is a day to use all the experience you have gathered on your journey as a guide as to what to save and what to release. When you cut away the excess baggage you are able to move more freely on your journey. Experiences in our lives mould us into who we are, but we cannot move further if we don’t break free of the mould. We don’t have to regret our past, but we don’t have to live in it either. It is a day to heal these experiences, to cut ourselves free and allow the divine to emerge. This may, however, involve some rather deep cuts of the blade. This is a day to use your life experience to cut through injustice, lies and disharmony in order to bring healing to your world.

Sacrificial Death God 1

The nawal Tijax is often thought of as an obsidian blade or knife. How the blade is used depends on the intention of the person wielding it. It can be wielded by a warrior or by a surgeon. These would seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, but where Tijax is concerned the aim is the same – healing.

Tijax is the nawal of the holy warrior. In the Mayan book of creation , the Popol Vuh, the first act of the hero twins was a mission given to them by the Heart of the Sky to rid the world of the false gods Seven Macaw, Zipacna and Earthquake. This is their quest, their crusade, and is represented by Tijax. They then sacrifice themselves in the underworld (Kame) and are resurrected with magical abilities (Ix). By destroying the false gods, the twins brought balance to the world, and helped mankind, they brought healing to the world. They cut out that which caused disease, exactly as a surgeon would do.

Tijax is celebrated as a day of healers, particularly what could be seen as the masculine aspect of healing. It is a day of crusading, of standing up for what is right. It has a tenacity to it, it is sometimes belligerent, it will not be stopped in its quest. It is the healer who refuses to give up on finding a cure. Tijax gives powers of discernment and refinement. Just as the surgeons scalpel cuts away disease and the warriors blade dispatches the evil, the sculptors chisel creates beauty by remodelling the base material. It is a day of alchemy, both internal and external, turning the ordinary into the divine.

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 No’j (16th January 2019)

11 N'ojThis is a day for “those free-thinking types.” It may be a day with a myriad of genius ideas, although finding a train of thought to follow may be challenging.

Most days which carry the number 11 can be a little confusing to say the least. The strong energy of the 11, combined with its lack of true direction, can lead to situations where you don’t really know where you are, or where you are going, although you are sure you are in the right place. The energy of the nawal No’j may bring some stability to this through its logic. It may be a day of many thoughts and ideas which seem to form some kind of cohesive structure from a certain point of view. You may need to patiently observe your thoughts until the end of the day in order to understand where the trail is leading. In fact it may be that today you are able to come up with the rather left field thoughts that were the missing pieces of your master plan.

 

Earth Lord
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. Last year, 2016,  was the year 4 N’oj.

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.

10 Ajmak (15th January 2019)

10 Ajmak

When we are calling the days during a fire ceremony, Ajmak is often referred to as the nawal of redemption, and I feel this is a key element to the energy of this particular day. It is a day to both redeem others and seek our redemption.

An interpretation of the number 10 is that of community. When we combine this with the energy of the nawal Ajmak, we can see two very important ideas emerging. One is asking forgiveness from your community. Occasionally we make a mistake which can impact on our community or our peer group. Our instinct may be to try to cover this up, to paper over the cracks without actually addressing the issue. However, at some level this issue may be still bubbling away beneath the surface, causing disharmony. Often the thought of addressing the issue, of bringing it up for resolution is more intimidating than the actual process itself. The energy of the day 10 Ajmak provides beneficial conditions for going through such a process of redemption within your community.

The other side of 10 Ajmak is about our own ability to forgive society. There is much discontent within society at this present time. Issues have divided communities and families, driving wedges between friends. The disharmony created by this is perceptible, even behind the smiles. This is the day to fix these situations within yourself and forgive your perceived failings of society. It is not possible to come to equilibrium through enmity, only side by side can we work together to resolve the situation for the good of all. To initiate this process, forgiveness must take place, and the energy of the day 10 Ajmak creates the perfect environment to do that. Only then will we truly bring the sweetness back into our society.

The number 10 gives us the sense of the two hands coming together, of co-operation and support. When we combine this with the energy of Ajmak, it could be seen as extending a hand to help those who have fallen get back up again. By choosing to take this action, we start to release our own karmic burden. It is a day of asking forgiveness from our community for the times when we might have acted with less integrity that we normally would. The action of assisting those in need may certainly help to restore our balance.

Therefore, today even more than others, if you get the opportunity to act selflessly to help others, grab it with both hands. You have been handed a gift, the key to your own redemption.

I am sorry

Please forgive me

I love you

Thank you


When the creators fashioned the four first men, the Bacab’ob, they created them as equals. These four first humans had superhuman abilities, including the ability to see through space and time. As equals were not desired, the gods smoked the mirror of perception, giving us our human set of senses. When we lost the ability to see through time, we lost the ability to see the true consequences of our actions and thus we needed to start asking for forgiveness. Sometimes even well meaning actions can cause problems at a later date. Ajmak represents this ability to forgive others, the ability to forgive ourselves and the ability to accept forgiveness.

Ajmak is a sensual energy, which creates some of the reasons for its needing to be forgiven. It is kind and very lovable, but irresponsible. It can be a very talented energy, with great ideas. However it can also be very easily distracted, especially by anything that makes it feel nice. This often leads Ajmak to failing to fulfil its true potential, although due to its lovable nature it is easy to forgive. One of the lessons with regards to the Ajmak energy is learning to forgive oneself.

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.

9 Tz’ikin (14th January 2019)

9 Tz'ikinThe day 9 Tz’ikin combines the fortunate and prosperous day of Tz’ikin with the number of life and the divine feminine. This gives the potential for a very beneficial day, especially with respect to prosperity.

As the bird soars high in the sky it is able to see the path ahead, giving an understanding of both possible future complications and the best route to take in order to avoid them. This is metaphorically part of the essence of the nawal Tz’ikin. It give us the ability to perceive the most prosperous direction in which to put our energy. This may be why of Tz’ikin days, and the people who carry this nawal, are naturally endowed with good fortune. They carry the foresight to make beneficial decisions.

Of course, an important point to note is that the prosperity mentioned here is not just a material thing. It is not about a big bank balance on a dying planet. To attain true prosperity, it is vitally important that all systems thrive – us, our families, our communities and the nature which supports it all. As the number 9 represents life itself, this could be a good day to ask for a vision which brings prosperity to all forms of life, which helps us and our environment to thrive.

The number 9 represents both life and the feminine, so perhaps today is a day to seek the guidance of women in our lives in order to bring prosperity to our dealings. It can also be seen as a day to work on your life’s vision or, if you haven’t got one, ask for your life’s vision to come to you.


The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/
The Resplendent Quetzal, National bird of Guatemala. From http://themixedculture.com/2013/09/30/the-quetzal-bird/

The nawal Tz’ikin is a nawal of good fortune, almost literally. Tz’ikin is another manifestation and abundance day, a day of prosperity which comes through vision. The word Tz’ikin means bird, although many like to relate it to the Quetzal bird or Eagle. Where the nawal Ix is connected with the Heart of the Earth, Tz’ikin is connected with the Heart of the Sky. In the foliated cross representation of Aj, we saw the bird deity sitting atop the cross representing the Heart of the Sky. Whilst all is one in the general overview, we could see Ix as representing the female principle (Earth energy / yin) and Tz’ikin as representing the male principle (Sky energy / yang).

A nawal of prosperity, sometimes seems odd to people seeking “higher knowledge”. It is not quite seen the same here. If your family is starving, you are more likely to fall off the good road, perhaps into dishonesty or criminal activity. By asking nawal Tz’ikin for prosperity in your life, you are more likely to be relaxed, to be able to help others and to be more constructive within your community. That is not to say that your own input of hard work will not be necessary, just that it is hard work that will pay off.

Tz’ikin has the ability to give visions, it helps people to see the bigger picture within life. It also helps people to focus on details. It has grand aspirations and helps people to rise to the top of their abilities, which of course brings them prosperity.

Just as Tz’ikin can focus, it’s broad vision can occasionally cause distraction. Sometimes, just when it is heading towards it’s goal it can be distracted by something “shiny.” This energy gives an ability to create great social networks, but sometimes spends too much time trying to maintain them.

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.

8 Ix (13th January 2019)

8 IxThe nawal of the spirit of Mother Earth combines with the number of wholeness on this day of gratitude, when we give thanks for everything we receive from her.

Seven days ago, we started the trecena of Kej, giving us the possibility of drawing our strength from nature. Today we feel what that brings us – the wholeness of connection with the spirit of Mother Earth. This is a day of celebration, a day when we give thanks to Mother Earth and all she provides for us. It is a day to recognise the “magic” in our lives, our ability to work in harmony with Mother Earth to sustain ourselves, our families and our communities with what she provides.

Ix is also the nawal of the natural shrines  and altars, the “ears” through which Mother Earth hears our prayers. We often make ourselves heard, asking for what we need in our lives, and today gives us an opportunity to give back. Whether you have a natural altar near you or not, today brings an opportunity to show Mother Earth your gratitude by making an offering. This could be using your time to help clear up a local natural environment of the debris left behind by her ungrateful human offspring. Bring a little of your magic to her and she will return it to you magnified.

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.

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.

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.