Tag Archives: Mayan Astrology

8 Ajpu (12th July 2020)

8 AjpuThe nawal Ajpu helps us to recognise the divinity in all that surrounds us, it sends us on our quest to understand the holiness of life. Today it shows us that we have to look in wholeness, in every aspect.

The nawal Ajpu is representative the heroes of the Popol Vuh, Junajpu, Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu. They were the ones who descended to the underworld to Xibalbans, the lords of the place of fright. Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu failed in their task and were killed, but Jun Junajpu’s severed head magically impregnated the maiden Blood Moon with his twin sons, Junajpu and Xbalamque. Where the father and uncle failed, the second generation were victorious and the Xibalbans were defeated, bringing peace to those who dwell in the earthly realm.

With Ajpu representing the sun we can see this interplay as representing the victory of light over darkness. The days numbered 8 are commonly used for ceremony, and today this ceremony could celebrate and honour the heroes that bring the light into our lives, and the divinity that surrounds us in the world. However, without their opponents, heroes would not exist and neither would the legendary stories we celebrate whatever our tradition. The challenges we confront are what bring out the divinity within us, without them there would be no quests, no progress. It is a day to celebrate our failures as well as our victories, all the things which have brought out our the hero from within us.

It is easy to see the beauty in what we have been taught is divine, but can you see it within the mundane, or even in what is considered to be ugly? Can you find the divinity in what you judge to be a negative situation? It is a day to see that all has come from oneness, everything is part of the divine.

Itzamna emerges from the mouth of the serpent, from the Dresden Codex
Itzamna emerges from the mouth of the serpent, from the Dresden Codex

We have decided to set an intention, to relaunch our retreat which will begin in 240 days time on 1 Ajpu, March 9th 2021. We understand there is great uncertainty in the world right now, but the hero has to have an objective! The retreat is based around the hero’s journey to discover the higher aspect of ourselves, to understand our potential. You can find out more about it here.

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 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 Kawok (11th July 2020)

7 KawokThe rain may fall but how it affects you is your choice. Will you choose to fall victim to the storm allowing the torrent to wash you away, or will you dance in the rain giving thanks for the gift of life? Today it is very much up to you.

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

Like all things, the nawal Kawok seems to have two faces, one benevolent and one malevolent. However, this is actually just our perception and our experience. If our house gets flooded in a great storm, we may feel like cursing the rain. If we live in a desert, the rain falling may seem like a miracle, new life falling from the sky. The rain would fall whether we were there or not, and if there was no rain, there would be no life. In reality, there is no polarity.

Just as in the natural world, the rain brings new life, sometimes the storms within our lives also bring the potential for new growth. Today, with nawal Kawok combining with the number 7, it is very much our choice as to how we deal with the storms we see going on around us.

Sometimes we have to endure storms within our lives, and sometimes we lend our umbrella to our families and friends as we help them to endure their own storms. Today we have the opportunity to finally heal and decisively wash away the obstacles to growth, to allow the flow to take us towards novelty within our lives. This could be seen with the finality of the number 7 representing one final push to bring the new energy into our lives. Of course we can resist it if we wish, but we might find that the current is too strong and that resistance only causes exhaustion, the new life is coming in on its own schedule. Allow the rain to heal you, to cleanse you and to soothe you, as you move forward into the novelty of life.


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 within the Maya world 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.

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.

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.

The number seven is the mid-point of the range of numbers, as we would see them,  but it is also known as a number of death and endings. This which would seem strange as it is only half way through the journey. However, another representation of the change of state of the soul, showing half of the journey (1-7) in the mortal world and half (8-13) in the other world. 7 Is the final number that appears in the bottom row before we move to the top row, suggesting the transition between realms. The numbers 1 and 7 embrace all other numbers as they appear in the sequence of nawales, and thus give a suggestion of beginnings and endings.

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.

 

6 Tijax (10th July 2020)

6 TijaxWhen you are using the razor edged obsidian blade, it is of the utmost importance to have a steady hand guiding it. Today is that day, the day when the sharp blade of discernment cuts with a stable certainty.

Whether it is a way of creating beauty, or bringing harmony into the world through decisive action, today is an excellent day to be wielding the blade. It has enough power behind it to complete the task with certainty, but not so much so as to cause collateral damage. It is a day which brings the ultimate stability of the number 6 together with the healing ability of Tijax to bring true resolution of duality.

The energy of the nawal Tijax can have a fanatical energy, rushing off on the next quest, determined to rid the world of evil. The energy of the number 6 turns the fanatical crusader into a wiser warrior, helping us to understand when to stop, and which causes are really worth fighting for. It gives us a high degree of discernment, it can guide you to make the right cuts in order to lighten your load. Tijax‘s eye for beauty can be trusted, it can be used to cut away the superfluous and bring out the true divinity. It is also a great day for choosing things which bring beauty to the world.

With the energy of the number 6 also representing family values, this can be seen as a good day for bringing healing to certain areas of family life by cutting away anything which causes imbalance.

Today is a day of editing, a day to bring healing through precise cuts. It is a day to bring stability to your life by gently but firmly removing that which no longer serves you. After all, today the movement of the blade in the physical realm is guided through the connection with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth.

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 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.

5 No’j (9th July 2020)

5 N'ojThe energy of the nawal No’j brings us ideas, thoughts and solutions to our problems. Today its combination with the number 5 suggests the need to really put some energy behind our ideas to bring them to fruition.

The concept of a straightforward plan evolving without too much input from ourselves is particularly unrealistic today. The energy that the number 5 brings to the day suggests that a real push will be necessary, with some hard work involved, to get your ideas into motion. It is true that the day may bring some solutions that you had not thought of before, but these solutions may not be quick or easy to employ. In fact, the quick answer may actually cause a problem. One of the qualities associated with the energy of the number 5 is rushing into situations without really thinking them through. Today this could signify that something within your plan needs a little more thought. The consequence of trying to rush your work may result in an unexpected obstruction to the application of your idea.

This is certainly a day to work on solving problems, but the long route to the solution may be the most beneficial. Taking shortcuts to save effort may result in challenges.

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 (No’j). 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.

Today begins the 8th “month” of the Macehual Q’ij,that of Tz’ikin Q’ij,  the bird days or bird sun. A while ago I posted an idea about the realignment of the solar calendar, to put its beginning at 13th August. You can read about it here. It can be seen as the time when the birds come in, and while I strongly feel that this may be the time when many migratory bird species are present here in Guatemala if we realigned the calendar (late December / early January). However, even in its present alignment we can see a natural occurrence here. We tend to have a break in the rains here in Guatemala called canicular. These are also referred to in other places as “the dog days of summer”. The reason for these references is because they begin with the heliacal rise of the star sirius. Here at 15 degrees north of the equator, Sirius has its heliacal rise (sun 8 degrees below the horizon, sirius 3 degrees above the horizon) on July 23rd, within the month of Tz’ikin Q’ij. According to the Lacandon, Sirius and Rigel are both woodpeckers (interesting for the day No’j too!) and so it could be see as the return of the birds. For us here, the break in the rains may also bring a great amount of bird activity, or at least perceived activity after the closed in time of the rains.

The nawal No’j is the nawal of thought, of intelligence and intellect. Within the count of days, there are two geniuses. B’atz is the creative genius, No’j the intellectual one. No’j is an energy of masculine, logical thought. No’j is the problem solver, it gives ideas and solutions which work in the real world. No’j gives a different way to understand situations, and through this ability comes innovation. It is thought, but also understanding and, indeed, knowing. As such, No’j 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 No’j 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.

No’j 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 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”.

4 Ajmak (8th July 2020)

4 AjmakToday can be seen as a day to resolve any outstanding issues you may have been trying to ignore, the “elephants in the living room.” It is a good stable day to clear the air of anything which might have been interfering with your progress.

Any day is a good day to practice forgiveness, but Ajmak days bring a special power with them. It’s easy enough to forgive in words, but is it just lip service to the idea? When the situation arises, or you meet the “offender” again, what is your reaction? Likewise, if there is something you have asked to be forgiven, how do you feel when you meet that person you ask it of? Is there still an unspoken unresolved issue, an energy which needs to be addressed?

As we see Ajmak paired with the number 4, the task today is to bring that forgiveness into the physical, material realm. It is the time to ground it, to sit down with it and buy it a drink. Forgiving and being forgiven can release stagnant energy which may have been holding you back, but today is the day to prove that you are ready to move on. It is a day to rebuild bridges you may consider burnt through physical action, to prove that your forgiveness is more than just lip service to an idea. It is a day to truly bring sweetness into your world through your deeds as well as your words.

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 4 is very important within Mayan mythology. Four represents the cardinal points, the four colours of maize, the four carriers of the year, the two equinoxes and two solstices, as well as midnight, sunrise, midday and sunset. The number four is representative of the four first men, who raised the sky from the sea to create the world we live on. In Mayan myth it is four pillars that support the sky from the Earth. As you can imagine, four is a number which represents stability, a solar number. Even though it is still low, it is thought of as a good number.

2 Ix (6th July 2020)

2 IxOur mothers nourish us and attend to our needs, just as our Mother Earth supports our very existence. Today is a day to remember that, and give something back, to make a little self sacrifice in gratitude to Mother Earth.

We forget that everything around us, all material goods, were once part of Mother Earth. Sometimes we forget that this is a gift and we take it for granted. We may think about the natural things, foodstuffs or wood, to begin with, but even the screen you are reading this on was made from materials which were on or in the Earth. We took the base material and transformed it, from being part of the body of our Mother Earth into something that fulfilled our temporary needs. We see these things as commodities, as our property,  we detach them from what they were, make them shiny and stick a label on them. But they are not forever transformed, like us they break, decay and once more return to the Earth over time.

One of the major lessons attached to the nawal Ix is gratitude. In the dazzling brilliance of our “magical” abilities to transform base materials, we lose our humility and we forget to say thank you. Without her we have no home, without her we have no life. Today is a day to not just say thank you, but to take action to show your gratitude. The number 2 is connected with self sacrifice, the gift of your energy and your time are the greatest sacrifice you can make to show your gratitude.

Take some time to show your gratitude to Mother Earth, help to undo some of the damage humans have caused. Perhaps pick up some litter, help to restore some beauty to the natural world around you, and while you do so, make a little prayer of gratitude for all that sustains your life.

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 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 Aj (5th July 2020)

1 AjToday is the beginning of a new cycle. It is a new trecena, a new 13 day period, beginning with the highly fortunate and noble nawal Aj. It can be seen as a time to bring harmony to home and community through wise counsel.

After the potentially dizzying roller-coaster ride of the Ajpu trecena, we are entering into a time of grounded organisation. Starting today is a period of putting what we have learnt from the last trecena into practice on the physical level. The conquering of the fears on 7 Kame and initiation into leadership on 8 Kej have led us to this day.

It is the day when we have a potential to engage with our new found bravery, our renewed strength and courage, and the wisdom that facing these challenges has brought us. We are able to begin to lead by example, to recount our path to harmony on order to inspire others. However, it might take a few words of encouragement from those around us to help us to realise the abilities we now have.

It is time to begin to stand up and be counted, to allow your wisdom and experience to be heard and put to use. Stand tall, with a straight spine, and draw on the energies of the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth, to bring peace and prosperity to your home and the wider community. This day, 1 Aj,  is the beginning of the journey to leadership within your community, not through desire for elevation of status, but through the desire for a more cohesive world for all.

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 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 E’ (4th July 2020) – Lunar Eclipse

13 E'If you have ever wondered what your spiritual path might be, you may get some insight into it on this powerful day. It is THE day to ask for, and receive, guidance on your journey.

“Where am I?”

“Where am I going?”

“What is my purpose?”

These are three of the most important questions we can ever ask of ourselves. With divination highlighted by the number 13, today is a day to ask these questions about your path. They may be asked in meditation, to divination devices such as Tz’ite seeds, cards or I Ching straws/coins, or guides both physical or etheric. The next question would of course be “are you ready to hear the answer?” If you are prepared to listen, this could truly be a day of illumination.

The strength of this day lends itself to asking for divine guidance on your journeys, both your life path and your physical journeys. If you are guided by a higher force, you will never be let down, if you stay on the path you should not encounter problems.

Even if you do not have the opportunity to ask the questions of your path, keep your eyes and ears open today. Be aware of what is going on around you, you may get some clues as to which direction to take, which journey will benefit you the most.

 

Lunar EclipseAs if this powerful day of the spiritual path was not enough of a grand finale for the trecena of Ajpu, here in the Americas we will almost all experience a lunar eclipse as we move between the day 13 E’ and the day 1 Aj. Here in Guatemala, this penumbral lunar eclipse will begin around 9pm, maximum will be 10.30pm and the eclipse finished a few minutes before midnight. Eclipses were very significant to the Maya, the picture below is from the eclipse tables of the Dresden codex, where calculations show when eclipses (both lunar and solar) will take place. In general, most references to eclipses, either lunar or solar, tend to be rather negative in nature. They are seen as a war in the heavens. During solar eclipses, the moon is so angry with the sun that she bites him. During lunar eclipses, it is often either an ant or a jaguar who is said to have bitten the moon. While some people may have a fear around the lunar eclipse, others may watch the eclipse in a bowl of water.

We also see that the goddess Ix K’ik has her name translated as both Blood Woman and Blood Moon. It would be rather churlish to assume that there is no connection between her and lunar eclipses. She is the mother of the hero twins, and as such perhaps an even more fitting guardian over the end of the Junajpu trecena. The hero has been conceived and on this day, is given the sacred path by the mother. What better time than ever to contemplate the sacred journey to your inner hero?

Nawal E’ represents the journey of discovery, the life path in both its physical and spiritual aspects. E’ is the explorer, it craves novelty. It inspires travel to understand different cultures and ways of life, it is a seeker of experience. It can be a thrill seeker, and sometimes will take risks to understand what it is examining. Whilst it gains experience and understanding through physical travel, E’ also drives us to explore our inner world, helping us to understand our own minds and hearts, and those of others. E’ sometimes creates a restlessness, the desire to find new things within the world means that E’ finds it difficult to sit still.

E’ can sometimes cause us to explore simply for the sake of exploration, we seek the new experience because it is there. This can give rise to a lack of direction, aimless wandering. However, even in its wanderings E’ is discovering. It may not know exactly where it is going, but it will when it gets there. In it’s best aspect, E’ seeks out knowledge and experience in order to form an understanding which brings wisdom. E’ enjoys sharing the wisdom gained with its peers, for the enrichment of the community.

E’ is another of the classic  carriers of the year, or year lords. It is said that E’ years tend to be some of the more gentle and favourable years. E’  is seen as a good natured nawal. E’ days are considered to be good days on which to travel and explore, whether that be externally or internally. It is a day to find or remember your path, a day to ask for your path to be cleared of obstructions, and a day to ask for guidance and protection on your path.

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 carried out by the most experienced Aj Q’ij who understand how to work with that strength of energy.

12 B’atz (3rd July 2020)

12 B'atzEverything we do can be seen as weaving. Our art, our reproduction, it all comes down to the same thing – combining threads, strands and essences in order to create. Today these threads come from our life experiences.

The energy of the nawal B’atz brings a highly creative day, the day of the arts and performances. The number twelve carried by this day is significant of wrapping things up, bringing things together and creating a bundle. Usually these are life’s experiences, and here we can see them as the flavours and colours you may have experienced in your life. However, this time around, instead of just creating a bundle, we are weaving these things together. You are able to bring inspiration from your past into your new pattern and create something truly beautiful from it.

It is an excellent day to weave your stories, to entertain through tales of your past. It is a day to use your life experience to create an exquisite tapestry, whether it is of words, colours, threads or other materials. Allow your creative expression to flow, empowered by the inspiration of your experiences.

Images of weaving using a backstrap loom, from the Madrid Codex

There are two nawales which bestow incredible talents, one of which is B’atz, the other is N’oj. B’atz is the nawal of artisans and of weavers, but this is not just creation and weaving on the Earthly level. B’atz weaves the threads of time together to create reality. B’atz is the nawal of the sacred calendar, which could be considered to be the fabric created from these individual threads of time. If B’atz is clever enough to weave time into order, then of course it is clever enough to create more down to Earth trinkets. B’atz is the master artisan, creating whatever it chooses, at will. It is just as comfortable painting, as it is playing music or writing. The arts come naturally to this nawal. However, this can lead to issues when B’atz has to deal with those less talented than itself. This can lead to a certain arrogance around those who fail to achieve their standard of excellence.

Their talent draws attention, which is something B’atz craves. It is the nawal of the born entertainer, who can sing, dance and play all at once. This nawal is the life and soul of the party, it also makes excellent teachers, who hold the attention of students through entertaining them. It is a particularly fun loving nawal that feeds on the adoration of the crowd that it pleases.

It is a day to create, especially within the fields of the arts. It is also a day to weave your reality the way you see fit. Where Aq’ab’al was the conception, B’atz is the gestation. Now is the time to incorporate what you wish into the pattern before it is birthed.

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 Tz’i (2nd July 2020)

11 Tz'iWith the unconditional love and loyalty carried by the nawal Tz’i combined with the uncertainty and strength of the number 11, today may prove to be a rather confusing day of split loyalties.

The nawal Tz’i can be your best friend. The energy it gives is that of the unconditional, guiding and protecting you through thick and thin. It is devotion, whether to a person or a cause. However strong it may be, the number 11 can be directionless, or try to go in all directions at once. Today that could lead to divided loyalty. It is a day when you may find yourself trying to be all things to all people. Of course this is a very noble ideal, but not only may you find it difficult to accomplish, you may find that you end up with some conflicts of interest. Your loyalty may end up spread too thinly and, as a result, fail to achieve your intended goal in any of the areas you applied it to.

The energy of the nawal Tz’i is also known for its impulsive nature, particularly when it comes to matters of a more sensual nature. When this energy is combined with the equally impulsive energy of the number 11, desires and urges may be very difficult to control. As the nawal Tz’i is also the nawal which represents our guidance, the combination with the number 11 could suggest that there may be a strong and undeniable feeling of being guided towards something. It will be important to really apply some perspective to this guidance. The strength of the drive may be irresistible, however is it really in your long term interests? Today it will be important to find a direction to focus your devotion before you apply it, and once you find that direction, keep with it. This may very well be THE day of temptations.

The dog sits by the cauldron, from the Madrid Codex
The dog sits by the cauldron, from the Madrid Codex

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 its 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.

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.