The posts that I am writing every day concern the days of the Chol Q’ij, the Mayan sacred or ritual calendar, which consists of 260 days. However, this is, of course, not the only calendar used by the Mayan people. One of the other calendars used is known as the Macewal Q’ij or Ordinary Days. This has been termed a civic or agricultural calendar, which may seem less grand than the sacred days, but without agriculture, the people would starve. There are ceremonies associated with certain days of the Macewal Q’ij, not least the arrival of the first day, the new Year Bearer. Kenneth Johnson wrote an excellent first hand account of his experience in Momostenango of the arrival of the new year bearer or Mam here
However, the new year is not here just yet, first we have to get through the Wayeb. These are the five days at the end of the 365 day count. They are thought of as a dangerous time, when the energy is confused to say the least. It is interesting to note that the final five days of the solar year are overseen by the previous incarnation of the same nawal. 2 Kej was the year bearer for 2014. If we imagine reality as a ship and the year bearer as the captain, it is as if the captain has died and been replaced by the ghost of the previous captain. Maybe this is why this time is thought of as being so unpredictable.
Wayeb is seen as a time of introspection, a time when we take stock of what has happened over the previous year. It is seen as a time when public ceremony is avoided, some people do not wash or comb their hair, they may not leave the house. It is a time when the days are unsupported and misfortune may occur.
The introspection of the first day of Wayeb is used to review the previous year. Its combination here with the day 2 Kej suggests a review of the self-sacrifice and duality you may have experienced during the previous 360 days of the year 6 Kej. This is a day to reflect on the year 6 Kej, a year which may have brought about a strengthening and stabilising of your connection with the natural world, as your ability as a spiritual leader. In order to create this stability it may have been necessary to release old and deep seated patterns and beliefs, the strength of the Mam Kej forcing the issues. The deer (or horse) kicks away that the things which prevent you from stepping fully into your role, the things which cause instability. Of course these kicks may have been painful, and being forced to face things is not really the way we would usually choose to conduct our lives, but sometimes the things we need to face have to be brought to our attention. When there is no longer a way around it we have to confront it, but once we confront it we are able to move forward.
On this first day of Wayeb, we can reflect on what we have overcome in order to strengthen ourselves during the Mam 6 Kej.