Tag Archives: Tzolkin

12 Iq’ (19th June 2021)

12 Iq'A strong number and a strong nawal combine today to give the potential for great inspiration or great bluster. The decision on how to use your words may result in big consequences.

The nawal Iq’ has the power to inspire, after all, it is the breath of life itself, the divine breath, moving through us, animating us and bringing movement into the world. However, sometimes that movement is uncertain, it brings unexpected changes. Sometimes Iq’ brings destruction with its force.

Today it is married with the number 12, the highest of the even numbers. Whilst it is powerful, the fact that it is an even number usually gives the energy of 12 days a rather positive feel as they bring together previous experiences from our lives.

The energy of 12 Iq’ could be seen as providing an understanding of how to embrace a sudden change based on previous experiences. It could also be a day to use the experience you have gained through your life to motivate and inspire others through your words. However, it is also a day to be aware of your temper as the strength of your words today may cause far more damage than intended.

This day, 12 Iq’, represents the beginning of a new month within the solar calendar, the month of Rukab’ Pach, translated as the second season of hen hatching. It marks the time of the year in the northern hemisphere, where the sun is present for the longest period, the growing season is at its greatest potential. Sometimes we can look as cycles as learning and then implementation, often the first or upwards part can be the learning part. If we apply this to the idea of the year lords, perhaps it is the first 140 days that we are learning to adjust to the energy of the new Mam, and here we have reached the pinnacle. It is time to “hatch out” the lesson and use the fullness of the solar energy to propel us forward in our new work.


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.

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 Imox (18th June 2021)

11 ImoxWhilst this combination may give rise to some lack of direction, both the number 11 and the nawal Imox can also be highly creative. It may be a day to embrace the creativity found in your more non-linear dreams.

Imox does have some positive qualities with regards to creation and nurture, but it is also associated with insanity. It can be seen as the eccentric artist able to beautifully interpret their dreams or sentiment of society through their preferred medium, but who find great challenge living in the physical world. This generally comes as a result of their level of receptivity, they feel everything the collective feels, the joy and the grief.

Imox days are intimately connected with the spirit of the times, but this can also break down to a herd mentality. The energy of Imox days may sometimes make it difficult to think clearly, especially when it comes to breaking free of the collective.

When combined with the powerful and directionless energy of the number 11, a very potent mix may arise. All that strength combined with so much creative potential could give rise to a work of genius, or it could give rise to an angry mob looking for direction to release the frustration of the collective.

Possibly the most effective use of this day would be as a creative retreat. Disconnect from the media, in particular, get out into nature and allow your creative side to be inspired. Choose wisely who you let into your consciousness today, you may not realise whose thoughts you are thinking.

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 ampla, 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 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 Ajpu (17th June 2021)

10 AjpuThe nawal Ajpu encourages us to search for the holy and the number 10 represents society. Whilst we may see problems within our communities, the energy of Ajpu helps us look for the good side today.

Isolation may have its beneficial moments, for reflection and introspection, but for humans to flourish, being part of a bigger community usually benefits all within it. It often not a perfect solution for all within the community, nothing is one size fits all, and so there will always be a certain amount of discontent. It is easy to focus on problems, they tend to be the things which cause the immediate discomfort and so attract the most attention. They sometimes draw our focus so much that we lose sight of the original reasons for joining a community, the original dreams of being at peace with our neighbours, acting in unity and creating a more prosperous environment for our future generations.

The nawal Ajpu does represent the search for divinity, the highest form of good, however this search can begin just by remembering to see the everyday good in what is around us. With the number 10 bringing this focus onto community, today is a day which strongly suggests that we look at the positive elements of the community to which we belong. By extending our love and friendship into our communities, we have the possibility to create something greater than the sum of its parts and more divine than we can create alone.

 


Nawal Ajpu is once again a nawal with a multitude of meanings and translations. In the Yucatec language it is known as Ahau, in K’iche 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 its 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. 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 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 Kawok (16th June 2021)

9 KawokThe energy of 9 Kawok has a distinctively feminine tone as the nawal of midwives and female healers combines with the number of the divine feminine. It is the day to celebrate the healing abilities of the women in our lives.

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

This is an important day for any women engaged in forms of healing. It is a day which maximises and highlights these abilities, a wonderful day for women’s healing rituals. The number 9 is also a representative of life, so the energy of this day can really be seen about bringing new life to life, re-birthing with the assistance of the healing women.

The energy of 8 Tijax may have helped some rather drastic changes to happen, but it can also leave us feeling a little tender after the “surgery.” Now the most compassionate aspect of Kawok enters to help to soothe and comfort us as we move forward into our new being. Whilst this might sound rather weak, it should be remembered that Kawok has the power of the rainstorm behind her. She brings the new life, but she also has the power to wash away the old. She may do this in a compassionate way, and with the overall goal of bringing in the new, but nonetheless will do so with vigour.

This is a day to ask women for their assistance in your healing, but also in helping you to move forward. If something is restricting your progress, ask your female friends for their wisdom or guidance with regards to breaking through this blockage.


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

While most healing roles do not seem to be gender specific, within the Maya world, 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 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 Tijax (15th June 2021)

8 TijaxThis day is celebrated as the day of the healer, when ceremonies are held in gratitude for our ability to bring healing to our communities. It is a potent day to deal with any aspect of healing to restore balance.

Tijax can be a powerful nawal, the razor edged discernment crafting the mundane into the holy. Today it is empowered by the balanced wholeness of the number 8, the masculine and feminine aspects of the qualities of the four directions, steadying and guiding the cutting edge. It is a day to recognise what can be healed in life, and what must be cut away, to bring order through compassionate action.

All aspects of Tijax are embraced today. Within the Tijax ceremony, we give thanks for our ability to heal and those who bring healing to us in whatever form it might take. We ask for pardon for when we become over-enthusiastic in our quests and it drives us into belligerence. Lastly we ask for healing to come where it is needed, whether this is in our physical bodies or within our society.

As we travel through the B’atz trecena, we are weaving in the new reality, ready to mesh it with the old on 8 B’atz. Here on 8 Tijax, we are cutting away the superfluous, trimming away the parts of the old pattern which no longer serve and shaping the new cloth to weave it seamlessly into the old.  Tijax discerns and removes the false.

It is a day to heal divides, to ask for the restoration of unity and balance. This may come through analysing both sides of the disagreement and using the discernment Tijax brings to cut away the excesses of either, to cut through to the truth.

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 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 No’j (14th June 2021)

7 N'oj
The energy of the day 7 No’j may see knowledge and theories from different sources coalescing to form one combined idea as the plan is finalised. Today, the nawal No’j combines with the number 7, the number of endings and finality. This suggests that now is the time to finalise plans. These plans may be coming from many directions, and it may lead to some confusion as to which ones to develop. This is the day to make the decision, from this vantage point you can see them all for what they are. The problem solving intellect of No’j and the balance and finality of the number 7 should give rise to extremely practical solutions for conclusion. Within the cycle of the year are many sub-cycles. I often mention the cycle of the trecenas, but here is another, the 20 day cycle. The theme of this 20 day cycle, from 7 No’j to 1 No’j, should be finishing off one plan or set of ideas so that the  new ideas can be born in the future. So, not only should the energy of today highlight a drive to get things finished off, this should continue for the next 20 days.
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.
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 year 2016  was the year 4 No’j, the next occurrence was 2020, the year 8 No’j.
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.

6 Ajmak (13th June 2021)

6 Ajmak
Today Ajmak, the nawal of forgiveness and ancestors, combines with the number representing the stability and family. This could be one of the most important days to settle any family issues. As humans move through life, things happen. We make choices and decisions, some of which we may have made differently with the benefit of hindsight. The results of our decisions have impacts on others. Some it may bring some people closer, or may drive others further away. If they are mere acquaintances, they may come and go at different points through life, however, if they are family there is a much closer bond. You may be lucky enough to have a family that stick by you through thick and thin, that support your decisions. Sometimes they may support you while not agreeing with your decisions or actions. If you are really unfortunate, you may be at odds with your ancestors, such are the differences in your values. The trecena of B’atz has a theme of creation, of weaving things together. Support from our ancestors can bring us great strength on our journey, and bring the sweetness into our lives. With the number 6 highlighting the family, today brings the energy of resolution of differences within your family. If there are outstanding matters causing friction with your ancestors, today is the day to sort them out. Whether forgiveness is what you need to ask for, or what you need to give, great stability can be created today through this action.
I’m sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love 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 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.
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 Tz’ikin (12th June 2021)

5 Tz'ikinThe nawal representing prosperity is combined with the number representing work, so we could imagine that your effort will be well rewarded today. However, you might have difficulty seeing it for what it is.

The nawal Tz’ikin brings the opportunity to prosper through the vision it brings. It endows both the ability to focus, and the ability to see the big picture. Whilst these are both extremely important qualities, their application at the appropriate time is also something that Tz’ikin helps us to learn. Whilst Tz’ikin is generally seen as a very positive nawal, its challenge is to avoid distraction, to learn to truly focus when it is required of us.

When combined with the number five as it is today, the ability to engage with the focus of Tz’ikin may require a little more work than usual. Whilst the visionary aspect that it carries may still lead to a fortunate conclusion, removing yourself from a distracting environment may make this easier.

Therefore, 5 Tz’ikin could be seen as an important day to focus your energy into the vision of what you wish to achieve. Gather your enthusiasm and get to work on whatever this might be, it is likely to bring a prosperous outcome.

Itzamna, the principle bird deity, from the “Hero Twins” frieze on the Tecolote pyramid complex at El Mirador. Photo by Mark Elmy


Nawal Tz’ikin is the nawal of prosperity, which 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, its broad vision can occasionally cause distraction. Sometimes, just when it is heading towards its 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 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 Ix (11th June 2021)

4 IxStability of your connection to the spirit of Mother Earth and the abundance that comes from her is highlighted today. It is a day to manifest this into the physical realm.

The nawal Ix brings us the ability to call on mother Earth to provide us with the materials we require to walk our path. We do this simply by asking, by using our words, particularly at special places such as shrines or altars. With this day carrying the number 4, the energy of nawal Ix is empowered by the qualities of the four directions – strength, wisdom, spirit and healing. These are the qualities that support the stability of what they are attached to. Hence, asking for what you need in life is likely to yield a positive result.

The nawal Ix also had a deeply esoteric side, however it is termed the simplest word to describe its gift is magic. We may shy away from the use of such words, but Ix enhances our ability to co- create with our surroundings. It reminds us that the power to shape our environment is in our hands, as is the responsibility. The energy of 4 Ix suggests that our ability to co-create, our “magic”, may be quite apparent in the physical realm today. In fact, today it may be easier than usual to manifest our desires into the physical, be aware of what you are creating and be prepared to take responsibility for your creation.

The day 4 Ix is a day to remember to give thanks for what you have asked for, what has manifested into your physical world. It is a good day to show your gratitude to mother Earth by doing something physically to restore your balance with her.

Jaguar Shaman
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.

Industrialised societies tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised societies see her as a living entity with whom we can interact, and she carries the nawal Ix. So, it is on Ix days that prayers are offered at her places, the shrines and altars, her ears, to ask for what we need in our world.

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 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 beneficial number.

3 Aj (10th June 2021)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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