True leadership begins with self-sacrifice

8 Kej (20th January 2024)

8 KejToday is an excellent day to make ceremony in the wilderness to receive and give thanks for your strength and vital energy. Embrace the strengths you draw from your existence in the natural world.

There are several days within the sacred count of days that we could term auspicious, then there are a few which represent exceptional themes. 8 Kej is one of them, perhaps second only to 8 B’atz.

During this trecena, we have seen two days representing characters within the Popol Vuh, Jun Ajpu and Wucub Kame. Jun Ajpu is one of the hero twins and represents “the birth of the sun”, and the light. Wukub Kame is his polar opposite, “the ultimate death”, and we can see this character as the lord of darkness. We have recently experienced both of these energies. It is essential to be connected to the light but to truly serve, the leader needs to have confronted and overcome the darkness within. Where Aj may represent the civic type of leader, the “Mayor”, Kej represents the spiritual leader or priest. Thus, overcoming these experiences is all the more important.

On 8 Kej the names of soon-to-be Aj Q’ijab, Maya spiritual guides, are presented to the patrilineage altars. It is also a day when high-ranking Maya priests are initiated as Chuchq’ajawib, the mother-fathers. This role combines the strength of the father and the compassion of the mother. The masculine and feminine principles come together to give the wholeness required of a true community leader.

One of the key strengths of the nawal Kej is its grounded nature. It brings stability to the world and draws strength from nature. Take some time today to connect with the masculine and feminine properties of the four directions; vitality, spirit, wisdom and healing.

The Nawal Kej

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

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

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

The Number Eight

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. Also, it can 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. The eighth day of the trecena is the most common day for ceremonies to be made. Therefore, 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.

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