Tag Archives: Altars

12 Ix (15th June 2024)

12 IxThis is a day to show gratitude to the Earth for all you have received in life. The day 12 Ix can be seen as gathering your life’s wisdom, wealth and experience together.

As we travel through our lives, we have a continuous and ongoing experience with the energy of the Earth. Many do not realise it, and many choose to ignore it. However, it is from the Earth that all material 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, on Ix days, prayers are offered at her places, the shrines and altars, and her ears, to ask for what we need in our world.

When we understand our relationship with Mother Earth, we enhance our abilities to interact with this world. This can be seen as wisdom, at least with regard to thriving in our Earthly world rather than just surviving. The further we move through life, the more we gather with regards to our experience. Today we celebrate what we have gathered through life about our understanding of the way the world works.

This is a day when we can draw on our life experience of how to make things work, how to draw upon our “magic” or our knowing of how to ask the Earth for what we need. We also draw on our experience of gratitude, our understanding that this is the lubricant to keep the energy moving. Our life experience helps us understand how to make the appropriate ceremonies to give thanks. It is a day to use our life experience to protect and honour mother Earth.

Nawal Ix

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 considered to be the most feminine of the nawales because it embodies the spirit of the Heart of the Earth. It can be seen as a representation of Mother Earth or the Maya version of Gaia. Ix is known for its nurturing energy, as it takes care of all things. However, this nurturing should not be mistaken for weakness, as Ix also embodies the power and stealth of the jaguar, which is its animal totem. The jaguar is a powerful jungle cat that moves stealthily through the darkness of the night with spots on its back representing the milky way. Ix carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

In industrialized societies, the Earth is often seen as an inanimate source of material wealth. However, non-industrialized societies view her as a living entity that we can interact with, and she carries the nawal Ix. Therefore, on Ix days, people offer prayers at her shrines and altars to ask for what they need in the world. To keep Ix healthy, it is important to approach her with a spirit of gratitude and humility. Ix is deeply connected with the natural world, where it finds its wisdom, power, and wealth. Therefore, it is a day to give thanks, remember gratitude, and engage with your magic.

The Number 12

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.

5 Ix (26th May 2024)

5 IxThis can be an excellent day for making a thanksgiving fire at a natural altar. It is a day to work on our gratitude in order to keep the flow of our sustenance steady.

 

We all can engage with the energy of the Earth. However, like any practice, work is required to reap the benefits. This can be seen as a day to engage with that training, to practise your abilities and to strengthen your connection to the Earth.

The energy of the nawal Ix reminds us that we are the children of the Earth. We are all connected to her energy whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Some of us live closer to her, some of us further away. Some show gratitude to her for what she provides, others do not even realise where their sustenance comes from. Yet still, she gives. When we enhance our connection with her, she rewards us. To strengthen our connection, we talk to her. We ask her for her help and we thank her for what she gives. Ix days are days of the altars and shrines, days to make our prayers. They are days when the Earth is waiting patiently to hear from her children.

Of course, if the flow is always one way, if we are always receiving and never giving, we may fall out of balance. We all live within her energetic field and if our energy is out of sync with hers, we may fall sick. This can be an important signpost that we need to realign our energy.

The energy of the number 5 represents work, it also represents the sacred fire. This is where we speak our words, where we ask for the Earth to help us and where we show our gratitude.

Nawal Ix

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 considered to be the most feminine of the nawales because it embodies the spirit of the Heart of the Earth. It can be seen as a representation of Mother Earth or the Maya version of Gaia. Ix is known for its nurturing energy, as it takes care of all things. However, this nurturing should not be mistaken for weakness, as Ix also embodies the power and stealth of the jaguar, which is its animal totem. The jaguar is a powerful jungle cat that moves stealthily through the darkness of the night with spots on its back representing the milky way. Ix carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

In industrialized societies, the Earth is often seen as an inanimate source of material wealth. However, non-industrialized societies view her as a living entity that we can interact with, and she carries the nawal Ix. Therefore, on Ix days, people offer prayers at her shrines and altars to ask for what they need in the world. To keep Ix healthy, it is important to approach her with a spirit of gratitude and humility. Ix is deeply connected with the natural world, where it finds its wisdom, power, and wealth. Therefore, it is a day to give thanks, remember gratitude, and engage with your magic.

The Number Five

The Sacred Mayan calendar is said to be a calendar of human life. 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 its five digits. It is with our hands that we work, and with what we earn 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”.

 

11 Ix (6th May 2024)

11 Ix“Be careful what you wish for” on this day. Ix, the energy of manifestation from the Earth, meets the strong and directionless number 11.

As I have been considering what to write today, one strong image has come into my head repeatedly. It is the scene from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, where the apprentice uses his abilities to animate the brushes, mops and sponges, then loses control. This image sums up one possibility of the energy today, unintentional manifestation.

It is important today to stay focused, and have clarity about what you are creating. The power of the number 11 is strong, and if harnessed can be very useful. However, truly working with it will require discipline and attention to detail. The Earth is listening, ready to provide us with what we ask of her, and today what we ask for may come a little quicker than expected. This is also a day to remember to thank her for all that she has provided to us, the things which seem disconnected from each other.

Nawal Ix

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 considered to be the most feminine of the nawales because it embodies the spirit of the Heart of the Earth. It can be seen as a representation of Mother Earth or the Maya version of Gaia. Ix is known for its nurturing energy, as it takes care of all things. However, this nurturing should not be mistaken for weakness, as Ix also embodies the power and stealth of the jaguar, which is its animal totem. The jaguar is a powerful jungle cat that moves stealthily through the darkness of the night with spots on its back representing the milky way. Ix carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

In industrialized societies, the Earth is often seen as an inanimate source of material wealth. However, non-industrialized societies view her as a living entity that we can interact with, and she carries the nawal Ix. Therefore, on Ix days, people offer prayers at her shrines and altars to ask for what they need in the world. To keep Ix healthy, it is important to approach her with a spirit of gratitude and humility. Ix is deeply connected with the natural world, where it finds its wisdom, power, and wealth. Therefore, it is a day to give thanks, remember gratitude, and engage with your magic.

The Number 11

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.

 

3 Ix (7th March 2024)

3 IxToday is an appropriate day to find your connection to the Earth within yourself. It is a day to find the sacred site inside yourself.

 

The Earth gives us everything. We live on her skin, build our houses from her body, and consume what emerges from her. She is responsible for our ability to live, our entire existence. Industrialised people tend to see the Earth as an inanimate source of material wealth. Non-industrialised people 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 are her ears, where we ask for what we need in our world. It is very much like asking any of our family for what we need to sustain us. Mostly, our families are delighted to help where they can. Likewise, Mother Earth will help if we realise that we can ask her. All she asks in return is a little care and attention, a little show of gratitude.

As the number 3 represents the hearthstones, the home would be the favourable place to focus your energies. It is a day to work on your internal connections. Tend to the spirit of the Mother within your own home, and within your heart. Showing gratitude to her for all that she gives, and giving back are a better exercise for today. This is a day to connect your pulse to the heart of the Earth and find the magic within.

Nawal Ix

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 considered to be the most feminine of the nawales because it embodies the spirit of the Heart of the Earth. It can be seen as a representation of Mother Earth or the Maya version of Gaia. Ix is known for its nurturing energy, as it takes care of all things. However, this nurturing should not be mistaken for weakness, as Ix also embodies the power and stealth of the jaguar, which is its animal totem. The jaguar is a powerful jungle cat that moves stealthily through the darkness of the night with spots on its back representing the milky way. Ix carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

In industrialized societies, the Earth is often seen as an inanimate source of material wealth. However, non-industrialized societies view her as a living entity that we can interact with, and she carries the nawal Ix. Therefore, on Ix days, people offer prayers at her shrines and altars to ask for what they need in the world. To keep Ix healthy, it is important to approach her with a spirit of gratitude and humility. Ix is deeply connected with the natural world, where it finds its wisdom, power, and wealth. Therefore, it is a day to give thanks, remember gratitude, and engage with your magic.

The Number Three

There are various myths about the creation which link with the number 3. One is that at the time of creation, three stones 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)

The Orion Nebula
The Orion Nebula 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 lacks stability and can represent challenges and obstructions. The number three brings up internal/external dilemmas. 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 yourself.

9 Ix (16th February 2024)

9 IxThis alignment can be seen as a day to honour our mothers and the Earth. The most feminine nawal, Ix, is paired with the number 9 which represents the divine feminine.

Ix has a motherly energy to her, nurturing and caring for all of her offspring. She is the spirit of Mother Earth, the source of all the matter in our world. She is the beauty of nature, but can also be fierce when needed to keep her children safe.

We ask our mother for what we need, through our words and prayers, making offerings at natural shrines and altars such as caves and springs. She always listens and provides, but sometimes we forget to say thank you for what she has given us.

During the Kame trecena, as we approach transformation, we give thanks for all the things our mother has given us. We thank Mother Earth for our connection to her and for the feminine spirit of love and compassion which assist our transformation.

Ix is a day to remember the magic within ourselves and to celebrate the feminine essence of life itself. Women are the birth givers, the ones who create new life, which is the greatest magic of all.

Thus, 9 Ix is a day to express gratitude to our mothers and all women in our lives for everything they provide for us. It is a perfect day to show our appreciation to the Earth by giving flowers, both physical and verbal, at natural shrines and altars. In return, she will bring her magic into our lives.

Nawal Ix

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 considered to be the most feminine of the nawales because it embodies the spirit of the Heart of the Earth. It can be seen as a representation of Mother Earth or the Maya version of Gaia. Ix is known for its nurturing energy, as it takes care of all things. However, this nurturing should not be mistaken for weakness, as Ix also embodies the power and stealth of the jaguar, which is its animal totem. The jaguar is a powerful jungle cat that moves stealthily through the darkness of the night with spots on its back representing the milky way. Ix carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

In industrialized societies, the Earth is often seen as an inanimate source of material wealth. However, non-industrialized societies view her as a living entity that we can interact with, and she carries the nawal Ix. Therefore, on Ix days, people offer prayers at her shrines and altars to ask for what they need in the world. To keep Ix healthy, it is important to approach her with a spirit of gratitude and humility. Ix is deeply connected with the natural world, where it finds its wisdom, power, and wealth. Therefore, it is a day to give thanks, remember gratitude, and engage with your magic.

The Number Nine

The number nine 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. It is a day on which women may wish to give thanks for their gifts.

9 Ix 2 Tz’apin Q’ij – The Third Closing Day

The Third Closing DayThe third closing day focuses on acceptance. If you are using these 5 days to close the solar year, it is a good day to understand what you choose to accept from the previous solar year. It is also a day which might highlight what you cannot accept.

Here we see this third closing day combined with both the nawal and the number of the feminine. Ix is strongly connected with the Earth and our ability to manifest with her. Yet we also see disrespect towards her daily. We see how certain elements of society are destroying the only home we know, the only known habitable planet for humans.

It might ask us to question what we have accepted and what we can no longer accept. As we move out of this year of exploration, discovery and learning, 11 E’, how can we use what we have found? As we move into the year 12 No’j can we come up with a solution which will benefit the Earth?

She is our source of life, but she also brings out our magic. Sometimes this might be difficult to accept too. What has reminded you of the magic of your connection to the Earth in the past year? Are you ready to accept a profound connection to the Earth, and to your own abilities?

Sometimes we also have to accept that we did what we could. Maybe we might have done more, maybe we will achieve tha in teh next solar cycle.

8 Ix (7th January 2024)

8 IxToday is a day to show gratitude to the Earth by making an offering. It is a day of wholeness, where we give thanks for everything we receive from her.

A week ago, the trecena of Kej began, which gave us the possibility of drawing our strength from nature. Today, we feel the wholeness of connection with the spirit of the Earth. It is a day of celebration, where we give thanks to the Earth for all that she provides. We also recognize the “magic” in our lives, as our ability to work in harmony with the Earth sustains ourselves, our families, and our communities with what she provides.

Moreover, Ix is the nawal of natural shrines and altars, the “ears” through which the Earth receives our prayers. We often make ourselves heard, asking for what we need in our lives, and today allows us to give back. You can show your love for the Earth by using your time to help clear up a local natural environment of debris left behind by humans. Bring a little of your magic to her, show a little love, and she will return it to you magnified.

Nawal Ix

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 considered to be the most feminine of the nawales because it embodies the spirit of the Heart of the Earth. It can be seen as a representation of Mother Earth or the Maya version of Gaia. Ix is known for its nurturing energy, as it takes care of all things. However, this nurturing should not be mistaken for weakness, as Ix also embodies the power and stealth of the jaguar, which is its animal totem. The jaguar is a powerful jungle cat that moves stealthily through the darkness of the night with spots on its back representing the milky way. Ix carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

In industrialized societies, the Earth is often seen as an inanimate source of material wealth. However, non-industrialized societies view her as a living entity that we can interact with, and she carries the nawal Ix. Therefore, on Ix days, people offer prayers at her shrines and altars to ask for what they need in the world. To keep Ix healthy, it is important to approach her with a spirit of gratitude and humility. Ix is deeply connected with the natural world, where it finds its wisdom, power, and wealth. Therefore, it is a day to give thanks, remember gratitude, and engage with your magic.

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.

1 Ix (18th December 2023)

Today could be seen to represent the newborn jaguar. She has all the potential to grow into her powerful and magical adult self, but right now this is just an idea she sees in her elders. She grows through learning, and the spirit of the Earth is her teacher.

On 1 Ix we can begin to learn the potential of our connection with the spirit of the Earth. She is vast and sustains us all. Ix gives us the ability to communicate with her, to ask her for help, to ask her for what we need. Yet some of us don’t see it. We fail to thank her, or even abuse her, our idea of human importance and power being greater than that of the Earth.

Ix days are the patron days of natural shrines and altars, the places where offerings are made to the spirit of the Earth. This day could be seen as an excellent day for the renovation of such places, or initiating new shrines.  The number 1 also represents Sac Ixik, the maiden moon deity, whose places were springs and streams. These places are also associated with the nawal Ix which could therefore be seen as both the source of life and the protector of water sources. 1 Ix is, therefore, a very feminine day, full of life, beauty, energy and of potential for magic, a day to show gratitude for all that you might become.

It is a day when we can make our petition to the Earth, and thank her for what she has brought to us. When we can see the benefits of living in harmony with the Earth, we can begin to understand where engaging with her magic might lead us.

Nawal Ix

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 the Heart of the Earth. We could see this as what we might call Mother Earth or a Maya representation of Gaia. Ix can be seen as a mothering energy, nurturing all things. However, 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. This jungle cat is an animal of the night. She slips magically through the darkness, the spots of her back a representation of the milky way. She carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

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. 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 One

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 needs the correct nutrients and conditions to germinate and develop its potential. We also may need encouragement to develop our ideas.

7 Ix (28th November 2023)

7 Ix Today can be seen as a day to make our decisions about which altar we feed. How can the Earth and our community prosper from our choices?

With Ix as the guardian of the altars and the Earth herself, today can represent our decisions to how we connect with them. The altars and sacred sites can be seen as the ears of the Earth. When we make ceremony or visit these sacred places to make offerings, we petition the Earth. Today is a good day to choose what we make our petition about.

It is said that both Ix and the number 7 are connected with the seven shames; excessive pride, ambition, envy, lying, criminal activity, ingratitude, and ignorance. This is a day on which it is possible that these shames may be closer to the surface, when they may be more obvious in others, or more tempting to choose.

The shrine at the top of Cerro de Oro, beside Lake Atitlan. This is one of the most sacred natural altars within Guatemala.
The shrine at the top of Cerro de Oro, beside Lake Atitlan. This is one of the most sacred natural altars within Guatemala.

However, if the day is approached from the positive aspect, it can be a day on which we may experience the magic of the spirit of the Earth all around us. Her beauty may be very evident, especially if you are open to it. It is a day when the natural altars – springs, caves, overhangs and mountaintops – are particularly energised and open to our gratitude for all that we have received from Mother Earth. All that is required is to make a decision between the needs of the self and the needs of the world. Mother Earth is receptive to your petition, what are you going to ask for, and how can you help her?

Nawal Ix

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 the Heart of the Earth. We could see this as what we might call Mother Earth or a Maya representation of Gaia. Ix can be seen as a mothering energy, nurturing all things. However, 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. This jungle cat is an animal of the night. She slips magically through the darkness, the spots of her back a representation of the milky way. She carries the sun on its nightly journey through the underworld.

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. 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 Seven

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.

However, it is also 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. As such it can be a great number on which to finalise or end something.

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.

12 Ix (29th September 2023)

12 IxThe day 12 Ix can be seen as gathering together your life’s wisdom, wealth and experience. It is a day for giving thanks for all that you have received throughout your life.

As we travel through our lives, we are having a continuous and ongoing experience with the energy of the Earth. Many do not realise it, many choose to ignore it, but it is from the Earth than all material 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.

When we understand our relationship with Mother Earth, we enhance our abilities to interact with this world. This can be seen as wisdom, at least with regards to thriving in our Earthly world rather than just surviving. The further we move through life, the more we gather with regards to our experience, and today we celebrate what we have gathered through life about our understanding of the way the world works. This is a day when we can draw on our life experience of how to make things work, how to draw upon our “magic” or our knowing of how to ask the Earth for what we need. We also draw on our experience of gratitude, our understanding that this is the lubricant to keep the energy moving. This is a day to be grateful for all you have gathered from Mother Earth throughout 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 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.