Tag Archives: Leadership

8 Aj (15th February 2024)

8 AjA ceremony for harmony within our home, family and community would be appropriate today. A solid foundation gives us the strength to stand tall and a harmonious home and loving family give this foundation. We sustain them and they sustain us.

The energy of the nawal Aj is about doing the right thing. It is fair and just, which is why it represents the true leader. The true leader might not even be recognised at first. They do not need to prove their authority to anyone. However, they are the ones that are sought when problems arise, for their wise counsel. The true leader has compassion and love perfectly balanced with authority and strength.

Today we can draw on both the masculine and feminine aspects of the qualities of the four directions – vitality, wisdom, spirit and healing. This creates a balance of energy and brings it into our homes and communities. Additionally, the nawal Aj has a connection to the Heart of the Earth and the Heart of the Sky. Allow the wise counsel of the wholeness of the nawal Aj to arbitrate in disputes and seek resolution. This in turn will bring strength and harmony to all who are involved.

A true leader also has experience, and here we see the 8 incorporating the 1 and the 7, the birth and the death, the highs and the lows of life. We draw our wisdom and strength from both aspects so that we can sustain others through their dark times. It is also a day on which we may ask Aj to bring this strength to us should we need it at the moment.

The Nawal Aj

The Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque
The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex. It shows both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart 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 also known as the cornstalk, sometimes the staff of life. It represents the spinal column within the body, 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.

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. 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 when we ask for the courage and bravery to stand up straight and tall, to do the right thing.

The Number Eight

The number 8 is considered to be several 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 became 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. 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 the ceremony.

2 Kej (9th February 2024)

2 Kej True leadership begins with self-sacrifice, the willingness to give our time and energy freely for our communities. Today, this sacrifice may also refer to the natural world.

The energy of the nawal Kej is known for its strength and sometimes its stubbornness. However, its pairing with the number 2 may bring more gentleness to this day.

It is said that the number 2 doubles the strength of whatever it comes into contact with. It enhances both aspects of the nawal. This may give the energy of Kej a softer edge than we might normally expect of a Kej day. It can soften the domineering and determined energy nawal Kej can carry. Kej is known to stand up first against what it perceives as injustice. Here we see it combined with the number which relates to self-sacrifice and relationships.

We could expect that today this energy may bring opportunities to give our strength to causes dear to our heart. It is a good day to bring new, fresh and vital energy into relationships through a connection with nature. Kej allows the raw beauty of the wilderness to inspire and revitalise. It is also a great day to put your energy into projects to protect the wilderness.

The nawal Kej is the representative of leadership, especially where it takes on a spiritual aspect. Perhaps it is an aspiration that may be held by some, to be a leader within the community. However, there is always a price to pay when in a position of leadership. Today this is exemplified through the energy of the number 2.

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 Two

The number 2 is representative of duality, of polarity. Although a low number, it has surprising strength. 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 (26th January 2024)

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

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 has led us to this day.

Today we have the potential to engage with our newfound bravery, our renewed strength and courage. Also, we can combine these with the wisdom that facing these challenges has brought us. We can begin to lead by example, to recount our path to harmony to inspire others. However, it might take a few words of encouragement from those around us to help us to realise those abilities.

Therefore, it is time to begin to stand up and be counted. Allow your wisdom and experience to be heard and put to use. Stand tall, with a straight spine. Draw on the energies of the Sky and the Earth, to bring peace and prosperity to your home and 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 Nawal Aj

The Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque
The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex. It shows both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart 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 also 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 it’s roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky.

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.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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 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 Aj (6th January 2024)

7 AjDecisions concerning the well-being of your home or community may be highlighted today. Additionally, issues of leadership could be concluded with the correct choices, bringing benefits for all.

The upstanding nature of the nawal Aj and the balance of the number 7, should create a good day to tackle issues in your home or community through firm and decisive leadership.

The nawal Aj has the energy of benevolent authority. It seeks to provide guidance and direction, or leadership, to ensure harmony within the home and community. Aj relates to the cane, or baston, of authority carried by the elders within the village. It is their job to guide the community in the correct direction through their wise counsel. However, sometimes they may need to exert their authority and use the stick, rather than the carrot, to achieve this. When Aj is respected, and its guidance is adhered to, no further action is necessary.

It is a day to calmly seek the resolution of disputes by seeing all sides of the debate. The point to this is to bring peace and prosperity back to the community or home. If there is any conflict around you or in your life, today is a good day to seek mediation through an authority in order to reach a final resolution.

The Nawal Aj

The Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque
The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex. It shows both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart 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 also 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 it’s roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky.

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.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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 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.

1 Kej (31st December 2023)

1 KejReconnection with the wilderness could be a good theme for this day and the entire thirteen day period it begins. It is a time to be guided and inspired by the power of the natural world.

With the potential represented by the number 1 and the power of the natural world represented by Kej, this should prove to be a very interesting day. Nature does not have polarities, it just is. Our judgement creates these polarities. We may judge nature as harsh and unforgiving, or inspiring and beautiful. Much will depend on our experience and the depth of our connection with nature. The wilderness can tell us many things, but we have to connect with it to understand them.

Here we have the potential to draw strength from the natural world should we choose to. If you have the opportunity, take a walk in the wild woods, embrace the elements and feel the power of nature. Always remember this is a two way street. Just as the wilderness can empower you, it needs your love and protection too. 1 Kej may be an excellent day to start a conservation or protection program for your local environment. Look after her and she will look after you.

It is a day where encouragement from others can bring great strength and determination. This applies to your actions too, it is a great day to share a few words to empower others.

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 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.

 

6 Aj (27th November 2023)

6 AjThis is a day to create harmony and stability in our homes, families and communities. This is a perfect day for a global meditation to bring peace and stability.

At the top of the sacred hill Paclom, in the centre of Momostenango, is a cross. Unlike many of the crosses you might see, it has two cross pieces. I was told that reason for the second bar was that it creates a two-dimensional representation of the four directions. As such this cross represents the number 6, which is the other name for Paclom, the six place.

For me this especially represents the power of the number six. It has the horizontal Earthly stability of the four cardinal points, yet is also vertically connected with the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. Today on the day 6 Aj, we see that stability amplified. It is as if the vertical post, or spinal column, that would normally be found with any six day, is energised by the connection of Aj between the Sky and the Earth, the divine masculine and divine feminine essences.

So, what is the point of this energisation? To bring this stability and blessing from the Celestial and Earthly realms into our communities and homes. This is a day on which to ask for, and give thanks for, stability in our homes and communities. It is particularly a day on which we can call upon the “greater powers” to energise us, to give us strength, so that we may sustain those around us.

May the Heart of the Sky be in My Heart

May My Heart be in the Heart of the Earth

May the Heart of the Earth be in My Heart

May My Heart be in the Heart of the Sky

The Nawal Aj

The Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque
The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex. It shows both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart 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 also 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 it’s roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. 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.

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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 Six

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. Six days are frequently used for ceremony thanks to their conducive energy.

The number 6 carries the qualities of the number 4, but has an extra axis. If we think of the number four representing the cardinal points, the number six adds a vertical axis to these. It brings in the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. The number six has the stability of the number four embellished by the masculine and feminine principals. If the number four represents the physical world and the number 6 represents the physical world animated by the life force energy.

It also represents family, relating to the six qualities which hold families together – health, understanding, property, employment, friendship and actions.

13 Kej (21st November 2023)

13 KejThis is a day to connect with the ancestors through the wilderness. The combination of the nawal Kej representing strength with the number 13 can bring about an extremely powerful day.

Kej can have the tendency to ride roughshod over anything or anyone that stands in its way, and today it has the power of the spirit world behind it. It can be a great day for achieving your goals, although remember to exercise temperance when dealing with those who you may perceive as obstructing your path. A little force goes a long way today.

That said the other aspect of this day can be truly enlightening. The connection of Kej to the wilderness and the strength of spirit in 13 could give rise to an epiphany should you choose to connect with nature today. It is a day to find your answers during a walk in the woods. Energise yourself in the life force of the natural world, as the ancestors communicate through the wilderness.

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

The Nawal Kej

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 13

The number 13 is the final number. It represents the spirit world. It is said that on Samhain, 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. Both the positive and negative aspects of the day come through strongly. It is a very good day for activities such as divinations. Ceremonies on 13 days are best left to experienced Aj Q’ijab who understand how to work with that strength of energy.

12 Aj (7th November 2023) – Samhain

12 AjAn experienced pillar of the community could be represented by this day. The energy of the nawal Aj is associated with the home and leadership within the community. Today it  suggests leadership through life experience.

The nawal Aj is it a solid and dependable energy, helpful and supportive. As a representation of the spinal column, Aj is the one which holds everything in its rightful place. It holds us erect and connects us with the energies from above and below. We also use the the word “backbone” to represent honour, integrity and courage. All of these qualities can be seen in the energy of Aj.

The day 12 Aj is a day to draw on your life experience in order to nourish your community, family and home. Your past experiences can bring you strength and courage. They help you to stand up for what is right should you need to. They also provide examples that you can pass on to others within your community to help them to grow. This is a day where your life experience clearly shows you how to do the right thing. It brings courage to support those around you, bringing harmony into both home and community. It is certainly a day to stand up as an experienced pillar of the community.

Samhain

Today marks the astronomical cross quarter day of Samhain. This point of the year is exactly midway between the Equinox and the Solstice. Samhain was considered the first day of winter in the Celtic calendar. It is seen as the death of the Sun god, the sun descending into the underworld, where it will remain until Imbolc (Feb 4th 2024). It is well known that the Maya were expert astronomers.  Much of their timekeeping was based on archeoastronomical alignments, so it would be unsurprising to find this day marked by their structures too.

Regardless of the hemisphere and whether it is seen as the beginning of winter or the beginning of summer, there is a particular alignment which is happening, which is said to be an opening of portals to the otherworld. Perhaps rather than just seeing it as where the sun shines on the Earth, we could think of it as how the sun interacts with our magnetosphere. This in turn could be the reason as to why the veil is seen as being so thin at this time.

As we see Samhain in combination with the day 12 Aj, it is certainly a day for remembrance of our ancestors. Perhaps today is not only a day to draw on your own life experience in order to lead. It could be also seen as a day to draw on the experience of ancestral leaders. Aj days can bring a sense of authority. It’s a good day to call on our leaders to use their experience to bring peace.

The Nawal Aj

The Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque
The Temple of the Foliated Cross. This small temple houses one of the most remarkable and beautiful friezes, the Foliated Cross. Together with those of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Cross, this forms an architectural version of a codex. It shows both mythic and historical accounts of the ruling dynasty. The three temples together form the cross group, the sacred heart 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 also 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 it’s roots in the Earth, and its head in the sky. 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.

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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 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.

6 Kej (1st November 2023)

6 KejToday, the energy of the nawal of strength and determination combines with the energy of balance and stability. This can provide an excellent opportunity to harness this lively and vital energy of the wilderness.

It is an interesting experience to observe the qualities of each trecena through its individual components. The trecena of Iq’ proves to live up to its unpredictable nature once again today. Whilst we might have just been through the potentially challenging days of 3 K’at and 5 Kame, favourable days with challenging numbers, the high energy nawales of Kan and Kej combine with very favourable numbers to bring them under control. Just as 4 Kan brings the wisdom down to Earth, 6 Kej stabilises strength.

Kej may often be referred to as “deer”, but in the K’ichean dictionary I have it is translated as horse. The energy of Kej certainly has similarities with that of the horse, both through its capacity to carry or work and its stubbornness should the situation dictate. It has a noble freedom about it and may be difficult to control, giving those who try to do so a wild ride. However, today is different. Today it is possible to bring that strength and determination into clear focus, using that energy to lead if necessary, especially in matters of family. Of course, the place where this is felt the most is in the wilderness, where this energy is the greatest.

The day 6 Kej is a day to draw on the power of the natural world to bring stability to your life and vitality to your family. As such it could be a great day to take a walk in the woods with your loved ones, you should all feel the benefit. 

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 CodexKej 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 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 it’s 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 Aj (18th October 2023)

5 AjPutting energy into the sustenance of our home or community benefits both ourselves and those around us. The day 5 Aj brings together these aspects to give a day where this type of work flourishes.

The nawal Aj is related to the spinal column. It holds us upright, brings us the strength and courage to do the right thing. It holds everything in its rightful place. However, it may not have always been like that. It gains strength as it is used, the wisdom it holds comes through experience. Whilst Aj is very much a leadership nawal, it is almost reluctant in stepping forward, preferring to guide gently rather than exercise the authority it also carries. These qualities of Aj are a blessing for all and are achieved through the experience of the work of life.

The day 5 Aj is a great day to be doing some form of work on behalf of your community, your work and your input will bring great nourishment to those around you. It is a day for selfless work, a day within the Toj trecena, where we have the opportunity to pay back the support our families, friends and communities show to us. However, it may also be a day when efforts to guide or lead may be rather more challenging than expected, especially if you feel yourself rushing into things.

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 it’s 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 it’s people, that keeps everything in it’s 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 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”.