Tag Archives: Mother Earth

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.

2 Ix (27th January 2024)

2 IxToday is a day to make a little self-sacrifice in gratitude to the Earth. Our mothers nourish us and attend to our needs, just as the Earth supports our very existence. Remember that and give something back.

We forget that everything around us, all material goods, were once part of the Earth. Sometimes we forget that this is a gift and we take it for granted. We may think about natural things, foodstuffs or wood, to begin with. However, even the screen on which you are reading this was made from materials which were the Earth. We took the base material and transformed it, from being part of the body of the Earth into something that fulfilled our temporary needs. Yet, we see these things as commodities, as our property. We detach them from what they were, make them shiny and stick a label on them. But they are not forever transformed, like us, they break, decay and once more return to the Earth over time.

One of the major lessons attached to the nawal Ix is gratitude. In the dazzling brilliance of our “magical” abilities to transform base materials, we forget to say thank you. Without her we have no home, without her we have no life. Today is a day to not just say thank you but to take action to show your gratitude. The gift of your energy and your time are the greatest sacrifices you can make to show your gratitude.

Take some time to show your gratitude to the Earth, and help to undo some of the damage humans have caused. Perhaps pick up some litter or help to restore some beauty to the natural world around you. While you do so, make a little prayer of gratitude for all that sustains your life.

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 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.

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.

13 Ix (8th November 2023)

13 I'xIf there was ever a day to expect magical things to happen, it would be 13 Ix. It is a day when the energy of the spirit world is close by. Prayers and offerings made at natural shrines and altars may prove very fruitful.

The nawal Ix is particularly associated with shrines and altars, and with the energy of the number 13 associated with it suggests ancestral places. This suggests a focus on the ancient sacred places, and it is likely that words spoken at these places may have very strong effects. This day also finishes off the Iq’ trecena, this time of change and possible upheaval. However, Iq’ is also the nawal of communication. We see here, on the final day of the Iq’ trecena, the divine breath put into practice at the ancestral shrines as Ix, the prayer giver, makes the flower words. This is a day to call on the spirits of the ancestors to help  us better understand our relationship with the Earth.

It is a day to ask the spirit of the Earth for that which you require in your life path. Of course when she gives you exactly what you need, it is important to thank her. This day is an excellent day for demonstrating your gratitude to the Earth. This may be through some act of caring for your local area.  The manifestation energy today is very strong.  While we may expect magical things to happen it should be noted that the phrase “be careful what you wish for” is also applicable.

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 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 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, where 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 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.

11 Ix (20th August 2023)

11 Ix“Be careful what you wish for” on this day where Ix, the energy of manifestation from the mother 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 possibly more important than normal today to stay focused, and have an idea about where you are going with 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.

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 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.

1 K’at (10th August 2023)

1 K'atWhilst K’at does represent the net which gathers the harvest, it also has an association with what it contains, the seeds. Here, on the day 1 K’at, we see the new seed planted for the next harvest.

In the cycle of re-creation, the soil of the field has been turned and the tilled, infused and fertilised by the wisdom of the ancients. The threads of creation are being gathered ready to join the new to the old on the day Wajxakib B’atz.

The nawal K’at is associated with Ixq’ik, Blood Moon, who, in the Popol Vuh, was magically impregnated in Xibalba (the underworld) by the spirit of Jun Junajpu.  Jun Junajpu and his brother Wucub Junajpu were summoned by the Lords of Death to Xibalba to face the challenges after they disturbed the Lords by playing the ball game too noisily. Unfortunately this first pair of heroes went unprepared and were tricked and sacrificed by the Lords of Death. After their deaths, the head of Jun Junajpu was hung in a calabash tree, which fruited for the first time and where it eventually blended in with the wizened fruit on the tree. However, it was known to speak and the news of this dis-incarnate voice in the tree reached Blood Moon. She decided to go an visit the tree where she was asked to hold out her hand. The head spat into her hand and she became impregnated with the Hero Twins, Junajpu and Xbalamque. She was banished from Xibalba and went to meet the mother of Jun Junajpu and Wucub Junajpu, Ixmucane. At first Ixmucane did not accept that Blood Moon was carrying her grandchildren, and set a task to fill a net with corn from the garden. When Blood Moon arrived, there was only one stalk, but by pulling the corn silk, the plant magically produced an abundant harvest and Blood Moon was accepted as telling the truth.

In this story we see the relationship between Blood Moon and the nawal K’at, the creator of magical abundance and a bountiful harvest. This was the gathering, the bringing together of the family through this harvesting, we also see the seeding.

When combined with the number 1, new births and new beginnings are signified. This is the beginning of something new, new growth all around. The previous day, 13 Aq’ab’al, could be seen as a spiritual conception, and here the new process begins. This conception will be gestated through Wajxakib (8) B’atz, until finally the birth process assisted by 3 Kawok leads to 4 Ajpu, the new world, the resurrection of the maize, the birth of Junajpu.

The energy of 1 K’at can be seen as being about gathering together and embracing the new time. Life is a continual cycle of birth, death and rebirth. We have the possibility to reap an abundant harvest, but right now in order to do that we need unity. It is time to put aside differences and work together to plant the new field if we are to enjoy abundance on the future.

K’at signifies a net and represents gathering together or bundling. Here, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, to this day many crops are harvested and carried in nets – oranges, lemons, avocados to name but a few. Through this we see one of the positive meanings of this nawal, that of abundance and harvest. K’at is a great day to draw things together, whether this means gathering in your crops, collecting ideas and opinions for your projects, or inviting people to a social event. It is a day of prosperity and the bounty which comes from the Earth, a day of gardeners, but also of merchants.

However, K’at also has its more challenging side. An abundant crop will fill the net, but it will also slow you down. K’at is also the nawal of prisons and burdens, as the net which gathers, can also ensnare us. When candles are purchased for the fire ceremonies, they come in bundles held together by little strings. When the nawal K’at is addressed during the fire ceremony, these strings are put in to the fire,  with offerings, to ask K’at to help us release ourselves from our burdens, from the ties which bind us.  These ties can also be seen as excessive attachment to material things.

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 just needs the correct nutrients and conditions to germinate and develop, just as sometimes we need encouragement to develop our ideas.

10 Ix (11th July 2023)

10 IxToday sees the nawal representing the Mother Earth combining with the number representing community and cooperation, this is a day to join hands with those around you and show your gratitude to her.

Our environment suffers a great deal just through our existence. While many of us care about the planet we live on, we also have to deal with the issues created by those who don’t. However, we are not powerless, especially when we join together.

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 consider the spirit of Mother Earth, we realise that she just keeps on giving, keeping us alive. We throw trash, we live unsustainably, we keep taking. Ix days give us the opportunity to give back by showing that we care about her. Today in particular is a day to join forces with those close to you to make this happen, it’s a great day for a environmental community project. Perhaps you could show your gratitude by clearing up your village, by repairing some of the imbalances caused by humans.

The nawal Ix also helps us understand our potential – the “magic” that flows through us, our ability to engage with that higher side of existence. Showing gratitude to Mother Earth engages us with our true potential, and working with your community today may help remind you of the magical experiences that come through that channel. She will repay your efforts tenfold.

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 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.