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February 25, 2012

This Day in the Maya Calendar (Winter 2012)

Cholq'ij, the Maya sacred ceremonial calendar of 260 days—a cycle of 20 Day deities and 13 numbers—is the basis of the Maya spirituality that survives to this time, practiced daily among millions of Maya people, in thousands of communities. The interpretation of the days can vary from one Maya people to another. The interpretations given here are based on sustained conversations and participation over three decades with Maya Q'eqchi calendar priest Roderico Teni and daykeeping families in the area of Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, by Jose Barreiro (Taíno), head of NMAI’s Office of Latin America, and his wife, Katsi Cook (Mohawk).

For more background to this series, please see Jose's introduction, "Living in the Practice." For further insight into the role of the Day lords in everyday life, please see the Maya Journal. For the complete year so far, please see the Maya calendar archive. 

13 Aqbal  |  Monday, March 19, 2012 

Day deity AqbalCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 13 Aqbal. Aqbal is the Dawn, also the Bat; 13 is the highest potency. Aqbal is clarity, the separation of darkness and light as the Sun disperses the fog and obscurity of night. This is a good day to ask for a peaceful and happy daybreak, a day to find hidden and lost things or to wash away tears of sadness. On Aqbal, the sacred fire is recognized and appreciated. Aqbal is a good day to clean the ashes (renew the heart) of a fireplace and to present a new baby to el Mundo. Harvesting of corn can begin on this day. A potential bride or groom can be revealed on this day. 

People born on Aqbal relate in the present and are a special link between past and future. They are early risers, good workers, tranquil and kind, strong before an enemy, good researchers and finders of hidden things, often called, "the candle of the home." —Jose Barreiro

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents AqbalGlyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

12 Iq  |  Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day deity IqCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 12 Iq. Iq is Wind; 12 is high balance. Wind is powerful, violent, driven of itself, identity. A day of strong emotion, Iq is also a healing day. Good wind is nutritional for human minds; it is the mystic breath and vital inspiration of nature. This is a good day to appreciate all of Creation. 

The Day lord Iq is one of the four Yearbearers, or mams, a creator who helped finish the world and put breath (essence) in human beings. People born on Iq are inclined to spiritual ways and can impulsively tap into cosmic sources. On Iq, a breeze or wind splits against your face as a blessing and a cleansing to purge your head and body of illness. Respiratory ills are prayed over on this day. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents IqGlyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

11 Imox  |  Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day deity ImoxCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 11 Imox. Imox is lizard; 11 is high turbulence. Imox is the very force of gravity and a good day to pray for creativity and rain. Imox can open el Mundo for receiving cosmic messages. Known as a "crazy" day, Imox requires much concentration and control. A day of high male intelligence, also impatience and agitation, Imox can be difficult.  Grounded on its left side, left arm, this day is easily unbalanced and in need of clasping left and right hands. Imox can be good if held in the balance of the Heart of the Sky and Heart of the Earth; unattended, Imox can manifest imbalance, mental nervousness, and even death. People born on Imox are open and sincere but indecisive, in need of ceremony to set the positive to override the negative. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Imox. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

10 Ajpu  |  Friday, March 16, 2012 

Day deity AjpuCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 10 Ajpu. Ajpu is Caracol, or Spiraled Shell; 10 is high balance. Ajpu is Sun, captain of Time, a day of personal strength and for good to triumph over evil. Ajpu begins the men's cycle and is a day to connect with the ancestors, who can reward and punish. Death is reachable and amenable; spirits can ask permission to enter el Mundo, the living world. Day of the warrior and blowgun hunter (cerbatanero), Ajpu is the strong blow of the dart that hits its target—a good day to pray for stealth or for a break in enemy lines. Ajpu cares for boys and guides men. Ajpu is also a good day to start building on a house, a good day to make prayers for women and for success in lactation.

The Hero Twin Jun Ajpu Ixbalanke defeated the Xibalbas and fooled them into accepting the offering of copal rather than a human heart. In near and remote ways, this character and episode from the book of the Maya ancients endure as backdrop to the day Ajpu. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents AjpuGlyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

9 Kawoq  |  Thursday, March 15, 2012 

Day deity KawoqCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 9 Kawoq. Kawoq is Turtle, also Sky Serpent; 9 is gestation. Kawoq is a high woman day, a day of duality in all of nature, and a guardian of contentment. It is the day of woman–man, lightning and thunder, fecundity and imagination; a day of midwives and of prayer for unity within the home, strength within the family, renewed strength for convalescents, and the smoothing of all irritation. This is a good day to turn bad medicine back on itself. Kawoq attends to young women in pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and to full realization for all women; it is a day of their sash. Kawoq is also a good day to commemorate the Staff of Authority and for the men of the family and community to pray for the coffers (good fortune) of the women and for the protection of the home. Good midwives, writers, and architects are born on this day. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Kawoq. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

8 Tijax  |  Wednesday, March 14, 2012 

Day deity TijaxCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 8 Tijax. Tijax is Fish, also Obsidian; 8 is a double balance. Tijax is a day of doctors, a good day to pray for surgeons and all medical practitioners. It is a day of sacrifice and liberation from suffering, a day of sharp, cutting objects—of knives and scalpels and scissors. Tijax is a safeguard for domestic animals against predators, a good day to pray for all animals that are sacrificed, both in ceremony and in everyday life. Tijax is a good day to use metal (a machete, scissors) to "open the sky" to solicit rain, solicit life, split black clouds. Gossip, calumny, and sorcery, on money and sexual matters, can be overcome on this day; on a high number day, disputes can turn public, and debilitating. Tijax is a good day for seasoned masters to fortify daykeeping trainees against ridicule by envious countrymen or by evangelicos. It is not a good day to plant. —J. B. 

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Tijax. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

Noj  |  Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day deity Noj

Corresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 7 Noj. Noj is Woodpecker; 7 is a pivotal number. Noj is a woman's highest intelligence. Maya knowledge and wisdom live in this day—good science to support positive deeds, good projects, good business, a good home. On Noj, good ideas are available through the intelligence connected to the movement of the earth. Boys born on this day have important female qualities and can be attentive to the knowledge of nature, which rules all. Girls born on this day can be clear leaders. Noj is a good day to hear advice and to make decisions; it is a good day to feed the mind, recognize curiosity, and strengthen memory. Noj is one of the four Yearbearers. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Noj. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

6 Ajmac  |  Monday, March 12, 2012 

Day deity AjmacCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 6 Ajmac. Ajmac is Bee, also Vulture; 6 is a low number. On Ajmac ancestor spirits can detect and smooth the thread of time in our lives. Prudence, intelligence, ancient wisdom are in this day. Ajmac is a day to plead forgiveness for serious faults and to be judged. It is a day that demands moral rectitude, respect, and sincere analysis. Our faults (stains) must be faced and paid for on this day; humble requests for pity are encouraged. Ajmac is a propitious day for the women of a household to make peace with one another after conflict, to apologize for sharp words; it is a  good day to pray for smooth relationships and the renewal of agreements among women. Hard luck can face those born on Ajmac. —J. B. 

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Ajmac. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

5 Tz'ikin  |  Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day deity Tz'ikin

Corresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 5 Tz'ikin. Tz'ikin is Bird, best represented by the Hummingbird, also the Quetzal and the Eagle; 5 is one hand. Tz'ikin carries the message between the Heart of Earth and the Heart of Sky. Cold, heat, light, air, cloud are its elements. Love, intuition, precognition are strong in those born on this day. Tz'ikin is a good day for humans to follow the birds to the corn, to find good material luck. It is a good day to ask for revelation and intelligence, for abundance, and for vision, a good day to ask for collaboration in projects and for personal freedom. On this day, women have the privilege to ask for their husbands and sons to triple the family money. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Tz'ikin. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

4 I'x  |  Saturday, March 10, 2012 Day Deity I'x

Corresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 4 I'x. I'x is Jaguar; 4 is the foundational balance. I'x is woman's energy day. It is a day to connect with your own land and to pray for its original owners, to pray for and appreciate your house, to pray for the finances to buy and sustain land, to ask for fertility in humans and animals, to request vigor and strength for reproductive organs, particularly female. It is a good day for a woman to request strength in her husband's commitment to matrimonial stability. People born on I'x have a close relationship to el Mundo, and receive good access to precious metals. I'x is a good day to pray to the mountains in favor of the land, a good day for solitude and meditation. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents I'x. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

3 Aj  |  Friday, March 9, 2012

Day deity Aj

Corresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 3 Aj. Aj is Cane Reed; 3 is the first rotor. Aj is a good day to ask for clarity of destiny. Aj begins the women's cycle, sentiments of family and home, the spinal cord. It is a day of resurgence and renewal, as in the reed and the corn, and of the triumph of good over evil, life over death. A day of happiness, the renewal of food, money, and the heart of life, Aj is life and receives life. People born on this day renew their communities; they are sickly as children and sturdy as adults; they are especially lucky. Good awakeners of their families and communities, they make good midwives. Aj is generally a good day to pray for protection of your life and protection of the newborn, a good day to pray for twins, a good day to pray for humanity.

In the Pop Vuh, sacred book of the Maya-Quiche, Jun Ajpu Ixbalanké planted a cane in his grandmother's home. The plant would blanch or renew, as he died and was resurrected in the fight of the Hero Twins with the Xibalbas, Death Lords of the Underworld. This story, central to Maya spirituality, is remembered in the oral tradition, independent of academic literature. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Ajpu. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

2 Eh  |  Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day deity Eh

Corresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 2 Eh. Eh is Bobcat; it is the Path; it is the Tooth. 2 is foundational duality. Eh is a day that can orient individuals, and groups and communities, to their destiny. Eh is a day to ask for protection from dangers and obstructions during travels—specifically, that on your road the attention of thieves or highway police or border inspectors be deviated from your trajectory. Solitude is in Eh, light rain, kindness, alignment. People born on this day can be good counselors, spiritual guides with the gift of prayer to Ajaw (Creator) regarding the destiny of things. Also, good dentists are born on this day. Eh is one of the four pillars of the 20 days, a Yearbearer—a strong, especially sacred day. A prayer started in Batz can be carried by Eh through the full cycle of 20 days. —J. B. 

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Eh. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

1 Batz  | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day deity Batz

Corresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 1 Batz. Batz is Monkey; 1 is fresh anew. Monkey braid, monkey fingers, monkey tail, Batz is the grasp of the hand of the monkey so tight and braided the fist will not let go, even in death. Batz is unity, a good day to tie things together, also a good day for beginnings—a good day for a marriage or to start a construction, a good day for initiation into the ways. For some Maya daykeepers, Batz begins the 20-day calendar cycle. People born on Batz are calm and self-confident; they make good spiritual guides and leaders, and good-hearted architects. 

Batz is the thread of Time that rolls out from under the earth, weaving life until cut, weaving Time into History. —J. B.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Batz. Glyphs representing the Day lords appear throughout Maya County. 

Continue reading "This Day in the Maya Calendar (Winter 2012)" »

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I can't imagine how much time and energy you put into these translations. They seem incredibly difficult.

Enjoyable and interesting reads. I always find it fascinating how other people and civilizations think (thought) and functioned!

Joe

February 10, 2012

Maya Journal

Cholq'ij, the Maya sacred ceremonial calendar of 260 days—a cycle of 20 Day deities and 13 numbers—is the basis of the Maya spirituality that survives to this time, practiced daily among millions of Maya people, in thousands of communities. The interpretation of the days can vary from one Maya people to another. The interpretations given here are based on sustained conversations and participation over three decades with Maya Q'eqchi calendar priest Roderico Teni and daykeeping families in the area of Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, by Jose Barreiro (Taíno), head of NMAI’s Office of Latin America, and his wife, Katsi Cook (Mohawk).

For a more detailed introduction to this series, please see Jose's post "Living in the Practice." For the complete year so far, please see the Maya calendar archive

Justice and the Kan 

Rio Polochic Valley, Alta Verapaz, September 1989 

We crossed the river by canoe, propelled through the strong current by a long rod in the hands of a standing Q'eqchi riverman. On the other side we walked the kilometer to Tampur, stopping briefly to greet the local leaders, then walked farther into the forested hills of the valley, to a community where local meetings were taking place. Our visit at that time was about the building of a school in the high sierra. But in small, cloistered Q'eqchi corn-farming communities, when elders meet local issues are considered. In this community, a young man was on the hot seat. 

The young man had twice been caught stealing small animals from other's homesteads. The people of his community had him seated in a circle of the leadership men, and a second circle made up of the women who had caught him this time and were accusing him. The women appeared quite disgusted. Still, the young man looked over their heads. 

After muted discussion, a grandfather stood. He explained the case to everyone. He told the young man that he must raise his own animals and leave those of others alone. He explained how the women were ready to beat him severely for his thefts. The young man continued to look up and away. The Q'eqchi grandfather took his time; he took off his hat. "As of this day," he said a bit more loudly, for all to hear, "the Kan will watch you and stay on your heels. We withdraw our protection from your trail. If this happens again, we will ask the Kan to make his own justice." 

The women exchanged glances, one or two gasped, and the young man looked suddenly shaken. His eyes darted around to the people, then settled on the ground as he released his breath. "Kan is in your path now, so think carefully what the people here mean to you," the old man told him. 

This was in Alta Verapaz, on the mountain range past the Polochic River, where the Kan was manifested in a situation of community justice. Kan is the snake, a powerful entity always potentially present to intervene in the lives (and death) of human beings. Respectful connection with Kan is much desired by people in the mountain communities. After that trial by elders, Roderico has told me, the chicken-thieving stopped.

—Jose Barreiro 

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February 04, 2012

This Day in the Maya Calendar, January 21–February 9, 2012

Cholq'ij, the Maya sacred ceremonial calendar of 260 days—a cycle of 20 Day deities and 13 numbers—is the basis of the Maya spirituality that survives to this time, practiced daily among millions of Maya people, in thousands of communities. The interpretation of the days can vary from one Maya people to another. The interpretations given here are based on sustained conversations and participation over three decades with Maya Q'eqchi calendar priest Roderico Teni and daykeeping families in the area of Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, by Jose Barreiro (Taíno), head of NMAI’s Office of Latin America, and his wife, Katsi Cook (Mohawk).

For a more detailed introduction to this series, please see Jose's post "Living in the Practice." For further insight into the role of the Day lords in everyday life, please see the Maya Journal. For the complete year so far, please see the the Maya calendar archive

13 Kat  |  Thursday, February 9, 2012 

Day deity KatCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 13 Kat. Kat is Spider, also Web and Fire. 13 is the highest number in the Cholq'ij. Kat is the network of the sacred fireplace, the family hearth—a good day to pray for your family fireplace, the spirit of the fire that belongs in the home, the one that calls other spirits to ceremony and speaks for them. Kat is the net that hauls in the fish, and the net that holds the ears of corn; it is a good day to help free prisoners from captivity, to request youth and power for the weak. On Kat, the unity of the people is paramount, and knowledge is deepened. Kat can bring the fruition of things and the untangling of complications.

Today's Maya calendar glyph represents Kat and appears throughout Maya country. 

12 Aqbal  |  Wednesday, February 8, 2012 

Day deity AqbalCorresponding with this day in the Gregorian calendar is 12 Aqbal. Aqbal is Dawn, also Bat. 12 is the highest balance. Aqbal is clarity—separation of darkness and light as the Sun disperses the fog and obscurity of night. It is a good day to ask for a peaceful and happy daybreak, a day to find hidden and lost things or to wash away tears of sadness. Aqbal is a good day to clean the ashes (renew the heart) of a fireplace and to present a new baby to el Mundo. On Aqbal, the sacred fire is recognized and appreciated. A potential bride or groom can be revealed on this day. Harvesting of corn can begin on this day.

People born on Aqbal relate in the present and are a special link between past and future. They are early risers, good workers, tranquil and kind, strong before an enemy, good researchers and finders of hidden things, often called "the candle of the home."

Continue reading "This Day in the Maya Calendar, January 21–February 9, 2012" »

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February 03, 2012

Indian Country in the News: Jan. 27 - Feb. 3, 2012

This week's news highlights include the unexplored history of Native American and African-American slavery in the Midwest, a long-sought victory for the Yakye Axa indigenous community in Paraguay, and a bleak look at the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming:

  • NPR: Native Americans As Slaves, Slave Owners In North - "MacArthur 'Genius' Tiya Miles does pioneering research on the relationship between Cherokee Indians and African-Americans. She speaks with host Michel Martin about shedding light on the unexplored history of Native American and African-American slavery in Michigan."
  • Amnesty International: Paraguay: Land dispute victory for displaced indigenous community - "A land deal finalized this week between Paraguayan authorities and a land owner in the country’s central region will allow a long-displaced indigenous community to rebuild in safety and dignity, Amnesty International said today. For almost two decades, the Yakye Axa indigenous community have fought a legal battle to return to their ancestral lands while around 90 families were forced to live in destitute conditions alongside a nearby highway."
  • NYTimes: An Indian Reservation Where Brutality Has Become Banal - "The Obama administration, which has made reducing crime a priority in its attempt to improve the quality of life at dozens of Indian reservations plagued by violence, recently ended a two-year crime-fighting initiative at Wind River and three other reservations deemed to be among the country’s most dangerous. Nicknamed “the surge,” it was modeled after the military’s Iraq war strategy, circa 2007, which helped change the course of the conflict. Hundreds of officers from the National Park Service and other federal agencies swarmed the reservations, and crime was reduced at three of the four reservations, — including a 68 percent decline at Mescalero Apache in New Mexico, officials said. Wind River, as has been true for much of its turbulent history, bucked the trend: violent crime there increased by 7 percent during the surge, according to the Department of Justice."

 

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