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Highlands

The Highland sacred round (chol q’ij, meaning "count of days")[1] is a 260-day ritual calendar that was used by Maya of the Guatemalan highlands, such as the K’iche’ and Kaqchikel peoples. It is similar to the Yucatec tzolk'in by sharing common glyphs, but with a different starting point.

The day signs and the numbers of the Sacred round, known as chol q’ij by the Guatemalan highland peoples, each have their own spirit, often referred to as naguales or "spirit guides". The naguales embody the essential myths and archetypes of the ancient lands of the Maya. They rule certain elements or aspects of life being the primary archetypes of human character. The day signs carry a masculine energy, while the numbers are considered feminine in nature. Each of the chol q’ij twenty day signs holds the sacred role of shaping and influencing the character and destiny of a person, which is based on the combined energies of their Mayan birth sign and number. For the Maya, each person brings with them their innate character, abilities, professional preference, and other traits already at birth.[2] The chol q’ij may even have been used by midwives, because 260 days can be counted from the 20 day period of human conception, when the heart of the fetus starts to beat, until birth.

For modern Guatemalan highlanders, the 260 days are employed in training the Aj K'ij, or 'calendar diviner'. Nine months after commencing training in divination, the novice is "reborn" and initiated into office. Rituals are also performed every 260 days, the most famous of these is the "Initiation" celebration of 8 Chuwen, Waxakib' B'atz, in the K'iche town of Santa Cruz del Quiche.

Highland chol q’ijEdit

Numbered daysEdit

See also: Yucatec sacred round

All Maya sacred round cycles run 260 days,[3] consisting of numerals 1 to 13 alternating against a cycle of twenty day glyphs. The chol q’ij starts with the glyph B’atz’ (Chuwen) and ends with T’zi (Ok). Each day glyph receives a count from 1 to 13. On the fourteenth glyph, the numeral cycle starts over again at 1. All Sacred round calendars span 13 months having twenty days each. The first day of the chol q’ij is 1.B’atz’. The next day is 2.E, counting up to 13.Aq’ab’al. The next numeral cycle starts at 1.K’at until a total of 260 different combinations complete the full cycle. (13 numerals x 20 day glyphs = 260 combinations).[4].

chol q’ij signsEdit

The Guatemala highlands people follow the chol q’ij sacred round calendar of days in this order: B'atz', E, Aj, Ix, Tz'ikin, Ajmak, No'j, Tijax, Kawuq, Junajpu, Imox, Iq', Aq'ab'al, K'at, Kan, Kame, Kej, Q'anil, Toj, and Tz'i'.[5]

FIRST DAY LORD
11-ChuwenClassic Maya glyph B’atz’ (monkey) is Lord of the monkey. The new year of the sacred calendar is called Wajxaqib ‘B’atz and is the date of disclosure and formation of human beings. It is celebrated on 8.B’atz’ because 8 is the most stable and powerful number for ceremony.[6] Ajq’ijab’ are initiated on this day.[7]

According to Hernandez Spina, the day of B’atz’ has been considered a bad day, symbolizing paralysis. However, others see it is a good day, symbolic of the ancestors.[8]

Key words: New beginnings

Actions:

External link: Characteristics of Mayan sign, B’atz’

SECOND DAY LORD
12-EbClassic Maya glyph E (road, path) is Lord of the Path. In the Classic Maya epigraphy, the image of an ear in the upper right corner of the E glyph, is pointed down to discern the right direction. The traveling dots show the stepping stones on the path.[9] The day of E is a good day, symbolized by destiny, fortune, and the essential characteristics of one's personality. It is a day on which marriages may be held, and sacrifices to benign deities may be made.[8]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: New path, the fool, destiny

Actions:

External link: Characteristics of Mayan sign, E

THIRD DAY LORD
13-BenClassic Maya glyph Aj (cornstalk, reed, young ear of corn) Lord of the Alter, signifies the home and family. It is a day of triumph over all sorts of illness, even death. A symbol of resurrection.[11] Represents the corn, sacred fire, and the altar. The day of Aj is a good day, consecrated to fertility gods, herdsmen, and domesticated animals. The day is symbolic of one's destiny as embodied in one's nagual.[8]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Destiny, triumph over illness, resurrection

Actions:

External link: Characteristics of Mayan sign, Aj

FOURTH DAY LORD
14-HixClassic Maya glyph I’x, or Ix-Balam (K’iché), (jaguar[12], strength, sacred appeal) is Lord of the Jaguar, who possesses feminine energy. It is representative of the Maya altar, a place of sacred power from the Earth. The day of I’x is a good day, sacred to the mountain and forest spirits.[11] According to Hernandez Spina, on this day, protection may be sought from wolves and wild preadators, in favor of flocks and animals. The day is symbolic of the creative force in general, and of the earth itself.[8]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Vigor, strength, creative force

Actions: Respect for feminine energy, make a sacred appeal, seek strength

External link: Mayan Cross: Jaguar (Ix)

FIFTH DAY LORD
15-MenClassic Maya glyph Tz’ikin (fortune, bird, eagle) is Lord of the Bird, one who can see all things from above. A mediator between God and humans.[11] The day of Tz’ikin is the most excellent day of all. Double offerings are made at shrines, in forests, and in caves. It is a day to make wishes, seek forgiveness, and finalize important matters.[8]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: mediator, double offerings, wishes

Actions: Seek mediation, seek forgiveness, make a wish

External link: Characteristics of Mayan sign, Tz'ikin

SIXTH DAY LORD
16-KibClassic Maya glyph Ajmaq (Vulture, owl, ancestor) is the Lord of Wisdom, a symbol of moral forces. A day to remember our ancestors. A day to request pardon from our sins. Those who have gone before, guide the present, helping us to a better future.[11] On 5 Ajmaq, people visit altars to ask pardon and remember their ancestors.[7] The day of Ajmaq is a very good day, sacred to the spirits that preside over good health.[8]

Key words: Wisdom, forgiveness, pardon

Actions: Remember our ancestors, request pardon from sins, forgive others

External link: Characteristics of Mayan sign, Ajmaq

SEVENTH DAY LORD
17-KabanClassic Maya glyph No'j (wisdom, creativity, intelligence) is Lord of Knowledge. This day relates to the Earth's cycles, motions, and movements.[11] No'j is an auspicious day, on which good judgement may be prayed for. The day is symbolic both of humanity's amoral and moral qualities.[8]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Thought, knowledge, and science[13]

Actions: Exercise good judgement, contemplate morality, begin a creative project

External link: Characteristics of Mayan sign, No'j

EIGHTH DAY LORD
18-EtznabClassic Maya glyph Tijax (flint, obsidian knife, suffering) is Lord of the Sacrificial Knife. The glyph depicts the point of a flint knife, an emblem for the gods of sacrifice. This day is a reminder of the first parents who struggled among themselves. It is also a day of healing.[11] This day has been attributed to bearing verbal arguments, and a good day to confess sins.[8]

Key words: Talk, sacrifice, heal

Actions: Confess, talk it out, seek healing

External link: Characteristics of Mayan sign, Tijax

NINTH DAY LORD
19-KawakClassic Maya glyph Kawoq (difficulties, obstacles, bad luck) is Lord of Rainstorm. This day signifies lightning and thunder. Our ancestors demonstrated that they could overcome obstacles.[11]

On this day the Ajq'ij make an offering ceremony to pray for the sunrise, for the welfare of the people, for the health of patients, to end disputes and problems, and to ask that the value of the staff of authority will succeed. Also, this is a good day to ask for good, nourishing rain for the crops and medicinal plants.[14] According to Spina, the day of Kawoq is recognized as an indifferent day or a bad day. It is symbolic of the malice of the dead.[8]

Key words: Storm, challenge, triumph

Actions: Overcome obstacles, learn from the ancestors, end dispute

TENTH DAY LORD
20-AjawClassic Maya glyph Ajpu, or Junapu (sun, deer hunter, blow gun hunter)[15] is Lord of the Sun, a day for a king to be born. The Mayan midwifery used herbs and the calendars to help this process along.[16] The glyph for Ajpu represents a divine face and the root of time.

In Popul Wuj, Ajpu’ is one of the hero twins that passed through death in Xib’alb’a, but revived and transformed into the Sun.[15] According to Spina, the day of Ajpu is an indifferent day, neither a bad or good portent, on which the power of the ancestors is embodied by the house itself.[8]

Key words: Transformation, revival, triumph

Actions: Make anew, start fresh, act upon plans

ELEVENTH DAY LORD
1-ImixClassic Maya glyph Imox (craziness, lake, water lizard) is Lord of the water serpent, the reptilian body of Earth.[17] Signifies the occult forces in the universe. One may subject themselves to becoming possessed or crazy.[15] On 13 Imox, an Ajq’ijab’ may be cautious about traveling on this day, especially after noon.[7]

The day of Imox is associated with the insane; Maya priests of the sun have used this power to pray that harm befall their enemies through evil spirits.[8]

Key words: Possessive, obsession, crazed

Actions: Share, humble oneself, be rational

TWELFTH DAY LORD
2-IkClassic Maya glyph Iq (air, wind, Tepeu) is Lord of the Wind. This day carries the secret breath of life.[15] It is the day of the four winds from the four alters at the four directions. The "T" form in the center of the Maya glyph is the symbol for wind which also appears on other glyphs.[18]

The day of Iq enables the power of the destructive forces of nature. That power has been localized in stone idols, who are honored with incense, roses, candles, pine needles, and aguardiente. The negative aspect of this day has been attributed to the development of tumours and painful swellings.[8]

Key words: force of nature, directional winds, breath of life

Actions: Respect the forces of nature, meditate outside, spend time with family

THIRTEENTH DAY LORD
3-AkbalClassic Maya glyph Aq’ab’al (dawn, obscurity, harmony) is Lord of the Dawn shedding his first rays of light while closing the darkness. Aurora. Guardian of all creation. A day for peace and happiness.[15]

The Ak'bal glyph has representations of snake markings and scales.[18] Priests of the sun have used its power by going to shrines and praying against their enemies, promoting evil and slanders on this day.[8]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Protection, guardian, aurora

Actions: Protect and guard, shed light, aurora healing

FOURTEENTH DAY LORD
4-KanClassic Maya glyph K’at, (net to guard corn, womb, heat, fire, fervor) is a Guardian Lord. The day of K’at is a sensitive day that symbolizes heat and fire. Its negative aspect entangles, ensnares, and winds something up. The positive aspect is that anything can be undone.[15]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Tangle, snare, wind up

Actions: Unravel, undo, remove

FIFTEENTH DAY LORD
5-ChikchanClassic Maya glyph Kan (K’iché)[19] (serpent, Q’ukumatz the feathered serpent)[15] is the Lord of the Serpent. The day of Kan has been known to bring sickness and is symbolic of the arbitrary cruelty of nature.[8]

The day of Kan represents the force of the universe, a manifestation of the Heart of the Sky and the Heart of the Earth. It is the mystery of coiling in nature. The duality of good and bad. A day of justice. The vision of the Maya peoples.[15]

Key words: force, coiled objects in nature, duality

Actions: Meditate on coiled objects, respect nature, support justice

SIXTEENTH DAY LORD
6-KimiClassic Maya glyph Kame or Keme’ (death)[17][12] is the Lord of Death and the Lords of the Underworld. The "percent sign" in the center of the glyph is the Maya symbol for death. This symbol also appears on glyphs for the number 10.[20]

The day of Keme’ represents a termination point.[15] It is symbolic of the ultimate dissolution of everything good and everything evil by death. It is a good day for confession, and to ask for pardon.[8] A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Termination point, confession, pardon

Actions: End affair, confess, give and request pardons

SEVENTEENTH DAY LORD
7-ManikClassic Maya glyph Keej, Kiej, or Kej (deer, pillars of the four cardinal points)[15] is the Lord of the Hunt.[17] The day of Keej' is a good day to make wishes, to ask favors, and to commemorate ancestors.[8]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Foundation, authority, honesty[15]

EIGHTEENTH DAY LORD
8-LamatClassic Maya glyph K’anil or Q’anil (seed, the four colors of corn) is Lord of the Seed, the guardian of all kinds of seed and yeast.[21] Q’anil is sacred to fertility gods. It is associated with human nourishment, the growth of crops, the cycle of death and rebirth, and of the milpa. After the harvest is complete, thanksgiving is made on Q’anil.[8] The glyph is invoked by the feminine name "Ixq'anil" by Xquic.[17]

A child born on this day may be a "lightning soul", one who has the ability to receive messages from the external world. If eligible, they could go through training to become a Day keeper.[10]

Key words: Seed, germ, origin of life[21]

Actions: Request and give thanks for food, appreciation for abundance

NINETEENTH DAY LORD
9-MulukClassic Maya glyph Toj (Offering,[12] to pay, suffering) is the Lord of Offering. The day of Toj symbolizes suffering due to sin.[21]

Key words: Peace, pay, give

Actions: Make offerings, forgive, apologize

TWENTIETH DAY LORD
10-OkClassic Maya glyph T’zi’ (dog, raccoon) is Lord of the Dog. One who guides the night sun through the underworld.[17] The day of T’zi’ is a bad day, symbolizing sexual depravity. No ceremonies must ever be held on this day.[8]T’zi’ is a symbol of disequilibrium. Disorients wisdom. May bring destruction.

Key words: Authority, friendship, and fidelity.[22]

Actions: This is the day to dig for the good, investigate laws, bring order and justice.[21]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Mayan Calendar: Tzolk'in
  2. LUCITA Inc., (2013). The Mayan Calendar Portal: tzolk'in
  3. Harri Kettunen & Christophe Helmke (2008), Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs: Workshop Handbook, p. 39
  4. Pitts, 2009, p.48, 49
  5. Elin C. Danien & Robert J. Sharer, 1992. New Theories on the Ancient Maya, UPenn Museum of Archaeology, 9780924171130, p.218
  6. Mayan Cross: Monkey (B’atz), (2013) Breathe, Inc.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Molesky, 2009, p.132
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 Associations based on interpretations of three post-conquest Guatemalan highland calendars in the 1854 manuscript of Hernandez Spina.
  9. Mayan Cross: Road (E), (2013) Breathe, Inc.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Barnhart, 2005, p.120
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Molesky, 2009, p.145
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Kettunen, Harri; and Christophe Helmke (1993), p.49
  13. Pitts, 2009, p.57
  14. Mayan Cross: Rainstorm (Kawoq), (2013) Breathe, Inc.
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 Molesky, 2009, p.146
  16. Mayan Cross: Sun (Ajpu), (2013) Breathe, Inc.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Wright, Ronald (1989). Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. London: Abacus. ISBN 0-349-10892-7. OCLC 154511110
  18. 18.0 18.1 Pitts, 2009, p.52
  19. Not to be confused with K’an (Yucatec), meaning "net": Mayan Cross: Serpent (K’an)
  20. Pitts, 2009, p.53
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Molesky, 2009, p.147
  22. Pitts, 2009, p.54

BibliographyEdit

  • Molesky-Poz, Jean. (2009) Contemporary Maya Spirituality: The Ancient Ways Are Not Lost, University of Texas Press, 9780292778627
  • Pitts, Mark. (2009) Maya Numbers & The Maya Calendar: A Non-Technical Introduction to Maya Glyphs, Book 2

External linksEdit

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