*Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a series—lucky you! Head here to read Part I.
Having lived in Guatemala for 13 years, I’ve been blessed to explore the heart-centered, Earth-bound wisdom of the Mayan cosmovision through fire ceremonies and the Mayan calendar.
I recently wrote about the first 10 Nahuales in the Mayan calendar; this is the companion piece, which covers the final 10 Nahuales, or spirit energies of the day.
This sacred Mayan calendar is lunar and lasts 260 days. Twenty Nahuales times 13 energetic tones for each one. They parade through the days in an ever-lasting spiral cycle. The 20 Nahuales are said to represent the 20 fingers and toes of the human body, and the 13 numbers represent our 13 major joints (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and neck).
Discover your and your loved ones’ Mayan day signs here.
And learn more about how the final 10 Nahuales can bring mindful magic into your life:
B’atz: the monkey and weaver
B’atz is the Nahual of inspiration and creative expression—dancers, artists, and weavers. Its energies inspire Mayan women to create patterns and stories in their weavings.
B’atz has the qualities to bring timelines into order. It is the thread of time that unites the past, present, and future and is the sign of time travelers who have the capacity to move between realms and dimensions.
It is also the monkey. While it potentially has access to profound wisdom, it knows how to play and keep things light in life as the cosmic joker. The best medicine for B’atz is laughter.
B’atz can also activate our monkey mind, filling us with racing thoughts and ideas. To balance the qualities of this Nahual, meditation practices and art therapy are helpful.
Journal prompts to connect with B’atz:
What are your most playful and pleasurable creative outlets?
How have you woven together the threads of your life to get to where you are today?
E’: the road and the human
The Nahual E’ represents the road and the path of life. It guides us on our inner and outer journeys.
E’ brings adventure, exploration, and movement as it helps us grow personally and spiritually. This Nahual creates bridges between worlds and cultures, as well as between the spiritual and human dimensions. It invites us to explore our true essence and take a personal quest.
E’ may move us on an inner exploration to integrate and remember who we truly are. At times, this can bring a strong sense of restlessness. E’ brings the reminder that it’s not about the destination but the journey.
Journal prompts to connect with E’:
What was one of your most memorable journeys? Why?
What spiritual path are you interested in exploring?
Write about a time when you had to choose between two paths and how that unfolded.
Aj: the corn and spinal column
Aj is the Nahual that is represented by the corn staff in the Mayan cosmovision. This is a symbol of spiritual authority in the Mayan culture. Aj is the pillar that facilitates the connection between the cosmos and the earth.
The Nahual Aj is represented by our spinal column. When balanced, the qualities of this Nahual bring us inner stability, alignment, and structure. It reminds us to keep our backs straight and to stand strong in ourselves.
When our spinal column is in alignment, the life force energy can flow freely throughout our body—up and down in both directions. This helps us feel connected and gives us a sense of inner authority.
Aj helps us to feel connected with our inner home, which is found in our heart. It is the feeling of homecoming to ourselves, inviting us to create solid roots and foundations for ourselves from where we may rise up.
Journal prompts to connect with Aj:
What does community leadership mean to you?
Write about the importance of your family and close friends.
Ix: the jaguar
Ix is the Nahual that connects us deeply with the feminine forces of life and mother nature. By immersing ourselves with the elements around us, we experience a sense of magic.
Ix is the communion with the forces of life: wind, water, fire, and earth. Ix facilitates an opening to commune with nature. When we co-create with the elements of life, we create magic.
The Nahual Ix is represented by the jaguar. In the Mayan cosmovision, the jaguar symbolizes the qualities of the deep feminine. With courage and grace, she walks through the darker forests with raised awareness. The jaguar is a guide that walks with us through the dark nights of the soul and helps us overcome our fears.
Ix offers a deep connection with the mysteries of life. It is a day to give gratitude to places in nature. On Ix days, the Mayan elders host ceremonies and bring offerings to mother nature. It is a day to give thanks for that which nourishes and sustains us.
Journal prompt to connect with Ix:
Make a list of all of the things you are grateful for in your life, including the challenges in life that have made you the person you are today.
Tz’ikin: the eagle
Tz’ikin is the Nahual of the visionaries and seers. The spirit guide of Tz’ikin is the eagle, who provides us with an eagle-eye view. These days are an invitation to spread our wings and see the big picture. Take the opportunity to see situations from a higher perspective and fine-tune the road toward the best outcomes for your creative project or business.
In our body, we find the Nahual Tz’ikin in our eyes. Whenever the energies of Tz’ikin are out of balance, we may experience problems with our vision.
Tz’ikin knows the way toward an abundant and prosperous life. It brings the capacity to see opportunities from afar and helps us to create a sustainable life. It has masculine energy and can be quite business and action-oriented.
Tz’ikin is the divine messenger between the cosmos and the earth. This Nahual invites us to dream and create a beautiful future for ourselves and society as a whole. However, we must be sure to come from a heart-centered place and not fall into the trap of egocentric desires.
Journal prompts to connect with Tz’ikin:
If there were no limits to your dreams and your ideal future, what would that look like?
How can your vision be inclusive and bring prosperity to all?
What is your next palpable step to bring this into form?
Ajmaq: the owl
Ajmaq is the Nahual of the ancestors and is represented by the owl and the vulture. The energies of this Nahual facilitate a strong connection with our blood and spiritual ancestry.
It is important for the energies of Ajmaq to (re)claim their connection with spirit and source to be in balance and to trust their intuition.
The Nahual Ajmaq brings the energy of rejuvenation and renewal through the release of karmic bonds and contracts. The guidance of this Nahual helps us become aware of the karmic patterns we repeat, while showing us the laws of cause and effect through real time experience.
The highest wisdom of this Nahual teaches us the power of forgiveness as a way to break karmic cycles. When we truly forgive another, and ourselves, from the heart, we release the grudges and judgments that hold our energies down. This helps us bring harmony and peace to our hearts and relationships. Setting ourselves and one another free from feelings of resentment.
Ho’oponopono prayer of forgiveness to connect with the energies of Ajmaq:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
No’j: the brain and the woodpecker
No’j is the Nahual that brings us the gift of our intellect and consciousness. The energies of this Nahual help us receive and process inspiration and ideas. It helps us organize our thoughts and plans into practical steps.
Thanks to the energies of No’j, we can bring structure to our ideas. If B’atz is the Nahual of the creative artist, No’j is the Nahual of the intellectual artist. However, when unbalanced, the energies of this Nahual can cause us to overthink.
Any practices that help us move from the mind into the body are beneficial to bringing balance to the energies of this Nahual via physical activity, creative expression, or meditation practices. The spirit animal of No’j is the woodpecker.
Journal prompts to connect with No’j:
How can your logical mind and intuitive heart work together in harmony?
Write about one of your current personal goals and the steps you’ll take to achieve it.
Tijax: the obsidian blade
Tijax is the Nahual of the obsidian blade, which is used as a healing tool in the Mayan cosmovision. It helps absorb, clear, and release negativity from one’s body, mind, and spirit.
The obsidian stone is like a black mirror. Nahual Tijax shows us our reflection through the presence of other people or situations. Tijax has the potential to bring clarity into our lives by clearing out the clutter. Be ready to face the truth when you work with the qualities of Tijax.
This Nahual has a powerful masculine force. Any form of inner healing therapy or energy work is beneficial to learning how to work with the healing qualities of Tijax in a constructive and sustainable way. Tijax days are good days for editing, surgery, and any kind of letting go.
Journal prompts to connect with Tijax:
What in your life needs healing at the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical levels?
Where can you invite more clarity and truth in your life?
Kawok: the turtle and the storm
The Nahual Kawok is connected with the birthing process and the midwives. It brings a compassionate, loving, wise yet fierce energy that cares about family and community.
Kawok is the warm feeling of home and the hug of a grandmother. It represents the divine feminine and the force of nature that supports new life to come through. Kawok is also known as the rainstorm; stormy forces are needed to create space for new life to be born.
The turtle is the spirit animal of this Nahual, which is connected with the 13 moons in a year’s cycle and the ancient wisdom of women. Just like the qualities of the turtle, the energies of this Nahual help us to develop patience, which is a great quality to have as a midwife. This same patience can help us move through times of turbulence in our lives.
Journal prompts to connect with Kawok:
What is asking to be born through you?
How can you let go and dance and sing in the rain?
What will the storm wash away? What energy no longer serves or benefits you?
Ajpu: the sun
Ajpu is the last of the 20 Nahuales in the Mayan creation story. Ajpu brings the light and the full creation into the world, as all 20 Nahuales have contributed their qualities to make this creation story complete.
Ajpu is like the sun rising. It brings a golden radiance into the world and puts us on an inner quest to bring divinity into our lives. The energies of this Nahual naturally bring forth the essence of every person.
In the Mayan creation story, Ajpu represents the archetypal hero’s journey. The hero twins Jun Ajpu and Ix Balanque descend into the underworld—also known as Xibalba—and are confronted with obstacles to overcome that represent our fears and shadows. The twins represent the duality that creates life and that we all inhabit, the light and the dark. We are here to integrate both aspects.
After the hero twins descend into the underworld, they come out of it again on the other side. That is when the light is reborn and hope returns. Ajpu thus embodies and understands both the archetypal hero’s journey through our inner underworld and the radiant light of the sun. Embracing and recognizing both shadow and light as complementary aspects of life, the energies of the Nahual Ajpu help us to recognize the beauty in all of it.
With 13 Ajpu, the last day of the creation story has come full circle after 260 days of gestation. After this, a new dream is conceived again with 1 Imox.
The Mayan Cholq’ij calendar spins in eternal cycles. The cycle goes round and round.
*This piece was co-written with Lieke Moras:
Lieke Moras is a doula and energy worker who passionately guides others through their healing and transformational journeys. She offers womb work, shamanic journeys and energy healing and brings this together with the wisdom of the Mayan calendar. In 2017, she came to Lake Atitlan to study the Mayan traditions for her Master’s in Medical Anthropology. Here, she discovered her profound connection with the Mayan people and their cosmovision. Since then, she has been living with the Mayan calendar on a daily basis and found her own way to integrate this wisdom into the work that she does, letting it guide her creative processes. Learn more about Lieke.