10-Ix: Don’t pounce (12 February 2017)

Born on this day: Ian Holm, Ethan Hawke, Clark Gable, Moni Moshonov, Rand Paul

10-Ix: The Shaman's skills, perfected, hidden and beautiful, ultimately precipitate infinite responsibility and prudence.

10-Ix: The Shaman’s skills, perfected, hidden and beautiful, ultimately precipitate infinite responsibility and prudence.

Ix can be translated as the Jaguar Shaman or wo/man of deep wisdom who invokes the benevolent spirits of the jungle for the benefit of all. On 10-Ix the Serpent completes its transformation and manifests as a stealthy and skillful Jaguar. While the Serpent is dramatic, ascetic, and tends to allow itself to be cornered before overreacting – the Jaguar is fully aware of its abilities and strengths, so it lies unseen in ambush and knows exactly when to pounce. Thus the journey of life’s drama leads to the perfected Shaman, who responsibly and skillfully combines wisdom and instinct; spiritual enlightenment and basic survival.

Reflections on the Mayan cross, part II

Feminine and Masculine on the crossbar

Click here for part 1

In this installment I’ll learn with you about the Mayan cross crossbar – the Masculine and Feminine nawals of the heart (center) nawal. Now, the first thing to clarify is the way in which these polar terms are used in this system. Along with the mundane view of males being masculine and females being the opposite, we need to take on board additional considerations.

Gender in the Mayan cosmovision takes on a broader sense, which somewhat parallels the Taoist approach of Yin and Yang. Yang, for example, can manifest regardless of the individual’s sex, as an activity, as molding energy which strives to change and apply itself. While Yin is more receptive, hidden and encompassing, a yearning to be fertilized by someone or something.

When I look at the masculine (right-hand, diagram’s left) side I find the nawal which allows a person to “be the change s/he wants to be in the world”, to move, act, interact, and invoke miracles. This nawal determines what is noted, focused upon, worked on and shaped. The fertilizer.

The feminine (left-hand, diagram’s right) side is the lens through which awareness to the world is gained. Attention, absorption, digestion and contemplation. Whether male or female, the feminine nawal is the nourishing and protecting one. It can also be viewed as a balancing, invisible counterpart to whatever I am aware of. If the masculine occupies the foreground, the feminine is the background, border, lighting and everything else that’s usually taken for granted.

10-Imox Mayan Cross

10-Imox Mayan Cross

The heart nawal: 10-Imox (30 January 2017)


“I used to be you, then I evolved.” – Woody Harrelson (10-Imix) as Mickey Knox in “Natural Born Killers” (1994)

In 1994, Oliver Stone (6-Cib) released his music-video feature film ‘Natural Born Killers’, which was written by Quentin Tarantino (11-Ben), David Veloz, and Richard Rutowski. Being met with this neck-break cultural roller-coaster at the formative age of 21, I got a strong gut feeling the world is turning weirder by the day.

Today I can see that the reason I still carry the effect that movie had on me is mainly because of its epic soundtrack, which was artfully arranged and created by Trent Reznor (13-Men) of NIN. Very much like an older movie I also love (The Wall), this was a 90-minute, non-stop music video. But that’s a tangent, to be expediently shot down.

The movie’s story revolves around a young couple, Mickey (Woody Harrelson, 10-Imox) and Malory (Juliette Lewis, 6-Eb) Knox, who drive around the unsuspecting American Southwest in a vintage convertible car on an orgiastic murder spree. And much like Bonny and Clyde, these two charming killers are lauded in the media as rock star rebels, on the run from an oppressive system.

Jumping to an altogether different culture (and back to my point), the Mayan nawal Imox is often associated with craziness and genius. It is also a symbol of the Ocean, its immeasurable strength and unforgiving nature, and of the primordial forces that always underlie reality. Some say it is linked to the collective unconscious, our psychic fuel.

So here is an example of a 10-Imox-born male actor, playing the part of an unhinged human predator, who is at the same time preaching on prime-time TV a philosophy of life which resonates enough to spark a full-blown prison riot. A killer’s point of view which cuts through much of what a decedent society has taken for granted about what ‘violence’ and ‘murder’ means. The applause of the cheering crowds in the movie is echoed by the movie audience, who identifies with the protagonists, whatever happens and whoever they may be, and especially when they are caught and stand accused in trial.

Was Harrelson a good casting choice as Mickey Knox?

About 10-Imox

The end of every road is the beginning of the next. Imix (the crocodile) is the first sun-sign, since everything begins and ends in the womb of creation – the primordial swamp that is the crocodile’s domain.

The previous day (Ahau) is also called “the Master”, and in this respect, every master eventually becomes a novice of the next higher level of evolution.

Therefore, 10-Imix means that the one true road (1-Eb) manifests when I find myself back on square one. But this is scarcely a regression, since the journey itself has transformed me. Equipped with the nurturing instincts of Imix, and the responsibility that stage 10 invokes – it is now time to go “back to school” to guide and show my fellow companions how the Road of Life can be chosen and traveled.

The masculine nawal: 4-Men (24 January 2017)


“Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it.” – Woody Allen (4-Men) taken from A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982)

Moving back 7 nawals, from one Woody to another, we have to imagine a whole other kind of male. In most of his films, Woody Allen’s character is a very passionate person, longing to be accepted and loved; to be at least half as self-assured and as dominant as a 10-Imox male like Harrelson could be. Instead, Allen is helplessly trapped inside his own mind, clinging to a false sense of intellectual superiority, unable to recognize that his own unconscious fears, neurotic insecurities and giant ego are all standing in the way between himself and any kind of happiness.

He is nevertheless brilliant and sophisticated, funny and full of life. The Eagle nawal represents a warrior spirit, a crusader of light and truth; generous, open, and at times combative. It operates within the material realm, and is the symbol of money and physical wealth.

All these represent the masculine aspect of Imox.

About 4-Men

The sun-sign Men is the Eagle that soars high above the road and sees dead-ends and insurmountable barriers that cannot possibly be foreseen by its predecessor – the Jaguar – at ground level. The 4th stage of the journey is when boundaries are placed and the entire process is stabilized as a result. The eagle’s vision on this day helps to avoid taking the wrong turns on the Road, and teaches me that, although there are always countless roads to take, I must use vision to define and stabilize my overall destination, and as a result – maintain my freedom of movement.

The feminine nawal: 3-Manik (5 February 2017)

"The track hits ya eardrum like a slug to ya chest. Pack a vest for your Jimmy in the city of sex" - Dr. Dre (3-Manik) taken from California Love

“Hollywood to me is what it is to you. It’s something other than what I am. I sit outside it.” – Meryl Streep (3-Manik) taken from James Mottram, “Meryl Streep: Movies, marriage, and turning sixty,” The Independent, 24 January 2009 (7-Ben)

On the feminine side of Imox we find Manik – a powerful, stable nawal. According to Kenneth Johnson:

“It is a day of power, authority, hierarchy, force, and the four cardinal points… The natives of Kej have a strong masculine energy regardless of their own gender. They are strong and brave, but often very refined at the same time… Kej women are agile and strong; they are able to assume great responsibilities and occupy important positions. They are affectionate and appreciative, but must often make sacrifices to achieve their goals.”

To exemplify 3-Manik in particular, I offer the indestructible, charming Mrs. Meryl Streep. Most would agree she indeed carries a masculine energy, and that she’s agile and strong in whatever role her career takes her to. Being refined can also be attributed to her, perhaps in the way she carries herself. As the feminine side of Imox, she offers refinement of the raw Imox energy, along with providing the tools and skills required to manifest Imox’s brillient ideas and creating drive.

About 3-Manik

Among many other interesting meanings, Manik (the Deer) represents the acquisition of skills and tools, as well as striving for accomplishment. During the course of life’s drama, skills are perfected and tools are acquired in order to overcome obstacles and accomplish goals. When coupled with the rhythmic and unbridled expression of stage 3, 3-Manik can be equated to a busy handyman with an overcrowded toolbox. He knows what needs to be done, wants to succeed, but has trouble deciding which tool to pick, so he leaves it for tomorrow. Therefore, on this day wisdom can be found in avoiding clutter, indecision, and procrastination.

Reflections on the Mayan cross, part I

Barbara Sadtler (born 11-Edznab) was the talented scholar and practician who introduced me to the Mayan Cross reading method. At the spring of 2013, Barbara launched a series of 20 “community calls“, guided by her, with contributions from people who called in, and guests.

Like Ken Johnson, Carlos Barrios, Shuni Giron, and many others.

After due ceremony, each such conference would discuss the current trecena’s nawal, as well as aspects of that nawal counting backwards and forwards, seven and nine.

How is it counted and arranged?

Today is 7-Edznab, so to construct this nawal’s mayan cross I’ll make the following counts and arrangements:

  • The heart nawal (center) is the day itself, 7-Edznab
  • To arrive at the conception sign (above), count 9 nawals backwards (12-Oc)
  • The destiny sign (below): count 9 nawals ahead (2-Cimi)
  • The masculine sign (west): count 7 nawals back (1-Eb)
  • The feminine sign (east): count 7 nawals forward (13-Kan)
7-Edznab Mayan cross

7-Edznab Mayan cross

Rather than referring to the masculine as west and feminine east, the best way to visualize the cross is to “stand” on the heart nawal, facing the destiny sign, with the conception sign at your back.

From this point of view, your right (masculine) arm is placed on the left side of the diagram, and the feminine on the right. So it’s a left/right reversed mirror pattern.


This segment will focus on the cross’s main column: Conception, Heart, and Destiny.


Conception sign 12-Oc (19 January 2017)

Love & Understanding

“Most governments lie to each other. That’s the way business gets done.” – Robert Gates (12-Oc) to CNN on 12-Muluc

12-Oc (Tzi) is the conception sign of today’s nawal: 7-Edznab (Tijax). Conception here means a personal history, ancestry, and some say karmic luggage as well.

In another perspective, a person born 7-Edznab (Bruce Lee is a good example) spends the first 26 years of his/her life under the guidance and tutelage of 12-Oc. This is the nawal which characterizes Bruce’s own formative years, his own personal history and early beginnings. 12-Oc is also the message he receives from his ancestors, and the keys to understanding the cross he’ll need to bear in order to resolve karmic residue.

Note: there are no clear cut-off days marking graduation in this system.

The heart sign 7-Edznab (27 January 2017)


“Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing.” – Bruce Lee (7-Edznab)

The heart nawal remains, from birth to death, ever present in the life of someone born 7-Edznab. It however manifests most prominently during the 3rd and 4th rounds of 13-years (ages 26 to 52).

So in 1966, when Bruce began his 3rd 13-year round 7-Edznab become his dominant nawal. This year saw his career in its early TV phase, as Kato in The Green Hornet and Batman.

This is what was over the horizon all through his formative years. It was the attractor which drew him from potential as a young man to potency as an undisputed master.

Edznab is the Mirror of reality, and 7-Edznab is the only day in the Tzolkin when the Mirror meets the reflective number 7. This is a powerful day of stark reality right in your face. There is absolutely no room for deception or second guessing. Edznab is the knife that cuts through illusion, and when it appears on the midpoint and apex of the journey it reflects both the humble and hesitant beginning of the first step (1-Eb) and the abundant ascension that lies in promise at the end of the road (13-Kan).

It is the proverbial point of no return.

Destiny sign 2-Cimi (4 February 2017)

"A man's a savage beast when he's young...he eats sheep...and hens and pigs, but if he doesn't eat men his belly's not satisfied." - Nikos Kazantzakis (5-Caban), Zorba the Greek ch. 2

“Death is nothing — just pff! and the candle is snuffed out. But old age is a disgrace.” – Anthony Quinn (2-Cimi), as Zorba the Greek

When 7-Edznab’s lessons become integrated to a degree which merits advancement, 2-Cimi begins its influence. In life, this corresponds to the 5th and later rounds of 13-years observed by the ancient Maya. So after spending 4 “seasons” of 13-years each, the 52-year old elder joins the community inner circle of venerated grandparents and master-teachers.

The importance of individual maturity is stressed as a crucial factor, for contributing generously and wisely to the elder circle and its surrounding community. Today I feel Immaturity is all-pervasive and taken for granted everywhere. The easiest thing is to settle into a comfortable position with ‘daddy’ (any authority figure), and none of your checks will ever bounce. Daddy’s got your back. Just go out there with the ball and have a ball.

Comfort is how ‘they’ sell it to you.

Due for tomorrow: extend your definition of ‘responsibility’ way beyond what dad said.


“To be or not to be?”, or, to put it in the parlance of our times: “To Be or to
Become?” On this 2-Cimi nawal of stark duality, the essence of Cimi (transformation) expresses the fork at the beginning of the winding serpentine path. Choice is the offspring of separation between self and other, mind and body, evolution and extinction. Even though Cimi literally means Death and loss, it is also a comforting and guiding force through transitions, which smooths the effects of past choices (check out Quinn’s smile for evidence).

Rather than confronting the arresting dilemmas offered by 2-Cimi head-on, this is a good day for allowing the Serpent to continue creeping stealthily below the surface. Remember that this is just the second step of the trecena journey, so whatever choice is made today – in retrospect it can always be “meant to be”.

Bruce Lee didn’t live to experience life as a 2-Cimi elder, having succumbed to an acute allergic reaction and brain swelling at the age of 32.

Wouldn’t you know?

Bruce Lee’s eldest son Brandon was actually born 12-Oc (his dad’s conception nawal). Tragically, he too was lost to all of us at a tender age (28), having succumbed to an accidental, Hollywood-style lead salad.

This coming February 1st, Brandon would have turned 52. The first age of elder-ship. This is when his destiny sign (7-Edznab) would have been in full swing…

Further studies

Refer to Ken Johnson’s books and articles for extensive and in-depth descriptions of the Mayan cross.