As noted earlier, one of the most amazing features of the Maya calendar pertains to the fact that the energies of the days that are encoded into its cycles also represent particular “destiny directions” for individual lives.
As the Maya have been saying for centuries, the energy in place at the time of birth is the energetic gift given to the newborn – an animating force that provides the individual with particular proclivities. Although most people are not consciously aware of the nature of their energy birthrights, as encoded by the calendar, many (particularly artists) are so intuitively “in tune” that they just naturally follow where that energy leads. Karen Lipsett-Kidd is one of them.
Indeed, from a very early age, Karen Lipsett-Kidd ( born under the influence of 11 Manik’) has been strongly connected with the earth. Not only has she been a collector of “earth treasures” since she was a child, but she has always been highly attuned to their special qualities. Within this Kab’an (Earth) trecena, the day known as 11 Manik’ is significantly aligned with the bounties of the natural world since earth-oriented energies as encompassed within three major factors –the Kab’an trecena itself, the number eleven (personified by an earth and mountain deity), and the Manik’ day itself, governed by the same deity.
This daysign, symbolized by the Deer, is generally represented in Maya iconography by the “sun-in-hand” (a hand holding the sun). Symbolic of the idea of “sacred balance” and harmony, this is an energy that reflects the kind of respectful reciprocity and adaptability that is needed between humans and the natural world in order for life to be sustained. Indeed, the Maya even see the number 11 as symbolic of the lifeforce in the earth – an energy connected with inspiration, change, and transition, as well as restoration and rejuvenation. While all aspects of 11 Manik’ are earth oriented, this particular energy is highly aligned with ceremony (as in indigenous deer ceremonies), sacred timing, and evolution.
So what might be expected from such a “full hand” of earth energy? A happy gardner perhaps? Yes, perhaps – but Karen has managed to “shape”, to bring into being via her sun-in-hand birth energy, one of this planet’s most extraordinary collections of natural treasures. Amethyst, Quartz, Malachite, Fluorite, Amber, and even ancient Ammonites and Petrified Wood . . . these and so many more, often in stunningly gigantic sizes, can be found at Crystalworks in Vancouver – a gallery of fantastic minerals that enliven the spirit and inspire awe at every visit.
And Karen is not only a collector but also an artist – and it is here where the deer-related aspects of her 11 Manik’ gifts often shine through. Working with materials such as prehistoric antlers, ice age bones and shells, crystals, gem stones, ancient pottery shards, and feathers Karen creates “Medicine Art” – objects such as amulets, wands, and smudge fans that can help individuals to reconnect with the magic of the natural world. These are objects designed to enhance well being, nourish life, and exhilarate the spirit, in keeping with the “inspirational” mandate of her 11 Manik’ energy.
In tandem with this idea Karen is also a “guardian” of such treasures, reflective of the deer’s connection with the bounty of the earth. Through her work she not only honours the mineral kingdom but also those who have gone before, as in the ancient realms, bringing the two together in exquisite harmonies, thereby helping to illustrate and maintain the kind of “sacred balance” that is so often forgotten in contemporary life, but so greatly needed. This same sense of harmonization with the elements can also be seen in her unique photography, as in her mixed technique piece titled “Compassion” (shown above).
Intriguingly, 11 Manik’ was also the birth energy of the amazing Tatiana Proskouriakoff, the renowned archaeologist and illustrator who made significant contributions to decoding Maya history and to the decipherment of Mayan hieroglyphics in a career that spanned 50 years. She is particularly well known for her decipherment of the hieroglyphic carvings on the stone monuments at Piedras Negras and Yaxchilan.
So it would seem that one of 11 Manik’s special gifts is the ability to connect not only with the natural world, but also with the ancestors and the secrets in the rocks. I’m sure Tatiana would have appreciated Karen’s magnificent mineral collection as well as her easily-grasped understanding of the workings of the Maya calendar.
Happy Maya birthday Karen. Truly you are an “Inspirational Deer”.
For further information on Crystalworks and Karen’s Medicine art please visit www.crystalworks.ca
(Photos courtesy of Karen Lipsett-Kidd)