This trecena begins with an astrological event that seems to be echoing events on this planet. This is the third Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in 2020, the final such conjunction until 2033. In Western astrology this would be seen as a juxtaposition between the highly expansive energies associated with Jupiter, the great benefic, and the darker, destructive-but-regenerative forces attributed to Pluto. And as this is in place at the beginning of the Ak’b’al (darkness) trecena, it would seem that those darker forces could have particular influence at this time. Over the next few weeks we will see various ways in which Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto dovetail with Maya Calendar events. Keep in mind that Jupiter is always in play at this time to keep things on the “hopeful” side, even during the darkness, and there are a number of events coming up that will also help to keep the focus on achieving “victory over darkness”.
Click here for the podcast to accompany this trecena.
Just before this trecena came into place late last February political commentator Rachel Maddow noted that “the dark days are here”, as she referenced the toxic political environment in the US where no one (not even in the justice system, the military, or the intelligence community) was free to do their job without fear of being attacked by the destructor-in-chief in the White House. At that time the coronavirus was really beginning to take hold, whole cities in China were under quarantine, and the rest of the world was anticipating the forthcoming devastating effect on global supply chains, travel, stock markets, and human interactions on multiple levels. Lack of leadership and lack of preparedness were looming large, and in the US, the White House no longer had a health security department that would normally have taken responsibility for coordinating international, national, state and local organisations in the case of a global pandemic.
Unfortunately, the dark days lasted much longer than the Ak’b’al trecena, as the US fast became the country with the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world. (To date over 240,000 people have died from it in that country alone, and, as this current trecena begins, close to 11 million cases have been identified in the US, over one-fifth of the global number of just over 51 million.) Last February all of that added to social and political unrest as people reacted to the situation, and expressed more and more concern about social inequalities, and reacted to the horrors being continuously perpetuated by the White House.
Now, one full cycle after the Ak’b’al trecena of last February, we are beginning to see signs of hope – big signs. First, of course, was the momentous triumph of Joe Biden winning the US presidential election during the last trecena, and then came the announcement that there has been significant breakthroughs in the development of a coronavirus vaccine. By the end of the last trecena President-Elect Biden had already put together a coronavirus task force, that will be ready to take action in January, immediately after his inauguration. The fact that no one knows “who’s who” in Washington better than Joe Biden and no one knows the system better, there is a sense that things will get off to a fast start once he takes over.
In the meantime . . . . there is still a period of deep darkness to get through, as the nefarious forces still in place in the White House and elsewhere have been attempting to dig in, not only making noises about not leaving, but even fomenting fears about a coup being staged. As Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta told CNN, this is essentially a “battle between denialism and reality” with the GOP supporting baseless fraud conspiracies tossed out by the destructor-in-chief as he “trashes what remains of his term in office” and continues to “toss out grenades from his social media bunker”. So what might we expect from the Ak’b’al trecena?
First, let’s look at the nature of this time period and the patron who oversees it.
Traditionally this 13-day period was seen as being oriented around “darkness”, “deep mysteries”, and challenges associated with ethics and morality. For the Aztec the overseer of this period was seen as Itzpapálotl, Obsidian Butterfly, who sometimes appears as a seductress but more often is shown with a skeletal visage and knife tipped wings, representative of her role as a fearsome warrior on the search for truth. Emblematic of the struggles of the soul as it strives to overcome the trials and tribulations of life, this deity was often associated with the subconscious, with moral and ethical issues, and with the sacrifices that often must be made in order to navigate through the earthly realm.
And that is what this trecena often “stirs up”, often exposing a cauldron of issues that need to be addressed. Most certainly this is what will be on the agenda at this time as the dark, dank muck associated with the Trump administration fights to hold on. The cauldron associated with all this is deep and doubtless there have been (and will be) attempts to bury much of it. But Itzpapálotl is fierce, and completely dedicated to uncovering “truth”. Sorting out “earth traumas” is her specialty, and even though she will be “unseen”, her energies will be very active at this time.
Three cycles ago, in the fall of 2018, many critical issues associated with morality and ethics were on full display during this trecena, particularly with regard to the Ford vs. Kavanaugh hearings related to that Supreme Court nomination. That was referred to as a “searing” moment in the #MeToo movement that fomented a huge backlash from thousands of people across the nation, including the law society and hundreds of lawyers.
As could be so clearly seen at that time, this is a time frame that often brings things that have been “long festering” to a head, with significant consequences. Going all the way back to the Roman Empire we find that both the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC and the sack of Rome in 410 AD took place under the influence of One Ak’b’al. That assassination, involving as many as sixty co-conspirators, has been seen historically as a turning point in “the crisis of the Roman Republic”, a crisis that triggered a civil war.
In 1968 Sen. Robert F. Kennedy made the decision to enter the US presidential race on the very first day of this trecena. He made the announcement six days later and gave his first campaign speech shortly thereafter. He was less than three months into his campaign when his life was tragically cut short. In 1972 the whole Watergate subterfuge began unravelling under this same influence, with the arrest of the Watergate burglars, which eventually led to the impeachment of President Nixon. Two years after the Watergate burglary this same Ak’b’al trecena brought forth Nixon’s resignation. This trecena’s emphasis on shedding light on “hidden secrets”, particularly as they relate to morality and ethics, was clearly observable at that time – and will certainly be this time as well, particularly with regard to government-level corruption.
Indeed two cycles ago, in June of last year, a massive #Impeach Trump National Day of Action took place in more than 100 cities and towns across the US, a precursor to the hearings that led to his impeachment. The resistance by the GOP-held Senate to the endorsement of that impeachment ruling, along with the denier-in-chief’s subsequent behaviour, fomented the very dark days that followed.
From the perspective of the current 52-day cycle that began in mid-October (with the theme of “evolutionary movement”), what happens during this period is still tied in with that “fate of nations” idea that was mentioned earlier. Indeed both the US and France have been shaped by these forces, with the ninth day being quite consequential in this regard. This was the energy frame in place in the spring of 1775 when “the shot heard ‘round the world” kicked off the American Revolution. One cycle later one third of New York burned to the ground. Then, in 1789, precisely 20 Tzolk’in cycles after the first battle of the American Revolution, the people of Paris said “enough” and stormed the Bastille. And then there was the “Global Market meltdown” during this trecena in 2008.
Looking back to those turbulent days in the late ‘60’s –early ‘70’s, we are reminded that “push-back” has often been a central theme during this period. At that time hundreds of thousands took to the streets and found their voices as they pushed back against tyranny, racism, and corruption. During that time the drive towards change was enormous, and – once again – people are demanding to be heard. This time, with the people having made their wishes known by turning out in record numbers and choosing Joe Biden to be the next US president, giving him the largest number of popular votes in the history of US elections (some 77 million votes thus far), the people are not going to stand for continuing shenanigans from the GOP for much longer. Fortunately, the very nature of this trecena is oriented around “rooting out” immoralities, and the “exposing” of issues, which should help to clear the way for the light that is to follow.
At this time, we even have some special light-oriented events that can help to set the tone, with Diwali celebrations in place during the first five days of the trecena. This would be an excellent time to “lean into” those celebrations, even if they may seem a little unfamiliar. Diwali is a scintillating (and highly popular) Hindu festival of light that celebrates the victory of “light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”. The more people who can bring their attention to these kinds of things, the greater the potential to overthrow the darkness. Honoring traditions of other cultures is also a great way to “spread the light and love”, and make connections that transcend cultural boundaries.
With Ak’b’al being so multifaceted, there will be many elements in play at this time – the “darkness” noted above, the idea of rooting out “deep secrets” or mysteries – including the intentional hiding of secrets, the idea of “House” (perhaps, at this time, rooting out “deep secrets” associated with the White House – as happened with Watergate), and the idea of “sanctuary” (perhaps, currently, tied in with the new waves of coronavirus and the lockdowns that are going into effect again globally).
As always, this trecena can provide important opportunities for strong questioning, deep soul-searching, and even “dreaming”. And certainly, with regard to the dramatic increase in numbers associated with the pandemic, it can re-emphasize the need to hunker down, to self-isolate, and to just plain find “sanctuary” until avenues are found to bring the numbers down. Here are the energies that will come into play:
1 Ak’b’al (Nov. 12th) – the “initiation” of “darkness” (or “contemplation”), in association with deep mysteries, coinciding at this time with this year’s third Jupiter-Pluto conjunction, a conjunction that will not happen again until 2033. In 1972 this was the energy in place in the early morning when the Watergate burglars were arrested, which ultimately led to the impeachment of President Nixon. One cycle ago (last February), as 60 cases of coronavirus were reported in the US, VP Mike Pence was put in charge of the coronavirus response in that country, even though, as governor of Indiana, he had slashed public health spending and delayed the introduction of needle exchanges, which led to that state’s worst outbreak of HIV. As of this day, one cycle later, there have been almost 11 million cases identified in the US, and some 240,000 people have died . . . and Pence’s coronavirus task force rarely meets.
At this time this is the first of five days of Diwali, the highly popular Hindu festival of light that celebrates the victory of “light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”. On this first day, known as Dhanteras, the goddess Lakshmi is the focus of much attention. As a goddess of prosperity, good fortune, wisdom, light, and spiritual rejuvenation, Lakshmi is one of the principal deities to preside over this “Day of Fortune”. Lord Dhanwantari, a Hindu deity associated with Ayurvedic medicine is also honoured at this time.
2 K’an (Nov. 13th) – a dynamic type of energy often aligned with new possibilities, on the third Calendar Round return of the day in 1864 when General Sherman and his 60,000 men completed their offensive march from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia during the US Civil War, arriving on the winter solstice. Savannah surrendered without resistance and was spared.
Currently this is the second day of Diwali, known as Naraka Chaturdasi (Day of Knowledge), associated with the triumph of good over evil. Beautiful rangolis made of materials such as coloured rice, sand, or flower petals are often made at this time.
This is the Maya birth energy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who put forth passionate calls for freedom, justice, and equality during the 1960’s.
3 Chikchan (Nov. 14th) – “the activation of lifeforce”; an important Burner Day oriented around the idea of “announcing the fire”, the type of energy that can sometimes “charge” people to take action, particularly if pressing issues suggest the need for consciousness raising. One cycle exactly since the super-spreader-in-chief called Covid-19 a Democratic hoax, even though – at that time – there had been 82,000 reported cases of Covid-19 worldwide and 2,800 deaths. By this time, currently, the global number of cases will likely be at least 52 million. In 1974 this was the energy in place when President Nixon gave his resignation address.
This is the third (and most significant) of the five days of Diwali, a time when festival lanterns and lights are set out everywhere to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of happiness, wealth, and good fortune into homes and other buildings. Lord Ganesha is also honoured at this time. And, as this is Children’s Day in India, this special day for increasing awareness of the rights, care, and education of children will tie in well.
This is also the opening day for the 38th annual Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara, called the “Longest Festival in the World”, which runs from now to Jan. 10, 2021. In addition this is World Diabetes Day, with this year’s theme being “The Nurse and Diabetes”.
4 Kimi (Nov. 15th) – a “defining” force associated with “absolute foundations” representative of the sun in combination with “death” or the point at which “all is revealed” so that regeneration can begin, exactly one cycle since (now President-Elect) Joe Biden began a huge comeback as he won the South Carolina primary and gave a thrilling speech which the Chicago Tribune called “a thundering victory”. That was the day (at the end of February) when laboratories and hospitals in the US were finally allowed to conduct their own Covid-19 tests to speed up the process.
Currently this energy is aligned with the New Moon, at the start of the Tihar Festival of Lights (similar to Diwali) in Nepal. In India this is the fourth day of Diwali, known as Annakut (the Hindu New Year). In Northern India this is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the god of thunder and rain. Food will be piled high in temples as offerings are made to Krishna. This is also the day of an historic SpaceX Crew Dragon launch.
At this point it has been 65 cycles since that infamous day in the summer of 1974 when President Nixon stepped down after the release of the proof of his covert involvement in the Watergate scandal.
5 Manik’ (Nov. 16th) – a “blessing” or “precision” type of energy associated with reciprocity, one cycle exactly since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in New York, and two cycles since the National Day of Action in June last year in more than 100 cities and towns across the US that called for an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Currently this is the final day of Diwali and the second day of the Tihar Festival in Nepal, known as the Kukur Puja, the “Day of the Dogs” when dogs are decked out with garlands, given special treats, and thanked for their faithful service, including their service in helping to provide a safe passage for departed souls on their journey to Heaven. A good day to celebrate your own Kukur Tihar with any four legged friend who specializes in bringing joy to the world.
This is UNESCO’s International Day for Tolerance as well as being Guinness World Record Day. In Mexico this is the day for the observance of Revolution Day, with the official day being Nov. 20th.
In Canada this day is commemorated by the Métis Nation as Louis Riel Day, as it is a
Gregorian anniversary of Métis leader Riel’s wrongful execution in 1885. Celebrations of Métis culture now coincide with this date. This is also the 30th Gregorian anniversary of the signing into law of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
6 Lamat (Nov. 17th) – a “structuring” type of energy associated with the heralding of new ideas, coinciding at this time with the third day of the Tihar Festival in Nepal, at the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. This is the release date for former President Obama’s new memoir titled A Promised Land.
Two cycles ago under this influence tens of millions of people across South American were left without electricity after a massive power failure left several countries almost completely in the dark (the Ak’b’al influence seemed to dominate at that time).
7 Muluk (Nov. 18th) – a “self-generating”, pivotal, shape-shifting type of energy associated with water – one cycle exactly since Super Tues. when Joe Biden won 10 out of the 14 Democratic primaries, including Texas. In 1968 this was the energy in place when Sen. Robert F. Kennedy announced that he would become a candidate in the US presidential race (his decision to do this was six days earlier, on the first day of this trecena).
This is also the Maya birth energy of historian Tim Snyder, the author of On Tyranny, who warned that Trump would attempt to take control of the government. One cycle since Nancy Pelosi bashed the nail on its head when she called Dump “the most dangerous person in the history of [the US]”.
8 Ok (Nov. 19th) – a “double sun” type of force, symbolic of the “resurrection of love, guidance, and loyalty”, coinciding at this time with International Men’s Day, and the UN’s World Philosophy Day, with its emphasis on the importance of deep thought and critical questioning. Look for the Young Moon close to Saturn and Jupiter in the night sky.
9 Chuwen (Nov. 20th) “outwardly projecting creativity”, coinciding at this time with President-Elect Joe Biden’s 78th Gregorian birthday, under the same energy influence as was in place in January of 2013 when U.S. President Barack Obama and then Vice-President Joe Biden were sworn-in for the second time. In 1775 this was the Maya Calendar energy in place at the start of the American Revolution and in 1789 when the Bastille was stormed in Paris, marking the beginning of the French Revolution. In 1987 this energy was in place when David Bowie played a concert in West Berlin, with East Germans singing along, which seemed to be a trigger for tearing down the Berlin wall.
This is also the 110th Gregorian anniversary of the start of the Mexican revolution in 1910, and the 22nd Gregorian anniversary of the launch of the Zarya Module in 1998, the first component of the International Space station. This day marks the Calendar Round return of the energy in place in 1968 when Elvis Presley began his “comeback”. This is also the UN’s Universal Children’s Day, the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (to remember those who have been lost as a result of transphobia), and the 73rd wedding anniverary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
It has now been three cycles since the New York Times published an explosive report that revealed that Trump was bankrolled (in multiple ways) by his father and that he spent much of the 1990’s participating in dubious tax evasion schemes. That was the day when US journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consultate in Istanbul.
10 Eb’ (Nov. 21st) – “foundational animating vitality”, coinciding at this time with the opening of the two-day G20 summit, in Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
It has been one cycle exactly since the global number of Covid-19 cases surpassed 100,000 as global stock markets tumbled. At that time Dump signed the $8.3 billion coronavirus bill and then used a “free-wheeling press conference” to lash out at Democrats and CNN. This was when a survey of US healthcare workers on the “front lines” revealed how “wildly unprepared” the US was for dealing with the outbreak. As of this time there were cases in more than 90 countries, and global supply chains were breaking down.
This was the energy in place three cycles ago, in 2018, when The New York Times published a letter signed by over 2400 law professors that said that Kavanaugh was not fit to sit on the Supreme Court, at the same time as some 300 Stop Kavanaugh vigils took place across the country, including a huge rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C., as people gave impassioned speeches and demanded that senators reject his nomination. (Nevertheless, these demands were disregarded by the Republican held Senate.)
This was also the energy in place when the sizzling 25 ton Aztec Calendar Stone was found by workmen repairing Mexico City’s Central Plaza (the Zócalo) in 1790, 230 years ago.
11 B’en (Nov. 22nd) – “inspirational personal authority”, on the closing of the G20 summit. This is the 57th Gregorian anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, precisely 80 Tzolk’in cycles + 20 days after that event. It is also the Maya Calendar birth energy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the highly ranked 32nd US President (a Democrat), who took office during the Great Depression and brought in a profusion of new programs designed to stimulate reform and economic recovery. In 2011 this was the energy in place when the 30 ft. tall memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled in Washington D.C.
In 2015 hundreds of thousands of people marched under this influence in more than 2500 demonstrations worldwide in one of the largest ever days of protest to call for action to deal with climate change, on the eve of the UN Climate Change conference.
At this current time it has been one cycle exactly since Italy imposed a strict lockdown, due to their rapidly rising number of coronavirus cases. Tragically, their case numbers have recently skyrocketed, passing the one million mark just a few days ago.
This day marks two Calendar Rounds since the end of the Battle of Verdun on Dec. 18th, 1916. That battle had lasted for 302 days, and was the longest battle of WWI.
12 Ix (Nov. 23rd) – a “gathering together” type of energy oriented around earth forces, deep mysteries, and the power of transformation, on the day when the 2020 presidential election results are certified in several states. In 2010 this was the energy in place when the historic Health Care Reform Bill – “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” was passed by the US House of Representatives.
In 1960 this was the energy in place at the time of the 9.5 Great Chilean earthquake, the largest of the 20th century.
13 Men (Nov. 24th) – transformational high vision; a high-energy type of force that can be world-shaping, as in 2015 when it coincided with the largest ever gathering of world leaders. But it also has the potential to be “dangerously intense” and cause-oriented as seen in 2016. That was the day (six cycles ago) when Steve Bannon (whom some saw as “the most dangerous political operative in America”) was appointed as Trump’s new campaign chairman, on the same day as Trump was given his first intelligence briefing as the Republican nominee (which included the caution that the Russians would try to infiltrate his campaign). By that time the FBI and CIA were already aware of contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, and were beginning to investigate further. They were already working on counter intelligence measures. Three cycles after that (on 13 Men in 2018) the US Senate voted to advance Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite an AVALANCHE of opposition.
This is an energy that can bring great change as could be seen two cycles ago (in 2019) when some 250,000 people from across the country gathered in central Prague to demand the resignation of the Czech Republic’s prime minister, in the biggest protest since the 1989 velvet revolution that ended communism in what was formerly Czechoslovakia. The last time this was in place (last March) Italy extended their coronavirus measures nationwide, as the entire country was put under quarantine. That was the day when the global stock market experienced its worst day since the financial crisis of 2008, with falls so dramatic that the day was dubbed “Black Monday”.
At this time, given that the many of the key 2020 presidential election results will be certified by this time, verifying Joe Biden’s win, it is anyone’s guess as to what kind of meltdown to expect from the White House.
[Please note that the brief descriptions of the days provided above are only “thumbnail sketches”. Much greater detail can be found in Manual for the Soul: A Guide to the Energies of Life.]