DARKNESS – for many this is a fearful thing – a time of harshness, severeness, a time of mystery, a time when things hidden come to the fore and find their expression. For others darkness is an embrace – a time when the hubbub of the world is temporarily halted and momentary rest provides a chance to regroup, a respite from the tensions and pressures of the day.
Currently, in countless towns and cities, countries, and even continents hundreds of millions are trying to cope with the darkness of the winter, as deep cold, biting winds, and severe weather conditions present enormous challenges that test one’s ability to even survive. And now we have the energy of the Ak’b’al trecena in place at the same time, as the first full trecena of 2018. Not necessarily good news – but wait for it.
In terms of personal lives, darkness can descend in many ways, and be experienced in many forms, one of which is the loss of someone close, someone dear, someone precious, as is the case for me at the moment, with the loss of the namesake of this blog – my precious White Pup. During her 16+ years she had faced many challenges, many health issues had threatened to bring her down, but she always fought back and generally won. This time, however, she didn’t make it, and her loss is profound, a loss that has triggered the onslaught of a darkness the likes of which I have never before experienced. A shining light in its physical form has been extinguished and now I have to keep it safe and protected in my heart.
But as much as Ak’b’al can translate as Night or Darkness, it does not have to be about the fears or sorrows often associated with darkness and the night. This energy also translates as “House”, “Temple” or “Sanctuary”; it is an energy that represents the flicker of light just before the dawn, for there is also a “First Faint Light” aspect to it.
From the perspective of the Maya Calendar the overseer of this period is Itzpapálotl, the 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 to navigate through the earthly realm.
Many of us will have to work closely with her during this time frame, for many many reasons, be it the struggle to “get a grip” over a loss or a bereavement, the struggle to just get through the long, challenging wintery days that seem like endless night, or just the trials and tribulations of ordinary life. This energy is not here at this time to add to your difficulties, but rather to help you get through them. This energy can, indeed, function as a “safe place”, a “sanctuary” that can help you to find your way through the darkness, a faint flicker of light that can serve as an anchor before the “dawn” breaks through. Even now, so soon after the passing of my lovely Moon Goddess, I can feel and sense that light and it is awesome.Looking to the past, it seems quite significant that both the American and French revolutions began on the ninth day during this energy sequence. In the spring of 1775 Paul Revere made his midnight ride under that Nine Chuwen influence and “the shot heard ‘round the world” kicked off the American Revolution. One cycle later one third of New York burned to the ground during this energy frame.
Precisely 20 cycles after the first battle of the American Revolution the people of Paris said “enough” under the energy influence of that same ninth day and, in 1789, stormed the Bastille.
Indeed, this is an energy sequence that has shed light on a number of “hidden secrets”, as in the exposing of the Watergate incident during the early 1970’s that led to President Nixon’s impeachment, and the exposing (by WikiLeaks in 2010) of a cache of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables and classified documents pertaining to correspondence between U.S. diplomats and their allies and partners around the world. In May of 2012 this trecena saw tens of thousands of Occupy Wall Street activists clash with police in protest demonstrations across the U.S. and around the world as people vented their frustrations concerning austerity measures, tax hikes, and high unemployment.
And then there was last spring, and all the darkness that was gathering in Washington. It was ominous and frightening, but since then major forces have been amalgamating to counterbalance all that and it is entirely possible that some significant light will start to flicker within this trecena that will bring further hope as to how to start dissipating that darkness.
So here we are again with another opportunity for some strong questioning, some intense soul-searching; another opportunity to look carefully and deeply at the darkness to find ways to see through it to the light within and beyond. In the past this trecena has shown itself as a time period that can bring forth many vigorous calls for change. It is a time when new alliances can be formed and new avenues for action can appear.As always, what is needed at this time is courage, resolve, and considerable soul- searching in order to work through the darkness and stand up to the dangers so that truth and justice will prevail.
Let us also recall that Ak’b’al is often associated with “dreaming”, and with the exploration of deep mysteries. Again this would be a great time for reflection, for deep thought and good old-fashioned questioning, and for the unburdening and cleansing of “old issues” to make room for new possibilities. The third day of the trecena (3 Chikchan) marks the beginning of an important new “burner” period, this time aligned with “Lifeforce” so this may also signal new directions. By the time we get to 8 Ok (on Jan. 14th) huge amounts of love could come pouring through. With the return of India’s great festival of Makar Sakranti that will undoubtedly be the case in that part of the world. (If you are interested in making your own Sky Lantern at that time click here for instructions.)
Please note that during this particular period the numbers associated with the daysigns will be mirrored by the numbers related to the month, which currently happens to be the Maya 20 day month of Muwan, traditionally associated with the Full Moon and the Muwan bird, a variant of the owl. So the first day of the trecena is 1 Ak’b’al 1 Muwan, the second day is 2 K’an 2 Muwan; the third day 3 Chikchan 3 Muwan, and so on. This suggests that the nature of these numbers (ie. the energy force connected with the numbers) would also be doubled during this time. During this period these are the energies that will come into play:
1 Ak’b’al (Jan. 7th) – the “initiation” of “darkness” (or “contemplation”), in association with deep mysteries – the energy that was in place on that early morning in 1972 when the Watergate burglars were arrested, which ultimately led to the impeachment of President Nixon. At the present time this energy marks the third anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris (called “the darkest day in the history of the French press”). The target day for having the fires fully contained in California.
2 K’an (Jan. 8th) – a dynamic type of energy often aligned with new possibilities, correlating at this time with the 100th anniversary of the Fourteen Points presentation that President Woodrow Wilson made to the US Congress during which he outlined the principles to be used for peace negotiations to end World War I. This year this day would have marked Elvis Presley’s 83rd Gregorian birthday and David Bowie’s 71st birthday. Premier of the HBO documentary “David Bowie: The Last Five Years”. Also the Maya anniversary of the energy in place when Elvis was sworn into the U.S. army 60 years ago on March 24th. Maya birth energy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who put forth passionate calls for freedom, justice, and brotherhood during the 1960’s, and legendary actor Kirk Douglas.
3 Chikchan (Jan. 9th) – “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. Superior Conjunction of Venus with the Sun. As there is also a Sun-Pluto conjunction on this 3 Chikchan Burner Day, there could be “big happenings” at this time. Maya birth energy of actor/author, and “Star Wars” icon Carrie Fisher.
4 Kimi (Jan. 10th) – 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, this time in conjunction with the second anniversary of the death of David Bowie. One year since President Obama’s farewell address to the nation. Two cycles since senior Republican officials signed an open letter declaring that Trump would put the national security and well-being of the U.S. at risk. Maya birth energy of photographer James Balog, whose extraordinary images of disintegrating glaciers have provided some of the most dramatic evidence of world climate change.
5 Manik’ (Jan. 11th) – a “blessing” or “precision” type of energy associated with reciprocity at the time of a conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter, as Mercury enters Capricorn
6 Lamat (Jan. 12th) – a “stabilizing” type of energy associated with the heralding of new ideas
7 Muluk (Jan. 13th) – a “self-generating”, pivotal, shape-shifting type of energy associated with water8 Ok (Jan. 14th) – a “double sun” type of force, symbolic of the “resurrection of love, guidance, and loyalty”, coinciding at this time with the first day of India’s Makar Sankranti festival, a Hindu astrological “holy phase of transition” event that marks the return of the sun – and light – and wisdom. At this time one of the main activities is kite flying by day and the flying of stunning sky lanterns by night (See link). One cycle since the hundreds of People’s Climate Marches in cities around the world in the spring of 2017 (Click here for the continuing pledge and plan for 2018).
At this time this 8 Ok energy coincides with the seventh anniversary of the collapse of the Tunisian dictatorship that resulted from the first massive people power uprising/revolution of the Arab world, seen as the beginning of a revolutionary wave in 2011 that became known as the Arab Spring. This is also Alan Rickman’s Maya birthday and the second anniversary of his tragic passing.
9 Chuwen (Jan. 15th) “outwardly projecting creativity” – the energy in place in 1775 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 1968 Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination under this influence, and in January 2013 this energy was in place when U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden were sworn-in for the second time. At this present time this energy coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. day in the U.S.
10 Eb’ (Jan. 16th) – “foundational animating vitality” – a likely time within this 13 day sequence to start seeing some significant stream-of-consciousness movement. This was 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.
11 B’en (Jan. 17th) – “inspirational personal authority”, coinciding with the indominable Betty White’s 96th birthday. This was the energy in place in 2011 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. Maya Calendar birth energy of “The Godfather of Soul”, James Brown. It was under this same 11 B’en influence in 1977 that Elvis sang Unchained Melody on his final tour, two months before his death.
12 Ix (Jan. 18th) – a “gathering together” type of energy oriented around earth forces, deep mysteries, and the power of transformation, as was in place at the time of the 9.5 Great Chilean earthquake of 1960, the largest of the 20th century
13 Men (Jan. 19th) – transformational high vision (Eagle); a high-energy type of force that can be world-shaping, as was in place in 2014 when NASA tested a new Low Density Supersonic saucer-shaped vehicle designed to land on Mars. In Dec. 2015 this energy accompanied the largest ever gathering of world leaders.
[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.]