Do you remember the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics back in 2014? It was an glitzy extravaganza that opened on the first day of this B’en, “personal authority” oriented, time frame. At a cost of over $50 billion, it was the most expensive Olympics ever, attended by athletes from 88 countries, with a record worldwide broadcast of 2.1 billion people. One of the purposes of this grand display, of course, was to highlight the achievements of 21st century Russia. President Putin was heavily involved in this and it was orchestrated to be a showcase. But it was also a Putin-arranged powerplay, a kind of shell game, meant to divert attention away from what he was orchestrating elsewhere, as his military forces were preparing to invade the Crimean peninsula.
That was 11 cycles ago, and it seems that once again we are getting an echo, as Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy claimed last week that his country’s intelligence service has uncovered plans for a Russia-backed coup d’etat in his country set for Dec. 8-9, right after this trecena begins, involving one of Ukraine‘s richest oligarchs. It appears that One B’en, the first day of this time frame, will be critical as that is when President Biden will be speaking with President Putin, via video conference, about the large buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine’s border, in an effort to ease tensions with regard to that suspected forthcoming Russian offensive. The US has promised to impose high impact economic sanctions against Russia if that situation becomes more than just brinkmanship.
Representative of the “initiation” of “self determination”, the energy of One B’en (aka One Reed) marks the beginning of the second 52-day period within the 260 day Tzolk’in. This is a force that often presents itself in bold ways, picking up the banner of authority, so to speak, and pointing towards new kinds of action that will play out over the next 52 day period (4 trecenas).
Generally represented by robust growing corn, symbolic of strong self determination and “personal authority”, that sense of “strong energy pushing through” is highly representative of both the B’en daysign and this period as a whole. Many “pillar-like” symbols tie in with this idea, as could be seen in 2020 during this trecena when the symbolic nature of statues became the focus of attention during Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
But it seems that Mother Earth likes to push strong energy through as well during this period, as she did in 2018 when this trecena began with a “big bang” as Mount Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii shot a plume of ash more than 9 kilometers into the sky. That was a highly visible illustration of the “personal authority” of that mountain, as it sent its “pillar” of fire and ash “sky high”. Last March it was the Fagradalsfjall volcano, near Reykjavik in Iceland, that drew worldwide attention, as it picked up steam after erupting two days before this trecena began, in its first eruption in almost 800 years. At the same time – on the very first day of this time frame – the Pacaya volcano in Guatemala sent an ash plume straight up like a huge billowing dark grey pillar rising to some 20,000 ft. Mount Merai in Indonesia was also shooting ash plumes high into the air at that time. In 2014 it was Mount Kelud in Indonesia that erupted during this period. And now, as this trecena opens, we see dramatic rescue efforts taking place as people rush to find survivors of the violent eruption of Mount Semeru, on Java, after its eruption two days ago, which buried whole villages in volcanic ash.
As we begin this second 52-day period within the 260-day cycle, we find that the pandemic is taking a turn toward yet another coronavirus variant, termed the Omicron, which is spreading so rapidly that a whole new set of combat measures may need to be implemented. As it happens it was during this trecena last spring when the Delta variant was first identified in the UK.
The numbers over this past cycle have escalated significantly. The US alone has registered over 50 million cases, with over 800,000 deaths; the UK has registered over 10 million cases, and many countries in Europe are registering five-digit numbers on a daily basis.
Writing in the Observer on Dec. 4th, Sir Jeremy Farrar, one of Britain’s senior scientists, warned that the emergence of the Omicron variant shows that the world is “closer to the start of the pandemic than the end”. He lamented the lack of political leadership over Covid and the unwillingness of governments to address inequitable access to vaccines, tests, and treatment. As he put it, rich countries have been taking “a very blinkered domestic focus, lulled into thinking that the worst of the pandemic was behind us”. What is needed, it appears, is a much more solid approach to stopping the spread in largely unvaccinated populations globally. And, of course, individuals themselves need to step up, as well, to take more personal responsibility for helping to find solutions rather than (for too many) contributing to the problem.
It was one cycle ago as of the second day of this trecena when the UK held its first National Day of Reflection, as hundreds of groups and organizations observed a minute of silence at noon in remembrance of the 126,000 in the UK who had died by that time due to the pandemic. Across the UK landmarks were lit up and millions lit candles from their doorsteps and shone lights from torches and phones to create a “beacon of remembrance”.
The “self determination” aspect associated with this time frame often shows up quite vividly during this period as well, with individuals often stepping forth to “claim” authority. Often this can be seen from the perspective of leadership, associated with the idea of “standing up for justice and equality” – an idea which has often manifested through the “stepping forward” of individuals who reveal themselves to be very much aligned with justice and human rights.
Indeed, it was the first day of this trecena in early January of 1960 when John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy and initiated his campaign for the US presidency. This was also the energy in place in 2011 when President Obama announced that he would be running for a second term as U.S. president. Abraham Lincoln was not only born during this trecena, but the final phase of his funeral events, followed by his interment, also took place during this time period. And currently we see that the reins of power in Germany will be handed over at this time as Olaf Scholz replaces Germany’s long-serving chancellor Angela Merkel.
Traditionally the patrons of this B’en trecena were seen as being highly oriented around the idea of cleansing and “purification”, which often involves a shifting of energies to clear out stagnation. Indeed the principal patron of this time period is Chalchiuhtlicue, the Goddess of Running Water, associated with the cleansing waters of the earth. She is sometimes accompanied by Tlazoltéotl, the “Great Mother” goddess who not only represents fertility, but also forgiveness and healing. Often some sense of “renewed vitality” can be felt during this time frame.
And certainly these are the kinds of energies that will be working in favour of the First Nations delegation from Canada that will be travelling to the Vatican during this trecena to meet with Pope Francis, on a long awaited mission to “enlighten him” about the legacy of Catholic-run residential schools. This will be an important step as these “warriors for justice and equality” work towards facilitating some kind of reconciliation with regard to the dreadful abuses suffered by thousands of First Nations children over many decades at the hands of those who were in charge of those schools. As it happens, this trecena opens precisely 11 cycles after Ottawa’s unveiling (in 2014) of a $1.9 billion plan as funding towards First Nations education, including recognition of aboriginal control over their own schooling.
As we step forward into this new energy zone, here are the energies that will come into play:
1 B’en (Dec. 7th) – the “initiation” of personal authority, an important 52-day Shift-point within the 260-day cycle, at the beginning of a time frame that is often associated with some significant form of social or political adjustment, or some important announcement. In early 1960 this was the energy in place when John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy and initiated his campaign for the U.S. Presidency. In 2011 this was the energy in place when President Obama announced that he would be running for his second term as president.
Currently this is the day when President Biden will be speaking with President Putin about the buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine’s border in an effort to ease tensions with regard to a suspected forthcoming Russian offensive against Ukraine.
This is also National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the 80th Gregorian anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It is also the UN’s International Civil Aviation Day which celebrates the impact that civil aviation has had on the world.
This is the first day of a three-day virtual conference during which First Nations leaders, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Women, Youth and Veterans from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada will gather for discussions prior to delegates from various groups travelling to the Vatican later during this trecena to meet with Pope Francis.
This is also the day when the UK government is introducing new travel rules with regard to the coronavirus, including the requirement of pre-departure covid tests for people travelling to the UK, given that rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the virus. Travellers will now need to self-isolate after arrival in the UK to await results of a PCR test, and will need to fill in passenger locator forms. Those arriving from countries on the “red travel list” and those who are not vaccinated will need to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.
2 Ix (Dec. 8th) – a dynamic type of energy aligned with “jaguar” earth mysteries and transformation, on the swearing-in day for Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz who will replace Germany’s long-serving chancellor Angela Merkel. Scholz will head the “traffic light coalition”, named after the three parties who will jointly form the new government that plans to make tackling climate change a priority. This is also the Maya birth energy of António Guterres, the current Secretary-General of the U.N.
In addition, this is the 30th Gregorian anniversary of the signing of the Belovezha Accords in 1991, an agreement that declared the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
This marks two years since one of the first cases of coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, China, and one year since the UK began its Covid-19 vaccine program. On the last appearance of this 2 Ix energy (last March) the UK held its first National Day of Reflection, in memory of the 126,000 in the UK who had died during the pandemic up to that point. Since then another 20,000 deaths from covid have taken place in the UK, with the number of cases in that region topping well over 10 million.
But, in France, the city of Lyon is making an effort to bring some light into the darkness as their glorious Festival of Lights (Fête des Lumières) gets going on this day. This day also coincides with the Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and with Bodhi Day in Japan, aka rohatsu, a day wherein Zen monks conduct ceremonies to commemorate Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment.
3 Men (Dec. 9th) – the “activation of Higher Vision”; a Burner Day oriented around “announcing the fire” at the beginning of the “Eagle” burner sequence, an energy that sometimes heralds the nature of some important forthcoming event or challenge. This coincides at this time with the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day, and with the opening of the 2-day virtual Democracy Summit involving over 100 world leaders and private-sectors representatives that aims to stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide, organized by President Biden’s State Dept.
This marks precisely 11 cycles since some 70,000 pro-Western Ukrainians rallied in Kiev’s Independence Square in Ukraine in 2014 in a major push to oust President Viktor Yanukovych over his alliance with Russia.
In 2015 this was the energy in place when Iran and six world nations brought an end to a 12-year stand-off when they reached an historic agreement to place strict restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and enable sanctions against Iran to be lifted. One cycle after that, early in 2016, this energy brought the opening of the Nuclear Security Summit that was attended by world leaders from more than 50 countries and 4 international organizations (but boycotted by Putin), in the fourth and final nuclear summit initiated by President Obama.
Three cycles ago, in 2019, this energy was in place at the time of the enthronement ceremony for Emperor Naruhito, the 126th Emperor of Japan, which was seen as a supreme act of “personal authority” as he officially proclaimed his own enthronement, with dignitaries from over 190 countries and international organizations in attendance for the elaborate event.
Seven cycles ago (in December of 2016) this was in place when US intelligence agencies announced that they had overwhelming evidence that Russian operatives linked to the Kremlin were behind the hacking of the presidential election that had just taken place.
Currently this is Dame Judi Dench’s 87th Gregorian birthday. Happy birthday Dame Judi!
4 Kib’ (Dec. 10th) – a “defining” day associated with the restoration of order; often a “getting down to business” type of force, coinciding at this time with the UN’s Human Rights Day and its International Day of Neutrality, on the 73rd Gregorian anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.
This was the energy influence in place in 1922 when the treaty was signed on the formation of the USSR, aka the Soviet Union. In 1947 the UN passed a resolution under this energy influence to divide Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, with Jerusalem as an internationalized city. And in 1979 this was the influence in place when the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed after intense negotiations the year before (the 1978 Camp David Accords).
Currently this is the day of the awards ceremony for the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize, in Oslo, Norway. It is also the last day of the World Ocean Summit that began on Dec. 6th. On the Christmas entertainment front, this is the opening day for Steven Spielberg’s movie adaptation of the classic musical “West Side Story”.
5 Kab’an (Dec. 11th) – a “pivotal” type of energy associated with evolutionary movement, coinciding at this time with UNICEF Day and the UN’s International Mountain Day, with the theme of Sustainable Mountain Tourism.
This is the 90th Gregorian anniversary of the establishment of the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1931, through an act of the Parliament in the United Kingdom. It’s also the 80th Gregorian anniversary of the Nazi declaration of war against the US, and the US declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1941.
In 2008 this was the energy in place when the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in Canada. The work of that commission was completed in 2015 but many more “truths” in that regard have been revealed this year, and there is much more to be done to fully implement the recommendations that came out of those investigations.
At this time this is the unstoppable Rita Moreno’s 90th Gregorian birthday. Her career as an entertainer has spanned eight decades, and she has won Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, and Tony
awards as well as being given the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2010. She
received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2014. She is one of the executive producers for the new “West Side Story” that is just opening.
6 Etz’nab’ (Dec. 12th) – a “six directions”, “knife edge” type of energy often associated with
“separation” that can often be quite attention-getting, as it was one cycle ago when Mount
Merai, Indonesia’s most active volcano, aka the “Mountain of Fire” on the island of Java, erupted again, shooting ash plumes more than 600 feet in the air, and sending pyroclastic flows and rivers of lava down its slopes. At that time the Pacaya volcano in Guatemala was also very active as it sent forth strong eruptions, ash clouds, and rivers of lava. Currently this energy is coming in just 8 days after the violent eruption of Mount Semeru, also on Java, which destroyed hundreds of homes and buried villages in volcanic ash, rocks, mud, and other debris. The area is still highly unstable and in great danger of further pyroclastic events.
This is also the UN’s International Universal Health Coverage Day, dedicated to promoting collective action to build more equitable health systems for everyone on the planet. The need for this has never been more apparent as this day marks two years since “a new viral outbreak” of the coronavirus was first detected on Dec. 12, 2019 (but not broadcast in China for several more weeks). One year later the global number of cases had reached over 72 million, and at the current rate of increase the total will likely have escalated to over 270 million by this day.
Currently this is the Feast Day for Tonantzin, Our Lady of Guadaloupe (patroness of the Americas), which is celebrated in Mexico and in many other Latin American communities. In conjunction with this feast day many churches in Canada honour this with a National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.
It is also the Maya birth energy of Michael Collins, who piloted the Command Module for the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. He died this past spring at age 90.
7 Kawak (Dec. 13th) – “self-generating storm”, an energy that could bring intense weather or potentially manifest as a “storm of compassion” or a “storm of passion” oriented around a cause, coinciding at this time with the American Horse Council’s National Horse Day, a day to celebrate the economic, historic, and cultural contributions made by horses over hundreds of years. This is the peak of the Geminids meteor shower (to Dec. 14th), known as the “king of meteor showers”, associated with the 3200 Phaeton asteroid – named after Phaëton, the son of the Greek-named sun god Helios – that travels closer to the sun than any other asteroid . . . going into the early morning of the following day.
In May of 1865 this was the energy in place when the Confederate Government in the US was offically dissolved, prior to the final surrender of Confederate forces.
8 Ajaw (Dec. 14th) – “resurrection” of the sun and “enlightenment”, six cycles since the sun unleashed two powerful X-class solar flares, with the second being the most powerful in more than a decade, resulting in a “wide area of blackouts” over the sunlit side of Earth. At that time massive wildfires were raging across eight western states as well as in B.C.’s interior.
This marks 11 cycles since the eruption of Mount Kelud in Indonesia that sent smoke and ash 10 miles into the air and across the island of Java, and forced 100,000 people to evacuate. The blast could be heard 125 miles away.
This also marks one year since coronavirus vaccines began to be distributed and given in the US and Canada, but that was also the day when the Delta variant was identified in the UK.
One cycle exactly since 24 world leaders called for a new global settlement to help the world prepare for future pandemics, as they emphasized that a treaty similar to that reached in the wake of World War Two was needed to build cross-border cooperation. The signatories, that included the head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that following the devastation of two world wars, political leaders came together to forge a multilateral system to bring countries together, to “dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism”, and to address the challenges that could only be achieved together in the spirit of solidarity and co-operation.
That was the day when work began on the National Covid Memorial Wall in London, as bereaved families and friends of Covid-19 victims began work on a memorial to their loved ones, painting the first of nearly 150,000 red hearts – one for everyone in Britain who has died by that point. Since then plans are in place to create “a lasting, living” memorial garden near the London Olympic Stadium to honour the victims of the pandemic, and create a space for reflection.
Currently this is National Energy Conservation Day and International Monkey Day, a celebration of “all things simian”.
9 Imix (Dec. 15th) – “immortal” birth/the realm of all potential – a force that could have a far reaching influence, as was seen in 2015 when, under this influence, NASA released the first image of Earth from its Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite, showing Earth from one million miles away.
10 Ik’ (Dec. 16th) – “foundational wind/breath/spirit” – an energy highly aligned with Source and with things pertaining to the air, to communication, and to things of a spiritual nature. At this point the energy of this day (10 Ik’ aka 10 Wind) coincides with the Maya year which is also known as 10 Ik’. It is also the start of a new Maya month.
This marks one cycle since President Biden announced an historic $2.3tn infrastructure plan, known as the American Jobs Plan, that was seen as “a once in a generation spending plan” that included more than $600bn for such things as modernizing roads, repairing bridges, and tackling climate change. After much debate part of that plan was recently passed and signed into law.
This is also the Maya Calendar anniversary of the energy in place when New York honoured Col. John Glenn with a huge ticker-tape parade after his historic first space flight aboard Friendship 7 in 1962, on the first day of this trecena.
11 Ak’b’al (Dec. 17th) – “inspirational night” or “inspirational temple of mysteries”, a force often aligned with deep thought – or even “blackness”, but also a good day to enjoy the sanctuary of home or temple, or to give “deep thought” to something of an inspirational nature. This is the day, which happens to be Pope Francis’s 85th birthday, when Canada’s Inuit delegation is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
12 K’an (Dec. 18th) – a “dedicated” type of energy often associated with youthful vitality and the joyful celebration of life’s bounties, coinciding at this time with the last Full Moon of the year. This is the Full Cold Moon aka the Snow Moon, the Hoar Frost Moon (Cree), the Moon of the Popping Trees, and the Long Night Moon since it rises during one of the longest nights of the year. This moon shines particularly brightly at this time.
This is also the UN’s International Migrants Day and legendary rock star Keith Richards’ 78th Gregorian birthday.
13 Chikchan (Dec. 19th) – “transformational lifeforce”; an intense and often impassioned energy, coinciding at this time with the Calendar Round return of the 13 Chikchan 3 K’ank’in energies that were in place in 1970 when the National Environmental Policy Act was signed into law in the US, requiring federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions.
This day marks two cycles since the deaths of US Congressman John Lewis and the Rev. C.T. Vivian, both fierce warriors, both indefatigable icons of the civil rights movement. Two cycles ago this was the energy in place when Captain Tom Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for raising over £32 million for the National Health Service charities in the UK.
[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.]