The Chuwen (Monkey) trecena: Aug. 3-15, 2018
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It has been hot, it has been intense, and for many this past trecena has been decisively life-changing. Deadly wildfires have been raging in several regions, and the battles to quench them will likely continue on throughout this new trecena. But, as always, there is a shift underway as the new trecena begins, and many new possibilities are being presented.
From the perspective of Maya calendrics the key figure (or force) at this time is the playful, inventive, agile, and capricious Monkey deity who sits at the centre of the Tree of Life and weaves the threads of creation together as he orchestrates the proliferation of life. It is this deity’s special Day of the Monkey, the key mid-point within the overall 260-day cycle, that begins this Chuwen trecena, marking the beginning of the “Creation” sequence of energies, when all things of heaven and earth were made.
This tends to be a highly creative time frame, where almost anything is possible. At times it can be highly play oriented – as it will be in many regions during this current period. But with the God of Pulque as the principal patron of this trecena, the temptation to go too “far out” can also factor into the picture. As a deity associated with the fermented sap of the maguey plant, this deity (this “concept”) was often associated with “intoxification” and even “reckless abandon”. So while the Monkey deity provides the reminder that play, art, and celebration are all important aspects of life, the patron of this time frame can sometimes push the envelope.
Certainly this could be seen three cycles ago (during the summer of 2016) when this trecena opened with the news that Russian officials had hacked into the DNC and stolen documents that were subsequently released by Wikileaks, which brought forth disastrous consequences in terms of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. During this same time frame that June the U.K. Brexit vote was taken, followed by the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Much has happened since those unexpected events in 2016, but now the tide appears to be turning as the first trial in the Russia investigation picks up steam.
Most assuredly this trecena can help people to find creative ways to take important steps towards much needed change, as happened exactly one cycle ago when the political situation in Zimbabwe was brought into focus. At that time impeachment proceedings were initiated against President Mugabe, who had been in power for far too long, which immediately triggered his resignation. At the present time, with the Paul Manafort trial underway and the concurrent Russia investigations still going on, much information is expected to come out that could shed considerably more light on the machinations that underpinned those 2016 events.
At this time there are a number of other events (of a much lighter nature) that are poised to coincide perfectly with this trecena. This includes the opening of the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, seen as the world’s largest celebration of arts and culture; Caribana in Toronto, with its flamboyant Grande Parade taking place on the second day of this trecena; Vancouver’s Pride parade on the third day; the Red Dress Run in New Orleans coming in on the ninth day; and Japan’s Obon Festival during this trecena’s final three days.At this time we are again embarking on a 13-day journey through a very special time frame that was seen traditionally as encompassing extraordinary productive power. This is the energy sequence that magically created the winal (a 20-day cycle that is a fundamental part of the 260-day Tzolk’in), so it was seen as a time of great artistry and creativity. And certainly, with these kinds of special events taking place at this time there will be many opportunities for play, artistry, and even “reckless abandon”, and even opportunities to “think differently” or “go beyond the norm”. As this is a new “creation” sequence it is not unusual for this trecena to provide conditions for the emergence of “new hope”.
As always, this trecena opens with the Day of the Monkey, seen in Maya mythology as the day when the Creator “raised himself to his divinity after he had made heaven and earth”. This was followed by Two Eb’, at which time the first “stairway” was created that descended from the heavens. In 2012 this was the energy in place when a coronal mass ejection hit Earth after a massive solar tsunami erupted on the sun two days earlier. Three years after that, in Jan. 2015, Two Eb’ unleashed another solar flare that was followed 259 days later (one day short of one cycle) with a third and very intense flare that delivered a wave of radiation that disrupted communications over South America and the Atlantic.
The third through fifth days (Three B’en through to Five Men, coinciding at this time with Aug. 5th-7th) were the days in the mythological creation sequence when many of the other things of the heavens, the seas, and the earth were made. Three B’en is particularly important as this was in place in 1933 during the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the 32nd President of the U.S., the individual who brought in the “New Deal” policies that so greatly helped to pull that country out of the Great Depression.
The sixth day of this sequence, known as Six Kib’, is the point where the “first light” came into being. This idea was illustrated vividly in October of 2010 during the rescue of the Chilean miners when a drill first broke through to the trapped miners in their underground chamber after they had been imprisoned by the earth for 66 days, signalling that rescue was very close at hand.
Seven Kab’an was thought of as the day when honey was first created. Translating as “self-generating movement”, this is an Earth-oriented energy that often can be highly action-oriented, as seen when the Global Work Party – the “largest day of environmental activism in history” – took place on a Seven Kab’an day that aligned with 10/10/10. At that time 7,000 communities in 188 countries participated in campaigns to plant trees, collect rubbish, and rally against pollution.
Of particular importance within this sequence is Ten Ajaw, a “Burner” day that can bring surprises, as it did with the Brexit vote in 2016. This is the Maya birth energy of Pope John Paul II and the energy that was in place when the 33 Chilean miners were finally rescued from their dreadful underground imprisonment in October of 2010, with the first miner coming to the surface just after midnight and the last miner bring pulled out 22 hours later, exactly spanning the day. An ancient Maya manuscript refers to Ten Ajaw as being a day “when wicked men went to the lower world”, which curiously ties in with that rescue as the lower world certainly factored into the picture when the miners were extracted from that deep pit. Currently the Ten Ajaw surprise seems to be the fact that two figures currently tied in with evolving political events – Michael Cohen and James Comey – were born under this same influence. It will be interesting to see if they factor into the news again during this energy sequence.
In deep mythology the day known as Twelve Ik’ was seen as the day in which the breath of life was created. This is a “collecting together” type of force associated with Wind, Breath, and Spirit, which can be strongly aligned with communication. This was the energy in place on May 1st in 1893, the first day of the Maya year, at that time of the opening of the Chicago World’s Fair which showcased the first major display of AC lighting – precisely 19 cycles, to the day, after Thomas Edison managed to get an electric light bulb to glow for a sustained period.Thirteen Ak’bal (“transformational temple or house”), the final day of the trecena, is referred to in the Maya creation legend as the calendrical energy that brought forth the creation of the first human. This can be a very high-powered force, an energy that can be highly consequential in terms of the fate of the human race as a whole. At this time this energy will mark the third and final day of the Obon Festival of Souls in Japan, which will involve the lighting of bonfires and the floating of lanterns to bid spirits farewell.
As always this Chuwen trecena can challenge individuals to think differently, to try out new ideas, and to push forward into new, and even unorthodox, directions. With many fascinating events scheduled for this time frame there will be many, many opportunities for unfettered creative expression at this time. Moreover, it can be seen as a time when even “miracles” are possible as the “Monkey-God” plays with time and opens the door to new possibilities. During this time frame these are the energies that come into play:
1 Chuwen (Aug. 3rd) – Day of the Monkey, an “initiating” day associated with high creativity and the beginning of an important new time sequence, on the second Calendar Round (“New Fire”) anniversary of the huge Women’s Peace anti-war parade in New York in late August of 1914, just after the beginning of World War I.
It was an unusual demonstration, as hundreds of women from all walks of life, dressed as mourners, slowly made their way down 5th Avenue, in a sombre March for Peace, in solidarily with thousands who were protesting around the world during the month of August that year.
Currently this day marks five 260-day cycles since 3.7 million people participated in the 2015 March for Liberty and Freedom of Expression in Paris and across France in defiance of the horrific attack against Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists. Three cycles since it was reported that Russian government hackers had hacked into the DNC, precipitating the Wikileaks release of those documents shortly thereafter, which, in turn, triggered the disastrous upset for Hillary Clinton during the election.
Currently this energy is perfectly timed to coincide with the opening of the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, seen as the world’s largest celebration of arts and culture, with thousands of shows in more than 250 venues.
This is also the legendary Tony Bennett’s 92nd Gregorian birthday. In June he attended the unveiling of a block party in his honour in front of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where a street was renamed Tony Bennett Way in his honour. Earlier this year he was also awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin prize for his lifetime musical achievements.
2 Eb’ (Aug. 4th) – “dynamic animating vitality”, in Maya mythology the energy that was in place when the first “stairway” was created that descended from the heavens. It was under this influence that the opulent new 430,000 square foot Museum of the Bible opened in Washington D.C. last November.
Currently this energy coincides with Caribana weekend in Toronto, with all its diverse festival events, including Caribana’s lavish Grande Parade. In Vancouver Pride weekend will get into full swing, as well as the Powell Street Festival, now into its 42nd year. This is also the opening day for Anirevo, Vancouver’s premier Anime convention, billed as a celebration of Japan Pop Culture.
3 B’en (Aug. 5th) – the “activation” of personal authority, on the 40th anniversary of Vancouver’s Pride Parade, with some 600,000 people expected to attend, and the last day of the 2018 Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. In 1933 this was in place at the time of the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the 32nd U.S. President. Maya birth energy of the extraordinarily inventive Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets.
4 Ix (Aug. 6th) – a “defining” energy associated with the jaguar and the mysteries of the earth, one of the four energies at the centre of the Aztec Sun Stone, coinciding at this time with B.C. Day, with Heritage Day in Alberta, with Terry Fox Day in Manitoba, and with the final day of Caribana Toronto. This is also the 73rd anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb attack and the opening of the launch window for NASA’s Solar Probe Plus (Aug. 6-19) aka the Parker Solar Probe (the solar heliophysics orbiter) named after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker. The probe will come within 4 million miles of the Sun’s surface and endure temperatures of about 2500C. See below (to 10 Ajaw) re the actual launch date.5 Men (Aug. 7th) – a “targeting” or precision-oriented type of energy associated with the Eagle’s “higher vision”, This was the energy in place in 1965 when Soviet Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov made the first space walk, from Voskhod 2. This was also the energy in place when opening shots kicked off the U.S. Civil war in 1861.
6 Kib’ (Aug. 8th) – a “stabilizing” type of energy that can force one to “think differently”, often triggering some kind of “restoration of order”; the energy that brought in the “first light” during the creation sequence.
7 Kab’an (Aug. 9th) – “self-generating movement”, an energy that, in the past, has accompanied a great deal of Earth-oriented action and movement, currently in place at the peak of the Perseids Meteor Shower (to Aug. 13th). At this time this energy coincides with the 73rd anniversary of the Nagasaki bomb attack and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
8 Etz’nab (Aug. 10th) – the “resurrection of flint” – a knife-edged energy that can often be quite divisive or decisive, coinciding at this time with World Lion Day.
9 Kawak (Aug. 11th) – “outward projecting storm”; a possibility for significant weather events or for situations requiring great compassion, coinciding at this time with a partial solar eclipse and the New Moon, and with the Red Dress Run in New Orleans. Maya birth energy of Herbert Kalmbach, Richard Nixon’s personal lawyer, who went to jail for crimes associated with Watergate. It is noteworthy that tomorrow is the Maya birth energy of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, who is currently under investigation.
10 Ajaw (Aug. 12th) – “foundational enlightenment” – an important Burner Day aligned with “taking the fire” in conjunction with Ajaw’s “full sun” energy. Launch date for the Parker Solar Probe to embark on its journey to “touch the sun”.
Three cycles since the Brexit vote in the UK. in 2016. The Maya birth energies of both Michael Cohen, as noted above, and James Comey, the former FBI director who has been one of the key figures in the controversies relating to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In addition this is World Elephant Day and the UN’s International Youth Day, with its theme this year being “Safe Spaces for Youth”.11 Imix (Aug. 13th) – “inspirational new birth” (realm of all potential), coinciding at this time with the first day of Obon, the Festival of Souls, a Japanese Buddhist festival during which rituals and celebrations are performed to honour the spirits of ancestors. On this first day fires and lanterns are lit to guide spirits home and altars of fruit, incense, and flowers are set up. Ancestral tombs are cleaned and decorated, prayer services are held at temples, and special meals are prepared.
12 Ik’ (Aug. 14th) – a “dedicated” type of force associated with wind, breath, and spirit, on the second day of the Obon Festival. Referred to as Bon Odori, this is a day dedicated to dance and performances related to the ancestors. Click here for five different Obon festivals. Click here for more information on the Bon festival.
In general this is an excellent type of energy for conferencing or “putting heads together” to develop or share ideas, to “rally round” an idea or issue, and to make voices heard. Currently the 71st Gregorian anniversary of Pakistan’s independence.
13 Ak’b’al (Aug. 15th) as the last day of this “creation sequence” trecena, this is a transformational energy aligned with deep esoteric mysteries, coinciding with the final day of Obon with the lighting of bonfires and the floating of lanterns to bid spirits farewell. Translating as “temple”, “house”, and sometimes “darkness”, this 13 Ak’b’al force is a powerful earth-oriented energy, in place at this time precisely three Calendar Rounds (3 x 52 years) after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, exactly one 260-day cycle after the resignation of Robert E. Lee from the Union Army before he become a commander of the Confederate army.
Maya birth energy of Vasili Arkhipov, the Soviet naval officer who is credited with preventing a Soviet nuclear strike during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Last fall he was posthumously awarded a “Future of Life” prize for averting global catastrophe.
Currently this transformational 13 Ak’b’al energy is in place on the 71st anniversary of India’s Independence. This is also National Liberation Day in Korea, the only Korean public holiday celebrated by both North and South. This is an energy that often brings forth severe weather conditions.
[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.]