The Chuwen (Monkey) trecena: Nov. 16-28, 2017
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What is it/who is it that sits at the centre of the Tree of Life and weaves creation together? In Maya cosmology it is the playful, inventive, agile, and capricious Monkey deity who pulls the threads together and orchestrates the proliferation of life. And 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.While this tends to be a highly creative time frame, where almost anything is possible, it might be prudent to remember that the God of Pulque was seen, traditionally, as the principal patron of this trecena. As a deity associated with the fermented sap of the maguey plant, the base of the highly intoxicating pulque, he was often associated with “reckless abandon”, providing the reminder that play, art, and celebration are all important aspects of life.
Unfortunately there are times when it seems as if that deity gets out of hand, as happened two cycles ago when this trecena opened with the news that Russian government hackers had penetrated the DNC and stolen documents that were subsequently released by Wikileaks, with disastrous consequences. Not only did the Clinton campaign need to do damage control, but (in retrospect) it seemed like the beginning of a considerable amount of meddling with the US election process.
During this same time frame in June of 2016 the UK Brexit vote was taken, followed by the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Since then there has been much negotiating between the UK and the EU to try to determine how this would be done. The repercussions from both these events (the Wikileaks dump and the Brexit vote) are incalculable.
At the present time we are again embarking on the 13-day journey through this 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.
As we journey again through this trecena there will be many opportunities for play, artistry, and “reckless abandon”, and many opportunities to “think differently” or “go beyond the norm”. Indeed it is not unusual for this trecena to provide the 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. Amazingly, in March of 2012 this Two Eb’ energy was in place when a coronal mass ejection hit Earth after a massive solar tsunami erupted on the sun two days earlier. Three years later, in Jan. 2015, that same energy unleashed another flare on Two Eb’, that was followed exactly one cycle later (in late September of that year) with a third and very intense one 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 with Nov. 18th to 20th at this time) 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. This is the Maya birth energy of Oliver Stone, the legendary screenwriter/producer/director whose many projects (such as his “Untold History of the United States”) have done much to shed light on pressing social and political issues.
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.
One day of particular importance in 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.
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. Significantly this is the 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. In 2016 an article titled You (and Almost Everyone You Know) Owe Your Life to This Man was published by National Geographic. Last month he was posthumously awarded a “Future of Life” prize for averting global catastrophe.
Overall, this Chuwen trecena can challenge individuals to think differently, to try out new ideas, and to push forward into new, and even unorthodox, directions. It’s 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 (Nov. 16th) – Day of the Monkey, an “initiating” day associated with high creativity and the beginning of an important new time sequence, coinciding at this time with Louis Riel Day. Four 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. Two cycles since it was reported that Russian government hackers had penetrated the DNC and stolen research that the Democrats had on Trump. It was the Wikileaks release of those documents shortly thereafter that caused severe problems for Clinton during the election. One Chuwen is also cartoonist Lynne Johnson’s Maya birth energy.2 Eb’ (Nov. 17th) – “dynamic animating vitality”, in Maya mythology the energy that was in place when the first “stairway” was created that descended from the heavens as was in place at the time of the solar flares described above. This time this energy coincides with Guinness World Record Day (the 13th annual), and the closing of the 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. In 1965 this was the energy in place when President Lyndon Johnson’s delivered his historic “We Shall Overcome” speech to Congress.
3 B’en (Nov. 18th) – the “activation” of personal authority, as in the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the 32nd U.S. President in 1933. This coincides with the New Moon and the opening of the 35th annual Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara. Maya birth energy of the extraordinarily inventive Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets.
4 Ix (Nov. 19th) – a “defining” energy associated with the jaguar and the mysteries of the earth, one of the 4 energies at the centre of the Aztec Sun Stone. Four cycles since Charlie Hebdo published one million copies, instead of the usual 60,000.
5 Men (Nov. 20th) – a “targeting” or precision-oriented type of energy associated with the Eagle’s “higher vision”, on the 70th wedding anniverary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. 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 at the start of the U.S. Civil war in 1861.
6 Kib’ (Nov. 21st) – 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. Two cycles ago this energy coincided with the candlelit vigil at Lake Eola by 50,000 people, in remembrance of the Orlando massacre victims, at which time a rainbow appeared as the names of the victims were read. Director Oliver Stone’s Maya birthday.7 Kab’an (Nov. 22nd) – “self-generating movement”, an energy that, in the past, has accompanied a great deal of Earth-oriented action and movement, in place at the time of the 22nd International AIDS conference in Amsterdam. Fifty-four years since the John F. Kennedy assassination.
8 Etz’nab’ (Nov. 23rd) – the “resurrection of flint” – a knife-edged energy that can often be quite divisive or decisive, in place at the time of this year’s US Thanksgiving. One cycle since the worldwide International Women’s Day marches.
9 Kawak (Nov. 24th) – “outward projecting storm”, a possibility for significant weather events or for situations requiring great compassion. Maya birth energy of the renowned realist artist Andrew Wyeth, whose life work is being highlighted at the present time at both the Seattle Art Museum and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Maine.
10 Ajaw (Nov. 25th) – “foundational enlightenment” – an important Burner Day aligned with “taking the fire” in conjunction with Ajaw’s “full sun” energy, at the time of a Tun Shift (an important marker point) in the Maya Long Count Calendar. Two cycles since the Brexit vote in the UK. in 2016, and one cycle since the ousting of the South Korean president earlier this year. The Maya birth energies of both Julie Payette, the former astronaut who recently became Canada’s 29th Governor-General, and James Comey, the former FBI director who has been (and still is) one of the key figures in the current U.S. political storm.
11 Imix (Nov. 26th) – “inspirational new birth” (realm of all potential)
12 Ik’ (Nov. 27th) – a “dedicated” type of force associated with wind, breath, and spirit. The same type of energy that was in place in 1965 at the time of the historic civil rights (re voting rights) march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. 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. Two cycles since “Regrexit Day” in the UK, when many suddenly realized the implications of the Brexit vote.
13 Ak’b’al (Nov. 28th) – as the last day of this “creation sequence” trecena, this is a transformational energy aligned with deep esoteric mysteries. Translating as “temple”, “house”, and sometimes “darkness”, this is a powerful earth-oriented energy – the energy under which President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, precisely one cycle after the resignation of Robert E. Lee from the Union 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. As noted above, last month he was posthumously awarded a “Future of Life” prize for averting global catastrophe.
[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.]