Aztec and Maya Calendar
Did you know?
Aztecs named a newborn child after its day (tonalli) of birth. The elemental forces ruling over that day strongly characterize a person and its destiny.
In the tonalpohualli, the sacred Aztec calendar, this day (Saturday, January 23, 1507 in the Julian calendar) is:
The significance of this dayDay Atl (Water) is governed by Xiuhtecuhtli, God of Fire, as its provider of tonalli (Shadow Soul) life energy. Atl is a day for purification by subjecting oneself to the ordeal of conflict. It is a good day for battle, a bad day for rest. Water brings out the scorpion, who must sting its enemies or else sting itself. Atl is the day of the holy war, which is always a battle with one's own enemies within.
This is the first of the nemontemi (five unlucky days) at the end of a xihuitl. These days are extra dangerous because they are at the end of a calendar round of 52 years (xiuhmolpilli or bundle). All fires are to be extinguished. No public events are organized. A New Fire ceremony will be held in the night after the fifth day to make sure the sun will rise again in a new xihuitl.
The thirteen day period (trecena) that starts with day 1-Tochtli (Rabbit) is ruled by Xiuhtecuhtli, Lord of the Year. Tochtli is the last trecena of the sacred year. It signifies the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one. These are 13 days associated with the mystical sacrifice proper to the vanguard of another age: it is an auspicious time, one great workers united in their goals; it is also a dangerous time, one of great risks requiring great courage and diligence. These days remind us of the old god, the first god, who both separates and unites the worlds of dreaming and waking: somewhere between winter and spring, something wakes in the dreaming heart which endures across the span of the cycling ages. These are good days to focus on the needs of others; bad days to focus on one's own needs.
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