We are now officially into autumn, with days getting shorter and northern climes getting colder, and wetter, so the “darkness” aspect of the Ak’b’al trecena (the first full trecena of this fall) seems to fit right in with this shift. Many will be feeling this sense of “enclosing darkness” as this new season sets in. Some may feel discomfort or even foreboding, but others will sense that this is a good time for introspection and regrouping. And many, as in tens of thousands on the east coast and hundreds of thousands in Indonesia and China, will be dealing with the aftermath of the intense hurricanes that flattened so many regions during the past week or so.
In the Carolinas dangerous floodwaters are still threatening the region, with some rivers not expected to crest until well into this time frame. Large numbers of people in that region are still under evacuation orders, while record-breaking rains and severe floods continue to severely impact Oklahoma, Northern Texas, and Northern India. And for two towns in eastern Canada the darkness is very, very real as tens of thousands are currently without power (and many now without homes) after being hit by two powerful tornadoes.For so very many, this will be a time of great darkness. However, Ak’b’al also translates as “House”, “Temple” or “Sanctuary”, an energy that represents the flicker of light just before the dawn. Sanctuary will be needed by untold numbers of people and animals as these various crises play out.
From the perspective of Mesoamerican Calendrics 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 in order to navigate through the earthly realm.What often happens during this time frame is that things that may have been long festering can frequently come to a head, with significant consequences. Even the very first day of this time frame has seen dramatic developments along these lines, going all the way back to the Roman Empire. Both the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC and the sack of Rome in 410 AD took place under the influence of One Ak’b’al. That assassination, involving as many as sixty co-conspirators, has been seen historically as a turning point in “the crisis of the Roman Republic”, a crisis that triggered a civil war.
Amazingly, this was the energy in place in 1972 when the Watergate burglars were arrested, which ultimately led to the impeachment of President Nixon. Two years after that burglary this was the trecena that brought forth Nixon’s resignation.
The fates of many nations, including both the US and France, have been shaped by this time frame, with the ninth day being consequential for these two in particular. This was the energy frame in place in the spring of 1775 when Paul Revere made his midnight ride, with “the shot heard ‘round the world” kicking off the American Revolution. One cycle later one third of New York burned to the ground. Then, in 1789, precisely 20 Tzolk’in cycles after the first battle of the American Revolution, the people of Paris said “enough” and stormed the Bastille, under the influence of that same ninth day. And then there was the “Global Market meltdown” during this trecena in 2008.
One of the key aspects of this energy sequence is its emphasis on shedding light on “hidden secrets”, particularly as they relate to morality and ethics. This can certainly be seen in the exposing of the Watergate machinations in the early 1970’s, and then again in 2010 by the exposing (by WikiLeaks) of a hidden 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. Two years after that 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 were the ominous and frightening events that took place in Washington during this trecena in the spring of 2017, with massive protest marches taking place throughout the trecena both in the US and in many other parts of the world. For those keeping score – The Washington Post noted at that time that Trump had made 492 false or misleading claims in the first 100 days of his presidency, an average of 4-9 claims per day, on the same day as the SpaceX launch of a top secret US spy satellite. As if yet more spying was needed!! As of August 1st this year that number climbed to 4229 false or misleading claims in 558 days.And now, as this trecena comes into place once again, with only seven weeks remaining until the US midterm elections, those distressing currents of darkness that carry hidden secrets and deeply entrenched falsehoods associated with morality and ethics are swirling around voraciously in Washington as the fight over the current Supreme Court nominee continues to play out. For awhile it looked like the Ford vs Kavanaugh hearing would take place on One Ak’b’al but now that looks like it will happen a few days later, possible on 4 Kimi, which was the energy in place when Nixon resigned. For awhile it also looked like Paul Manafort’s second trial would begin on One Ak’b’al, but his guilty pleas eliminated the need for that. In any case, with so much going on with regard to the attempted coverups and the actual exposing of deep, dark secrets – including all that is going on with the Russia probe – the opening of this trecena will likely bring a number of new revelations with regard to the overall mess. However, despite that particular whirlpool of darkness, there are many “comfort” oriented events that will also take place during these days, including a number of important holidays and special festivals. These include China’s National Day holiday at the beginning of a “golden week” which will provide rest and refreshment for millions. There are also several “angel and saint” oriented days, days devoted to teachers, and days associated with animals such as World Animal Day on Oct. 4th.
During this period a great deal of activity associated with the work of the United Nations will also be taking place. When attention is given to things of “promise” it is much easier to “put darkness in its place”.
As always with this trecena, it provides important opportunities for strong questioning, deep soul-searching, and even “dreaming”. And, as noted above, this trecena has shown itself to be a time period that can even bring forth many vigorous calls for change. New alliances can be formed and new avenues for action can appear. As always, both courage and resolve will need to be mustered in order to work through the darkness and stand up to the dangers so that truth and justice can prevail. It is an opportune time for the unburdening and cleansing of “old issues” to make room for new possibilities. Here are the energies that will come into play:
1 Ak’b’al (Sept. 24th) – 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. As the fight over the current US Supreme Court nominee continues to play out at this time – with issues associated with morality and ethics being the subject of a vigorous battle – there is no doubt that this day (and several following days) will be critical in this regard, particularly as this day comes in just seven weeks before the US midterm elections.
At the present time considerable light will be seen in the darkness as the Full Harvest (or Corn) Moon takes its place, and Moon Cake Day is celebrated at the start of the Chinese Mid- Autumn Festival (or Moon festival). This might be seen as an Ides of March echo (as on the One Ak’b’al day when Julius Caesar was assassinated), as this was originally associated with the first full moon of the year.
This is also the opening day of Climate Week NYC, the day of the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2018, and the day of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, the UN General Assembly’s high-level plenary meeting on global peace, at which time the plenary will adopt a political declaration negotiated by Member States, on this day before the UN General Debate.
2 K’an (Sept. 25th ) – a dynamic type of energy often aligned with new possibilities, correlating at this time with a memorial service and march on Trump Tower to protest the paltry assistance given to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. This is also a Global Day of Action; the first day of the UN General Debate, at which time Iranian president Rouhani is expected to address the assembly (not yet confirmed); and the final day of Moscow’s Circle of Light festival.
Ten years ago this was the energy in place in early October, in the final days of the Bush administration, at the time of the “Global Market meltdown”, that was seen as a “contagion” that began the day before in Asia and spread around the world. At this time this is the day of the Monkey God/Monkey King Festival in China which can involve some incredible feats of endurance.
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, who will be 102 in December.
3 Chikchan (Sept. 26th) – “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. A tremendous number of high level meetings are happening at this time including WE day UN, the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, One Planet Summit, the UN’s International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, a UNGA high-level meeting on the fight against tuberculosis, the Sustainable Investment Forum North America involving over 300 participants, the 6th Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development, and a UN Security Council meeting (that will be chaired by Trump) to highlight Iran’s “violations of international law”. Forty-four years ago this was the energy in place when President Nixon gave his resignation address.
4 Kimi (Sept. 27th) – 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 Remember Me Thursday, a day that is the focal point for a global campaign to increase awareness of pet adoption organizations around the world, a campaign to help orphaned pets to find forever homes.
This is also the day of the UN’s comprehensive review of the progress achieved in the prevention and control of non- communicable diseases. Fourteen cycles since that dark day in 2008, during the continuing financial panic worldwide, when the situation was referred to as the “worst financial crisis since the 1930’s”. Three cycles since a number of senior Republicans signed an open letter declaring that Trump would put the national security and well-being of the U.S. at risk. And . . . 62 cycles since that infamous day in the summer of 1974 when President Nixon resigned after release of the proof of his covert involvement in the Watergate scandal. The scheduled date for the Ford vs. Kavanaugh hearing in front of the Senate Judicial Committee in Washington.
5 Manik’ (Sept. 28th) – a “blessing” or “precision” type of energy associated with reciprocity, on the UN’s International Day for Universal Access to Information. This also coincides with celebrations of Confucius’s birthday (sometimes called “Teacher’s Day” as Confucius is known as China’s “First Teacher”).
6 Lamat (Sept. 29th) – a “stabilizing” type of energy associated with the heralding of new ideas, coinciding at this time with Michelmas, the Feast of St. Michael and all the angels, with World Heart Day, and with the highly anticipated Beto O’Rourke campaign rally in Austin. On this day an “Impeachment Parade featuring a Baby Trump Balloon” will be held in Manhattan “to kick off a mass mobilization to remove Trump from office”.
7 Muluk (Sept. 30th) – a “self-generating”, pivotal, shape-shifting type of energy associated with water, in conjunction at this time with the last day of Climate Week NYC, and with Orange Shirt Day, which might also become a new statutory holiday – the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Maya birth energy of political cartoonist Henry Mayer who created “The Awakening” shown above.
8 Ok (Oct. 1st) – a “double sun” type of force, symbolic of the “resurrection of love, guidance, and loyalty”, coinciding at this time with the 60th anniversary of the day when NASA became operational and the opening day of the 69th International Astronautical Congress, this time in Breman, Germany. This is also China’s National Day holiday at the beginning of a “golden week”, a national seven day holiday that can often foment massive traffic jams due to the humungous movement of people.
9 Chuwen (Oct. 2nd) – “outwardly projecting creativity”, coinciding at this time with the Catholic Feast of the Guardian Angels (first observed in the 16th century). This was 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.
This current “9 Monkey” day coincides with the release of Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk, which highlights the extraordinarily inept transition process associated with the 2016 U.S. election and the totally disfunctional state of so many government departments ever since. It is also the release day for Stormy Daniels’ Full Disclosure book, a tell-all about her relationship with Trump. She is now the subject of a comic book published by Tidalwave Productions, as part of its “Political Power” series, but there have been a multitude of other cartoons as well.
10 Eb’ (Oct. 3rd) – “foundational animating vitality” – a likely time within this 13 day sequence to start seeing some significant stream-of-consciousness movement. This is the day when all Americans with a mobile phone will receive a message from the president in a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. In 1790 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).11 B’en (Oct. 4th) – “inspirational personal authority”, coinciding at this time with World Animal Day and the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, a time for many Blessing of the Animals events.
World Animal Day was initiated in 1931 at a convention of ecologists to highlight the plight of endangered species. Now sponsored by the UK based Naturewatch Foundation World Animal Day is observed annually as a tribute day for all animals. This is also National Poetry day in the UK.
Eleven B’en 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 energy 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. Two cycles ago (in 2017) White Flowers Alba was granted charitable status in Ireland, for the purpose of addressing long ignored child sexual abuse issues and “restoring dignity”.
12 Ix (Oct. 5th) – a “gathering together” type of energy oriented around earth forces, deep mysteries, and the power of transformation, in place on the day of the deadline set for the conclusion of the short-term FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh issue in the US. On a lighter note, this coincides perfectly with the opening of the British Library exhibition of “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” at the New York Historical Society (through to Jan. 27th). For Harry Potter fans this opening will be a major event.
This is also the UN’s World Habitat Day, World Teachers’ Day (celebrated globally by more than 100 nations), the final day of the 69th International Astronautical Congress, and the day of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Maya birth energy of disco queen Donna Summer who would have turned 70 this December.
In 1960 this was the energy in place at the time of the 9.5 Great Chilean earthquake, the largest of the 20th century.
13 Men (Oct. 6th) – transformational high vision; 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. On its last appearance, in mid January, this energy started the process of the shut down of the US government, the first modern government shutdown with both Congress and the White House controlled by the same party. This is the likely day for the US Senate vote for the controversial Supreme Court nominee.
[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.]