8 IK

Today is 8 Iq’ (Ik in Yucatec). This is the day of the wind.

Now, the wind can be anything from a gentle ocean breeze to a stormy hurricane. Among the Maya, they often think of it as a hurricane. (By the way, “hurricane” is one of the few words borrowed into English from a Mayan language – Hun Rakan. Another word is “shark,” first used by buccaneers along the Belize coast and derived from the Mayan “xoc.”)

Iq’ is also one of the four day signs that can serve as the Year Lord, and this year is 1 Iq’. Yes, there has been some discussion about changing the Year Lords, but in most traditionalist communities, they still think of this as the year 1 Iq’.

At least as recently as the 1970s, the Momostecans used to celebrate the recurrence of the Year Lord every 20 days by shooting off firecrackers and having a bit of a fiesta. I have never seen this, so I suspect the custom has died out during the last 35 or 40 years.

All the same, they always walked softly around Lord Iq’ because of his propensities to blow up a big hurricane wind. The year 2001 was an Iq’ year. So was 2005, the year of the literal hurrican Katrina.

Today, the good news is that it is an 8 day. The ritual cycle in many traditional Mayan communities runs from the 6 through the 9 day of every trecena. The most important ritual day is 8. This number has a habit of balancing any day sign’s energy and helping it to manifest at its highest potential.

So what is the highest potential of Iq’? The wind is also the breath. And when they say breath, they mean the breath of life. Centuries ago, a Mayan scribe, commenting on the death of a Yaxchilan king, said: “His white wind (saq iq’) became withered.” The “wind” is within us. It is the vital breath.

Iq’ is one of the three day signs that relates strongly to the archetype of the Feathered Serpent (the other two are Aq/Ben and Chicchan/Kan). Iq’ symbolizes Feathered Serpent as the God of the Wind, who is the divine breath within all of us.

Today, do yoga – especially if it involves pranayam, the science of breathing. And set yourself to work studying some lofty subject – Iq’ days are said to be helpful for intellectual endeavor. Do you have an altar or some other spot in your home that is devoted to “sacred space”? There is a Mayan tradition that Iq’ is the “sacred wind” that blows through the shrines and altars and purifies them. In Momos, Iq’ is a day to clean our home shrine or altar, a day to honor the sacred space we have created around us. So get out the dust cloth and polish up those candles, Buddha statues, and incense sticks on your personal shrine. Today is the right day for it.