10 Kan

Today is 10 K’at (Yucatec: Kan). In the Yucatec language, kan simply means “yellow,” and the reference is to corn. In K’iche’, k’at is a net bag. When the Maya go to the shrines to do ceremonies, they carry their offerings in bags slung over their shoulders. The traditional net bag has for the most part been replaced by black plastic hefty bags, but such is progress. The idea is that your bag is packed full of offerings because you have a lot of karma to make up for.

Sometimes a story – especially a mythic or legendary story – can be more informative than a mere description. As I said earlier, the deepest meaning of any day sign can be found in the pages of the Mayan Creation Epic or Popol Vuh, so here is a story from the epic.

Two Hero Twins, the sons of First Grandmother, journeyed to the Underworld to play handball against the Lords of Death. They lost, and the head of one of the heroes was placed in the branches of a tree that stood at a crossroads (the crossroads is the juncture of the Milky Way with the ecliptic, where the sun will always be found at the winter solstice on December 21). The daughter of one of the Underworld Lords, named Ixkik’, was walking by the crossroads. (Don’t worry about how to pronounce her name.) The head hanging in the branches still possessed its vital energy, so it spat into her hand and she became pregnant with a new set of Hero Twins.

Ixkik’ knew that her condition would not go over very well with the Lords of Death, so she made a run for it and found her way to the world above – to our world. She went to the home of First Grandmother and knocked on the door. She said, “Hi, I’m pregnant with your grandchildren.”

First Grandmother said, “People always come and tell me all kinds of crazy things. How do I know you’re for real?”

She gave Ixkik’ a net bag and told her to go to a certain place and gather corn.

But when Ixkik’ got there, she found the cornfield to be blighted and empty. Only one gnarled, pathetic ear of corn remained. She placed it in her bag, sad because she knew First Grandmother would be angry with her and reject her and her unborn children.

But as she walked, the bag became heavier and heavier. When she arrived back at the home of First Grandmother, she placed the bag on the ground as it overflowed with ears and ears of bright yellow corn.

First Grandmother said, “Today is a K’at day and look what’s in your bag! Now I know you’re for real!”

What’s in your bag today? Just a load of karma, or a wealth of pure abundance?