The Trecena of Manik / Kej
1 Manik' / Kej — The Trecena of Unification
Manik’, or Kej in K’iche’ Maya, represents power, authority, respect, force, and hierarchy. This is the day of the ajq’ijab—the Mayan priests—and represents the power inherent in religion. In fact, it’s the nagual of the Mayan religion, as well as the rainforest, cacao beans, and all four-footed animals. Embodying stability and balance, Manik’ is the nagual of the four cardinal points of the Earth and represents the four primary elements of earth, water, fire, and air. It also carries the four states of the human experience and the four colors of humanity: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, and the colors of yellow, white, red, and black. Manik’s animal totem is the deer. In the Classical Maya tradition, it is associated with the cardinal direction West and the color black. In the tradition of modern-day K’iche’ Maya, Manik’ is also the most important of the four Year Bearers, which shape the nature and character of the solar years they are associated with.
On Manik’ days, the Maya pray for harmony throughout the natural world and among all human beings—these are propitious days to ask for the strength to avoid betrayal and handle the difficulties in our lives. This is also an optimal time to find balance with the elements and to express gratitude for life. If you are able to spend Manik’ days in nature, you can gain great power and energy.
Dignity, strength, humility and power. Respect, honor and integrity. These are the values Manik’, the Deer, embodies. Free of the toxic effects of ego, Manik’ stands head and shoulders above the skirmishes of mankind, the epitome of grace in the face of danger and uncertainty that’s all around him. Profoundly spiritual and peaceful, Manik’ seeks to impart no violence or harm to others, but does have the raw power to defend himself and others when the need arises. He is no gentle or weak spirit—he crushes the stereotype that spiritual beings are soft and passive. Indeed, the deepest spiritual thinkers and most balanced, confident individuals carry the greatest personal strength. And what is strength but the direct result of ultimate self-respect?
Real power comes from true respect. Not fear, not admiration or worship, not envy or insecurity. In modern society, many public and private figures carry an aura of apparent respect that in fact stands on a weak foundation: just think how easily a politician falls when it’s discovered he’s had an affair or has misappropriated public funds, how quickly a media celebrity goes out of favor once their sales start to sag. We are learning not to respect, but to want—we are taught to desire fame, money, status, influence, power—and eternal youth. These are the values celebrated by our media and our leaders. Respect for ourselves, for one another and our planet doesn’t seem to have a seat at the table. This needs to change if we are going to live in a stable, sustainable and equitable world.
This trecena, your challenge is to find your strength. This doesn’t mean ramping up your time at the gym or signing up for aikido. It means developing a stable, objective sense of self-respect, without the arrogance, judgment, and ego that often hang on to our psyches, latching on like psychic parasites. It means basing your sense of self and identity on your own thoughts and observations, not those of others. This applies to both negative and positive input—whether someone critizes or insults you, or praises or supports you. Your self-respect needs to be independent and free of external influence, for only then can you begin to extend true respect to others. And that’s where real power is born. It’s quiet and understated, but will last you a lifetime.
Respect who you are and what you do. Respect your talents and skills, respect the role you play in your family and society, and the legacy you will leave to future generations. Respect yourself, and live that respect through every pore of your being.
You will find that true respect, for yourself and others, does indeed build strength and power—the kind that will carry you through storm and upheaval, and enable you to stand on your own feet in the face of any challenge.
Excerpt from The Serpent and the Jaguar: Living in Sacred Time by Birgitte Rasine, pp.144-145. This book is also available in eBook format for the Kindle/Kindle Fire, Nook/Nook Color, and iPad/iPhone.
If you'd like to quote any part of this text, please attribute credit to Birgitte Rasine/The Mayan Calendar Portal with a link to www.maya-portal.net, and email us with a link to your site so we can reciprocate.