Aj Q'ij glossary definiton
An Aj Q’ij (pronounced Ahh’ key) is also known in English as a “Daykeeper.” The role of a Daykeeper is to:
- Carry the sanctity of and keep track of the energies of each day
- Calculate the birth chart for others
- Advise others regarding life choices, relationship matters, how to pray and on what days
- Track spiritual holidays and auspicious days for personal events, decisions and healings
- Perform personal and group fire ceremonies for constituents (clients/patients)
- Teach and transmit the prophecies
- Participate in councils, envision with Elders
Most Aj Q’ij are adept at moving energy. They possess the gift of "blood lightening" and receive divine messages and guidance. Typically, they are the healers (curanderos/as), midwives and counselors of the community they serve.
Often, an Aj Q’ij may be on a different life path before their Daykeeping gifts are realized. The Mayans believe that if a person has a chronic illness it is because they are not aligned with their Mayan Cross. They will consult with their Daykeeper to find their soul’s purpose and rid themselves of disease and misalignment.
Watch Mayan scholar/Aj Q'ij describe "What is a Mayan Daykeeper"
After hundreds of years of political and religious repression and genocide, the Maya are now feeling more free to openly practice rituals and ceremonies that were passed on to them from the ancients. This did not happen all at once. This phenomenon is still evolving. The numbers of Mayan priests and priestesses in Guatemalan communities is growing due to the educational efforts of the Elders and a more pro-Mayan president, Alvaro Colom, elected inaugurated in 2008.
These photos were taken at the 8 B'atz (8 Monkey) celebration in Momostenango in February, 2010. This is the auspicious day when new Daykeepers complete their initiation process, performing ceremonies at five different altars throughout the area. There were thousands of Aj Q'ijab present, both men and women. For several days fires burn everywhere, "shaman shops" selling ceremonial supplies line the crowded roads and prayers are the dominant sound-track. Under the leadership of Don Rigoberto Iztep Chenchavac, the Expo Maya has several displays and educational forums so that the Maya could learn more about their heritage.