What’s Your Nahual? Mayan Birth Signs & their Meaning.

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 2.7
Hearts 1.0
Comments 1.6
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
2 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
36
375.9k

8216502855_6589613866_z

“We are inhabitants of a reality with the Cosmos as model.” ~ Carlos Barrios

I live in the land of the Maya.

The Mayan people are astonishing and beautiful. They are incredibly strong and, in my experience, often kind, caring, grounded, wise and connected to the natural rhythms of the Earth, sun and moon.

For the past several months, I’ve been getting more interested in the Mayan Cosmovision—specifically the sacred Mayan calendar with its system of 13 tones and 20 totems or day signs.

I’ve had the pleasure of participating in three Mayan ceremonies, all within the past six months. These are traditional fire ceremonies in which a shaman opens a portal to commune in prayer with the spirits and offerings are made to the fire and the 20 gods that rule the 20 day signs.

Each day has both a number and a sign. There are 260 unique number/sign combinations in all. Halloween day, October 31, is 8 Net, for example. Sunday, November 1 is 9 Snake. And Day of the Dead, as celebrated in Mexico on Monday, November 2, 2015, will be 10 Death! Tuesday, November 3 is 11 Deer. The numbers for from one to 13 and then start over again. The whole cycle of nahuales rotates every 20 days.

We can look back at dates in history to see how the Mayan cosmovision relates to major global events from the past. September 11, 2001 was 6 Crocodile. The day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, April 4, 1968, was 13 Star.

The calendar number and sign that occurred on the day of your birth tell you your personal number and day sign. Unless you have access to a shaman in your neighborhood, the easiest and quickest way to discover your Mayan birth sign is by using this site or any of the variety that come up when you search “Mayan birth sign calculator.”

The birth sign has two parts: a galactic tone, which is a number from one to 13, and a Nahual, which is a day-sign that is typically associated with an animal or natural element. There are 20 Nahuales in all. I myself am a 6 Deer.

Here are my interpretations of the Mayan astrological system that I’ve studied:

13 Numerical Tones:

1. Unity, solitude, solidarity, whole, first, beginning, self-guiding, complete, solo

2. Duality, dynamic, duos, desire for reunion, yin/yang

3. Action, will, power, effort, expression, rhythm, motion

4, Heart, love, action, stability, direction, dimension

5. Empowerment, communication, networks, investigation, listening

6. Flow, mind, thoughts into action, intuition, energy work, dynamic developments

7. Spirit, reflective, mirror, ethics, purpose, goals, spiritual path, practice, soulfulness

8. Justice, love, fairness, balance, organization, aura, pain-body, healing

9. Abiding love, patience, seeing the big picture, persevering, completing the circle

10. Creation, manifestation, collaboration, responsibility

11. Resolution, answers, signs, change, simplicity, improvement, refinement

12. Wisdom, understanding, retrospect, connecting parts to whole, interdependence

13. Completion, ascension, renewal, trying new things, trying again, finishing a cycle

20 Birth Signs/Nahuales:

(Each of the signs corresponds to one of the cardinal directions.)

East: Crocodile, Snake, Water, Corn, Earth

These days emphasize our need for creativity, trying something new and moving forward.

North: Wind, Death, Dog, Jaguar, Knife

On these days, the mind can be under a lot of pressure, so we need to protect ourselves from negative energy.

West: Night, Deer, Monkey, Eagle, Storm

On these days, we may encounter others and experience time for sharing and cultivating relationships.

South: Net, Star, Road, Vulture, Sun

These are days that bring up strong feelings and emotional extremes, and they may also be times of much activity and accomplishment.

Crocodile people are intuitive, emotional, artistic and can be visionaries.

Wind people are imaginative, romantic nature lovers.

Night people are soft-spoken, diplomatic and intelligent.

Net people are curious, perceptive and fiery.

Snake people are powerful, intense and magnetic.

Death people are peaceful, patient and intuitive.

Deer people are mighty, tenacious and independent.

Star people are friendly, emotional and sensitive.

Water people are warm, sincere, sensitive dreamers.

Dog people are friendly, brave, loyal and attractive.

Monkey people are creative, calm, clever and charismatic.

Road people are practical, industrious and organized.

Corn people are calm, creative, practical and good with money.

Jaguar people are courageous, curious and intelligent.

Eagle people are friendly, kind, smart, spiritual and sociable.

Vulture people are wise, introspective, patient and practical.

Earth people are talented, analytical, and can be visionaries.

Knife people are active, sharp, and deeply challenged yet able to heal.

Storm people are tender, sensitive, nurturing and feminine.

Sun people are strong, healthy, positive, enthusiastic and brave.

~

Relephant bonus:

 

Relephant:

The Five Buddha Families.

This is How we can Change the World.

~

Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Editor: Travis May & Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: Flickr/Hartwig HKD

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 2.7
Hearts 1.0
Comments 1.6
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
2 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
36
375.9k

Read The Best Articles of January
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.
CLICK TO SEE WHO WON

Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom. She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010  and has written and self-published several inspiring books. She incorporates yoga, dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting, pranayama and more into her teachings and personal practice.

Join Michelle on retreat this July 20-27 at magical Lake Atitlan in Guatemala!

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

anonymous Mar 30, 2016 5:31pm

5 Jaguar 🙂

anonymous Mar 30, 2016 5:11pm

6 Death! Interesting.

anonymous Mar 30, 2016 4:59pm

Hi! I was just wondering what Seed would be on your list? Thanks!

    anonymous Mar 31, 2016 5:28am

    I looked it up as I am seed as well. It is another name for Snake.

anonymous Dec 6, 2015 2:14pm

From what I’ve read the Mayan culture was highly advanced in its time. Evidence suggests that this culture also used human and animal sacrifices in it’s religious practices – the humans used were often children (orphans, slaves etc.). Just like most religions, there is a violent and oppressive element in the history. I think it’s worth noting this if exploring the idea of how the Mayan culture was beautifiu, wise and connected.

anonymous Nov 26, 2015 3:28pm

2 Eagle

anonymous Nov 26, 2015 2:07am

7 Monkey

anonymous Nov 13, 2015 2:10pm

Hi Michelle, it's Mari from Villa Sumaya! (Mari and Eric?) I was looking for you this morning on EJ, and was having difficulties so got off the site. Then, later, I was trying to learn more about the Nahuals, checked in to my email, and among the hundreds of emails unread since my trip the Elephant Journal link to THIS ARTICLE TITLE popped out at me. Imagine my delight at seeing that it was yours. Of course it would be.

There is no coincidence.
I am going to find your email on your site. Love.

    anonymous Nov 17, 2015 5:00am

    Awesome! No coincidence. Wendy shared your essay with me yesterday. We'll be in touch… 🙂
    Love,
    Michelle

anonymous Nov 5, 2015 1:26pm

The calendar shown is Aztec.

    anonymous Nov 5, 2015 3:34pm

    Good point. The editors chose it. Namaste, Michelle

anonymous Nov 5, 2015 9:56am

I am 8 / Transformer. What is the transformer equivalent on your list?

anonymous Nov 5, 2015 2:31am

6 Deer power!!! Namaste, Michelle

anonymous Nov 4, 2015 3:31pm

I am 4/stability, Reed (Ben). You don’t have it listed.

    anonymous Nov 5, 2015 2:31am

    Hi Angel, Reed is corn in my article. Sorry for the confusion! There are different names for the nahuales in the various Mayan subcultures. Thanks for reading and commenting.

anonymous Nov 4, 2015 12:40pm

Same issue. I had 6 Flint…not sure where the "flint" fits in.

    anonymous Nov 5, 2015 2:29am

    Flint is knife. Sorry for the confusion! There are different names for the nahuales in the various Mayan subcultures. Thanks for reading and commenting.

anonymous Nov 4, 2015 12:11pm

I am a 4 Owl, and like Dixie whose husband is an 11 Widsom, Owl is missing — why?

    anonymous Nov 5, 2015 2:30am

    Hi Joy, Owl is night in my article. Sorry for the confusion! There are different names for the nahuales in the various Mayan subcultures. Thanks for reading and commenting.

anonymous Nov 4, 2015 11:01am

I got 1 wisdom… but I don't see wisdom listed in your day signs…

    anonymous Nov 5, 2015 2:27am

    Hi Renee, thanks for reading and commenting. Wisdom corresponds to Vulture. My daughter is also a wise vulture. Sorry for the confusion! Namaste, Michelle

anonymous Nov 4, 2015 10:25am

I went to the site linked and found my husband’s tone/nahual, 11 Wisdom. I do not see Wisdom listed in your description. On the site, it gives some info. I found the descriptions resonated with my perception, I am 8 Jaguar.

    anonymous Nov 5, 2015 2:26am

    Hi Dixie, Wow, 8 Jaguar is very auspicious. Wisdom corresponds to Vulture. My daughter is also a wise vulture. Sorry for the confusion! Namaste, Michelle

anonymous Nov 3, 2015 2:55pm

10 eagle 🙂

anonymous Nov 3, 2015 11:57am

Its amazing how accurate, Numerology is. Use it as a tool to understand yourself. Once you can 'See Yourself" you can then use that wisdom to fulfill your Dharma. Then you and everyone around you will have a happier Healthier and more balanced life.

    anonymous Nov 5, 2015 2:24am

    Thank you for reading and commenting! Namaste, Michelle

Surbhi Jain Jan 3, 2018 10:05am

I don't get this article, can you please find out my "Nahual"?

Irene Chávez Mar 14, 2017 12:04am

I am from Guatemala and I have worked with Mayan Spiritual guides for a long time. I'm sorry but you got it all confused. For example, not every Halloween day, October 31, is 8 Net, because, as you have said, the calendar is a cycle of 260 possible combinations that repeats itself one after the other, therefore, not every october 31 will land in the exact same combination of number and symbol. Don't believe me? go ahead and type october 31 in the calendar you shared, but change the year a couple of times. I can't even continue explaining all the other mistakes you wrote in this article. Please inform yourself better. This article can really misinform the readers. Besides, people study for years to understand the full meaning of the mayan calendar and its symbology. Just throwing some simple meanings related to the spirit animal some symbols relate to is empty information. I feel upset of how many times people from other countries come and spend a couple of months having some conversations with our local people thinking and stating they already know all about the mayan culture... sigh.

Sofia Fonseca Dec 22, 2016 7:59pm

It's funny how I came out to be a 9: dawn, and my second name exactly means that!!

Shane Smalley Dec 21, 2016 11:14am

I'm a Ph.D Candidate in Cultural Anthropology. My very first thought was the photo too. Good call :) ... interesting article.

Katee Rebecca Seaboyer Oct 26, 2016 4:45pm

I got 8 Earth....hmmm

Trac Davies Jun 2, 2016 4:50pm

I am a flint person with a 10 (couldn't find it here but did calculate it), It is very, very accurate!

Brenda Corona-Hollestelle Apr 21, 2016 1:53pm

One little mistake in the picture you posted the Aztec calendar. This is not the mayan calendar. Two very diferent cultures.

Vasiliki Spyroglou Apr 20, 2016 1:51pm

5 offering , is the same as the water?? thx