Illustration by Angelika Bauer

Also known as:

Serpent – English

Kan- K'iché

Chicchan -  Yucatecan

Red Serpent -  Dreamspell

Note: Not to be confusing, but the Kiché word, Kan, is the same spelling as the Yucatecan word for the previous day known as Net

The Mayan sacred calendar, the Chol’qi, is comprised of 20 Day Lords, glyphs, day signs, or archetypal energies. Like many other ancient traditions, the Maya viewed the Serpent as a powerful transformative force that has the potential for human enlightenment. It’s symbol is found everywhere in Maya-land. The Serpent is the change agent who slithers down the pyramid steps on vernal and autumnal equinoxes at Chicchan Itza. The feathered serpent, feathers representing heaven and serpent representing earth, is God, supreme consciousness, called Quetzalcoatl (Toltec), Kulkukan and Hunabku (Yucatecan) and Q’uq’m’atz (Kiché). This is akin to kundalini shakti in the yoga tradition.

Visualize the icon of the Serpent: Note several variations of the glyph. From left to right they are: Codex Madrid, Codex Dresden and two examples of Classic Maya epigraphy. The epigraph furthest to the left looks most like a snake head. The others show the back of the serpent as a grid of scales wth the circles representing the fragmented nature of consciousness. The nose and the mouth on the Dresden Codex depiction reflects the deep sensory instincts inherent in this energy.

A Serpent day is a good day to: Kan is a good day to ask the creator for positive thoughts and ideas and the reconciliation of couples. Ceremonies held on Kan are for justice, wisdom, strength, equality and no disequilibrium for Mother Nature.

Serpent forming on the Stairs - Chicchan Itza, Autumnal Equinox

The highest expression: Serpents have an abundance of creative and sexual energy, good humor, keen intellect, memory and intuition. They are natural athletes and love to be physically active. Their sincerity and compassion for others makes them good spiritual teachers.

A lower expression: Though they can appear to be egotistical on the inside, their self-esteem is low. They do not like the limelight and lack backbone, which may lead Serpent to overly depend on others emotionally and materially. They can be sneaky and lack integrity.

Health: Their athleticism and strength keep them happy and healthy, but if they succumb to their diminished sense of self, they will have chronic issues and complain a lot.

Compatibility: Serpent soul mates come from the same direction, East, as do Crocodile, Knowledge, Offering and Reed. They will also find resonance with their opposite day signs, from the West: Dawn, Deer, Monkey, Bird and Rainstorm.

Keywords used to meditate and trigger ancestral memory of the Nawal: slippery, flexible, kundalini, shakti, instinct, reptilian, simple

Visit our other pages to learn more about the meaning of the Mayan Cross components and the context in which they may be used.