This short note has been written with the intention of guiding and clarifying some of the questions regarding the 5 days that our ancestors and masters taught as the Nemontemi: the 5 days that close the present year during which the consciousness and experience of what we have lived is highlighted, so that we can reflect both on what we have done and achieved as well as what we want to do and how to achieve it.
As some of you already know, the Nemontemi carry their own count apart from the rest of the year (which follows the count of the daily Tonalpohualli, 360-day count). With the 5 ¼ Nemontemi days an exact count of the solar cycle was created, the fifth day being one-fourth longer than the rest. After these final days, the daily count of the Tonalpohualli continues where it left off. Thus, with their own count, the Nemontemi days create their own Tonalpohualli over a span of 52 years, thus named the "Tonalpohualli of the Nemontemi".
In this Gregorian year (2018) we will end the year of the year Makuilli Kalli (Five House) & begin the year Chikuaze Tochtli (Six Rabbiti). This will occur on March 12th at 6:47 AM central time, being the specific astronomical moment of the beginning of the next cycle.
The days of this year’s Nemontemi that correspond with the years Kalli are: Kozkakuauhtli (Necklace-Collared Eagle/Vulture), Ollin (Movement & Activity), Tekpatl (Flint Stone Knife), Kiahuitl (Rain) & Xochitl (Flower). Their count in this year are: Chikyei 8, Chiknahui 9, Matlaktli 10, Matlakze 11, Matlakome 12. Thus the days of the Nemontemi for the Gregorian year 2018 in the ancient way will be:
Chikyei Kozkakuauhtli (March 7, beginning at 12:45 am)
Chiknahui Ollin (March 8, beginning at 12:45 am)
Matlaktli Tekpatl (March 9, beginning at 12:45 am)
Matlakze Kiahuitl (March 10, beginning at 12:45 am)
Matlakome Xochitl (March 11, beginning at 12:45 am and ending March 12th at 6:47am)
Some of the other most common questions are in regards to the different types of fasting that are traditionally done to cleanse and purify our physical organism. This is vital so that in the process we also cleanse and purify our thoughts, reasonings, emotions, intentions and thus, purify our internal Self and behaviors influenced by our concepts and necessities
There are different manners of fasting which ultimately depend on both the goal one has for the fast, as well as the prior experience one has with fasting depending on whether it has been constant, sporadic or no prior experience, in which case it is recommended to take on a light form of fast.
All of the different forms of fasting are accompanied by Tea of Muitle, as a purifying beverage, in addition to abundant water (except in the Profound form of Fast).
Please be responsible & wise in the form of fast you choose, remembering to be respectful to your body's necessities and condition and listen to your body. It is not recommended to fast if recovering after a serious surgery or if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Constitutes of two handfuls of any form of completely raw fruit, vegetable, grain, seed, legume or root taken 4 times a day. It is ideal that they should be taken at significant astronomical points of the day: 6:45 am, 12:45 pm, 6:45 pm, and finally at 12:45 am.
Constitutes of two handfuls of any raw fruit or seeds, taken 4 times a day: 6:45 am, 12:45 pm, 6:45 pm, and finally at 12:45 am
Constitutes of two handfuls of raw fruit, vegetable, grain, seed, legume or root only ONCE a day. It is recommended to create 5 groups of servings of distinct fruits or vegetables etc, and designate each specific grouping to a specific day of the Nemontemi
It begins at least 3 days before the five Nemontemi days so that you can wean your system off of a different type of food each day. The first day you exclude from your diet all animal products. The second day you exclude vegetables, roots and legumes. The day before the Nemontemi begins you exclude all grains and the majority of seeds from your diet. Thus you begin the first day of the Nemontemi fast with just fruit and seeds 4 times a day. All seeds should be unsalted and unsweetened, some examples are toasted amarand, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and popped corn (Ezkitl) without salt or oil. On the second day of the fast only juiced fruits can be taken with a very small portion of seeds 4 times a day at the designated hours again, 6:45 am, 12:45 pm, 6:45 pm, and finally at 12:45 am. For the following 3 days of the Nemontemi, nothing should be eaten at all. If absolutely necessary, a small portion of seeds OR juiced fruit can be taken only once a day.
This fast begins with the same 3 days of weaning as in the Advanced Fast. During the 5 fasting days, you can only take a pinch of specific distinct seeds (the amount you would be able to hold with the tips of your fingers and thumb) once a day. The seeds are prepared and taken with songs and offerings. Water and the Muitle tea is to be taken only 4 times a day, each serving approximately 250 mL. You are permitted to drink chocolate with warm water at the beginning and end of the fast. This type of fast is not recommended for those who only have sporadic to no experience with the discipline of deprivation (Nezahualli) and is not recommended for those who have less than 10 years of experience in this discipline.
The ritual form of ending a fast, preferably done in Ceremony:
- You eat one whole raw Arbol Chile Pepper. This is to activate specific parts of the nervous system and our bioenergetics organism to reactivate the constant flow of our 13 bio-energetic senses
- You eat one whole tamal (without meat). This represents the moment the fountain of physical energy returns to us as our ancestors and masters say that our skin and meat of our bodies are like the corn of many colors.
- You drink one or two servings of chocolate made in wáter, without milk or sugar. The metaphor implied in the boiling chocolate and water is rooted in the combination of moral strength and principles symbolized by the grains of cacao and boiling water: the force of fire with the transparency and adaptability of water, to form the essence that is activated within us and allows us to offer ourselves completely to that which we believe in, to offer our life and blood to Atl-tlachinolli.
Remember that the Nemontemi are not unfortunate or cursed days the way the misinformation and propaganda of the Colonizers insisted, which is the way they were translated by the historians and chroniclers who understood very little about the true ways our ancestors lived; a way of life that was in complete synchronization & harmony with the cycles of nature. These are also not days that you necessarily have to completely retreat from daily life either. But instead days of profound reflection and inner work.
The Nemontemi are days during which not only is cleansing important but in which the two forms of silence are essential to activate constant reflection: Internal & External silence. External silence is necessary so that we give all of our attention to internal ideas and dialogue. Internal silence is achieved after having developed our capacity to listen with full attention to the sounds, images and sensations that can be perceived within us, that come from even deeper within us, as the subconscious reaches unimaginable depths. This is something that contemporary humans find more challenging to achieve. This is all ideally perceived with our 13 senses without attempting to translate or comprehend them at the human level, a level at which we are used to hearing, but not listening.
Remember, we are to be a conscious witness to everything we are experiencing as individuals and as integral parts of our environment and planet. We are to actively reflect during these days on what has occurred and is occurring and live in a conscious, present and perceptive manner. In this way we may close this cycle and consciously prepare for the next so that we may continue to live in harmonious synchronization with the cycles of nature and the universe. We hope this little note has been of help.
This year we will be breaking fast in ceremoniously and welcoming the shift of the year in conscious and intentional ritual. We will be making offerings of flowers to the Xochikame, chants to the Ehekame, Minalliztli, Mitotilliztli, and Yaotilliztli. All are welcome to join us as we gather in community to create a space of consciousness, respect and gratitude.
We will be sharing time and space on Monday 3/12/2018 from 4am-8am to mark the precise shift of year.
The ceremony will take place at the Bridgeport Art Center's 8A5E Cafe 1200 W 35th St.
For more details please email NahuaLessons@gmail.com or call 773-842-8271.
(originally written by Temachtiani Akaxe Yotzin, updated with this year's details by Clarissa Gonzalez)