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Home arrow Sociology arrow Balancing the World: Contemporary Maya ajq’ijab in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

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Why people visit

People come to the ajq’ijab for a variety of reasons. The visitors can be people who have regular appointments, people who suddenly have a problem they need help with, or people who use a “belt and braces” approach of trying several solutions to a problem at once.[1] [2]

Well, the help of an ajq’ij is [sought] when a person is sick, when a person has problems in the home, when a person has problems at work, when a person has problems with the family, so ... oh, and sometimes when a person has personal problems, and so they seek the help of an ajq’ij. Because there are many people who go to the Catholic Church, but sometimes they don’t feel well. Sometimes, there are people who are with the Evangelicals, but sometimes they don’t feel well. They can’t find happiness, and so ... And those decide to seek an ajq'ij so he or she can help them.

So the ajq’ijab must guide the person, for example [the ajq’ij will say]: “What is your problem? What is your date of birth?” and so the ajq’ij has to use it well and determine their nahuales6 [and to see if it is] their nahual that is causing the situation in their life that makes them feel unwell.

- Odilia

The ajq’ijab do their work through divination, rituals and counselling. Sometimes a problem requires a spiritual solution, sometimes it just needs that one talks about it to work it out, and often it requires a bit of both.

  • [1] This phenomenon is also described by Thomas Hart; cf. Chapter 9 below and Hart,Ancient Spirituality: 10.
  • [2] Here: Do a divination.
 
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