Xiuhpohualli: A musical poem

The xiuhpohualli is the year cycle of nature
with 365 ¼ solar and 260 lunar days,
each day starts at a different hour,
depending on which one of the four years is in play.

Each day has a name and energy
and each week veintena has twenty days.
There are 18 veintenas in a year plus five days
each recognizing nature with ceremonies and proper names.


Tochtli conejito sale con el amanecer (6:43 am)
Acatl carrizo nos pone fuerte al medio dia (12:43 pm)
Tecpatl obsidiana nos corta la luz, traendo anochecer (6:43 pm)
Y calli la casa desde la media noche nos protege y guia (12:43 am)


Cipactli the ancient lizard leads the way,
with ehecatl the wind blowing us into day 2.
Calli the house stands firm on day 3,
and day 4 kuetzpalin the lizard slides with pleasure into view.

Coatl the snake slithers and sheds through day 5,
and miquitztli death reminds us of cycles on day 6.
Mazatl the deer frolicks through day 7,
and on day 8 tochtli the rabbit brings art and joy into the mix.

Day 9, atl water brings lessons that flow,
and on day 10 itzcuintli the dog arrives, the sacred companion.
On day 11, ozomatli the monkey plays through the day.
Malinalli comes on day 12, filtering and weaving potent medicine.

Acatl the reed rigidly rules day 13,
as day 14 ocelot the jaguar is on the prowl.
Cuauhtli the eagle flies with its highest vision on the 15th day,
day 16, cozcacuauhtli the vulture cleans things that foul.

Olin the constant movement arrives in motion on day 17,
with the 18th day carved by tecpatl, the obsidian smoky mirror and cutter of energy.

Day 19 quiahuitl brings lessons that move about like rain,
and on day 20, xochitl the flower reminds us to walk in love and beauty.

1 – Cipactli
2 – Ehecatl
3 – Calli
4 – Cuetzpalli
5 – Coatl
6 – Miquiztli
7 – Mazatl
8 – Tochtli
9 – Atl
10 – Itzcuintli
11 – Ozomatli
12 – Malinalli
13 – Acatl
14 – Ocelotl
15 – Cuauhtli
16 – Cozcacuauhtli
17 – Ollin
18 – Tecpatl
19 – Quiahuitl
20 – Xochitl

Xiuhpohualli – A musical poem by Iris Rodriguez
from her upcoming book, “Borderland Bruja” (Fall 2018)

Buy the book presale and support the project!

Music courtesy of Yacatsol yacatsol.com
© 2018 Iris Rodriguez

Iris Rodriguez
On Social

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.