Cielo azulPronounced ‘kah-ban-new-AY-las’, this is the Maya system for predicting the weather for the coming year! How does it work? It’s pretty easy. All it takes is a special awareness, a pen and paper, and the entire month of January.

Each day of January represents a month of the year. January 1st represents January, January 2nd represents February; the 3rd is March, the 4th is April and so on. Then on January 13th, you go backwards: the 13th is December, the 14th November, the 15th October, the 16th September, etc.

On the 25th, each half-day is a month. The first twelve hours (midnight to noon) of January 25th are January; the second twelve hours (noon to midnight) are February. The first twelve hours of the 26th are March with the second twelve hours being April. This goes on through the 30th.

On the 31st, each hour of the first twelve hours represents one of the twelve months and the second 12 hours are the months going backwards. Midnight to 1 am is January, 1 am to 2 am is February, etc., then noon to 1 pm is December, 1 pm to 2 pm is again November, through to 11 pm to 12 midnight being January.

Now that you have the days and months of the year assigned to the days of January, take note of the actual weather throughout the days of January and jot it down. For example, on January 1st, you note the weather is sunny in the morning, gets hotter at mid-day, there is a light breeze, then cloudy in the afternoon.

This tells you that in January the weather will be mostly sunny in the early part of the month, hot in mid-month and cooler and cloudy toward the end of the month.

Another example would be that on the 3rd of January it is cool, rainy, cloudy and windy. This gives you an idea that nortes winds will blow in March.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it takes a special awareness of the weather to do the cabañuelas. One of the benefits of this Maya custom is the fact that when you stop to observe the climate, the wind and the sky, you might find yourself breathing a little more deeply, relaxing and slowing down.

Some people are saying that with the weather phenomena of El Niño and La Niña, the cabañuelas are not as accurate as they were years ago. The Maya have been doing it for years. Try it and see!


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