Calli – Symbolism and Importance

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Calli is an auspicious day of the third trecena (or unit) in the ancient Aztec calendar. It was the first day of the thirteen-day period and was associated with family and loved ones.

What is Calli?

Calli, meaning ‘house’ is the third day sign of the tonalpohualli, governed by the deity Tepeyollotl. Also called ‘Akbal’ in Maya, this day was strongly associated with family, rest, and tranquility.

The symbol for day Calli is a house, which means that this is a day for spending time at home with loved ones and trusted friends, and a bad day for taking part in public life. On this day, the Aztecs worked on cementing close relationships with their family members and friends.

The Aztecs had a sacred calendar which they used for religious purposes, known as the ‘tonalpohualli’, meaning ‘count of days’. It consists of 20 thirteen-day periods known as ‘trecenas’. Each day had a specific symbol to represent it and is associated with one or more deities.

Governing Deities of the Day Calli

Tepeyollotl, also known as the ‘Heart of the Mountain’ and ‘Jaguar of the Night’, was the god of caves, earthquakes, echoes, and animals. He not only governed the day Calli, but was also its provider of life energy (or tonalli).

According to various sources, Tepeyollotl was a variant of Tezcatlipoca, a central deity in Aztec religion. He is depicted as a large cross-eyed jaguar, leaping toward the sun or holding a white staff with green feathers on it. His spots symbolize the stars and he’s sometimes seen wearing a conical hat with feathers.

Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god of providence, sometimes wore Tepeyollotl as an animal skin or a disguise so that the other deities would not recognize him.

Although Tepeyollotl was the main deity who governed the day Calli, it was also associated with another Mesoamerican god: Quetzalcoatl, the god of life, wisdom, and light. He was also known as the Feathered-Serpent Deity from whom nearly all the Mesoamerican people were thought to have descended. Aside from being associated with day Calli, Quetzalcoatl was also the patron of Ehecatl, the 2nd day sign in the Aztec calendar.

Calli in the Aztec Zodiac

It was the belief of the Aztecs that every newborn child was protected by a deity and that their day of birth could have an impact on their talents, character, and future.

People born on day Calli are said to have a pleasing, generous, and welcoming character. They tend to like other people and try to strike a good balance with others. Since Calli is a house sign, those born on this day are rarely ever on their own and prefer to spend their time with their family and friends.

FAQs

What does ‘Calli’ mean?

The word ‘Calli’ is a Nauhatl word, meaning ‘house’.

Who was Tepeyollotl?

Tepeyollotl was the patron of day Calli and the provider of the day’s tonalli (life energy). He was the god of animals and a highly revered deity in Aztec religion.

What does the day Calli symbolize?

The symbol for the day Calli is a house, which represents making time for one’s family and building strong relationships with loved ones.

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