Archive for the ‘4-Calendar Studies’ Category

Our Next Research: The True End-Date

January 1, 2013

Now that the ruckus of the Mayan Calendar End-Date has arrived and passed without any apparent effect, it is time to start re-calculating the true end-date of their Long Count.

Why is this of any importance? Because they told us what the end of the calendar meant and it would be nice to have a little heads-up for the startling event. See my entries leading up to the 21st of December for more information if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Specifically the entry for December 20th, although you may require to read the several posts preceding that one to make sense of what I am talking about.

So, where did the GMT correlation go wrong? How could so many professional historians blow it? That it, if indeed, it was blown at all. You know, it could be that the Mayans had the entire thing wrong, even for the reasons they have always mentioned.

Yeah, maybe. But if they were right and the correlation wrong, what can we do?

First, we need to find some dates that are fixed that we can relate their history to. At the moment, the correlation is hinged onto an entry by the Spanish churchman, Landa, in his texts. He mentioned the Mayans celebrated a certain calendar event on a certain day on his calendar.

The problem for this correlation is that the Maya themselves had ceased to use the Long Count some six centuries earlier. And if they had quit using it, how were they to calculate the exact date of the baktun or katun ending? Perhaps they had dropped a cycle or part of the sequence in the intervening years and could not themselves reliably place the date in question with any accuracy. This same problem was noted by John Major Jenkins in his online article “Maya Elders and 2012” at

Perhaps I have misstated the problem but it would seem that after six centuries without its use, keeping exacting track of the Long Count may have been lost.

It is probable that the tzolkin has not lost its sequencing. It is relatively small and easy for every locality to keep the sequence straight. So I would assume the ending of the Long Count would fall on some future rendition of either 13 Ahau (end of tzolkin) or 4 Ahau (end of Long Count).

The next 13 Ahau is March 31st, 2013. The next 4 Ahau is September 7th, 2013.

The Mayan Elder, Don Alejandro had stated (I believe in early 2009), that the calendar would end on December 21st, 2012, but the Sun would darken on the last day of March 2013. Alejandro claims the darkness will result from an “eclipse” and the duration of the darkness will be in the range of 60-70 hours.

Then, of course, Jenkins says the “darkening” of the Sun is merely a poetic way to state the Sun will align with the black hole at Galactic Central. But know better. The Maya did not build their calendar to point to any vague sort of allegory. They specifically said “New Sun” not New Age as Jenkins prefers.

There has never been an eclipse of the Sun that endured for 60-70 hours (almost three days!) so the darkening must be from some other agency.

Still, if it is of such short duration – rather than the 200 days mentioned in the ancient texts – I would be most pleased.

That is, if the 13 Ahau is correct. Bruce Fenton @ seems to think that the Long Count ended on the 21st of December but the real change would come at the end of the tzolkin we were in the midst of when the ending came. He lists several interesting correlations with this new date in his article Mayan 5th Sun on 13 Ahau 31-03-2013 (

Again, we shall have to wait and see if the Maya were anywhere close in their predictions.

Obviously, nothing happened on 12/21/2012.

Well, nothing we could see.

the Prophecies of the Chilam Balam

December 4, 2012

There has been a lot of interest in this ancient “book of prophecy” on many websites and especially in the books of Carl Calleman.

They were written as reference guides for the local priests to keep the future straightened out for their people. Glimpse what is coming and let everyone sort of know what to expect for the coming year.

Except rather than years, it seems to have been broken down into katuns… periods of almost twenty years. If the idea of twenty year chunks of time are a little difficult to grasp, think of it more along the lines of our own history with these place markers:

President William Henry Harrison • President Zachary Taylor • President Abraham Lincoln • President James Garfield • President William McKinley • President Warren G. Harding • President F. D. Roosevelt • President John Kennedy

You know, all the American Presidents who died in office. Their terms were all twenty years apart and show you the short of time span we are talking about.

Sir J. Eric Thompson summarizes the effects of each of the katuns from the Books of Chilam Balam of Chumayel and Tizimin:

in order, arranged by end date (all periods ended on the day called Ahau)

11 Ahau: Barren is the katun; scanty are its rains . . . misery.
9 Ahau: Drought, famine.
7 Ahau: Carnal sin. Roguish rulers.
5 Ahau: Harsh his face, harsh his tidings.
3 Ahau: Rains of little profit, locusts, fighting.
1 Ahau: The evil katun.
12 Ahau: The katun is good.
10 Ahau: Drought is the charge of the katun.
8 Ahau: There is an end of greed; there is an end to causing vexation . . . much fighting
6 Ahau: Shameless is his speech.
4 Ahau: The Quetzal shall come . . . Kukulcan shall come.
2 Ahau: For half the katun there will be bread; for half the katun there will be water.
13 Ahau: There is no lucky day for us.

So, for the thirteen katuns in sequence, it would seem that they all foretell doom and destruction with the exception of 12 Ahau, at the dead center of the group.

Wow! With such negativity, you really would have expected them to predict the end of the world… and that would be something to look forward to, as a way of ending all their gloom.

As an example of the full text of a katun prophecy, consider the first prophecy for katun 11 Ahau in the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel (from Thompson):

Katun 11 Ahau is established at Ichcaanzihoo*. Yax-haal Chac is its face. The heavenly fan, the heavenly bouquet shall descend. The drum and rattle of Ah Bolon-yocte*** shall resound. At that time there shall be the green turkey; at that time there shall be Zulim Chan; at that time there shall be Chakanputun****. They shall find their food among the trees; they shall find their food among the rocks, those who have lost their crops in katun 11 Ahau.

* – at Merida
** – this refers to the Green Rain God, the Lord of this Katun
*** – the regent or priest of the Katun
**** – apparently all these are symbols of times when the people were driven from their homes into the forest (hm, I guess that sort of thing happened a lot to the Mayans… and maybe why they later seemed to desert all their cities)

It is assumed these various chilam balams were still being used when they were written down in the 17th and 18th centuries and that they reflected what the Mayans had been using at an earlier period. What I cannot understand is why their prophetic outlook was so drab, so negative. Didn’t they see anything good coming in the future?

Perhaps we have been misled by historians and the Maya really did predict the end of the world. As a means of escaping this drudgery if nothing else.

But I don’t think so. Even if this paints a rather negative and dreary picture of their world view.

Interestingly enough, most scholars do not think the Chilam Balam books painted a true picture of the Mayan world before the Spanish conquest. They see too many points where the prophecies predict the coming of a new religion in order to give some veracity to the Church’s influence in the area.

Perhaps the reason they reflect such gloom and doom is only to show that Christianity was a better way to go.

So, rather than books of prediction, they were nothing more than religious tracts for the Church but written in language and symbology that the indigenous population could understand.

Therefore, their use in this whole 2012 movement becomes suspect… and a little useless.

Under the Wire

April 1, 2012

I started toying with the idea of writing a novel about the Mayan obsession with time while I was in college. Being in statistical studies drew me to their use of cycles and, naturally, to study their calendar.

Years later, after raising a family and getting established in my career, I had time to turn to that subject again and I started looking for research materials for the novel.

That’s when I first encountered the “2012 Phenomenon”.

Astonished, I went through the books by Argüelles, Jenkins, Calleman, and a couple of dozen other writers and could not believe the interpretations they were giving to the Calendar, its End-Date, its purpose and the motivations of its creators.

It seemed as if they were studying something completely foreign to me, so I delved deep in the subject for a time until I understood a bit better about what was going on.

Then, naturally, I thought I should write a book about it and show a different perspective on the subject.

Well, that did not seem to go anywhere.

That was in 2007 and I started blogging about the subject, moving over to WordPress in 2009 and continued. I landed a radio interview three years ago and several nibbles from literary agents.

Apparently, even Bear and Company – who published most of the books on the 2012 Phenomenon – were not interested in anything other than the spiritualistic view of the Mayan Calendar.

Then 2012 finally arrived and my volume was still sitting on the shelf, awaiting publication. When a book is sold, it generally takes 12-18 months to reach the market. And my volume was beyond the point of being “marketable” because of the timing.

Self-publishing was an option that I could not consider because it took money and I don’t have superfluous resources lying around. But then I heard of Kindle. Digitally self-publish.

And so, my volume is finally done and on the market over at Amazon.

And, no, I don’t expect it to be any sort of bestseller. I don’t think the other writers in this field have made any substantial amount of money from this niche market either.

Still, it was something I thought needed to be said, and it is out there if anyone is interested.

And now I have time for other things.

Hmm, maybe I’ll write that novel now…

the Week

January 4, 2012

I have heard a lot of different theories about the week and the way it was arranged.

The Romans used a time interval longer than seven days in their earlier period but gradually adjusted it down to seven. From what I can tell, the Hebrews had seven days since their earliest writings.

But today we have seven days named Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There are also interesting theories about how they came up with those names.

Sun-day and Moon-day are fairly obvious but the next few seem to come to us from the old Norse gods: Tewes-day, Woden’s-day, Thor’s-day, and Freya-day. The last day was named for Saturn.

Apparently some monk in the past realized the planets arranged in their distance from the Earth were Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn.

The “distance-from” criteria is wrong as we now know but I can not figure out how someone thought the Sun was closer than the Moon since the latter eclipses the former, and not vice-versa.

Also, I question the rational of equating Woden, king of the gods, with Mercury. Actually, this bit of connection was done by the early Roman writers and their correlation seems to have stuck, regardless of the rationale or complete lack of it.

But Woden was Mercury? Wasn’t he the god that plucked out his eye for wisdom? And the only planet I know with a large red spot is Jupiter.

And they thought Thor was Jupiter? Yeah, I can see that the god with the bright red hair and red beard, and very warlike, should not be equated with the red planet.

Obviously, someone is not putting things together correctly to my mind. But, maybe I’m wrong.

Still, if you follow the Sun and planets in order of brightness: Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn. And there, amazingly, you also have the arrangement of the days of the week.

At least, to my mind, it really seems to be that simple.

Also, it is interesting that the Spanish still call Saturday, “Sabado”, the Sabbath. We celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, even though it used to be on Saturday as well. So why did its worship on Saturday end? Well, let’s not get into that discussion at the present as it would open a whole big can of worms.

Whew! Dodging the Bullet

December 23, 2011

The end is NOT near!

At least that is what Adriana Gomez Licon assures us in her news article about the Mayan Calendar End-Date.

A German expert on Mayan glyphs, Sven Gronemeyer of La Trobe University in Australia, spoke about the stone found at Tortuguero (the original stone found as opposed to the more recently found inscribed brick – see yesterday’s blog for more on that).

He explained that the 1,300 year old inscription describes the return of mysterious Mayan god Bolon Yokte at the end of a 13th Baktun (a period of nearly 400 years) on Dec. 21, 2012. And though the Mayans considered 13 a sacred number, he says there’s nothing apocalyptic in the date.

His interpretation is that the ruler at Tortuguero, Bahlam Ajaw, apparently made a prophecy some 1,300 years ago, about the passage of the god, Bolon Yokte. They had to prepare a way for the god and the ruler was going to host the initiation of the event, when the god would come to the sanctuary in Tortuguero.

Gronemeyer said, “The date acquired a symbolic value because it is seen as a reflection of the day of creation. It is the passage of a god and not necessarily a great leap for humanity.”

Of course, one could see it as nothing remarkable if one thought the Mayans were talking about gods running around in their forests and not speaking of the gods in the heavens above, i.e. the planets. But then, that is just my take on their concepts.

And I could be wrong.

For more, see her article at:
Expert: Mexico glyphs don’t predict apocalypse
By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON | AP – Wed, Nov 30, 2011

Some Correlations of the Mayan Calendars

April 21, 2010

Where did the 260 days come from? One theorist says the year used to be that length before it jumped up to 360 days. But other than the Mayan usage, I cannot find evidence of such a thing. If I have overlooked it, I would welcome any illumination on it.

Others theorize that it is nothing more than the length of human gestation… that or the length of time it takes to cultivate maize. Both good guesses but one does not have to go to such lengths.

I have always thought the calendar had been built on celestial events, cosmological patterns. So, where does the 260 come from? I believe it is nothing more than a microcosm of the Long Count. Another example of the Mayan obsession with cycles-within-cycles.

The Long Count has thirteen baktuns of twenty katuns each. The Books of Chilam Balam show that the Mayan elders of the past had been able to assign meanings, prophecies to each of the katuns.

The other calendar they use as an augury, each day with a meaning, is the tzolkin. This augury calendar is 260 days in length, each day with a meaning.

Likewise, the Long Count of the Fifth Sun is 260 katuns in length, each katun with a meaning.

One is like the other and, I believe, the meanings in one are mirrored – albeit on a different scale – with the other.

Does the 260 have yet another meaning? Perhaps, but I haven’t found it.

So, from the larger cycle of 260 katuns, they might have noticed the cycle on the smaller scale as well. Or it could be that they noticed personal cycles ran a course of 260 days (probably linked to some celestial phenomena) before repeating. And this was expanded to the macroscale of the Long Count.

Just as many astrologers believe the emanations of the planets create effects on this planet, the Mayan see all source of energy stemming from the Sun. The Sun gives its own stamp to the Age – this one is the Earthquake Sun – and its energies control the movements of all the planets in its system. By studying the separate parts of the system and the timing cycles that are profiles of their character, the Maya could understand the entire Solar System.

The previous Sun had a different “personality” and a different set of cycles. I do not think the same Long Count calendar would have worked properly in that Sun Age, but then that is a personal opinion rather than something gleaned from the Mayan writings.

I am sure there are things we may never know… even after the Mayan Elders have revealed the last of their “secrets”.

Proposed Revision of the Start-Date

April 16, 2010

They counted days rather than years and the estimated start date was estimated backward by counting days/years in our current system.

What if, as Velikovsky theorized, the years had only been 360 days in the past? The evidence of the ancient calendar-makers from around the planet point to this reality.

Does that alter the start date? (And not the End-Date?)

Actually, this revision would not alter the End-Date, just the Start-Date? How so? The days that correlate the Gregorian Calendar – our present system – with the GMT are in the middle range of the Mayan Calendar. And, apparently, the length of the years have not changed since the ninth century. Therefore, counting from that time to the end of the calendar on December 21st, 2012, was a rather simple task.

Counting backward to the Start-Date, however, is where the problem lies.

Since the Maya counted the days, and if the years were of a shorter duration (i.e. 360 days) then the Start-Date would be even further back in the past.

From the evidence I have seen over the years, I would compute the Start-Date of the Mayan Calendar to be somewhere in the middle of 3141 BC rather than 3114 BC, I believe. The dating is, of course, extremely speculative.

If the change in the Solar Year took place in 1114 BC, that would put the Start-Date at October 22nd, 3142 BC. It is just a guess as I am not sure of when the calendars changed, exactly, or the date of the years when it occurred. It could be a couple of years earlier or a couple later.

But it does give you an idea of the magnitude of the change it would create. As the year length alone had changed it is still the same number of days, just a different number of years, each five days shorter than the present time.

However, as I have said, it does not alter the End-Date in any degree.

the Case of Authorship

April 10, 2010

I am seeing more and more articles ascribing the creation of the calendar to the Olmecs or some other more primitive unknown tribe.

Since there is no record of the calendar at any of the Olmec sites, I think that if they had constructed such a thing they would have put it to use, especially in their larger ceremonial centers. But there is absolutely no record of it.

The Maya not only utilized it more than any other Mesoamerican civilization, they used more of it – the many various calendars they used – and made record of it in their few existing codices (as well as the Spanish chroniclers’ writings) more so than any other culture there.

Their history claims that they created it and all its parts over centuries of observations, calculations, and prophecy.

The current Maya still use the calendar (or parts of it) and maintain they had created it. Rather than giving credit to some mythological or unknown culture of the past, I suggest we call it the Maya’s calendar until there is proof to the contrary.

Please let the issue rest.

a Question of Mathematics

April 8, 2010

Many say the number 13 used by the Maya comes from the joints of the body or the number of heavens or hells… that’s the reverse of reality. Their calendar was not based on earthly concepts or structures, it was – as most other calendars around the world – based on celestial phenomena, cosmology. The day is based on the Sun, as is the year (because of the inclination of our axis), the month is based on the Moon (even if it is not very exact to a month today).

They understood that cosmic cycles varied slightly from one occurrence to another and they used an average in the calendar. After building the entire structure of baktuns and katuns, they used something cosmological to define the numbers of each of these cyclical components.

The 260 days of the tzolkin were not there because of the maize-growing period or for the length of human gestation. It was there because there are 260 katuns in the calendar.

Astrologers are familiar with the “one day equals a year” in the formulation of progressed horoscopes for individuals. The Mayans understood this as well. That’s why the tzolkin is the calendar they use as an augury and its larger magnitude-mirror, the katun, has separate meanings as well. The Chilam Balam is filled with katun prophecies and parallels the tzolkin.

One has 260 separate meanings, and so does the other.

The cosmos is mirrored onto the planet. Their word “kin” means Sun, and time, and day. The passage of the Sun overhead defines the day, and represents the passing of time. But there is a deeper meaning here. The Sun actually defines time itself in what it passes to the other spheres in the Solar System. This is understood in astrology as well.

The giant celestial clock of the Solar System is controlled and defined by the Sun itself. The manifestations of its character are present in the very motions of all its parts. To understand the intertwining cycles took the Maya several centuries to map completely but they accomplished the task.

If they had done this during the previous Sun, as Carlos Barrios says in the Book of Destiny, they would not have needed so much time to complete the calculations. The reason it took so long was because the Sun we now have is different than the previous Sun and a whole new set of calculations had to be made.

And when the next Sun comes along, they will have to do it all over again.

Playing With the Numbers

April 7, 2010

Where did the Maya come up with their numbers? They had an obsession with the Pleiades (as did most cultures around the world) but they did NOT adopt the number 7 as part of their system like the east did – 7 is the days of the week.

They count by twenty over and over and then throw in a monkey wrench with a thirteen here or an eighteen there. Why?

Many writers tell us that they use twenty because it is the number of fingers and toes we have. And the thirteen because of the major joints of the body… you know, the ones that demons can invade in, not the small ones like the toes or finger joints.

That seems a bit of a stretch to me – a contrived reason at best – why not use all the joints or at least come up with something that is actually thirteen? And some say it is the number of heavens they had… but wouldn’t the number of heavens have come from their mythology and hence from their calendar? Perhaps that does not sound like good reasoning but I have heard many lame excuses similar as to why we have seven days in a week.

Astrology shows a variety of mirrors in differing scales. Jupiter travels through the twelve signs in twelve years. Hmm, interesting. That one be a sign a year, no? And wouldn’t that mean that every year would sort of have a different meaning? Just like the katun readings by the Maya?

Also, Saturn travels around the Zodiac in about 29 years. This parallels the movement of the moon around the Zodiac. So the Moon in a progressed horoscope mirrors the movements of Saturn.

The parallels are abundant. The celestial movements tell a story that the Maya were able to watch long enough and codify.

It had nothing to do with counting on their fingers.