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In pre-columbia Meso-America, cultures developed percise
mathematical systems and formulas for the purpose of understanding the cycles and balances within our lives, the Earths seasons, and greater cycles of time, which in turn have shown to lay out evolutional changes and patterns over millions, and even billions of years, with pinpoint accuracy.
The Mayans had the highest civilization in the Americas at the time of the Spanish conquest, and they have largely maintained it in the face of five centuries of persecution. Mayans have the dignity of a people who know their rightful place in the universe. They have a sense of rootedness, belonging, and purpose compared to the empty materialism of American life.
(refer to video at bottom by Ian Lungold)
With this knowledge and understanding, many of these cultures used numorous calendar systems. The first cultures, such as the Zapotec and Olmec, first influenced the signs and patterns, which were later fully developed by the Maya, Incan, and later the Aztec empire. Among these calendars used was a 260 day calendar, called the Tzolk'in by the Maya, literally meaning "count of days". It is a calendar system with a matrix of 13 x 20, 20 sun signs and numbers 1-13, the medicine of which can be found in your 13 basic joints (Ankles, Knees, Hips, Wrists, Elbows, Shoulders + neck) and 20 fingers and toes, thus equalling 260. 260 is also the rough estimate for human gestation, at least a full Tzolkin round passes while a baby is being conceived in the womb. 260 days is the number of days between the Zenithal Transits of the sun, as well as the length of Venus' Morning star - Evening star. Combined with their other most useful calendar, the Haab, which is a 365 day seasonal calendar depicting changes in season for their crops and livelihood, we get a full Calendar round of 52 years, how many years it takes for 260/365 to meet up again. This was very close to the average life expectancy of an average human.
The passing of each day in this form of viewing time shows a progressive pattern that influences creative persuits, not physical manifestations like storms or earthquakes. The Tzolkin progresses through 20 cycles of 13 day periods known as a Trecena. This Trecena is governed by whatever sun sign the first of 13 days begins on. So 4 Ahau, or 4 Sun, would be in the Trecena of Earth, since 4 Ahau is the 4th sun sign after 1 Earth. Refer to the picture to see
When many of the native cultures of the Americas were wiped out by the christians and post Columbus expeditions, many of their writings were destroyed, burned, accused of satanic influence, etc you know how it goes...
The tzolk'in, the most fundamental and widely-attested of all the Maya calendars, was a pre-eminent component in the society and rituals of the ancient Maya. The Tzolk'in is still in use by several Maya communities in the Guatemalan highlands. Its use is marginal but spreading in this region, although opposition from Evangelical Christian converts has erased it from some communities.
The word, meaning "count of days", was coined based on Yukatek Maya. The corresponding words in the K'iche' and Kaqchikel cultures of Guatemala, which have maintained an unbroken train of observance for over 500 years, are, respectively, Ajilabal q'ij and Cholq'ij. The actual names of this calendar as used by the pre-Columbian Maya are not known. The corresponding Postclassic Aztec calendar, probably based on extinct central Mexican observance, was called by them tonalpohualli, in the Nahuatl language.
The Tzolkin does not have a generally-recognized start and end. Some view it as completely circular with no start, while others suggest different days for the "start". Here is how the accepting beginning for the calendar looks:
# 1 Imix is the first day of the Tzolkin.
# 2 Ik
# 3 Akbal
# 4 Kan
# 5 Chicchan
# 6 Cimi
# 7 Manik
# 8 Lamat
# 9 Muluc
# 10 Oc
# 11 Chuen
# 12 Eb
# 13 Ben is the 13th day of the Tzolkin
# 1 Ix is the 14th day of the Tzolkin
# 2 Men
# 3 Cib
# 4 Cabab
# 5 Eznab
# 6 Cauac
# 7 Ahau
# 8 Imix
* 9 Cib
* 10 Cabab
* 11 Eznab
* 12 Cauac
* 13 Ahau is the 260th day of the Tzolkin.
* Imix : 'Crocodile' - the reptilian body of the planet earth, or world
* Ik : 'Wind' - breath, life. Also violence.
* Akbal : 'Night-house' - darkness, the underworld, realm of the nocturnal jaguar-sun. Also evil.
* Kan : 'Maize' - sign of the young maize lord who brings abundance, ripeness. Also lizard, net.
* Chicchan : 'Snake' - the celestial serpent
* Cimi : 'Death'
* Manik : 'Deer' - sign of the Lord of the Hunt
* Lamat : 'Rabbit' - sign of the planet Venus, sunset.
* Muluc : 'Water' - symbolised by jade, an aspect of the water deities, fish
* Oc : 'Dog' - who guides the night sun through the underworld.
* Chuen : 'Monkey' - the great craftsman, patron of arts and knowledge. Also thread.
* Eb : 'Grass' or 'Point' - associated with rain and storms.
* Ben : 'Reed' - who fosters the growth of corn, cane, and man.
* Ix : 'Jaguar' - the night sun. Also maize.
* Men : 'Eagle' - the wise one, bird, moon
* Cib : 'Owl/Vulture' - death-birds of night and day. Also wax, soul, insect.
* Caben : 'Earthquake' - formidable power. Also season, thought.
* Etz'nab : 'Knife' - the obsidian sacrificial blade.
* Cauac : 'Rain' or 'Storm' - the celestial dragon serpents and the chacs, gods of thunder and lightning.
* Ahau : 'Lord' - the radiant sun god
The Tzolk'in was extensively used in Mayan inscriptions and codices. Symbolism related to the Tzolk'in is also observed in the Popol Vuh (which, though written in the early post-conquest period, is probably based on older texts). For instance, when Ixbalanque has set an impossible task for Ixquic of collecting a netful of corn from one stalk and Ixquic successfully completes it, she leaves the imprint of her net in the ground, and the day "net" is the opening of the Venus cycle which follows "ahau" ("ajpu" in K'iche'), just as her child is the heir of Hun Hunajpu
It is not known what other uses the ancient Maya had for it. However, among Mayan communities where its use has survived:
* This 260 periods was, and is used for precise cycles in the Maize cultivation.(The zenith transit days may have been circumstantially significant for agriculture along the south coast of Guatemala. The April 30 zenith transit occurs just before the beginning of the rainy season. Farmers in the region presently plant their corn at the end of April or early in May In August 13 zenith transit the Maya initiate its current era in this day', approximates the time of the harvest of the dried corn.
* In the modern Guatemalan highlands, several groups use this period in the training of the Aj k'ij, the keeper of the 260-day-calendar. It is nine months after the beginning of training in divination that the young novice is actually "born" and solemnly initiated into his office. Thus, in the perception of the Maya, man and calendar have the same roots; they are both of the same lunar origin.
* There are certain repeating rituals which are performed every 260 days on the same day. Most famous is the "New Years'" celebration of 8 Chuwen, known in the K'iche' language spoken in Momostenango as Waxakib' B'atz.
* Certain days are seen as more or less suitable for certain actions. For instance, a low-numbered Ak'ab'al or B'en would be a good day for a wedding, whereas K'an would be a good day for building or maintaining a house.
* Tedlock, in Momostenango, reports an extensive system of divination based on casting lots and counting forward through the calendar from the current day to arrive at certain days which are then interpreted. This is not pure cleromancy because somatic twitches of "blood lightning" can either be specifically consulted or arise spontaneously during the process.
* Many traditional mayan names are based on calendar days, often birthdays. As in astrology, personal characteristics are associated with birthdays
At the time agriculture was invented the human race switched from operating on intuition to operating on thinking. Instead of thinking every second they were awake, ancient humans' everyday cognition entailed what we would call "channeling"; attending to the messages of spirits, the voices of their ancestors, and feelings from their own past and future lives. If the human race is going to survive, people are going to have to relearn how to listen to the spirits who have always guided us; and also to use techniques such as astrology which help us to develop our intuition and build our faith that everything is unfolding as it should.