Carl Calleman - The Mayan Calendar
- uploaded: Feb 9, 2008
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The Mayan culture has undergone substantial changes throughout its existence. It is part of the wider context of Mesoamerican civilization that stretched from Central America into the present-day southern United States. This civilization was based on the cultivation of maize and shared the sacred 260-day calendar. It is estimated that the Maya started to cultivate maize about 5000 years ago, around the time set for the beginning of their Long Count. It is however only about the time of Christ that we can talk about the emergence of a high culture among the Maya.
Especially after the beginning of the so-called Classical Period around AD 250 the city-states of the Maya emerge in their full splendor. It is in this time that a system of rule by shaman kings emerges in a literate culture with an advanced calendrical system. While most visitors will look upon these sites as "ruins" they still play a role as ceremonial sites for the contemporary descendants of the ancient Maya.
The Mayan calendar is associated with nine creation cycles, which represent nine levels of consciousness or Underworlds as symbolized by the Mayan pyramids. This pyramidal structure of consciousness development can explain things as disparate as the common origin of world religions and the modern complaint that time seems to be moving faster.
Time, in fact, is speeding up as we transition from the materialist Planetary Underworld that still governs us to a new and higher frequency of consciousness, the Galactic Underworld, in preparation for the final Universal level of conscious Enlightenment.
The Mayan calendar is thus a spiritual device that enables a greater understanding of the evolution of consciousness driving human history and the concrete steps we can take to align ourselves with this cosmic evolution toward Enlightenment.
For simplicity, the Mayan calendar system is usually referred to as â??The Mayan Calendarâ?. This term then really refers to a system of interconnected calendrical cycles of the Maya. It would however also be a misunderstanding if we said that the Maya had many different calendars. Everything in the Cosmos is related, and the same is true for the calendrical cycles that the Maya were using to describe its evolution and changing energies.
Hence, the various calendrical cycles of the Maya are related much as the cogs on the cogwheels in a machine. In principle this is not very different from the Gregorian way of counting time, where not only the date in the month changes every day, but also the weekday. In the same way, as the day sign changes in the sacred Mayan 260-day calendar, so does the number of that day and its place in the longer Heavens and Underworlds. A given day is hence defined with symbols that belong to many different calendars or counts.
What makes the Mayan calendar fundamentally different from other calendars in existence in the world is that its various symbols are reflective of the evolution of consciousness in the cosmos. This is in contrast to calendars from other cultures or religions that are based on astronomical cycles in our own solar system, such as the solar year or the moon cycle. It is from this that the Mayan calendar derives its immense importance at the present time as we have entered the Apocalypse and may want to understand what is happening around us.
This is not to say that the Maya completely disregarded physical cycles. For instance, they followed a so-called haab calendar of 365 days, which is practical for agricultural purposes even though it does not have a set starting point in the solar year. The ancient Maya were also outstanding astronomers and sought to relate the planetary cycles, such as those of Venus, Mercury and Jupiter to their sacred 260-day calendar. What we should be very much aware of however is that they did not regard the Sacred Calendar as based on any astronomical cycle. Instead the Maya were interested in how the astronomical cycles were related to the Sacred Calendar. This they regarded as the most basic rhythm of the cosmos that had been given to them by the gods.
This may be such an unusual way of looking at time that it is difficult for most modern people to comprehend. Today, we are so focused on everything material, such as the astronomical cycles, and on measuring things that a qualitative, spiritual way of following time seems alien to most. Yet, if we are to understand the divine plan for the cosmos and our own place in this we will have to make such a fundamental shift in how we regard time.
Many people hear about the so-called end date of the Mayan calendar, and today some people have even created the illusion that the Mayan calendar was designed only to point out this end date. In reality, there is nothing to indicate that the ancient Maya who developed the Long Count calendar had any interest in what would happen as this calendar came to an end. Instead what the ancient Mayan scriptures talk about is its beginning. The exact date for this beginning was apparently based on the day of the year, August 11, when the sun was in zenith in Izapa, where most likely this calendar first came into use. Ancient Mayan inscriptions also talk about this time as the time when the First Father erected the World Tree so that the light could enter, a significant event in creation. The various dynasties in the different Mayan city-states would then try to track a relationship to this seminal event by First Father and legitimize their power based on this.
The fact that the Mayan Long Count was based on the day the sun was in zenith in Izapa, has however created a very significant misunderstanding among modern people, and this is that it would end on December 21, 2012. The particular date the sun is in zenith in this location obviously has no relevance in the rest of the world, but because of the power of tradition some will still adhere to it. In reality, the creation cycle that began as the First Father erected the World Tree will end on October 28, 2011. This day is also 13 Ahau in the sacred Mayan calendar, an energy with great prophetical relevance.