Mayan Composite Astrology for the Trecena of 1 Sun

By combining the day sign of a specific date, often called the Lord of the Day, with that of the trecena ruler, a composite day sign can provide further guidance on how to deal with the day’s energy. This is an advanced technique of New Paradigm Mayan Astrology.

The quatrefoil is a symbol for a flower, thus of Ajaw, the concept of beginning and end, and the four cardinal directions, among many others.

The quatrefoil, which may be the basis of the flower meaning on the nahual Sun, is one of several key symbols of ancient Mesoamerican cosmovision that have been virtually overlooked until now.

The Trecena of Sun

A Sun trecena can be unusually intense, as Sun illuminates and brings things into the light. This is true for any day ruled by Sun. However, the effect is even stronger during this trecena because Sun combined with any other nahual results in the other nahual. For example, Sun plus Snake leads to Snake as the double composite. This is useful from analyzing relationships as well as many other things. Sun is the only nahual whose composite with another nahual is the other nahual.

Another effect of double composites during a Sun trecena is that the nahuales are in their purest form throughout the 260 days of the Sacred Calendar, or tzolkin.

Triple Composite Day Signs

Due to this unique property of Sun, there is no need to create a triple composite that factors in your day sign. The triple day sign will have the same nahual as the double day sign; only the coefficient changes, unless a nahual is combined with 13 Sun, which adds up to the precise day sign of the other person or date.

The Trecena of Sun (Ajpu or Ahau)

This table shows the day sign of each day in the current trecena of Sun (Kej or Manik), which runs from October 12-24, 2014.

Date Day Sign Double Composite Day Sign
October 12 1 Sun 2 Sun
October 13 2 Crocodile 3 Crocodile
October 14 3 Wind 4 Wind
October 15 4 Night 5 Night
October 16 5 Net/Lizard 6 Net/Lizard
October 17 6 Snake 7 Snake
October 18 7 Death 8 Death
October 19 8 Deer 9 Deer
October 20 9 Seed/Rabbit 10 Seed/Rabbit
October 21 10 Water 11 Water
October 22 11 Dog 12 Dog
October 23 12 Monkey 13 Monkey
October 24 13 Road 1 Road

How to Interpret Double Composite Day Signs in Mayan Astrology

Look for your nahual in the third column. If a double composite that is your nahual occurs, pay close attention to that date. My previous posts on other trecenas provide more ways to interpret double and triple composite day signs.

Two dates stand out during this trecena. The first day, 1 Sun, combines with the trecena ruler, 1 Sun, leading to the double composite of 2 Sun. This might prove significant on a global basis, because according to the Grand Wayeb, the current Year Bearer is 2 Sun. So watch for major international events and incidents throughout this trecena.

Sun could shed light on what happened to North Korean Dictator for Life, Kim Jong Un, who has not been seen in more than a month. This possibility is underscored by another meaning of Sun, which is ruler and authority. And the current Year Bearer, 2 Sun, is a double composite.

11 Dog on October 22 might also see negative events, as 11 can mean chaos and Dog is often a troublesome nahual on its own. The preceding day’s sign, 10 Water, might also indicate problems.

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Composite Mayan Astrology for the Trecena of 1 Deer (Kej or Manik)

One way to gauge the influence of the trecena ruler on the days within its trecena is to create a composite day sign that shows the combination of 1 Deer with each of the next 12 days. The following table provides the double composite day signs for the current trecena:

The Trecena of Deer (Kej or Manik)

This table shows the day sign of each day in the current trecena of Deer (Kej or Manik) in September-October 2014.

Date Day Sign Double Composite Day Sign
September 29 1 Deer 2 Jaguar
September 30 2 Seed 3 Eagle
October 1 3 Water 4 Vulture
October 2 4 Dog 5 Earth
October 3 5 Monkey 6 Knife
October 4 6 Road 7 Storm
October 5 7 Corn 8 Sun
October 6 8 Jaguar 9 Crocodile
October 7 9 Eagle 10 Wind
October 8 10 Vulture 11 Night
October 9 11 Earth 12 Net/Rabbit
October 10 12 Knife 13 Snake
October 11 13 Storm 1 Death

How to Use Composite Mayan Day Signs

These composites can be employed when scheduling important events. If planning a healing ceremony, October 10 makes a good day, as it is 12 Knife. But if you cannot do the ceremony on that date, then October 3, whose double composite is 6 Knife, is an alternative.

Another way to use double composites is to look for correspondences between them and your main day sign. If your main sign is 8 Sun, then October 5 is a day to pay close attention, as this correspondence could be a personal signal. You should also look for your opposite nahual in the list of double composites; your precise opposite will have the same coefficient as your main day sign, and is also very important.

When scheduling the most important events, you can also add your day sign’s coefficient and nahual to the double composite to obtain a triple composite.

In future posts, I will explain more using double and triple composites in several ways, including political astrology. Until then, see my other stories about trecena rulers, composite Mayan astrology and related topics at these sites or blogs:

Mayan Astrology Readings

The Mayan Calendar Users Guide

Composite Mayan Astrology for the Trecena of Jaguar (Ix)

Composite Mayan astrology, a standard tool of New Paradigm Mayan Astrology, provides another way to interpret the influence of the trecena ruler on days within its trecena. This is accomplished by combining the two day signs, 1 Jaguar and today’s day sign, 3 Vulture, to create a “double composite,” a day sign that represents their joint energies.

Today’s double composite day sign is 4 Dog. Consider the core meanings of Dog (guidance and authority) along with those of Vulture when assessing the energy of the day and how best to deal with it. The double composite may also show the best way to approach the energy and corresponding actions of the day sign of a date.

Double composites are most often used for relationship charts but have many other applications, such as scheduling activities and for political astrology. I will explain this concept in my next post.

The Trecena of Jaguar (Ix)

This table shows the day sign of each day in the current trecena of Jaguar (Ix) in September 2014.

Date Day Sign Double Composite Day Sign
September 16 1 Jaguar 2 Seed
September 17 2 Eagle 3 Water
September 18 3 Vulture 4 Dog
September 19 4 Earth 5 Monkey
September 20 5 Knife 6 Road
September 21 6 Storm 7 Corn
September 22 7 Sun 8 Jaguar
September 23 8 Crocodile 9 Eagle
September 24 9 Wind 10 Vulture/Owl
September 25 10 Night 11 Earth
September 26 11 Net/Rabbit 12 Knife
September 27 12 Snake 13 Storm
September 28 13 Death 1 Sun

Interpreting a Double Composite

Suppose a person wants to schedule a sales presentation. Eagle days are the best suited for business and money matter, but the meeting cannot be after September 17, which is the Eagle day of this trecena. So you look through the right column and find that September 23 is a double composite 9 Eagle, which is an even better day for business.

Also watch for double composites whose coefficient matches your own. All 5 days are worthy of special attention to all people who are 5 Sun, or any other nahual,

Triple Composite Mayan Day Signs

For the most important activities, you should do a triple composite by combining a double composite of the trecena ruler and a specific date’s day sign with your own day sign. Ideally, all three – the day sign of the date, the double composite, and the triple composite will all be favorable for the action in mind.

Composite Day Signs and Correspondences

Another way to use double or triple composites is to look for correspondences between them and your main day sign. If your main sign is 8 Sun, then October 5 is a day to pay close attention, as this correspondence on a double composite day could be a personal signal.

I’ll discuss triple composites in more detail when I post the double and triple composites for our next trecena, that of 1 Deer, which commences September 29.

For more on the trecena ruler and trecenas in general, search for previous posts here on this blog, or see:

The Effects of the Trecena Ruler on the Lord of the Day

A growing number of people doing Mayan astrology now consider the trecena ruler’s influence an important factor when interpreting the energy of a day sign for a date within that trecena. The interpretation is commonly accomplished by applying the core meaning of the trecena ruler’s nahual to the day sign of a specific day.

The trecena ruler of Jaguar, or Ix, marks 13 days of focus on the spiritual side of life.

For example, today is the first day of the trecena of Jaguar (Ix). Jaguar, whose core meaning is inner strength, is the nahual most likely to achieve the highest realms of spirituality. The second day of a Jaguar trecena is 2 Eagle, a nahual that can mean flying high either on the physical plane (especially regarding money and business) or on the spiritual plane. Jaguar, as trecena ruler, tells us that on this day we should focus on spiritual ascent rather than asking Eagle for money and work. Apply this concept when considering the meaning of the following day signs in the trecena.

The Trecena of Jaguar (Ix)

September 16: 1 Jaguar
September 17: 2 Eagle
September 18: 3 Vulture
September 19: 4 Earth
September 20: 5 Knife
September 21: 6 Storm
September 22: 7 Sun
September 23: 8 Crocodile
September 24: 9 Wind
September 25: 10 Night
September 26: 11 Net/Rabbit
September 27: 12 Snake
September 28: 13 Death

(To see the meaning of these days signs, and those of the next trecena, Deer, see: Interactive Monthly Mayan Calendar.)

Correspondences between Your Day Signs and the Trecena

Another way to use the trecena is to look for correspondences between your Mayan astrological chart (either the Constellation or Cross of Life) and the day signs in the trecena. For example, if your main day sign is 9 Wind, then pay close attention on September 24, when you may receive a personal message or insight, or which might be a good day to schedule a related activity. Also look for your main day sign’s opposite nahual in the above list. (See my previous post to learn your opposite Mayan day sign, an important concept in New Paradigm Mayan Astrology.)

Also note the coefficients of each day sign during the trecena. If your main day sign is 12 (any nahual), then September 27, which is 12 Snake, may prove to be a significant time.

Mayan Composite Astrology and the Trecena Ruler

The influence of the trecena ruler on the days within its trecena can also be interpreted with a tool from New Paradigm Astrology, composite nahuales. I will explain how this works in my next post.

For more on the trecena ruler and trecenas in general, see:

  • Mayan Astrology Readings
  • The Mayan Calendar Users Guide
  • Your Opposite Nahual
  • Mundane Mayan Astrology: The Destiny of Nations and Future of the World

    In Western and Vedic astrology, an astrologer can create a natal chart for a country in order to give guidance to world leaders or predict global events. A king might consider mundane astrology when scheduling a major action, anything from war to a royal wedding. Composite charts are used when studying the political situation involving two or more nations.

    raphael-astrology

    A nation’s natal chart and Sun sign are based on the date and time of the country’s founding. In some cases, a new chart is done to reflect a major change in the nation’s government, such as when Ayotollah Khomeini returned to power in Iran.

    Mundane Mayan Astrology

    Mundane Mayan astrology is an extension of mundane astrology as it was practiced by practiced by Raphael (the artist, not the Ninja Turtle) and other Western astrologers. I studied Raphael’s Mundane Astrology or the Effects of the Planets and Signs, Upon the Nations and Countries of the World and the works of other Western astrologers who specialized in mundane astrology during for my book, When the Comets Run, two years ago.

    I did not learn about Mayan mundane astrology, or how to use it, from a Maya, non-Maya, not from shaman or scholar. This advanced element of new paradigm Mayan astrology is simply an application of one of Marshall McLuhan’s key principles, that of extension, to which I continue to devote considerable time to researching and experimenting with here in Guatemala.

    It is along the lines of my discovery (or at least re-discovery) of using Mayan nahuales in political astrology, which during the USA’s presidential election in 2012 I employed to correctly pick the winners of three out of four primaries as well as of Obama’s reelection, all based solely on Mayan astrology. That was also when I got the idea of using this system to discover and interpret the nahuales of nations and world leader.

    9 Corn, in the center, is the main nahual of the USA. 9 Corn is also Obama's day sign.

    9 Corn, in the center, is the main nahual of the USA. 9 Corn is also Obama’s day sign.

    Mundane Mayan Day Signs: Nahaules of Nations

    The Mayan day signs for the following countries is based on dates that were verified with at least one other source. Where multiple founding dates were found, I provide both dates. In some cases, I will later  show why one of them appears to fit the current geopolitical situation.

    Nahuales of the Nations
    Nation Founding Date Mayan Day Sign
    United States July 4, 1776 9 Corn
    England/UK December 25, 1066 2 Net/Lizard
    Germany January 18, 1871 11 Night
    China October 11, 1949 10 Knife
    Iran *February 1, 1979 3 Night
    **April 1, 1979 10 Wind
    * Khomeini returns to power
    ** Republic of Iran founded

    The first thing that stood out when calculating these day signs was that the United States and President Barak Obama share the same sign, 9 Corn. My immediate interpretation was that regardless of Obama’s current disfavor with the public, his destiny in irretrievably entwined with that of the United States – and that he is not going to go away.

    In a future post, I will provide the data for other countries and demonstrate the application of mundane Mayan astrology to ongoing geopolitical situations such as the Middle East.

    Until then, here’s a link to some of my 2012 election predictions based on Mayan astrology: Mayan Political Astrology.

    The Grand #Wayeb and the New Year Bearers of the Maya: Eagle, Sun, Snake and Dog

    The Grand Wayeb system is a Ki’che’ Maya method used in ancient times to adjust the 365-day solar calendar, called the haab by the Maya, for leap year; to determine the date of the 52-year #CalendarRound; and to know when to change from one of the five sets of Year Bearers to the next. The Year Bearer exerts a strong influence on global or national events and may even affect individuals born during its rule.

    The five sets of Year Bearers according to the Grand Wayeb system of Ki'che' Maya in Guatemala.

    Meet the New #YearBearers of the Haab

    The Grand Wayeb was lost long ago, so scholars and most contemporary Maya 0have continued to recycle the last known Year Bearers: Wind, Road, Earth and Deer. Since the Grand Wayeb was reverse-engineered by Ki’che Maya in Guatemala and made public in 2003, the Grand Wayeb has gradually become accepted by the more open-minded members of the Mayan astrology community.

    Yet it remains controversial and even denied outright by some Maya elders. (The above table provides the dates of the five sets of Year Bearers as they appear in the first English-language book to discuss the Grand Wayeb, Mayan Calendar Users Guide by Shay Addams.)

    According to the Grand Wayeb, the ancients changed the set of Year Bearers at the outset of each 52-year Calendar Round. And this occurred on March 6, 2013, when 1 Eagle assumed the throne. The next three years are governed by 2 Sun, 3 Snake and 4 Dog, followed by 5 Eagle, 6 Sun, 7 Snake and 8 Dog, etc. and so on until 2065 and the next calendar round commences.

    The Grand Wayeb and New Paradigm Mayan Astrology

    Proponents of new paradigm Mayan astrology, aware that even today’s Maya disagree on the current Year Bearer, accept the Grand Wayeb as the most reasonable and intuitive way to make this determination. This does not make it a “belief,” only the most productive perspective on the subject.

    When calculating a Mayan astrological chart, one may either use the Grand Wayeb’s Year Bearer, the old one that is obviously off by who knows how many hundreds of years, or no Year Bearer at all. Unless the individual for whom the chart is done happens to be directly involved on the global stage, I prefer the last option – no Year Bearer.

    When doing political astrology (based on the Mayan 260-day calendar) for current world events such as the 2012 presidential election in the United States, I experiment with all three options and track the results to see which was most accurate).

    This approach fits in with that of the ancient day keepers when creating a chart for a member of royalty: they would incorporate numerous factors, such as the trecena ruler, the position of Venus, the Lord of the Night and the Year Bearer. Selecting the most appropriate date for an event, especially a major one such as military action or the seating of a king or queen would require factoring in the influence of the Year Bearer.

    Ultimately, the decision as to which Year Bearer to use when they are required is up to the individual day keeper. For details on the Grand Wayeb and the New Year Bearers of the current Calendar Round, see Grand Wayeb Year Bearers.

    The Concept of Opposite Nahuales in the Tzolkin

    #NewParadigmAstrology: New Concepts in Mayan Astrology

    Some of the most important concepts and insights that led to the notion of #NewParadigmMayanAstrology  came to me the day after visiting a sacred site in Guatemala or Mexico, or during or after a Mayan ceremony. The concept of opposite nahuales, for example, arose during a Path of the Feathered Serpent ceremony in my courtyard at Lake Atitlan several months ago.

    #NewParadigmMayanAstrology offers fresh insights and concepts for applying Mayan astrology to your daily life.

    On the Road to New Paradigm Mayan Astrology

    The Circle of Jade Nahuales

    For a personal ceremony, I usually arrange a set of 20 jade amulets with glyphs of the nahuales in a circle around me and place the candles of the four directions outside them. The day was Toj/Muluc, or Water, so I put that amulet directly behind the red candle on the eastern side of the circle.

    For some reason, I wondered if the glyph on the opposite side of Toj was Noj, which is Earth. After all, water and earth are opposite in nature. Yet when I looked around, I saw the glyph for Cauac, which is Storm. Cauac is also a water-related nahual, and both are associated with women. So rather than having opposite meanings, the opposite nahuales had something in common.

    The difference? Toj is a passive water sign, while Cauac is a strong and active one. I decided to further investigate the concept of opposite nahuales.

    Opposites in the Structure of the Tzolkin

    First I looked for other instances of opposite nahuales in the structure of the Tzolkin and other Mesoamerican time cycles. And found several. The four Year Bearers (whichever nahuales you consider correct) are opposites. Ik (Wind) and E’ (Road) two of the traditional Year Bearers, are on opposite sides of the circle of 20 nahuales. This is also true for the other conventionally accepted Year Bearers, Noj (Earth) and Kej’ (Deer).

    The four nahuales that mark the burner day cycle, which divides the 260-day cycle into four sub-cycles, are also opposites: Ajpu (Sun) and T’zi (Dog), and Kan (Snake) and Tzi’kin (Eagle). Curiously, these four nahuales are the current Year Bearers, which were introduced on March 6, 2014, according to the Gran Wayeb system.

    So there turned out to be a solid basis for the concept of opposite nahuales in the very structure of the Tzolkin. Next I examined each pair of opposites, which are easily discovered by counting 11 forward or backward in the circle, with the starting nahual as the first (as is done when calculating a Mayan Tree of Life or Constellation chart). The number 11 itself seemed significant. The numbers 7 and 9 are employed when doing such charts. 11 would naturally continue the progression.

    New Paradigm Mayan Astrology introduces fresh concepts such as that of the "opposite nahuales" and their application to daily life.

    Figure 1: The Opposite Nahuales of the Tzolkin

    Figure 1 above and Table 1 below present all ten sets of opposite nahuales, using their names in English. It begins with Crocodile, the glyph at the top of Figure 1, and cycles counter-clockwise through the nahuales depicted hieroglyphically in this circle.

    Some make more sense than others, but they all felt right. The most striking was Tijax (Knife) and Q’anil (Seed/Rabbit). The glyphs of these nahuales are almost identical, and represent the quincunx, among the most ancient of all symbols in the Mesoamerican sacred calendar.

    • Crocodile – Monkey
    • Wind – Road
    • Night – Corn
    • Net/Lizard – Jaguar
    • Snake – Eagle
    • Death – Vulture/Owl
    • Deer – Earth
    • Seed/Rabbit – Knife
    • Water – Storm
    • Dog – Sun

    Table 1: The Opposite Nahuales

    Before reading further, stop and examine each set of opposites and see what you find.

    I said stop! Okay, now proceed.

    Time’s up.

    Did you notice that the Eagle and Snake are the symbols from the legend about the founding of Tenochtitlan, and recall that the Eagle and Snake are natural enemies? Or that Dog and Sun share a core meaning of authority, which leads to sub meanings of counsel and guidance? How about Death and Vulture/Owl, both related to the ancestors and the spirit world? Aspects of certain other opposite nahuales, such as Night and Corn, are not as obvious as these examples. But a blend of common sense and intuition led me to conclude that each set of opposites is related, though not always in the same way.

    How to Apply the Concept of Opposite Nahuales

    My next question was “What, if anything, does this mean, and how to interpret and apply this knowledge?” I’ll reveal the answers and offer more discoveries and insights, and how I arrived at them in my next post on the opposite nahuales.

    Until then, review the table and illustration of opposite nahuales and, instead of approaching these questions strictly with logic or with intuition alone, try to “think with your heart and feel with your brain.” Use both common sense and intuition simultaneously. Blending dualistic concepts such as these into one is a key element in the new paradigm.

    I would appreciate your comments and questions about this topic, for some of you are certain to see things that I have overlooked.

    Posted on 1 Akabal/Aq’ab’al (Night) in July 2014.

    Copyright Shay Addams 2014 All Rights Reserved.

    The Maya Elders Got it Wrong about the Source of the Number 13

    It’s a colorful tale spun Mayan Elders and other teachers about the source of the number 13 in the context of the 260-day calendar. The myth, which you will hear handed down by practically every Maya shaman and their disciples , tells us that this magickal number is based on the 13 major joints of the human body is often punctuated by slapping the hands on the ankles, knees and other joints.

    The Mayan Elders are all wrong about the source of the numbers 13 and 20 in the Tzolkin, or Sacred Calendar.

    Mayan ceremony at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

    Yet upon closer examination, the story falls apart. With all due respect for the Elders, here’s a more plausible basis for the true inspiration of the number 13 in Mayan astrology and cosmovision, which highlights the frailties of oral legacy.

    What really happened was that long, long ago the Maya forgot the source of the two numbers that are multiplied to result in the number of days in the calendar, which are 13 and 20. (I covered the true source of the number 20 in a previous post: see True Source of Number 20 in Mayan Astrology and the Tzolkin Sacred Calendar. In the same way they forgot a lot of things. (Remember that most Maya did not even have a written language by the time the conquistadors arrived, relying instead on oral legacy, which is fraught with potential for error.)

    The Shaman Says, “Moldy Bones Don’t Make It.”

    For the number 13 were based on the number of major joints in the human body, that means a situation like this occurred long ago when at a meeting of a group of shamans somewhere in Mesoamerica. “On the way to the meeting, said Leroy Eagle Claw, I saw a skeleton in the grass, and it had 13 major joints.”

    “Great!” shouted Harvey Sloth Nose. “Now we can finally invent that calendar we always talk about when we eat those funny mushrooms.”

    That scenario is not likely to have unfolded. What makes common sense is that somewhere down the line, the story of how 13 was based on human anatomy was concocted by one or more Elders simply to have an answer for a question commonly asked by other Maya. After all, their credibility was on the line.

    The True Source of 13 in the Tzolkin

    According to linguistic anthropologist Marci Macri, ancient Mesoamericans venerated the thirteen celestial numbers – even before the system of 20 nahuales came along. The Maya depicted these and other numbers with head figure glyphs like the one seen here.

    The numbers 1-13 of the Tzolkin, the Mayan sacred calendar, appear in the inner ring of this plate.

    “Head variant” glyphs for the numbers 1-13 are seen in the inner circle of this plate, created by a local artist at Lake Atitlan.

    These 13 powerful spirits, then, are a more reasonable, if less entertaining, source for the number 13 in the calendar.

    Other Potential Sources of the Number 13

    There are thirteen levels of Heaven in Mayan cosmovision. Marci also posits that the 13-day sub-cycle within the lunar cycle might be the source of the number 13 in the Tzolkin. Finally, the ancient Maya considered Pleiades a constellation, so they recognized 13 constellations. Perhaps more than one of these played a role in the emergence of this number and its vital part in the 260-day calendar, which is divided into 20 weeks of 13 days each.

    All these potential sources for the number 13, inspired by celestial observation (often referred to as “astronomy”), make a lot more sense than someone stumbling across a bunch of moldy bones in the jungle.

    The traditional myth would also have us believe that the source of the calendar was here on Earth. This violates the maxim, “As above, so below.” For if 13 really came from the number of major joints in the human body, the maxim would have to be, “As below, so above.” Good sense says otherwise, regardless of the quaint but misguided oral legacy of the Elders and their disciples.

    This analysis does not suggest that the Elders are completely wrong when they relate that ancient myth, for the link between the number of major joints and the number 13 demonstrates a correlation between people on Earth and the spirits above. The Tzolkin, therefore, functions like an interface between heaven and earth, between the nahuales and Ajaw and human beings.

    It’s Alive! (This blog just went public.)

    This blog about new paradigm Mayan astrology has been in production for a few weeks but was announced publicly for the first today, 4 Ahau. Today is second recurrence of 4 Ahau since the Galactic Alignment of December 21, 2012, the so-called end of the Mayan Long Count calendar. The latter event occurred 520 days ago, so we are leaving the second Tzolkin cycle since December 21, 2012, and entering the third.

    Ahau, called Ajpu in Guatemala, is the nahual that represents the deity Ajaw. This nahual, therefore marks both both the beginning and the end, for that is the true meaning of Ajaw in terms of time according to contemporary Maya scholars in Guatemala.

    Ahau’s key meaning is illumination, which is the purpose of this blog, another reason I went public with the blog today.

    The Origin of the Number 20 in Mayan Cosmology and Astrology

    New paradigm Mayan astrology challenges some of the longstanding stories of contemporary Maya about the source of the key numbers used in the 260-day calendar. Common sense, rather than a strict reliance on hand-me-down stories will lead to the truth. I’ll begin with some fiction and facts about the number 20, which is the number of nahuales in the Mesoamerican spiritual system commonly called the Tzolkin, a contemporary name for the ancient calendar system used throughout Mesoamerica and not only by the Maya.

    Which Came First, the Number 20 or the Nahuales?

    One common story among the Maya of Guatemala concerns the source of the number 20. Some Elders and their disciples, Mayan and non-Maya, repeat the oral legacy that the number 20 is based on the number of fingers and toes of the human body, apparently without considering the implications. And they say that this is the source of the number of nahuales in the Tzolkin.

    The number 20 in Mayan astrology is based on the number of nahuales, not on the human body.

    This drawing has been used to “prove” that the number 20, even the 20 nahuales themselves, were based on the human body – a conclusion that does not add up when one considers that humans appeared after the nahuales, which invalidates this assumption.

    With all due respect to the Elders, it is clear that this story defies not only common sense but also the written records of the Popul Vuh, which tells how several of the nahuales created people. It is obvious that if the nahuales were around before people, the number 20 could not have been based on any part(s) of the human anatomy.

    And not only did the nahuales predate human beings, so did the concept and reality of day keepers, who count the days of the Sacred Calendar and interpret their significance. According to the Popul Vuh, Xpiyaco and Xmucane – “midmost seers” and “day keepers,” were consulted during the process of creating human beings.

    We Come From the Stars

    The notion that the number of nahuales is derived from a human source could even be called arrogant: it assumes that the Sacred Calendar was based on human beings. That would violate the maxim, “As above, so below.” If the key numbers of the 260-day calendar were based on the human body, the maxim would have to be, “As below, so above.” And that ain’t right (a rarely used scholarly term that will be used rarely on this blog).

    Human Beings, Nahuales and the Tzolkin

    At the same time, some contemporary Maya that the correlation between the number of toes and fingers and the number of nahuales establishes a link between people on Earth and the spirits in the heavens, or Otherworld. That this correlation is the significance of the number 20, not its reputed source of the number itself. I invite my colleagues here in Guatemala and in the rest of this world, as well as those who are new to Mayan cosmovision and astrology, to comment on this post and help bring illumination to planet Earth as we phase into the new paradigm.

    And Where Did the Number 13 Come From?

    20 is not the only number that links human beings with the nahuales and this universe. In my next post, I’ll look at legends and scientific research about another vital number in the Tzolkin system – 13 – and its origin.

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