Is the Mayan Calendar the astrology of our time?

Before going into this question it should be pointed out that “astrology” is probably not a very good word to use for the Mayan time-based divination system. The reason is that the name astrology derives from the Greek word “aster” meaning star, and Mayan calendar divination is not based on the positions of the stars or the planets at the time of an individual’s birth. It is based on the energies “inherent in time” of a hierarchy of time periods and days at any given time. I will in this article try to very briefly outline the basic structure of the Mayan Calendar, discuss some of the differences with European astrology and why I think the Mayan Calendar may be the astrology of our own time.

The Mayan Calendar describes a hierarchical organization of nine levels of consciousness that are now all soon coming to their completion. Each of these levels of consciousness is developed by a sequence of thirteen divine energies going from seed to mature fruit. Hence the Mayan calendar describes processes of evolution on different levels and events in life or human history are always looked upon as parts of processes rather than as isolated events. Each of these levels of consciousness may be called an Underworld and is developed by a sequence of thirteen energies whose alternations generate a process of evolution. The most basic of these Underworlds began 16.4 billion years ago, which is very close to the age currently estimated for the universe. Through a series of thirteen hablatuns (time periods of 1.25 billion years) this Underworld developed the basic structure of the physical universe. Hence, the Mayan Calendar system goes back not only to the very beginning of creation, to the Big Bang, but also to a point in time about 10 billion years before our own solar system even existed. This, by itself seems to indicate that the Mayan Calendar is of a higher order than European astrology (maybe a better name would be Babylonian-European astrology). The fact that the Mayan calendar system covers the time all the way to the Big Bang, before any celestial bodies had emerged anywhere, would also seem to indicate that it is a calendar system that is applicable throughout the universe. Thus, it is not very surprising that it can be demonstrated that the various shift points in the Mayan Calendar reflect shifts in consciousness fields rather than in the positions of physical celestial bodies.

Of course, both Mayan and European astrology have long histories, which in very early forms can probably both be tracked back about 5000 years, to the dawn of civilization. This dawn coincides with the beginning of the Mayan so-called Long Count calendar that began August 11, 3114 BC in our current chronology. There are in fact very strong reasons to argue that this Long Count brought with it a left-brain mentality that led to the development of writing, metals, warfare, hierarchical rule of monarchs and theories about the human ‘s place in the cosmos that we usually associate with the dawn of civilisation. This Long Count is another Underworld, the National Underworld, developed by thirteen different time periods called baktuns (400 360-day periods amounting to about 394 solar years) and by the time it came to its midpoint in 552 BC the astrological systems in both the Old and the New World start to crystallize more clearly. In Babylon the Zodiak takes form, whereas among the Zapotecs, a people preceding the Maya, the 260-day Sacred Calendar is developed. This Sacred Calendar has since remained intact and has been followed by the Quiché-Maya of Guatemala until this very day. The Zodiak and the Tzolkin may be regarded as the core structures of the two astrological systems of the Old and the New World respectively. One is a chart of the heavens, while the other of the flow of time.

From the midpoint of the National Underworld and onwards the New World calendar system was then developed in a series of steps and attained its height of sophistication during the Classical Maya (AD 250-900), at which time the whole region of what is now Mexico and Guatemala followed one and the same tzolkin (260-day) count. Following the collapse of the Classical culture it seems however that the calendar system started to deteriorate, at least in my own view, until its final collapse came through the contact with the Spanish Conquistadors and Christianity. Hence, a Spanish Bishop by the name of Diego de Landa organized a book burning where all Mayan calendars he could find were burnt. At the same time, the Maya, who had never previously had a fixed New Year’s day in the solar year were forced by the friars to fix one on July 26 to accommodate their agricultural 365-day Haab calendar with the ecclesiastical year of the Christians. This meant the end to the true Mayan Calendar as an expression of the cosmic flow of time. At the same time we can read in a series of books called The Books of Chilam Balam how the Spanish started to introduce ideas of European astrology among the Maya. Even though the calendar system was kept alive in the mountain villages of Guatemala it then disappeared from visibility until the present time.

European astrology followed a different trajectory. From its Babylonian-Greek beginnings it experienced a triumph in Europe during the 16th century (actually its zenith coincides with the virtual disappearance of its Mayan counterpart) until the beginning of the thirteenth baktun in AD 1617. The thirteenth baktun brought intensified left-brain thinking, including the scientific revolution and the Laws of Kepler and Newton. In light of the fact that the positions of the planets could be exactly calculated from the law of gravitation the mystery of European astrology then seemed to disappeared and it too went into oblivion. It was not revived until the mid-18th century. From the perspective of the Mayan calendar this revival of European astrology in the mid-18th century is not particularly surprising. The reason is that at this time, AD 1755 to be exact, a new level of consciousness started to evolve, an Underworld we might call the Planetary Underworld that brought industrialism, democracy and internal psychology among many other things. Human beings then started to identify with a wider planetary context rather than exclusively with their own nations as had previously been the case. The focus on the material aspects of the universe, as well as the expansion to a planetary framework brought about by this new Underworld obviously was very conducive to the reemergence of European astrology, which to a large extent is based on a role of planetary positions. At this time and towards the late 20th century it became widely popular.

Since a few years back, January 5, 1999, we are however the most strongly affected by yet another Underworld, the Galactic Underworld, which brings a new, even wider, frame of the human consciousness than the Planetary Underworld. As human consciousness now expands it would be expected that the role of our local solar system decreases in importance in the role given to it in shaping human character and destiny. Intuitively, more and more people are now also experiencing “energies” and fields of consciousness – “frequency increases” – that seem to have no relationship to planetary positions. Not only that, the almost universally experienced speed-up of time cannot possibly be explained by planetary positions, since the durations of the astronomical cycles have not changed. The Mayan Calendar can however explain the speed-up of time, since its energy changes now take place much more rapidly than they ever did in the past.

In an article of this size these matters can obviously not be treated in any depth. It has not been my intention either to come to any definite conclusions, only to point out that the Mayan Calendar definitely deserves a stronger interest as an astrological system, not only for large-scale prophecy, but also for personal destinies. There is a lot pointing in favor of the Mayan calendar as a divinatory system in the time to come. Very important is here also the massive amount of empirical evidence to support the existence of the processes it describes. There is proof of the validity of the Mayan Calendar for divination to a degree that probably no other astrological system can muster. Moreover, it is not geocentric, but looks upon the energies influencing the course of events on this planet – as well as the destiny of human individuals – as generated by the core of the universe, the Cosmic World Tree called Hunab-Ku by the Maya. This is a holographic world view according to the principle As above- So below meaning that these energies are relayed by the galaxy to the Earth and finally to the living beings that are in resonance with these. These energies come in pre-determined sequences so as to create a flow of time, which we may enter consciously by following the Mayan Calendar. In this, there is an important philosophical difference between European and Mayan astrology. While the former is based on endlessly repeated astronomical cycles, the latter has a direction, the direction of the flow of time. In my view it is this flow of time that is pointing out the purpose of our lives. If this is true then we are really on to some fundamental new understanding of the meaning of life from the Mayan Calendar, an astrological system that all but disappeared and now seems to be reappearing from the ashes in the nick of time.

Carl Johan Calleman