Today there are two different calendar systems that are presenting themselves as Mayan alternatives to the Gregorian calendar. One of them is the so-called Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon calendar and the other is the traditional Mayan calendar system, which revolves around the Sacred Calendar that is still in use in certain parts of Guatemala. As we are approaching the Oneness Celebration and the ensuing Return of the Calendar of Quetzalcoatl it is becoming all the more important to discuss the differences between these two calendars. Yet, in some countries the Dreamspell calendar is so dominating that few will even know that it differs in significant and profound ways from the traditional Mayan calendar. This is not the least because Dreamspell teachers will not often bring up the differences, but rather portray the Dreamspell as identical with the Mayan calendar or as a modernized variety of it. On the technical level there are however some very significant differences between the Dreamspell and the traditional Mayan calendar:
- The Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon calendar makes jumps on certain days. One very notable such jump is at the leap day on February 29 every four years (Olympic years such as 2004). The Traditional Sacred Calendar however never makes any jumps and is perfectly regular. It follows the uninterrupted flow of divine creation and assigns a Sacred energy of time to every day. Every day, without exception, has a sign and a number associated with it. The idea that there would be days without an energy in the Sacred Calendar seems very alien to Mayan day-keepers and it is not easy to interpret what this would mean. What , in other words, would make February 29, 2004 so different from all other days that it would not have a spiritual energy? After all, the decision to make this particular day a leap day was not made by the Maya, but by Pope Gregory in 1582. In the Dreamspell calendar his decision has really been given the important role of excluding a certain day, which even affects the understanding that people today have of the Sacred Mayan Calendar.
- The Thirteen Moon calendar similarly makes a jump every year on July 26. This is in contrast to the traditional Mayan way of counting moons, where the durations of months alternate between 29 and 30 days. These were followed without interruption and the Traditional Mayan Moon calendar was a reflection of the phases of the moon. The traditional Mayan way of counting months is synchronized with the natural female cycles of menstruation, ovulation and gestation, while this is not true for either the Dreamspell calendar or the Gregorian calendar. While modern doctors often claim that the female cycle is 28 days, there is extensive evidence, both mythological and modern statistical, to show that the female cycle is indeed linked to the cycle of the full moon of 29.5 days. Presumably, medicine has throughout the patriarchal era sought to deny this magical link between the female and the full moon and so a fictitious cycle of 28 days has been invented. Neither the Gregorian calendar with its alternating numbers of days in the month, 28, 30 or 31, nor the Thirteen Moon calendar is synchronized with the female cycles and both of them seems to deny the link between the female and the full moon.
- The traditional Sacred Calendar of the Maya (tzolkin) that is still in use in certain parts of Guatemala is directly linked to the long-term prophetic thirteen baktun calendar called the Long Count. Thus, on a micro scale the traditional tzolkin reproduces the energies of time of the Long Count. The Dreamspell tzolkin count, on the other hand, which makes an interruption every four years could not have any such direct relationship to the prophetic Long Count. Since it makes jumps on the leap day it will reflect a certain flow of creation for four years only, and after a leap day it will reflect a new flow. The traditional tzolkin instead reflects one and the same ongoing creation process without interruption.
- The prophetic calendars of the Maya are based on non-physical cycles. They are non-astronomical cycles based on the inherent creative energies of time itself. The Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon calendar is instead built around the particular astronomical cycle of our planet around the sun of 365.25 (at the current time 365.2422) days. The traditional Mayan calendar system is valid for the whole universe and goes back to the so-called Big Bang about 15 billion years ago when the universe was born and no solar systems with their particular cycles even existed. This is according to modern physicists and the Mayan calendar alike. Since the Traditional Mayan calendar is not limited to our own planet or solar system it is not subordinated to its particular astronomical cycles, such as the solar year. It reflects a cosmic process of creation, where our own particular solar system is just a small part. In fact, the Traditional Mayan calendar system would be equally valid on Mars or Venus or any other planet in the cosmos as it is on earth, despite the fact that the periods of revolution of these planets would be very different from ours. In this, it differs from all other calendars in the world that are geocentric and based on the parameters of our own particular planet.
It thus seems that the purpose of the Dreamspell and the Mayan calendar is very different. While the Dreamspell calendar aspires to present a new way of dividing the solar year into months, the traditional calendar describes an ongoing cosmic process of creation that has no interruptions. In technical terms the main differences between the two calendars are the ones summarized in points 1-4 above. These differences between the Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon and the Mayan calendar are too rarely pointed out and debated, with the consequence that it is not always easy for people, especially not for those new to Mayan calendrics, to make an informed choice about what calendar to choose. Yet, of course, what is important are not the technical differences, but the spiritual consequences. The Calendar of Quetzalcoatl needs to provide guidance for the path of humanity towards Enlightenment and in the upcoming turbulent times only such a calendar will serve humanity.