To much of the world a calendar system invented by José and Lloydine Argüelles in the early nineties: The Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon Calendar has come to be known as “the Mayan Calendar”. Despite the fact that this is a calendar system that has never been used by the Maya. In the words of Adam Rubel of Saq Be, an organization reflecting indigenous and especially Mayan views:
Despite this wish of the Mayan elders, many of its protagonists have however been falsely presenting it as Mayan.. Mostly this is because of a lack of knowledge about the true Mayan calendar, but also because those teaching the Dreamspell calendar do not provide adequate information about the origin of this and why it was invented.
The structure of the calendar system known as the Thirteen Moon calendar/Dreamspell is basically as follows: It proposes that we use a calendar of Thirteen different Moons of 28 days – presented as the feminine cycle – to which a “day out of time” on July 25 is added to account for the 365 days of a solar year (13 x 28 +1 = 365 days). Linked to this is a count of the 20 glyphs and 13 numbers that have been borrowed from the Sacred Mayan Calendar of 260 days. Yet, in the Dreamspell calendar the symbols are associated to the days in an entirely different way compared to in the true calendar meaning that when people are given their purported Mayan tzolkin day of birth in this system, called the “Galactic Signature”, this is invariably different from the Sacred Calendar symbols that the Maya have been and are using for that particular day. Thousands have been misled into thinking that this is their true Mayan day-sign.
How Mayan is then this system? Except for the signs and symbols used in the tzolkin count (260-day count) it is not Mayan at all. To begin with the ancient Maya followed a moon cycle alternating between 29 and 30 days, as did many other peoples, creating a mean of 29.5 days. This is consistent with the female cycle. Yet, many women have, partly because of the perturbations of their cycles due to the artificial lights and artificial hormones present everywhere in the modern world, come to believe that a “normal” period is 28 days. This idea is really a construct of patriarchal medicine that for ages has been frightened by what it has perceived as a magical link between the woman and the full moon cycle of about 29.5 days. Still today many women, as well as also many men, have special feelings linked to their hormones on days of full moon. The Thirteen Moon calendar thus ignores the female natural cycle and seeks to replace it with a mathematical construct of 28 days, that does not correspond to any natural cycle.
In this Thirteen Moon Calendar the day July 26 has been chosen as a “New Year’s day” and you sometimes hear it being called “the Mayan New Year”. In reality this fixed first day of the so-called Thirteen Moon calendar reflects the very opposite of the Mayan Calendar system. Fixing it on this date was really what sealed the end of the traditional Mayan calendar in the Yucatan. In ancient times, and among the living Quiché-Maya still, the Mayan calendar had no fixed “New Year’s date” that could now be directly translated into a Gregorian such. This distinction of the traditional Mayan calendar of not having a fixed new year’s date is of very great importance today. It means that unlike most other calendars of the world the prophetic Mayan calendar is not subordinated to mechanical time or astronomical cycles. The Thirteen Moon calendar, in contrast is based on the physical year.
What then is the origin of the date July 26? Certainly not the heliacal rising of the Dog Star as is sometimes claimed, since this happened on July 13 and 14 in ancient days in the Yucatan. Instead it is to be found in a 365 day long calendar cycle called the haab by the Maya. The haab was a quarter of a day short of the length of the solar year the beginning of this haab cycle would shift over time over the solar year. Thus, the notion of a fixed new year was completely alien to the Maya, until in AD 1541 the Yucatan was conquered by the Spanish. At that point the beginning of the haab fell on the Gregorian date July 26. During the forced conversion of the Maya to Christianity that followed the Maya were then forced to give up their traditional calendars whose spiritual energies were regarded as idolatry by the Spanish Bishops that came to burn practically all of their books. As part of this adaptation to Christianity and its ecclesiastical year with celebrations of saints and Christmas, etc the Maya had to freeze the previously moving beginning day of the haab cycle at the date it had at the time of the Spanish conquest. This freezing meant the effective end to the Mayan calendar system in the Yucatan and its conversion to a system of mechanical astronomical time. The date July 26 (that is recorded in books written by the Maya after the Conquest, and from Bishop Landa who instigated the burning of the Mayan calendars) thus symbolizes the very end to the original Mayan calendar system in the Yucatan. In my view this is more of a reason for mourning than for celebration.
Yet, among the Maya in present day Guatemala significant aspects of the ancient calendar system, such as the haab and the tzolkin (Cholquij) went underground and has thus survived until the present time in its highlands. It can be verified from archeological artifacts that the Sacred Calendar has been kept unaltered by the daykeepers of the Quiché-Maya since antiquity. My own view is that this particular true tzolkin count is a gift to the future of humanity if we can only make the right use of it. Today, increasing number of people are starting to use this Sacred Calendar and experience the energies of time that it describes. In the Mayan view the Sacred Calendar of 260 days is the most important of the calendars, the very hub around which all other calendars revolve. Hence, while other aspects of the Mayan calendar system may have changed over time the Sacred Calendar is considered as holy and should not be tampered with. It was always kept unaltered for the time that generations of the future when people would need it and this time according to many is now.
This raises the question why the Argüelles invented a new Sacred Calendar (260 day) count, the Dreamspell calendar, in the early nineties especially considering that the Maya had been using the true Sacred Calendar for thousands of years. Is there a hidden agenda behind this? The question is all the more relevant as the actual function of this invention has been to replace and deny the existence of the true tzolkin count. The reasons for this replacement has always been a very well kept secret and it seems that people in the Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon Movement have rarely, if ever, undertaken to explore it. Lloydine Argüelles, co-inventor of the Dreamspell calendar however gives us some hints as to why the Dreamspell was developed to replace the Sacred Mayan calendar as she wrote in Crystal Skywalker Day Report in 1997: All of the knowledge in the Dreamspell is unalterable knowledge. ….If we think to ourselves, ”I can agree with 98 % of the new knowledge, but the other knowledge I can’t accept,” then we must consider how ego can enter and cause distortion of knowledge. “You must understand the promise to be 100 % faithful to the new knowledge. Nothing that Valum Votan (José Argüelles, my clarification) presents is not in accord with the divine plan.
These statements reveal a mentality similar to autocratic rule as well as a desire to keep the followers in the fold. Not surprisingly then it seems that Lloydine Argüelles played a crucial role in deciding how their particular tzolkin count would be anchored in time. In the Thirteen Moon movement Lloydine Argüelles was often identified as Bolon Ik, 9 Wind, which in the ancient Mesoamerican tradition was an energy associated with the light deity of Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent. Thus, her particular birthday (May 15, 1943) was given the energy 9 Wind (kin 22) in the Dreamspell count. This was an anchoring point for the tzolkin count that was chosen by the Argüelles’ and the consequence was that its followers came to identify her with this deity of light. Along the same line, provided that the leap day was removed, Jose Argüelles birthday (Jan 24, 1939) became 11 Monkey (kin 11) and in this arrangement not only did he become the Monkey, the weaver, the central day-sign that everything revolves around, but the two of them also got the master numbers 11 and 22 for their dates of birth. In an apparent slip of the tongue Jose Argüelles talks about kin 11 as “the one designated as Valum Votan”. Obviously, the more people that follow their calendar the more these identities have been reinforced. Thus, those that are followers of this particular tzolkin count will give the founders central roles and synchronize their lives around these.
It is common among followers of the Dreamspell calendar to say that this “works” or that it provides an entry point to the “synchronous order”. Given the above the relevant questions to ask are however “Works for what?” and “Whose synchronic order”? It seems obvious that with the particular set-up of this calendar it works very well as an entry point to the synchronic order of its inventors as well as with a number of other people that likewise have been attracted to their energies. The problem is however that those looking for an entry point to the synchronic order of the divine time plan are drawn away from this and into something entirely different, namely the energies of two human beings and their personal agendas of being in central positions of leadership etc. We thus have reasons to suspect that this set-up would give these founders a considerable power, especially, since its followers have not been made aware of what they are synchronizing their lives with.
There is a hidden agenda in operation here, and I question whether it is ethical to keep the origin of this Dreamspell count secret, especially since the price is so high in people being kept in the dark about the true Mayan Calendar system. The true Mayan calendar is not in this way subordinated to the energies or agendas of any human individuals, living or dead. Instead, the uninterrupted traditional tzolkin count is a direct reflection of the divine process of creation, which the world now sorely needs to know about. Unfortunately, the Dreamspell calendar survives not because it would have any advantage whatsoever compared to the true Mayan calendar, but because of the conservatism of those that have been teaching and practicing it for years. Today, despite overwhelming evidence that this is not an egalitarian (or feminine) calendar, it is being kept in existence by sheer inertia and the relatively high number of people that was drawn into it under false pretenses.
I feel in the name of integrity those teaching about the Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon calendar should now start to tell the truth about this calendar. Part of this truth is that the Mayan elders do not wish it to be confused with the Mayan calendar and that it is a calendar that has never been used by the Maya. In the words of the Mayan elders: “The confusion must cease” and this in the interest of the many. Dreamspell teachers should also clearly explain to people about the origin of the Dreamspell count and why it was invented to replace the true Mayan calendar. This should be done to give people the chance of making an informed choice. The cost of continued confusion caused by the false pretensions of the Dreamspell is enormous. This calendar system blocks the path of humanity to the treasure of the true Mayan Calendar system, which will play a decisive role of guiding humanity towards freedom and enlightenment.