By Carlos Cedillo
At the beginning of learning the Maya calendar, it is easy to get lost in the counting of overlapping cycles. Remember, this is a shamanic calendar; the numeric cycles are not mere quantitative assignments, they have discernable qualities about them as well.
Photo courtesy of Carlos Cedillo
Time is a Holy place. At low frequencies, intricate threads of light sew the universe we see, with the universe unseen by our normal senses.
Cycles from eras gone by hold the foundation of where we are now and where we will be in the future. Like strings of a sitar, the various time cycles create overtones; they can create harmony or dissonance.
Each of the different cycles is referred to as a “bundle”, or burden, of time.
Complex Mayan glyphs often portray figures with bundles carried by straps around their heads holding various birds, or other glyphs that designate the particular omens to be expected during each cycle.
The burden of a trecena is seeded on day 1 and comes to fruition on the thirteenth day. Although there are known Aztec gods associated with each number, you can remember to count your major joints like so:
1 right ankle, 2 left ankle
3 right knee, 4 left knee
5 right hip, 6 left hip
7 right wrist, 8 left wrist
9 right elbow, 10 left elbow
11 right shoulder, 12 left shoulder
Odd numbers are masculine, even numbers feminine, and 13 is the unification of the yin and yang.
The four colors, red-east, white-north, blue-west and yellow-south, rotate along with the 13 cycle, so days 1, 5, 9 and 13 are always the same color. The four-direction pattern also flows east, west, north, south from one trecena to the next.