A positive Dreamspell contribution

When I first started following the Tzolkin I found a handful of superimposed interpretations, offered by José Argüelles in his Dreamspell system, which assisted me in getting into the unique rhythm of this 260-day cycle.

One interpretation/tool was portal days. The other was core days.

The third must be defining 1-Imix as the first day and 13-Ahau as the last.

That was back in 2010.

Since completely integrating the calendar into my everyday, back-burner/subconscious metronome, I’ve made the decision of following Kenneth Johnson’s lead to keep my entire work and research into the Tzolkin as authentic as I can possibly make it.

This is important to me mainly because there are highland Maya families and communities today living their lives on the other side of my planet, by a calendar that is their own cultural legacy. Any interpretations I might have of their calendar I can share freely with whomever is interested in knowing. But a clear line has to be maintained regarding where reports and evidence end and where opinion begins.

Right around the time Carl-Yohan Calleman’s Tun calendar turned the October 2011 corner, keeping the Tzolkin calendar ‘clean and real’ meant for me stripping it from Western interpretations, to the best of my abilities and judgement.

What does that mean? Well, for starters, taking a 5000-year-long (bak’tun) calendar’s end date and projecting the gospel of the book of Revelation on it is probably a good example of a miserable western influence and interpretation of the singularly-unique Mayan calendric system.

In appreciative retrospect, the 2012 hype was a fear-porn incentive for most people to remain irresponsible, in perpetual infancy and dependence, strung out on an authority fix, asleep and consuming. The meme had to be stripped.

But, it did bring the Mayan culture to the peeved attention of a great host of people from all around the world, which was all good and welcomed. That’s what it took.

José (10-Chuen), my pet Pascal lamb

Argüelles and his imaginative game board “Dreamspell” found himself playing the role of the usual suspect (and probably scape goat, too) in my book. Along with his very useful portal and core days. His great work must be, for a long time coming, recognized as inauthentic, destructive and untrue to the Mayan culture in general, and the Master Tzolkin specifically.

For starters, a misleading version of the Tzolkin count is included in the Dreamspell system, but the count itself is currently set 46 days ahead of the master Tzolkin (1-Caban in MT; 8-Akbal in DS). Secondly, the Dreamspell’s one significant day of the year is known as ‘the day outside of time’: the solar-cycle-based day we all know as July 25th. This makes the Dreamspell a heliocentric time meter, much like the Gregorian and other agriculture-based calendars, and a flawed one at that. It is no longer the cyclical, eternal Tzolkin.

What Argüelles , in his utter ignorance of basic math, has left out of the Dreamspell construct is of course the leap-year addition of February the 29th every four solar years. This accounts for the fact that in 2012, and again in this year, the Dreamspell calendar shows two consecutive days that have the same sun-sign and number (tone) combination in their Tzolkin reading.

This is a no-no as far as the basic mechanism of the calendar is concerned.

This has to be the one single mishap you should take on board as the tell-tale signature of amateur work, and misleading work to be sure. If there’s one good reason to let go of José’s new-age GMO Mayan soup, it is this one.

The Dreamspell is out of tune. It remains today the most important meme yet to be stripped.

A 260-bar music sheet

The way I understood José’s (still valuable) contribution was to look at the Tzolkin the way I look at a musical sheet for the first time. I personally begin at what I like to call ‘the legend’ of the score. This little map is always located across the top of the sheet, and on the top-left corner of the piece. It holds basic guidelines, like the meter, key, and scale.

Not the mention the title, which has a way of always meaning something.

Let’s say the piece is on a common 4/4 meter. So my next move is to go over the bars and add note and silence durations till I get to 4 per bar. It continues from there to other methods of getting the bearings and feel of the music, which is very individual for each musician.

The portal and core days in the Dreamspell Tzolkin represent what Argüelles  has superimposed over this music piece as a guide to its dynamics. Each portal day is like a new bar of music, which intensifies, reaches the core days, and then ‘exhales’ to a conclusion. This is actually a good way to look at this evolutionary process, but it is also artificial, linear rather than cyclical (as any Mayan calendar should be), and based on personal interpretations.

As a western student, it has been convenient for me to get a sense of the entire music of the Tzolkin by following the Dreamspell’s fairy tale. But soon after I began to understand and internalize the portal and core day rhythm I realized I have to leave them behind if I am to live by the Tzolkin in a more profound, authentic, and personal way.

The map and compass


Ian Lungold – the one who had his Soul distributed among a multitude…

Ian Lungold used to mention the Tzolkin in some off-hand way during his presentations. As 3-Seed Paul told me recently, “Ian used to say ‘yeah, and there’s this Tzolkin calendar the Maya based everything on. It’s cool – check it out!’ and then go back to Calleman’s presentation.” It’s kind of ironic.

It’s high time to grow up and move away from the supports and illusory scaffolds that used to comfort us and tell us how to think and how to understand a deep and sophisticated native culture.

It’s up to just one person now. You guessed it.

By inspiration from José, Ian, Kenneth, Carl, and all my teachers, past and present, I thought up my own Tzolkin primer intro paragraph, and it goes:

The Tzolkin is a map of time I’m giving you. It can help you personally to know your own way around time, and probably to ‘manage’ it better. Now, whenever someone gives you a map you need to ask them at least the following two key questions, the answers to which should help you in deciding which destinations to focus on.

The first question is ‘where am I now on the map?’ and it’s the first step in navigation.

The second might be ‘where did I begin?’ or, ‘when did my instrument begin to play this musical piece?’ This is a deeper aspect of the place you find yourself today.

Then you should be all set to GO!, unless you wish to know more about the map and terrain from the one who is handing it to you. Perhaps you’ll need some more time to prepare for the journey (which you’ve always been on).

On your path of establishing your own repoire with this map, keep in mind that whatever destination you set, at any given time you’ll be moving either towards it or away from it, since time is cyclic. You’ll recognize the same issues and patterns coming back to you at regular intervals.

Remember that your own personal history is the very ground you find yourself standing on today. It cannot be simply set aside as ‘the past’ if you are to understand anything, let alone yourself and your time. This is because time is a pyramid, built one floor over the previous one. In this respect another imagery can be a that time is the wake of a ship (which is also a triangle), beginning from the prow of your now, and expanding back behind you.

Remember also that you can never be exactly at the same place in Time when the cycle repeats itself and you arrive at the same day again. For time is a spiraling pyramid of evolution. And as an integral part of it, you, like nature itself, meet similar challenges at ever-increasing levels of complexity and demand.

1-Caban: One thought (10 July 2016)

I’ve had glimpses of what’s to come, like small pearls in the mud. Song lyrics, insights shared with friends, slow contemplation of my breathing. These came through a heart connection. After taking root, I thought about these glimpses. My thoughts went in many directions and converged back to reality.

I use words to think and to communicate. I stop using words sometimes. I stop thinking. This stopping habit has been happening more frequently recently.

When thought begins again it’s more cautious. Thought picks the right words this time to retain focus. Thought doesn’t wander off to memes it doesn’t wish to manifest, like calamity or fear. This type of discipline helps me to tell truth from false.

When I begin turning attention to the solar plexus thought goes to sit in the stands and enjoy the glow. The sun is simple, it’s benevolent beyond my ability to ever repay.

This is 1-Caban, known as the global heartbeat. It’s when 4-Ahau takes its place in time.

“Happiness is a solid and joy is a liquid”

One Earth

“The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.” – J. D. Salinger (1-Caban), De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period (1952)

Born on this day: Ira Gershwin, J. D. Salinger, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Jay Leno, Noel Gallagher (Oasis), Seal, Lil’ Kim, Oscar Schindler, Jackie Gleason, Cecil Rhodes, Emilíana Torrini

The question of solidity vs. liquidity is at the heart of the period which begins today (1-Caban). In the above quote J.D. Salinger says that happiness is a solid and joy is a liquid. Now, what on earth could that mean?

Solids can decay, they are eroded by liquids and gasses. They can fall down and fracture. Some solids freeze and defy time. Some solids are the stuff I purchased in the market; the seat of my vehicle, my keyboard’s armrest. Solids are also the hills and valleys surrounding my neighborhood, my front door handle, the pavement that leads to the recycle bin.

In other words, as far as consciousness is concerned – solids become background at some point. Like a wardrobe or a used car, they can be a source of what’s called boredom. Solids require either replacement or personal maintenance to hold my attention.

Does all this apply to happiness?

Liquids seep into solids and flow. Liquids must be properly contained to be used as a stable resource, like a gas tank or a coke bottle. On the other hand, contained liquids also tend to fester, so liquid must be circulated in order to remain fresh and potent. Only on rare occasions contained liquids get better over time – like good wine and deep-colored honey.

When unconstrained, liquids evaporate and precipitate. They cycle back and forth, and retain their atomic mass. According to the common arrangement of matter, liquids are the interim state between solids and gasses. Symbolically, this means that an interim or go-between state is dynamic by definition. Unlike the solid, it doesn’t break nor lose itself to fire – it transforms; it communicates without losing anything in the process.

Does all this apply to joy?

Caban as our common heartbeat

From further inquiry into the symbolism tied into this sun-sign, it is evident that Caban has a lot to do with the planet itself, as a living and evolving organism with its own heartbeat.

The Earth’s heartbeat is ancient, deep, and very low in frequency. What’s so special about Caban is that no matter where I am on Earth, above the atmosphere, deep underwater, downtown in the city or by the shore – I am constantly connected to this all-encompassing deep frequency.

I might have been dulled enough by my nature and nurture to not be aware of this frequency when I travel the world. But the evidence to what I’m failing to sense and understand is there in the way elephants find water, and in the way migrant birds keep coming back to my land every year at the right time.

More evidence might be found in the way I survive and thrive during my travels around the world; how each stranger is kind just when I need kindness the most. Like me, s/he can obviously tune into this same global rhythm, and see the best way to assist the Other.

Another interpretation of Caban is incense, which is related to thought in the Mayan tradition. Thoughts go up to the heavens like burnt incense, like evaporating liquid. Thoughts eventually precipitate down and manifest, when they complete their cycles of development and attainment.

Invisible essentials

To meet the inner child, here’s a scene from the feature The Little Prince (1974), based on the classic novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1-Caban). Here, Gene Wilder (born Jerome Silberman, 11-Eb) plays the fox, tamed by the little prince, on the occasion of their final farewell:

“It’s only with the heart that one can see clearly. What’s essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1-Caban)

10-Ben: Ripe corn (6 July 2016)

Born on this day: Plácido Domingo, Salman Rushdie, Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Joe Zawinul, Richie Havens, Kevin Spacey, Mel Gibson, VE day WWII, James K. Polk (11th US president), Louis Mountbatten, Lou Costello

"Remember those posters that said, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life"? Well, that's true of every day but one - the day you die." - Kevin Spacey (10-Ben) as Lester Burnham in American Beauty, 1999

“Remember those posters that said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”? Well, that’s true of every day but one – the day you die.” – Kevin Spacey (10-Ben) as Lester Burnham in American Beauty, 1999

The day of manifestation in the 1-Kat(n)  process is 10-Ben. This is the day on which a clear line is drawn between what’s real and what’s just an opinion; between conspiracy feary and undeniable reality.

Known in the east Indian Vedic tradition as the Web of Indra, the union that abides between you and me (Kat) is not something that needs to be achieved or put together slowly over time. It has to be acknowledged as a constant and indestructible reality. No level of technology can finally alienate nor divide us.

Abundance has manifested today and I have a Reed, a conduit: To elevate all my work and action in this dimension into dreamland; to bring science fiction and fantasy from dreamland down to earth.

The ironies of the universal artistic mind (1-Chuen) led me out of the cave of the ego and back to real people and real challenges. These are the challenges that I face when I move from the abstract musings of the artist to the crafty handiwork of the artisan.

Tzolkin Celeb Parade

How freakish is it that Freud and Jung are one and the same (10-Ben) as far as the Tzolkin goes? And Salman Rushdie too? Boy, talk about some heavy-thinkers there. Just one glance at the list of distinguished gentlemen (couldn’t find famous ladies, sorry) who were born on 10-Ben, and you might begin to grasp what manifested destiny means.

Destiny on the 10th stage means that the conduit between Heaven and Earth has become a reality (Jacob’s ladder). The leaders/ladders born under the Ben sign (Like Obama, Ben-Gurion, Sarkozy, FDR, Menachem Begin) are well-known for their charisma, oratory skills, Dogma-with-impunity kind of preaching, authority, and amazing ability to sway the masses.

They are also known to be rigid and uncompromising to the point of annoyance.

Here’s Lou Costello (10-Ben) and Bud Abbot (12-Men) in a classic Baseball skit: