Preface: For Life, For ever
When wood is piled and gasoline is poured the next thing you need is a spark Since all the gasoline originates in the Persian Gulf that's where the spark should occur otherwise Fire will not catch hold Ironically, the typical spark happens at sea A navy ship is struck without provocation A surprise blow, an act of terror and piracy At first it's scary, but after looking closely you realize This happened many times before and it succeeded as many times as it failed. Miserably. Look up USS Liberty during the 6 day war or the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin in '64 Realize that piracy happens everywhere. In the middle of the ocean you raise someone else's flag and no-one knows any better until it's too late It used to be the Skull and Bones...
The ritual of Death is something I always come across when lecturing about the Mayan civilization and calendar. It is one of the things most people think about when discussing this culture, especially having Mel Gibson’s film Apocalypto in mind. The fact that many heads used to roll down those step pyramids before Hernán Cortés came along can be enough reason to dismiss any wisdom that the Maya might have to offer posterity.
However, when I began researching the Mayan calendar and culture I realized how deep their ancient wisdom goes. This, by the way, is not unique to central American cultural research. Whenever the surface of any unknown subject is scratched away – dualistic prejudices are cut through, as pure interest and curiosity replace complacence and ignorance.
According to the Mayan philosophy, Death and Life take Place in Time all the time. Endings and beginnings are essentially human definitions, which in turn serve to obscure the endlessness of Time and Space.
Therefore, the concept of Death, according to the Mayan philosophy, as well as many other ancient traditions – should be viewed through the bird’s eye, using a wide perspective. Why? well, the unknown should be investigated on all levels, not just the particular. It’s not just the End, just the yawning grave, just Judgement, or just whatever. Death is mostly perceived as that Other Side – the proverbial unknown.
Death Is underneath Everyday
I went through a death ritual and lived to tell the tale. It was during a masonic ritual during which I was made a Master Mason. It was quite harmless, and I was never in any danger of actual death. This doesn’t say I didn’t experience some facet of it.
Two months ago I went to an intense weekend workshop, where we did some role-playing and guided imagination. One of the most memorable and powerful experiences I had there involved an imagined life and death situation, which I lost (i.e., I died).
Going back to what I wrote above about the Persian Gulf and the pirates – it is scary to live and nurture a family when my house is located several hundreds of miles from where all the gasoline is, and where the spark could possibly take place. It really tries my spiritual stamina to accept it somehow and take the bus to work.
The forces that are pushing the world towards the edge of the precipice are the same forces that rolled the heads down the pyramid. These forces represent a warped version of purification (“cleansing”) and control. The basic assumption in the ritual of Death is that some sort of sacrifice must take place in order to usher in something New. What’s missing from this seemingly sound logic is – who is going to step up to the plate and be sacrificed?
Spiritually – it is always a personal sacrifice, of ego and old skin.
Materially – it is the psychopathic massacre of the proverbial Other.
Under the Hood
The 260-day Tzolkin round can be divided into 5 equal periods of 52 days each. Each period begins with the first day of an eastern trecena, like 1-Chicchan, which begins today. The first 52-day period in the Tzolkin begins on 1-Imix, then 1-Ben, 1-Chicchan, 1-Caban, and finally 1-Muluc. As such, an eastern trecena marks a period of initiation and new beginnings, to various degrees.
To continue the previous discussion, there are four eastern sun-signs in the 1-Chicchan trecena (colored red), and three of every other cardinal direction. The dominant and nurturing eastern energy of 1-Chicchan, 5-Muluc, 9-Ben and 13-Caban is balanced by three western sun-signs (blue) that provide transformative energy: 3-Manik, 7-Chuen, and 11-Men.
What’s obviously special in 1-Chicchan is that there are ten consecutive portal days between 2-Cimi and 11-Men (indicated by asterisks). During this period it is recommended to consider and reconsider how the outside world can be interpreted (if at all), and more importantly – how to react (if at all). This powerful sequence of potent days will be experienced one more Time in this Tzolkin round: during the 1-Kan trecena, as the flip-side of the Tzolkin unravels.
This trecena’s riddle is: “What is the Matrix?”
The keys to solve this riddle are: 4, 5, 7 and 13
1-Chicchan: Kukulkan’s Kundalini
Born on this day: Oscar Wilde, Natalie Imbruglia, Hillel Slovak, Rutherford B. Hayes (19th US president)
Imagine you’re playing tennis against Andre Agassi, and he’s serving. Somehow, you manage to return one of his super-fast serves. This is the energy of Chicchan (The Serpent) in action. Had you been thinking about returning the serve chances are the ball would be by you before you’d know it. Rather than from the pondering mind – this is an instinctual energy which knows exactly what to do as it travels from the Base chakra up the spine.
Chicchan is also known as Kundalini. The Sanskrit word “Kundalini” means “coiled”, as the Serpent lies coiled in potential at the base of the spine.
In everyday hospital dramas the medicinal Serpent on the doctor’s attire represents the physician’s ability to cure illness, as well as the patient’s innate ability to cure him/herself. Therefore, the theme of this trecena is the dramatic nature of life itself. The Serpent gives life but can also take it away.
It is a time of extremes, of exposed secrets and swift justice.
2-CIMI: Pass ON
Born on this day: Andrea Bocelli
Buckle-up, the 10-day Portal ride is underway!
“To be or not to be?”, or, to put it in the parlance of our times: “To Be or to
Become?” On this day of stark duality the essence of Cimi (transformation)
expresses the fork at the beginning of the winding serpentine path. Choice is the
offspring of separation between self and other, mind and body, evolution and
extinction. Even though Cimi literally means Death and loss, it is also a comforting and guiding force through transitions, which smooths the effects of past choices.
Rather than confronting the arresting dilemmas offered by 2-Cimi head-on, this is a good day for allowing the Serpent to continue creeping stealthily below the surface. Remember that this is just the first of 10 consecutive Portal days, so whatever choice is made today – in retrospect it can always be “meant to be”.
3-MANIK: Healing Drum
Born on this day:Dr. Dre, Guy Ritchie, John McCain, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Eyal Berkovic (Football)
Among many other interesting meanings, Manik (the Deer) represents the acquisition of skills and tools, as well as striving for accomplishment. During the course of life’s drama, skills are perfected and tools are acquired in order to overcome obstacles and accomplish goals. When coupled with the rhythmic and unbridled expression of stage 3, 3-Manik can be equated to a busy handyman with an overcrowded toolbox. He knows what needs to be done, wants to succeed, but has trouble deciding which tool to pick, so he leaves it for tomorrow. Therefore, on this day wisdom can be found in avoiding clutter, indecision, and procrastination.
Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were both born on the Tzolkin day 3-Manik, 11 years apart. In this next clip they are both having dinner together in the feature Julie & Julia. This movie is the only one I’ve found so far in which two actors who were born on the same Tzolkin date are acting side by side.
Maybe you can find others?
Born on this day: Laurence Fishburne, Bette Midler, Hugh Laurie, Jennie Garth, Wes Borland
Lamat (Star) is a busy and multi-talented sun-sign which, on this day, meets the stable stage 4 of establishing boundaries. This combination is like the four-hand compass which appears on every map. It provides parameters of orientation, much like the overhead stars which also indicate my actual location. Understanding where I am and where I might go is the essence of this day.
The Serpent’s intuitive power must have established limits in order to be truly free. These limits are the limits of Dreams, wished upon the fertile and sexy Rabbit-Star.
BTW, Laurence Fishburne (4-Lamat) is best known for his depiction of Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy. Morpheus is the Greek god of Dreams. The drug Morphine is named after him.
To illustrate the mystery of this combination, here is Hugh Laurie playing piano and singing, long before becoming known as Dr. House MD.
5-MULUC: The Lion Sleeps near a Stream
Born on this day: David Icke, Bill Clinton, Jarvis Cocker, Bobby McFerrin
Water (Muluc) is the medium by which the Serpent’s “body-lightning” courses
through the body and makes it alive. Like the Earth, my body is mostly water, and it is the offering of water which electrifies and empowers me on this day.
All eastern sun-signs express a level of fluidity, from the crocodile (Imix) to the
earthquake (Caban). The Serpent’s movement is known to be fluid and adaptable, but Muluc is the fluid itself. Therefore, 5-Muluc is the empowerment of the life’s ability to adapt itself and rise above limitations.
Speaking of David Icke, he’s the one who tied (for me) the Matrix concept to the bloodline conspiracy fashion/trend of David Wilcock. So, he’s the Five in this trecena’s riddle.
6-OC: Attachment vs. Non-Attachment
Born on this day: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
On the day 6-Oc the extreme nature and drama of the Serpent is refined by the Love and loyalty of the Dog. The title of the 6th stage of the trecena is Flow and
Responsiveness, and thus, through life’s dramatic trials and tribulations, flowing Love and steadfast loyalty seems always to be the answer.
The 6th stage is also considered to be traditional and habitual in nature, and when it is matched with Oc – the territorial Dog, it becomes even more so. Therefore, 6-Oc is a perfect day to spend time with family/friends and guide each other with love through the trials of this period.
Childhood by the Sea
In the home I grew up in, by the shore of the Mediterranean, Gandhi was referred to as “Gandhiji”. He was one of the philosophers who inspired my wonderful, immigrant, academic parents, along with Swami Vivekananda, Krishnamurti, and many others.
Imagine that. They actually lived under the rule of a philosopher Prime Minister who made a march to make salt, and fasted almost to Death until his country’s civil unrest subsided.
In tribute to my father Sunny’s infinite curiosity and spirit (12-Ik), and with warm wishes for a long and happy life to my mom Uriel (9-Eb) – here is Gandhiji:
My sincere message to Bashar al-Assad (7-Chuen) is to fast publicaliy, like Lennon and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
7-CHUEN: Just a Ride
Born on this day: Ed Harris, William H. Macy, Christopher Lloyd, Vanessa Paradis, Marcus Miller, Tony Robbins, Bashar al-Assad, Andy Wachowski“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” – William Shakespeare (Baptized 1-Eb) “The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are… But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love.” – Bill Hicks (13-Manik, 1-Men trecena)
At the midpoint of the serpentine rollercoaster ride of Life the artisan monkey Chuen appears just in Time to turn me around and remind me of the true nature of my tenure on the Grand Stage. Although the extreme instincts of self-preservation seem to always get me tangled up in life’s little hospital-dramas, the visionary artist 7-Chuen is ever present. At the very peak, the thrill of the Ride turns from sheer Terror to irony and wholehearted laughter.
To “illustrate” the peaking artisan, here is Ed Harris (7-Chuen) playing Jackson Pollock (6-Manik).
8-EB: Endless Social Networking
Born on this day: Meyer Lansky, Philip Baker Hall, Claude Debussy, Skye Edwards, Mark Zuckerberg
How come I mention Golda Meir (7-OC) on 8-EB? Did you notice?
Well, this has to do with a very interesting piece of 70’s history. In 1970 Meyer Lansky (8-EB) flew from Miami Beach to Tel-Aviv and stayed there for a while. After a while he decided to spend his retirement years in Israel, as a returned Jew. Golda Meir (7-OC), who was the Prime Minister of Israel back then, told Lansky to get his retired ass back to Miami Beach, where tax evasion charges where waiting for his return.
Here is the man himself, in an interview he gave to the Israeli television in 1971:
In the Godfather part 2 Lee Strasberg (13-Akbal) played a character based on Meyer Lanski (Hyman Roth).
… and to think that the Jew who owns Facebook was born on the same Tzolkin day as the one who financed arms during the Israeli war of independence in 1948, and prevented arms to reach Arabia…
Dance like Iggy Pop
The human spirit which dwells in the body has the divine ability to adapt to any and every situation. The current Time period of the Serpent (1-Chicchan) serves to remind me of this constant. Chicchan is my pure passion and Lust for Life, which can be manifested both as self-preservation and instinct of survival, but also as sincere service to others. Both traits are expressions of my adaptability, and both are also equally valuable and needed during these escalating times of rapid change.
Here’s the amazing voice of Skye Edwards and the oriental groove of Morcheeba in “Otherwise”.When i open my mouth
thoughts are brutally honest
And i can’t expect that kind of love from you
When you open your mouth
Your teeth are beautifully polished
And i can’t extract the pain you’re going through
No i can’t explain
The pain you’re going through It ain’t gonna hurt now
If you open up your eyes
You’re making it worse now
Every time you criticise
I’m under your curse now
But I call it compromise
I thought that you were wise
But you were otherwise
9-BEN: Federal/Familial Backbone
Born on this day: Charles Dickens, Judy Garland, Kristin Davis, Barak Obama, The US of A (4 July 1776)
In the Mayan language “Ben” means “Reed” or “Staff”. In the context of this trecena, it can be attributed to the rod/spinal cord on which the serpent coils itself. This rod is the medium which connects Earth to the heavens, and the libido to the brain. Therefore, 9-Ben deals with the basic “mechanics” of life and destiny: whatever’s envisioned by the mind manifests down on earth, and whatever transpires in reality invariably affects the mind and guides the spirit.
In between heaven and earth, dream and reality – there is (still) Time, and stage 9’s title is “Patience”.
Here is Kristin Davis (9-Ben) and Tim Allen (12-Cauac):
10-IX: Don’t Pounce
Born on this day: Ian Holm, Ethan Hawke
Ix can be translated as the Jaguar Shaman or wo/man of deep wisdom who invokes the benevolent spirits of the jungle for the benefit of all. On 10-Ix the Serpent completes its transformation and manifests as a stealthy and skillful Jaguar. While the Serpent is dramatic, ascetic, and tends to allow itself to be cornered before overreacting – the Jaguar is fully aware of its abilities and strengths, so it lies unseen in ambush and knows exactly when to pounce. Thus the journey of life’s drama leads to the perfected Shaman, who responsibly and skillfully combines wisdom and instinct; spiritual enlightenment and basic survival.
I’ve been a science fiction enthusiast for quite some time now. During the roaring 90’s, when I used to read Stephen Baxter and Dan Simmons, one of the movies I loved was The Fifth Element. I liked it because it was all about Love conquering Fear and Sabre-rattling.“Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder, and chaos.” – Zorg, as played by Gary Oldman (12-Imix), talking with Father Vito Cornelius, as played by Ian Holm (10-IX)
Born on this day: Daniel Day-Lewis, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), John Deacon (Queen), Karen Majorowski, James Lipton
1-Chicchan is a deep process which contains many powerful insights into basic human experience. 11-Men is the last of 10 consecutive portal days, and its message can be phrased as: perfection is never enough; in other words – perfection is relative to perspective (or “altitude”).
The perfect and responsible Jaguar Shaman achieved yesterday might suffice to his/her immediate tribe, but the Eagle (Men) ascends the spiraling winds of the heavens to provide me with a larger perspective. Whatever’s good for the family needs adjustment to be good for the community, and so forth. On the 11th stage the Eagle’s vision is a gift of refinement and resolution, which encourages further transformation and constant learning in expanding spheres of influence.
That’s it? Okay, I’ve had enough of portal days. Let’s go eat.
The Daily Guide to the Mayan Sacred Calendar
Karen (11-Men), along with her partner Stan Majorowski (13-Cib, 1-Kan trecena) have been publishing the daily guide to the Mayan Sacred Calendar for some years now. The first copy to land on my desk came just a couple of weeks ago. Reading the foreward, I came to realize that this issue will be their last, to my dismay. It’s basically a cross-calendar of the Tzolkin and Gregorian, beautifully illustrated and nicely done.
12-Cib: Time for some Shiatsu
Born on this day: Brad Dourif, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bob Moses
Life is sacred. The essence of 12-Cib is understanding the sanctity of life as a whole, and accepting life’s promise of both ecstasy and agony. Cib means wisdom, and it is also depicted as a shrine of worship. Imagine you are visiting the far-away ruins of an ancient city. You enter the remains of a temple and place both hands on a pillar. From the depths of time a subtle echo of sacred and forgotten wisdom reverberates through the skin of your fingers. This is the energy of Cib.
I understand that the temple I visit on the day 12-Cib, and on every other day I live to experience on Earth is that most sacred of Temples – my own body.
Muad’Dib and Shai-Hulud
I remember taking my father to see David Lynch’s Dune in our neighborhood cinema when I was about 10 years old. It was a trip. I specifically remember wanting to become Kyle MacLachlan (12-Cauac) and ride the Worm as the desert Messiah. This film also featured Brad Dourif in his early years, playing a unique role (like most characters in the book).
This one film also taught me a lot about time-travelling and using drugs/spices. And about the serpent’s swift retribution.
The SandWorm Shai-Hulud is the Arabian version of Chicchan.
Frank Herbert (10-Akbal) was a genius.
13-Caban: Thank you India
Born on this day: Alanis Morissette, James Baldwin, Carroll O’Connor, The Edge, Ralph Houk (NY Yankee), Rasputin, Benjamin Franklin, Jean Baudrillard
Cultural referral note: The above quote was paraphrased by Laurence Fishburne (4-Lamat, nine days ago) as Morpheus in the first Matrix film, where he tells Neo “Welcome to the desert of the Real”. Baudrillard’s book (Simulacra and Simulations) appears at the beginning of the film, and serves as a fake book from which Neo takes contraband software disks to sell to people at his door.
So here the story of this trecena’s riddle finally unfolds. The Matrix cages the mind and uses the body, along with its illusive Kundalini. Baudrillard wrote about it, and so did Plato and Jordan Maxwell, while the Wachoski brothers wrote and directed it.
When the sanctity of the individual is realized, the next immediate step is going global on the path of “Ascending Earth” (13-Caban). The holographic principle “As above, so below” means that whatever hold true for our body and spirit is inevitably true for the Earth itself, and therefore – the universe. The journey of 1-Chicchan began with the subjective little dramas of life and death, climaxed and was turned around with the ironies of the artisan (7-Chuen), and today it culminates in synchronizing with the Earth’s heartbeat (Caban).
Tomorrow, reality will begin to be reflected in the Mirror of Truth (1-Edznab), as the Tzolkin ride enters the Core.
Great Ride! Let’s go again…
How bout no longer being masochistic? How bout remembering your divinity? How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out? How bout not equating death with stopping? Thank you India!!! Thank you providence Thank you disillusionment Thank you nothingness Thank you clarity Thank you, thank you SILENCE