THE SERPENT ABIDES
The trecena which begins today is known as an opportune time for secrets to be revealed. The serpent (Chicchan) is a symbol of justice and truth, reckoning and retribution.
Some have noticed a 7-year pattern emerging when considering world economics and major events. 14 years ago it was 9/11, which was a turning point. 7 years ago it was the speculation and derivatives meltdown of 2008.
Now it is upon all of us again.
It is an existential drama which goes hand in hand with the symbolism of the serpent.
And, these events always seem to peak around September, and coincide with the Jewish new year, following a “Shmita” year.
Whatever unknown lies ahead this Fall, it is prudent to be reminded of the unshaken wisdom typical to life on planet earth.
Giving is the inevitable thing to do here.
This trait is also typical of the serpent symbol.
1-Chicchan: Kukulkan’s Kundalini
Born on this day: Oscar Wilde, Natalie Imbruglia, Hillel Slovak, Rutherford B. Hayes (19th US president), Stanislaw Rajmund Burzynski, Mahmoud Abbas
On February 29, 1996 (13-Ahau) Sergeant Rick Schiff of the SFPD appeared in front of a congressional subcommittee hearing. His appearance was in support of the defense in a medical supreme court case: the FDA was prosecuting a certified MD who was independently brewing his own drugs, developing his own unique treatments for cancer, and administering these to his patients.
These medical practices are actually legal by law. However, the MD in question, Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski (1-Chicchan), crossed the big-pharma line by becoming too successful in his practice and career.
Too many people were becoming healthy and leaving cancer behind them for good after hiring his services. These lucky survivors were the ones who understood that the service provided by government healthcare is far from the best their taxpayer money can get. They had to completely abolish the notion that anyone on a regular hospital staff can do them any good, regardless of their commitment and know-how.
This goes back to the discussion in the preface. Medical establishments like the FDA, which promote and maintain the crystallized technology of popular cancer treatment (chemo, radiation, invasion – aggression) know exactly where the medical technology really is today. The FDA is, after all, the office where all the medical inventors in the world line up to receive permits, to then sell their inventions to the enormous US market.
If the FDA doesn’t prosecute upstarts like Dr. Burzynski, many of its regular “inventors” and customers are going to be either retraining or switching to the unemployment line. Good fellas like Pfizer, GE, Siemens, and Teva.
In other words, this is the medical equivalent to planned obsolescence. It is the intellectual and technological gap that ensures the misery of many thousands, and the impunity and benefit of a few dozen.
It’s also the mentality behind scribbles made by MD’s on small unmarked papers, legible exclusively to pharmacists and drug dealers.
Here’s the link to the complete documentary about Burzynski’s story.
Symbology, and an Australian female artist
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.
Here is Natalie Imbruglia (1-Chicchan), circa 2002 in a beautiful illustration of what an underwater party in Atlantis might look like:
2-Cimi: Pass ON
Born on this day: Andrea Bocelli, Corey Feldman, Anthony Quinn, Prescott Bush, Britain declares war on Germany (WWI)
Back in 1952, at the age of 69, Nikos Kazantzakis (5-Caban) published “Zorba the Greek” through a London-based publisher. It told the story of a young Greek intellectual and his antics with a happy-go-lucky wise elder named Zorba. During their many trials and tribulations, this colorful aging character offers the young egg-head a realistic view on humanism. The young man is deeply moved by his adventures, and learns a lot about what life really means.
It took Hollywood 12 years to make that famous feature with Quinn (2-Cimi) and Bates (2-Akbal), and the musicals caught up 2 years later. It was one of the classical western vehicles to plug a different, more balanced and humane aspect of the male archetype.
Here is Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates in a favorite piece of male bonding:
“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 (check out Quinn’s smile for evidence).
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 second step of the trecena journey, 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), Prince Fielder, Michael Parkinson, Miley Cyrus
Madonna (4-Muluc) used to be married to Guy Ritchie (3-Manik), an English film director and screenwriter. He is known for his English gangster movies, made famous worldwide since around 2000. “Snatch” is one of those violent crime capers you can’t help but fall in love with. The English accent, and particularly the Welsh and British-Gypsy accents, seem to add good spice to any comedy; smoothing out the rough edges.
I find it interesting that Guy Ritchie shares his Tzolkin birthday with Dr. Dre – another gangster hero of the main-stream PR machine. Dre was a household name back in the early 90’s. Unlike Ritchie in many ways, he’s a heavy-built west-coast African-American musician, considered to be one of the godfathers of gangsta rap. He did plenty of movies, too, but mainly as an actor (I think).
Despite all these differences, both Ritchie and Dre made it big on the global market by writing about anti-hero gutter male characters, living the everyday life of a criminal. Their respective timings must have been ordained somehow, since their cult is alive and kicking still.
According to Ritchie, the average London gangsta spends his typical day gambling, fornicating, driving fancy cars, closing deals and then later partying.
According to Dre, the same goes down in South Central.
According to Ian Fleming (another Manik, he’s James Bond’s father), the same takes place in the world of Imperial espionage.
But there’s a difference. For starters, Bond never really made me laugh.
Symbology and the Desert Eagle
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.
Here is Vinnie Jones (11-Akbal) making his famous monologue, directed by Guy Ritchie (3-Manik):
Trivia: Isn’t it a bit scary to think that no less than 3 American presidents were born 11-Akbal, just like Bullet-tooth Tony. I wonder how they were in closed sessions, after realizing their adversary was holding a replica gun.
BTW: I’ve intentionally left Brad Pitt (4-Cauac, another actor in “Snatch”) out of this post, but I’m not sure why. Maybe he’ll come up later, so wait for it.
Born on this day: Laurence Fishburne, Bette Midler, Hugh Laurie, Jennie Garth, Wes Borland, Gary Busey
Recently I saw a series of interviews where Kathie Bechman (a.k.a. Inspiration Gal) was interviewing Kenneth Johnson about his new book and his current takes on the Mayan calendar and how it’s all leading up to 4-Ahau (December 21st).
In the 9th and final segment of the interview they discussed 4-Ahau with regards to closures and cycle endings. Specifically, Kenneth discussed the 4th day of the trecena as a day for endings and conclusions. Four days in a perfect year (solstices and equinoxes) mark the seasonal transitions; four instances in the perfect 24-hour day (dawn, mid-day, dusk, and midnight) do the same for the day; four directions (at least) do the same for the spatial third dimension.
Under the hood
So what’s the big thing with endings on the 4th day of the trecena? What is it that ends when there are still 9 days to go?
Whatever sun-sign you begin counting from, the 4th sign would be the last one before counting again from the direction you started from. For example, in this trecena I begin with 1-Chicchan facing East, turn 90 degrees to the left: 2-Cimi facing North, then 3-Manik facing West, and then 4-Lamat facing South. My next transition brings me back to face East again on 5-Muluc.
The fist four days of the trecena contain the essence of everything the trecena “needs” to manifest, resolve and conclude successfully. As an analogy, in plant growth these four stages represent everything the plant does before it develops its first basic leaf structure. Stage five already begins a new phase of replicating this structure indefinitely.
Another way to describe this ending and new beginning on the 4th stage is to consider what the plant depends upon. Until the 4th stage the plant’s success mainly depends on the sustenance of the soil and the quality of the seed itself. From the 5th stage onward the plant begins to nurture itself also from the wind, rain, and his animal and plant neighbors.
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-pointed compass which appears on every map and construction blueprint. 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 to experience abundance 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.
My only friend – the End
Here’s another look at covert operations, as they are carried out during combat behind enemy lines. Back in 1979, Francis Ford Coppolla (5-Edznab) was considered a pioneer in the way he depicted American GI’s in the midst of the Vietnam war in his masterpiece “Apocalypse Now”.
It’s another step towards unraveling and dissolving the not-so-mysterious-after-all male archetype. The relatively naive viewer of the late 70’s watches in shock as Coppolla illustrates how insanity and banality are major hallmarks of warfare. Heroism and camaraderie in war (along with any other kind of war justification) are integral parts of government and media propaganda, transmitted between the lines and behind them. This subversive mindset and message is also evident in other similar Vietnam films that followed, like Platoon (incidentally featuring Sheen junior), Full Metal Jacket, and perhaps Forrest Gump, too.
This Banality of Evil, by the way, is going to resurface later down this post, on the resolving day of this powerful trecena.
Here is a theatrical concerto featuring the 18-year-old Laurence Fishburne (4-Lamat) playing the .50 caliber, and Martin Sheen (8-Ik) on the solo 0.38 Beretta:
This scene, among others in this film, shows how covert-ops personnel think and act when on a mission. The clean-cut coldness that allowed Capt. Willard (note the surname) to dispose of a civilian girl is a reflection of the coldness that directs his superiors in the higher echelons of whatever.
What’s interesting to me in this scene is the layering of the character roles: the grunts carry out routines while the Man calling the shots makes the decisions.
According to Coppolla, Capt. Willard is what Sean Connery really looks like when he’s in the service of the Queen in SE Asia.
5-Muluc: Spinal fluid
Born on this day: David Icke, Bill Clinton, Jarvis Cocker, Bobby McFerrin, Andrés Iniesta, Benjamin Disraeli, Brooks Robinson, Jerry Zucker
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 life’s ability to adapt itself and rise above limitations.
As an adolescent I used to love watching Bobby McFerrin (5-Muluc) over and over again. Particularly this upcoming clip and the show it was on “Spontaneous Inventions”. Along with Chick Corea (9-Men), John McLaughlin (7-Imix) and many other music giants, McFerrin showed me what it means to improvise on stage and channel the moment to a crowd. This is what dancers and actors do, too. Muluc is indeed a powerful sun-sign to be born under if your destiny is the stage (or the corporate board).
So here’s McFerrin doing Joan Armatrading (5-Ik)’s “Opportunity”, unarmed and unplugged:
6-OC: Attachment vs. Non-Attachment
Born on this day: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Malcolm X assassination, Vladimir Guerrero
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.
History repeats itself
While going over the last time I wrote about 1-Chicchan I found the following under 6-OC, which still holds true today:
(with regards to the civil war in Syria) “My sincere message to Bashar al-Assad (7-Chuen, tomorrow) is to fast publically, like Lennon and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.”
Regrettably, some things haven’t changed since then… How much longer?
7-CHUEN: Just a Ride
Born on this day: Ed Harris, William H. Macy, Christopher Lloyd, Vanessa Paradis, Marcus Miller, Bashar al-Assad, Andy Wachowski, Tony Robbins (New Age), Derek Jacobi, Cecil Fielder, Jayson Werth
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.
In other words – “The King is Naked!!”
Baseball dynasty note: Cecil Fielder (7-Chuen) was born 4 Tzolkin days after his son Prince (3-Manik).
8-Eb: Social Networking forever
Born on this day: Meyer Lansky, Philip Baker Hall, Claude Debussy, Skye Edwards, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Finch, James Caan
The above quote really got me thinking back in 2007, when I saw “Zeitgeist Addendum” by Peter Joseph (alias) for the first time. Soon after, I saw “Network” in its entirety. It was only 5 years ago, but – what were you up to in 2007? Doesn’t it feel like another lifetime already?
So here he is talking about enlightenment the Hindu style:
Yeah, TV is a circus act with football players and super-models. That’s what it is now, for sure. It might have been more sincere and educational in the past, and some of it certainly is so still. It might also be just my impression of it as a child, and also in retrospect, but TV does nothing if not entertain and unwind the viewer, who him/herself should be mellow and in receptive mode in order to draw maximum enjoyment from it.
Peter Finch talks about TV being the illusion and the viewers being real and alive. Well, 35 years after we have reality TV, where the real people and celebrities subject themselves to mass voyeurism. That makes them illusion too, so we’re back to square one again.
The way to transcend above the regular perception of popular recreation is to internally know your own way within its mazes at all times. This is basically what 8-Eb teaches me today. Distractions are plentiful, just like anything else in our world today. I either fixate myself on a distraction (loving or hating it) or allow it to skim the top of my awareness.
My decision is another step along my way. Always.
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.
9-Ben: Serpent’s Backbone
Born on this day: Charles Dickens, Judy Garland, Kristin Davis, Christiane Amanpour, Barak Obama, The US of A (4 July 1776)
Many today claim that American independence, although declared in 1776, has not been implemented and manifested entirely in this 3rd dimension yet. They say that London is the financial capital of the world, and that global banking interests are calling the shots from that amazing city and maintain presence behind the scenes everywhere; especially deep within the US federal reserve fiat currency system.
To people like Ron Paul (5-Eb), US independence is incomplete until control of currency issuing is displaced from the fed and handed back to the faithful hands of elected government. Until such time, the US will continue creating gazillions of dollars via the federal reserve computers to finance their stretched-out global military presence. At the same time, more dollars in cyber-circulation means inflation the world over (since the US dollar is still the world’s reserve currency).
In other words – the Yankees are being shut out through the final innings. They are down on their luck, and nobody really loves them anymore.
Well, if reality has anything to do with drama story lines then NOW is the best time for those who have all the odds against them. It’s a turn of luck, an error by the defense. That’s what Daniel Day-Lewis (11-Men, coming up) talks about in his new role as Abe Lincoln.
This time around the defending champion, Mr. Obama (9-Ben) has had his Tzolkin birthday 2 days prior to election day. His title challenger Mr. Romney (2-Ix) has his birthday on the 1-Ben trecena. It looks like a close call…
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”.
10-Ix: Don’t Pounce
Born on this day: Ian Holm, Ethan Hawke, Clark Gable, Moni Moshonov, Rand Paul
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.
Born on this day: Daniel Day-Lewis, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), John Deacon (Queen), Karen Majorowski, James Lipton, Hannah Arendt, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
1-Chicchan is a deep process which contains many powerful insights into basic human experience. 11-Men’s 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.
12-Cib: Karmic purification
Born on this day: Brad Dourif, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bob Moses, Astrud Gilberto, Muhammad Mursi, Maria Bello
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.
13-Caban: Ascending Earth
Born on this day: Alanis Morissette, James Baldwin, Carroll O’Connor, The Edge, Ralph Houk (NY Yankee), Rasputin, Benjamin Franklin, Jean Baudrillard, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry Stiller
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 Reality (1-Edznab), as the Tzolkin ride enters the middle climax of its 260-day procession.