Reflections on the Mayan cross, part I

Barbara Sadtler (born 11-Edznab) was the talented scholar and practician who introduced me to the Mayan Cross reading method. At the spring of 2013, Barbara launched a series of 20 “community calls“, guided by her, with contributions from people who called in, and guests.

Like Ken Johnson, Carlos Barrios, Shuni Giron, and many others.

After due ceremony, each such conference would discuss the current trecena’s nawal, as well as aspects of that nawal counting backwards and forwards, seven and nine.

How is it counted and arranged?

Today is 7-Edznab, so to construct this nawal’s mayan cross I’ll make the following counts and arrangements:

  • The heart nawal (center) is the day itself, 7-Edznab
  • To arrive at the conception sign (above), count 9 nawals backwards (12-Oc)
  • The destiny sign (below): count 9 nawals ahead (2-Cimi)
  • The masculine sign (west): count 7 nawals back (1-Eb)
  • The feminine sign (east): count 7 nawals forward (13-Kan)
7-Edznab Mayan cross

7-Edznab Mayan cross

Rather than referring to the masculine as west and feminine east, the best way to visualize the cross is to “stand” on the heart nawal, facing the destiny sign, with the conception sign at your back.

From this point of view, your right (masculine) arm is placed on the left side of the diagram, and the feminine on the right. So it’s a left/right reversed mirror pattern.


This segment will focus on the cross’s main column: Conception, Heart, and Destiny.


Conception sign 12-Oc (19 January 2017)

Love & Understanding

“Most governments lie to each other. That’s the way business gets done.” – Robert Gates (12-Oc) to CNN on 12-Muluc

12-Oc (Tzi) is the conception sign of today’s nawal: 7-Edznab (Tijax). Conception here means a personal history, ancestry, and some say karmic luggage as well.

In another perspective, a person born 7-Edznab (Bruce Lee is a good example) spends the first 26 years of his/her life under the guidance and tutelage of 12-Oc. This is the nawal which characterizes Bruce’s own formative years, his own personal history and early beginnings. 12-Oc is also the message he receives from his ancestors, and the keys to understanding the cross he’ll need to bear in order to resolve karmic residue.

Note: there are no clear cut-off days marking graduation in this system.

The heart sign 7-Edznab (27 January 2017)


“Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing.” – Bruce Lee (7-Edznab)

The heart nawal remains, from birth to death, ever present in the life of someone born 7-Edznab. It however manifests most prominently during the 3rd and 4th rounds of 13-years (ages 26 to 52).

So in 1966, when Bruce began his 3rd 13-year round 7-Edznab become his dominant nawal. This year saw his career in its early TV phase, as Kato in The Green Hornet and Batman.

This is what was over the horizon all through his formative years. It was the attractor which drew him from potential as a young man to potency as an undisputed master.

Edznab is the Mirror of reality, and 7-Edznab is the only day in the Tzolkin when the Mirror meets the reflective number 7. This is a powerful day of stark reality right in your face. There is absolutely no room for deception or second guessing. Edznab is the knife that cuts through illusion, and when it appears on the midpoint and apex of the journey it reflects both the humble and hesitant beginning of the first step (1-Eb) and the abundant ascension that lies in promise at the end of the road (13-Kan).

It is the proverbial point of no return.

Destiny sign 2-Cimi (4 February 2017)

"A man's a savage beast when he's young...he eats sheep...and hens and pigs, but if he doesn't eat men his belly's not satisfied." - Nikos Kazantzakis (5-Caban), Zorba the Greek ch. 2

“Death is nothing — just pff! and the candle is snuffed out. But old age is a disgrace.” – Anthony Quinn (2-Cimi), as Zorba the Greek

When 7-Edznab’s lessons become integrated to a degree which merits advancement, 2-Cimi begins its influence. In life, this corresponds to the 5th and later rounds of 13-years observed by the ancient Maya. So after spending 4 “seasons” of 13-years each, the 52-year old elder joins the community inner circle of venerated grandparents and master-teachers.

The importance of individual maturity is stressed as a crucial factor, for contributing generously and wisely to the elder circle and its surrounding community. Today I feel Immaturity is all-pervasive and taken for granted everywhere. The easiest thing is to settle into a comfortable position with ‘daddy’ (any authority figure), and none of your checks will ever bounce. Daddy’s got your back. Just go out there with the ball and have a ball.

Comfort is how ‘they’ sell it to you.

Due for tomorrow: extend your definition of ‘responsibility’ way beyond what dad said.


“To be or not to be?”, or, to put it in the parlance of our times: “To Be or to
Become?” On this 2-Cimi nawal 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”.

Bruce Lee didn’t live to experience life as a 2-Cimi elder, having succumbed to an acute allergic reaction and brain swelling at the age of 32.

Wouldn’t you know?

Bruce Lee’s eldest son Brandon was actually born 12-Oc (his dad’s conception nawal). Tragically, he too was lost to all of us at a tender age (28), having succumbed to an accidental, Hollywood-style lead salad.

This coming February 1st, Brandon would have turned 52. The first age of elder-ship. This is when his destiny sign (7-Edznab) would have been in full swing…

Further studies

Refer to Ken Johnson’s books and articles for extensive and in-depth descriptions of the Mayan cross.

One response to “Reflections on the Mayan cross, part I

  1. Pingback: Reflections on the Mayan cross, part II | Another Time

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