The Magic of the Mayan Calendar

The Magic of the Mayan Calendar

by David Sussberg

The ancient Maya were amazing astronomers and astrologers, calculating the cosmic rhythms of the holy celestial bodies dancing harmoniously through the heavens above, and they conducted sacred ceremonies to live divinely with cosmic time. There are more than 20 Mayan Calendars with a long history of many different iterations resulting in the ones we know today. Many of these calendars were based on following Venus’ constant 8-year cycle. In fact, to this day, the Mayan Calendars are the most accurate calendars know to humanity. On that note the ancient Mayan mathematicians discovered and utilized the number Zero thousands of years before Europeans.

The Long Count and the Haab

One of the most famous Mayan Calendars is the “Long Count” which began in 3114 BCE and took 5126 years to complete a cycle and birth a new cosmic era, what the Maya refer to as a “New Sun” which dawned on Winter Solstice, December 21st 2012.[1] One could relate this Mayan new cosmic cycle to Western Astrology’s birth of the Age of Aquarius. 

Another famous Mayan Calendar is the “Haab” which charts the journey of the sun around our earth, a solar year of 365 days.[1]. It is important to note that today in our Western Society we live in a “Decimal” numbering system where most things are calculated based on numbers of 10. On the other hand, the Maya’s “Vigesimal” numbering system was based on twenty. For example, “The Haab is composed of 18 months made of 20 days,” and one auspicious month called “Wayeb,” made of 5 days reserved for significant ceremonies that are still conducted today in Guatemala.[1] Therefore the Haab is 18 x 20 + 5 = 365 days.

The Tzolk'in

The most intriguing and magical calendar in my opinion is the ceremonial calendar of solar light known as the “Tzolk’in” by the Maya Yucatecos of the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. The Tzolk’in is also known as the “Chol Q’ij” by the K’iche’ Maya of the Guatemala Highlands who still partake in ceremonially living daily with the calendar, conducting ceremonies with the diversity of Deities associated with this type of Mayan Calendar. The Tzolk’in, Mayan Calendar, (pictured above) charts the progression of sacred and circular time, a “Galatic Language of Light,” which offers guidance and empowers individuals to see synchronicities while living Divinely on the daily.[2] “The 260-day cycle of Time, the Tzolk’in of solar light, awakens in cycles these inner patterns, DNA. It is through daily remembrance of Original Pattern that you return to Galactic Awareness and birth true civilization.”[3]

In The Tzolk’in there are 20 Day Deities, known as Day Signs or Nawales. A Nawal is a Deity Spirit Guide comprised of numerous energies, qualities, and archetypes which influence a particular day. In addition to the 20 Nawales, the Tzolk’in Mayan Calendar marks the cyclical progression of 13 numbers, each embodying their own set of energies and characteristics. Thus 13×20 equals the 260-day-cycle of one calendar round of the Tzolk’in. Each day is a unique union between a Number and a Day Sign Deity. Therefore, on the day you were born there was a synergy of a Number and a Nawal which you embody as the main archetypes of your soul and personality throughout your life.

For years I have been following the Tzolk’in Mayan Calendar daily, learning more deeply by studying and practicing Mayan Astrology, while developing my relationship to the Day Sign Deities and Numbers comprising the Tzolk’in Calendar. What truly amazes me is how following and living daily with the Mayan Calendar opens one up more to the synchronistic magic of life, like seeing an eagle on an eagle day, or coming across a rabbit on a rabbit day! Overtime I started to feel the subtle energies related to these Day Deities and Numbers and still to this day, I excitedly wait and watch for how the Archetypal energies associated with the Day Deities and Numbers will manifest in my life. 

Personally, when I discovered I was born on the day of “Ix,” The Mighty Magical Jaguar Deity, learning about the themes and qualities linked to Ix Jaguar people, it forever changed my life because it just made so much sense. In fact, I have been blessed to have seen not just one, but two Black Jaguars (aka Panthers) in the wild, one in Mexico and one in the US! These fated encounters further reinforced my faith and deep reverence for Ix, The Magical Jaguar Deity. 

Many say that the ancient Maya would select a person’s vocation and role in society, based on the day they were born. Take for example, since I was born on a 12 Ix Day with Ix being the Nawal (Spirit Deity) of the “Astrologer,” “Diviner,” “Shaman” archetypes and with the Number Twelve relating to family and community, I would have been of service to my family and community as a shaman, diviner, and astrologer, which is wildly beautiful because in this life I am a Mayan Astrologer and I have been privileged to learned from many shamans throughout my life!

When I came to an understanding that the Nawal Ix is the initiator of sacred, ceremonial magic, who initiates one through various rites of passage into expanded consciousness, bestowing spiritual gifts and powers, my life experiences all made since crystal-clearly. Given that I been blessed to participate in various Sacred Ceremonies from multiple cultures including the Mapuche, Zapotec, K’iche’ Maya, Diné, Méxica, and Lakota, all of which have tremendously opened my Heart, Mind, and Spirit, learning to honor the sacred elements and connect with a Higher Power, Spirit Guides, and Holy Deities that brings more magic and miracles to life! [1]
The Tzolk’in and Haab calendars are woven together like interconnected cogs in a wheel to form “The Calendar Round.”[1]. (Pictured above) “In the Calendar Round, any given combination of a Tzolk’in day with a Haab day will not repeat itself, until 52 periods of 365 days have passed.”[1]. In other words, when a person reaches 52 years of age, the Maya believe you are now an elder equipped to guide the community with the wisdom you have cultivated and gleaned over the years.[4]
I profoundly understood my life path and personality by peering through the lens of the Tzolk’in Mayan Astrology. I was humbled and astonished by the accuracy when reflecting on my life path while evaluating my own “Mayan Tree of Life,” (pictured above) which is ancient Mayan Astrological calculation that charts one’s own unique life path through 3 major life stages; “Youth,” “Adult,” and becoming your Destiny as an “Elder.” Once an individual comprehends these different stages of life and how their unique combination of Nawales and Numbers are influencing them, a person can empower-themselves to positively work with theses energies to live their highest potential. 
      Your Mayan Tree of Life, contains certain crucial cycles in your life; these stages of life are roughly 13 years long. Your Mayan Tree of Life is comprised of the following life stages:


Youth (0-13 years old)

Transitional Period (13-26 years old)

Adult (26-39 years old)

Transitional Period (39-52 years old)

Elder (52 years old until the end of your life)

In addition to having a Central Nawal, each of your main Stages of Life have a Masculine Nawal and a Feminine Nawal which offer guidance on how best to put into action and apply the archetypical energies of your Central Nawal. Throughout each of three your Stages of Life, your Masculine Nawales relate to your logic, action, and your “outer world,” such as service to your community. Your Feminine Nawales, shape your “inner world,” such as your intuition, feelings, and your intimate relationships.
I truly love being of service as a Mayan Astrologer helping people discover and refine their gifts and abilities, and live their unique life path to the fullest! On my website, I offer customized written Mayan Astrology Readings. I also offer Mayan and Western Evolutionary Astrology Readings. 
[1] Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
[2] Spilsbury, A. et al., (2011). The Mayan Oracle: A Galactic Language of Light. Bear &    
[3] Nazin, H. et al. (1999). Iktomi Wicahpi Wicohan: Universal and Spiritual Laws Of Universal Mother. Star Law Manual of the Galactic Federation
[4] Kecelioglu, F. The Basics of Mayan Astrology.

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