The fascination with the Mayan Long Count calendar is peaking as December 21st, 2012 approaches. As more attention is paid to the complex calendar system used by Mayans for daily, religious, and ceremonial life, the rediscovery of Mayan astrology also is capturing the attention of people the world over. Given the connection to the Mayan world via trade, ancient Costa Ricans undoubtedly became aware of the intricacies of the Mayan calendar systems. Viewed through the prism of the past, here is a pura vida perspective on the signs of the Mayan astrological chart.
Unlike our European based system, the Mayans used several distinct calendars to track and forecast various dates. The three most prominent were the Long Count, the Tzolk’in and the Haab. The Long Count has been calculated by Mesoamerican scholars to begin either on August 11, 3114 B.C.E. (Gregorian) or September 6-(Julian). This calendar could be used to calculate any date in the past or future. December 21st marks the completion of a cycle of 394 years, known as a B’ak’tun.
The calendar used for religious ceremonies is known as the Tzolk’in. Translated as the “distribution of days” this is a 260 day calendar with 20 periods of 13 days. Numbered 1 through 13, each day also had a unique day name, identified by a symbol, with 20 names in total. Both the numbers and the names repeat after each cycle.
The calendar that most closely mirrors our twelve month timekeeping, and which most closely resembles our twelve zodiac signs is the Haab. Comprised of 18 months of twenty days each, with a short month of five days, the Haab was the secular calendar of the Mayan world. Where our version has twelve months of 30, 31 and 28/29 days, the Haab has 18 months of twenty days each and a “short” month of 5 days. Since the Mayans did not use the concept of a “leap year” the correlation to our Gregorian system has shifted so that the “starting point (which would be the first day of POP-the first month in the Haab cycle) no longer coincides with Winter Solstice. This is also why Haab is referred to as the “vague year”.
There has been debated on whether the Tzolk’in or the Haab was the calendar used for astrology; quite possibly the Mayan priests may have relied on the former while the general public used the later for daily affairs. Fortunately for astrologers and non-astrologers alike, there are numerous websites that have free converters so you can find exactly what Mayan sign you were born under.
Below is a list of the months and their meanings/symbols. Please note that since the dates “shift” in reference to our Gregorian calendar, I have not referenced a specific date range for the months. (NOTE: The actual spelling and pronunciation of the Mayan names is a subject of debate among scholars of many disciplines. The list below reflects what I believe are the generally accepted names for the Haab months)
Month 01 Pop –This was the first month of the Haab calendar.The glyph symbolized a mat, or soft earth. Often referred to as a chief or jaguar sign, those born here have the ability to lead others and keep everything grounded. Balancing vision with sensitivity is your greatest asset.
Month 02 Uo//Wo –Symbolizing the power of the night, the imagery is of the black sky or conjunction and, curiously, frogs. Similar to the signs of Sec and Ch’en, the transformation of the frog from tadpole to adult represents the ability to shift from one level of consciousness to another in a mystical search for truth
Month 03 Zip//Sip –Represents a red storm/sky and has the deer/stag as its totem creature. Fiery in temperament and nature, natives of this sign have both the grace and agility of these forest dwellers combined with the nobility of spirit and purpose as well as a symbiotic relationship to the forests.
Month 04 Zotz//Sotz –This sign is unique in that it has two totems: the bat and the fish. Representing both air and water, these two creatures move unfettered through their respective realms. Just as the bat relies on its “internal radar” to guide it through the night, so too, do those under this sign use their intuition. As the fish plumbs the depths for nourishment, Sotz natives look within their subconscious to discover the path ahead.
Month 05 Zec/Sec – This sign relates to earth and sky(air). The image is that of a skull which represents the intellectual and mental energies that those born in this sign have in abundance and yet are grounded by the practicalities of life. Some commentators also identify this sign as a symbol for death/rebirth.
Month 06 Xul –This is the sign of the Dog god. The Mayan believed that the Dog would guide souls as they transited from this realm to the next. Loyalty, strength and dedication are highlighted in natives of this sign. There is also a strong connection to the afterlife that enables those born under this sign to help others who fear the beyond.
Month 07 Yaxkin/ Yaxk’in –Those born under this sign have a strong connection with the energy of the sun. Referred to “solar flow”, or new green sun, the Mayan sun god, Ah Kin is identified here. With the ability to illuminate the darkness, natives of this sign are natural healers, both in the physical and spiritual realms.
Month 08 Mol – This month is ruled by the cardinal sign of water. Those born under this sign were believed to have the ability to make rain come. With the jaguar as the animal totem, Mol natives have the potential to excel as leaders or explore the mysteries of the spirit realm like the shamans of old.
Month 09 Chen/Ch’en-Meaning Black Storn/Black sky, natives of this sign are people of the night. You have the ability to draw on the powers and energies of the moon to your advantage. Being both demonstrative and clever, your ability to tap into the emotional realm is truly beneficial in relationships
Month 10 Yax-Green storm is the meaning here and there is a strong connection to natives born under Yaxk’in. Yax is a life sign and is often identified with Venus. Having the gift of harmony, those born under this sign can truly be said to be peace-keepers who are in balance with the world around them.
Month 11 Zac/Sak/Sac –Sign of the frog, this month is also known as White Storm. Strong connection to the daylight hours. The Frog is the totem for this sign. Those born here are adaptable and comfortable with change. Like your totem, you can make the jump from one level of consciousness to the next with ease.
Month 12 Ceh/Keh- This is the sign of the Red Storm and the Deer is the totem animal. Those born here can draw on their affinity for natural balance and the natural world to provide order out of chaos. Though represented by Deer, there is a fiery and determined nature to succeed within the self-effacing exterior.
Month 13 Mac/Mak –This is the sign of mystery. Born under this influence, you keep yourself closed and are given to deep reflection. So mysterious was this sign that even the Mayans found it an astrological puzzle. The key word is “enclosed” in spirit and in actions.
Month 14 K’ank’in –Earth and sun are your influences here. Known to the Mayan as the Yellow Sun, you can find both wisdom and strength from the earth and spiritual warmth from Sol. The dog is also your totem representing that inner core of strength.
Month 15 Muan -The Owl is your totem and those born here have the ability to see with clarity the truth of things around them. Fire and water are elements that strengthen your gifts. Storms are times of power for you, mixing thunder, rain and lightening.
Month 16 Pax –This sign represented the time to plant new seeds. With the jaguar as a totem, the straightforward nature of pursuing a goal is a powerful force. Your element is steam-mixing the powers of earth, fire and water into a dynamic force of action.
Month 17 K’ayab – This is the sign of the turtle. Ancient wisdom and the deeper meanings of daily life are your gifts. Used with discretion, these gifts can be potent tools for good.
Month 18 Cumku/Kumk’u –Your totem is the crocodile. As a symbol of longevity and stability, you are graced with both timing and patience, allowing you to see the duality of situations and to survive regardless of the changes around you.
Month 19 Uayeb/Wayeb (the nameless one- only 5 days long) – This short month was the Mayan equivalent of Samhain/Halloween. During this period the boundaries between the worlds was open and spirits could cross from their realm to this. These days are nameless and were considered to be a dangerous time. Those born during this time are connected to the spirit realm and harbingers of renewal or resurgence.
Lou Cheek is our resident astrologer. To arrange for a personal reading or astrological charts, please contact Lou here at The Costa Rican News.
Categories: December 21 2012 >> Mayan Astrology >> Mayan Prophecy